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Guide: Starting Nursing Careers at Any Stage

Did you know the employment of registered nurses is forecast to grow by 15 percent through 2026? This is a faster growth rate compared to the 7 percent average growth forecast for all occupations.

If you’ve been wondering whether starting a nursing career is a sound decision, you now have no reason to keep sitting on the fence. Employment opportunities are available.

So, how do you start nursing careers at any stage?

In this article, we’re answering that question. Whether you’re fresh from high school or a single mom looking to build a career in nursing, there’s an ideal path for you.

Pursue an Associate Degree in Nursing

Is earning a degree your preferred route to a career in nursing?

If yes, then you can pursue an associate degree in nursing. The program typically takes two-three years to complete, and it will equip you with the nursing knowledge and skills needed to work in entry-level positions.

Upon successful completion, you’ll need to pass the national licensing examination for registered nurses (NLEX-RN). You’ll then seek licensure as a registered nurse.

As an RN with an associate degree, you can easily apply for the RN to BSN program to further your studies and improve your career advancement prospects.

Bachelor of Science in Nursing

A bachelor of science in nursing degree will give you the best preparation you need to succeed in the nursing profession.

Unlike the ADN, a BSN has more extensive coursework. As a result, employers generally consider BSN graduates to be more competent than ADN holders. With a BSN, you can qualify for nursing jobs with leadership responsibilities and higher compensation.

Even though many BSN programs take four years to complete, you can still find an accredited school offering a three-year program. You’ll also need to pass the NLEX-RN and be licensed to work in your state.

Hospital-Based Nursing Diploma

Pursuing a national diploma in a hospital-based nursing school is another path to becoming an RN.

The program takes 3 years, after which successful students are qualified to sit the NLEX-RN exam. After getting licensed, you’ll secure entry-level nursing positions in a variety of healthcare settings.

Like ADN RNs, you have the option of furthering your studies through an RN to BSN program.

Practical Nursing Diploma

Sometimes it does happen that you want to work as a registered nurse, but you don’t qualify for a program that will enable you to do so – at least not right away.

If you’re in this situation but still have a passion for nursing careers, the practical nursing program will be the right fit for you. It takes about one year to complete.

After successful completion, you’ll need to pass the national licensing exam for practical nurses (NLEX-PN). You will then become a licensed practical nurse (LPN).

LPNs usually work under the supervision of RNs and physicians, and they can work in nursing homes and hospitals, or provide home care.

If you wish to further your studies and become an RN, there are LPN-to-RN programs designed for professionals like you. You can either choose the LPN-to-ADN or LPN-to-BSN option. The former takes one-two years, and the latter two-four years, depending on the school.

There Are Nursing Careers for Everyone

As we’ve demonstrated, there are nursing careers for people at any stage. You just need to find the best path to getting that job.

Importantly, you need to find a nursing school that’ll enable you to pursue the program conveniently and quickly. At Beckfield College, we offer a variety of nursing programs, and you can pursue them online!

Apply today. There are nursing classes available with no waitlists.

Posted on: February 05, 2018