Education for nurses has a tremendous range.

You may be aware of the varying levels of education for nurses, such as a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN), a Registered Nurse (RN), or a Nurse Practitioner (NP).  Did you know each one of these has to complete different levels of eduction?  And once you have passed your state exams and are designated as a nurse, then you have to take continuing education units!  Plus,

There are numerous certificates you can get to help you in your specialty- some of which may better your pay as well.


We will briefly touch on these topics in this post as a sort of general information guide and then, my intent is to begin to delve deeper into each area of education for nurses.  I am not going to go into what each career’s overview or tasks are here, you can find that in some of my other posts.  I really want to concentrate on what type of education is required for each level of nursing.

Now, keep in mind that depending on the program, the specialty and state regulations, the time required can vary quite a bit.  A little research will go a long way.  However, I will be talking more specifically about each level of nursing so you shouldn’t have to look far to get the info you need.

If you are looking to get into nursing fast- this is the way to go.

Ok let’s start with training as an LPN. By the way, I have found that sometimes people also call it a licensed vocational nurse versus licensed practical nurse.  This is really the fastest way to become a nurse.  Education for nurses desiring their LPN can take about a year. Keep in mind here that this also tends to have lower pay and a smaller amount of privileges to go with it.

Education for nurses that are becoming RNs has a couple different paths.

You can get an Associate’s degree in Nursing, a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing (BSN) or a Nursing Diploma.  I tend to see a lot of people go for the Associate’s degree.  This is because it is only a two year program- but usually takes three to complete- which means you can start you nursing career more quickly.  Many nurses that follow this path often go on to get their Bachelor’s.

If you go right into the Bachelor’s program it will most likely take you about 4 years, plus or minus.  The BSN tends to give more options to those nurses whom obtain it.

The Nursing Diploma was once much more popular that it is today.  Back in the day, it was the main way of education for nurses.   Today I hardly see this option.  I have seen a couple of studies that have stated their decline has continued over the years and they now only comprise about 5% of the methods of education for nurses.

Open doors to management and more:

The Master’s of Science in Nursing (MSN) is an advanced degree.  Career choices like that of the Nurse Practitioner or the Clinical Nurse need to get advanced degrees like the MSN.  This option will open doors to management positions, more privileges like prescribing medication, and even can lead to opening your own practice with out requiring doctor supervision in some States.

Well, this is getting to be a long post and I want to be able to give you quick, concise information- and not bore you to tears- so I am going to end it here for now and will do more posts on Continuing Education Units and Certificates soon.  I hope this info on education for nurses has been helpful to you.  As always I look forward to your comments and questions.  Please subscribe to the RSS feed so you dont miss any of the great information that I have in store for this site!

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