Nursing Degrees Tips

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What is an accelerated RN degree?

About Accelerated RN Programs

If you already have a bachelor's degree in a non-nursing field but want a change of career, an accelerated RN degree may be a good option for you. Some schools offer accelerated BSN programs, which allow you to obtain your bachelor of science in nursing in 12 to 18 months.

The accelerated BSN program is not for everyone, however. You must already have a bachelor's degree in some field; if it is not a science field, you may be expected to complete science prerequisites before starting your nursing classes. Also, getting in to an accelerated RN program is very selective.

If you are accepted, accelerated BSN programs are very grueling. They can require 15 to 18 hour days, between coursework and clinical work, and many schools do not offer breaks between terms. Given the amount of time commitment to an accelerated BSN program, there is often no time to work while obtaining your degree, which can cause financial issues. If you have the money and the desire to devote to becoming a nurse, consider an accelerated BSN degree. They are offered in 41 states and the District of Columbia.

   
What are the challenges to getting an RN degree?

Challenges to Obtaining an RN Degree

Deciding you want to become a nurse is the first step in your nursing career; however, actually attaining your RN degree can be a challenge on its own. Here are some challenges to consider when deciding to obtain your RN degree:

• RN programs are selective. Because there is a shortage of nurses, many nurses who may have opted into the educational arena are staying in the field. For that reason, there are less teachers in RN programs, and RN programs are limited in the number of students they can take. This leads RN programs to be very selective

• RN programs cost money. No matter what kind of RN program you choose to pursue – ADN, RN, or MSN, you will be faced with tuition payments, which could be a problem if you are switching careers. Remember, though, that financial aid is available to qualified students

• RN programs are time-intensive. Because RN programs require both classroom learning and clinical learning, there is no “shortcut” to getting your RN degree. While accelerated programs exist, they are usually all-consuming for the 12 to 18 months they take to complete

   
What is an MSN degree?

RN Degrees: About MSN Degrees

If you already have a BSN degree but are ready to take your career and education to the next level, South University Online's MSN degree may be just what you're looking for.

The MSN degree at South University Online will give you the knowledge and skills you need to advance into hospital administration, nursing education, or another specialty field. You will learn about nursing management, nursing education, and other focused trends in the health care industry.

South University understands that most students are working at the same time they are studying, and their online program allows you to schedule classes convenient for you and on your own timeframe. And with accelerated, 5 ½ week courses, you can earn your MSN that much faster.

   
What is a doctorate of nursing degree?

Doctorates of Nursing Degrees

If you are a nurse and have already earned a BSN or MSN but want to further your education, you may want to consider a doctorate in nursing. The practice doctorate in nursing is a relatively new degree to be offered. A practice doctorate in nursing will usually prepare nurses in two different roles: direct healthcare and health systems/clinical leadership.

However, all programs usually require various research, health policy, and business courses in addition to the focused courses, allowing overlap between the roles. Depending on what kind of doctorate degree you choose to pursue, you may only need to have completed your bachelor's degree, or you may need to have an MSN before enrolling. Nurses who gain their doctorate degree in nursing are licensed independent practitioners, much like doctors of pharmacy or doctors of clinical psychology.

   
Why should you consider becoming a nurse?

Why You Should Consider Getting an RN Degree

There are many reasons why you should consider becoming a nurse. Here are some of those reasons:

• The current nursing shortage. Because many nurses are approaching retirement age, and because of a general shortage of nurses, there are too few nurses to go around. Because of the shortage, salaries and benefits are going up to attract nurses to the field

• Job security and benefits. Because of the nursing shortage, there is always a need for nurses in just about any place you could want to locate. Also, the care giving aspect of nursing makes it a rewarding profession

• Flexible schedules. As a result of the nursing shortage, many medical facilities are giving opportunities for part-time or nontraditional work schedules for nurses. This makes nursing a good career option if you have children

• It's not just for women anymore. There are more men becoming nurses now than ever before, and what was once a traditionally “female” profession has expanded

   
What is an MSN degree?

RN Degrees: MSN Degree

A MSN degree, or Master of Science in nursing, is designed for nurses who have completed a bachelor's degree and want to continue their education. If you want to get into hospital administration, nursing education, or another specialty field, an MSN is for you.

Many schools that offer MSN degrees offer degree concentrations, catering the degree to the students. For example, a focused course of study may be offered in hospital administration, nurse practitioner in health care delivery systems, or nursing education.

The time for students to earn their MSN degrees can vary, but usually takes around two years. Programs that offer MSN degrees understand that most students are working at the same time they are studying, and offer night classes to make the program more convenient. There are also MSN online degrees that can be earned online, through the web.

   
What RN degree is right for you?

Choosing the RN Degree That is Right for You

There are several different degree tracks that will help you achieve your goal to be an RN. But how do you decide which one is right for you? The following questions may help you make that decision:

• How much time do you have to earn your degree? If you have four or so years to devote to gaining an RN degree, a bachelor of science in nursing may be the right degree for you. If you have less time, an associate degree nurse (ADN) may be a better choice

• When do you need to start earning money? If you need to change jobs right away and begin to exercise earning power, an ADN degree or a licensed practical nurse or licensed vocational nurse certification may be a better choice for you, because you can earn them quicker

• What kind of schooling do you already have? Do you already have an associate's degree in nursing? If so, an RN to BSN degree is a good option. If you already have a BSN and are looking to further your education, consider a master of science in nursing degree

   
How do you become an LPN/LVN?

Becoming a LVN/LPN

If you are interested in becoming a nurse but don't have time to devote to a two-year or four-year RN degree, becoming an LVN/LPN may be a good option.

An LVN, licensed vocational nurse, or LPN, licensed practical nurse, are essentially the same thing, depending on what state you are in. To become an LPN/LVN, you must pass a nursing test called the NCLEX-PN; to qualify to sit for the test, you must complete an LPN/LVN training program. Most LVN/LPN training programs are available at hospitals, vocational schools, or community colleges, and take about a year.

When you earn your license, you are qualified to work at a hospital or other medical facility; however, you will always be required to be under the guidance of a RN. If you decide to become an LPN/LVN and later want to earn your RN certification, many schools offer LPN-to-RN programs or LPN-to-BSN programs, giving you credit for some of the work you have already completed.

   
What is an ADN degree?

RN Degrees: ADN Degree

If you want to become a nurse, but don't want to spend four years getting your BSN degree, an ADN degree may be a good option for you. ADN (associate degree nurse) is essentially an associate's degree in nursing. It will allow you to become a certified RN in about two years, half the time of a traditional RN degree. You can earn your ADN at a vocational school or a junior college.

The good aspect of an ADN degree is that class times are usually more flexible than for a full RN degree, since most vocational schools or junior colleges cater to adult learners. You can also opt to go back and get your RN to BSN degree later on, if you decide you want to earn your bachelor of science in nursing. Most medical facilities will require a BSN if you are interested in career advancement, so look at an ADN as a stepping stone in your career.

   
What is an accelerated RN degree?

Accelerated RN Programs

If you are already an RN but want to earn your BSN or MSN in the shortest amount of time possible, South University Online's RN to BSN completion program or MSN program may be a good fit for you.

In both the RN to BSN and MSN programs, South University Online offers accelerated, 5 ½ week course that allow you to speed up the time it takes for you to complete your classroom learning. All the courses are delivered via the web, and you can work at your own schedule at your own pace to complete the coursework.

One advantage that South University Online's accelerated courses have over other accelerated nursing programs is the flexibility to allow you to keep working while you go to school. Many accelerated programs are so demanding that it is impossible to keep your job; South University recognizes that you need to keep your earning power while you attend school.

   
What RN degree is right for you?

The RN Degree That's Right For You

If you are an RN, you may want to think about advancing your education with either an RN to BSN completion degree or an MSN degree. At South University Online, you can earn either one of these degrees completely online, allowing you to keep your current job and your current earning power.

Follow these guidelines to decide which degree is right for you:

What kind of schooling do you already have? Do you already have an associate's degree in nursing? If so, South University's RN to BSN degree, is a good option. If you already have a BSN and are looking to further your education, consider a Master of Science in nursing degree, also offered at South University

Do you need to keep making money while you go to school? If so, South University's online programs are an excellent choice, since you can schedule classes on your own timeframe and work when your schedule allows

   
What jobs can you expect from different RN degrees?

How Different RN Degrees Aid Your Career

If you are an RN but are thinking of furthering your education at South University Online, through either their RN to BSN completion program or their MSN program, here is some information on how the degrees will help with your career once you are finished.

BSN – if you are an associate's degree RN and attend South University Online's RN to BSN completion program, you will become a BSN RN and have more flexibility in your career. Many hospitals prefer their RNs to have a BSN, and will look to those RNs when filling new jobs or promoting from within.

MSN – if you complete your Master of Science in nursing degree at South University Online, you have taken the next step in your education that will allow you to move into hospital administration, nursing administration, or nursing education. If you want to take your career into a management or education type role, a MSN from South University Online will help you get there.

   
What admissions requirements are necessary for South University Online’s MSN program?

Requirements for the MSN Degree at South University Online

If you want to attend the MSN program at South University Online, you must meet the following academic requirements:

  • A BSN from a regionally accredited school
  • A GPA of 2.7 on a 4.0 scale from your bachelor's program
  • Transcripts from all colleges and high schools attended
  • A valid RN license
  • An academic, clinical, and other letter of recommendation
  • A resume with current work, volunteer, and professional experience
  • An admissions essay

If you have questions, you can request an admissions packet from South University Online's department of admissions.

   
What is a RN to BSN degree?

RN Degrees: About RN to BSN Degree

If you are already a registered nurse, you can further your education and career by earning your RN to BSN degree at South University Online.

The RN to BSN completion program at South University is for you if you already have an associate's degree or have completed a nursing diploma program and earned your RN license, but you do not yet have your BSN degree. Courses you have already taken in your previous schooling, as well as previous work experience, may make you eligible for transfer and other credit upon admission.

If you are interested in career advancement, most medical facilities require their RNs to hold a bachelor's degree. If you want to advance your career but do not yet have a BSN, consider South University's RN to BSN completion programs, which can be completed online and at your own pace.

   
Why should you consider becoming a nurse?

Why You Should Earn an RN Degree from South University Online

Even though you already are an RN, there are various benefits to taking your career to the next level with either an RN to BSN completion program or a MSN program from South University Online. Here are some of the benefits you'll enjoy when you further your RN degree:

  • Career advancement. Regardless of if you are an associate's degree RN or a BSN, earning the next logical degree from South University Online will allow you to eligible for jobs you otherwise weren't. You can expect to advance in your career and increase your value to your employer.
  • Skills and knowledge advancement. Education is never wasted; if you earn your BSN or MSN degree from South University Online, you will be expanding your skills and knowledge in the nursing arena. You will learn about professional nursing, nursing research, and other current trends in the health care arena, making you a better nurse overall.
  • Knowledge of technology. Technology has seeped into every area of our society, and by earning an online degree, you will be at the forefront of technological knowledge. Understanding how to use technology to your and other's benefits will make you more marketable in the health care industry.

   
Who should consider an RN online degree?

About RN Online Degrees at South University Online

If you have decided you want to continue your education with either a BSN or MSN degree, South University's online programs in RN to BSN completion or MSN may be a good fit for you

South University Online's degrees are designed for busy professional nurses who want to continue working while going to school. They allow you schedule work and classes around your schedule, and you can work at your own pace and on your own timeframe.

In addition, South University has no residency requirements for their online programs, which means that you do not have to worry about coming to campus once or twice a year and sacrificing work time and time with your family. The clinical experience required in both the RN to BSN completion program and the MSN program can be completed at a facility convenient to you.

If you cannot devote the time to earning a traditional, on-campus degree, one of South University's RN online degrees may be a good option for you.

   
What jobs can you expect from different RN degrees?

What Jobs You Can Expect from Different RN Degrees

If you are considering becoming a nurse, there are several different courses of study you can select from. One of the deciding factors for most people, however, is what kind of job you will come out with when you finish your degree. Use this guide to help you figure out what kind of degree is right for you.

LVN/LPN – if you choose to become a licensed practical nurse, you are not an RN but work under the supervision of an RN or physician. You can get a job in a hospital or other medical facility as an LVN/LPN

ADN – An associate degree nurse becomes an RN, and can work wherever an RN can work – in a hospital, doctor's office, or other medical facility. However, an ADN can expect to be passed over for career advancement by RNs who have completed their bachelor's degree

BSN – a bachelor of science in nursing is often considered the minimum requirement to become an RN. If you earn a BSN and pass your license, you are a full-fledged RN and can be expected to advance in your career, if that is your wish

MSN – a Master of Science in Nursing degree will allow you to move into hospital or nursing administration, or nursing education. It is a worthwhile degree for those who wish to advance up the nursing career ladder

   
What is a RN to BSN degree?

RN Degrees: RN to BSN Degree

A degree option for already-registered nurses is to get your RN to BSN degree. RN to BSN degrees are designed for nurses who have an associate's degree or who have completed a nursing diploma program and earned their RN license, but do not yet have their BSN degree. Many schools take into consideration the courses you have already completed in your previous schooling and may give you credit for that already-completed work. Some schools also give credit for previous work experience. For any RN who is interested in career advancement, most medical facilities require a bachelor's degree. If you want to advance your career but do not yet have a BSN, consider one of the many available RN to BSN programs.

   
What are the challenges to getting an RN degree?

RN Degree Challenges

If you have decided to go back to school at South University Online to pursue either your BSN or MSN degree, you may face a few challenges along the way. Here are some areas to look out for:

  • School is time-intensive. South University Online tries in every possible way to make school as flexible and easy to complete as possible. Even so, you are attending a degree program, and you need to be prepared to spend time working and studying for either your BSN or MSN degree
  • RN degrees cost money. At between $280 and $310 a credit hour, South University Online's programs are affordable. However, you will still need to come up with the money to pay your tuition. Look to various sources of financial aid available through South University Online, both federal and work-study, to help defray your costs
  • Self-motivation is key. Since South University's programs are online, you must be willing and able to motivate yourself to work – even when sometimes you don't feel like it. Considering you'll probably keep your job while going to school, after a long day at work, sometimes motivation can wane; you need to be able to keep on task and keep doing your coursework.

   
What will you learn in South University Online’s RN to BSN completion program?

RN to BSN Degree: Course of Study

At South University Online, the RN to BSN completion program is designed for working nurses who hold an associate's degree in nursing or a nursing diploma. Here are the types of topics you will study while earning your RN to BSN degree at South University Online:

  • Palliative care
  • Gerontological nursing
  • Alternative/holistic medicine
  • Patient skills
  • Management abilities

If you choose to earn your RN to BSN degree at South University Online, you will be learning about the newest trends in health care, expanding your nursing skills, and keeping up-to-date on issues in the nursing field. You will be able to expand and advance your career with the new knowledge you gain from South University's RN to BSN completion program.

   
What will you learn in South University Online’s MSN program?

MSN Degree: Course of Study

In South University Online's MSN program, you will learn about the following topics:

  • Ethical decision making
  • Multicultural educational needs
  • Organization in the health care delivery system
  • Developing curriculum for nurses
  • Designing teaching plans
  • Designing testing
  • Pathophsysiology

You will expand your knowledge by taking your education to the next level with a wide array of courses. South University Online's MSN program is especially useful for nurses who want to move into the nursing education field.

   
Who should consider an RN online degree?

Considering an RN Online Degree

If you have decided you want to pursue your RN degree, you have a few options. You can study in a traditional, on-campus RN program, or you can choose to pursue an RN online degree. RN online degrees are designed for students who have less flexible schedules due to work and family obligations.

By allowing you to pick your classes and work at your own pace, you are more likely to be able to devote time and energy to your RN degree. Many colleges that offer RN online degrees have residency requirements, asking that you come to campus once a semester or once a year to meet face-to-face with professors and other students.

All RN online degrees require clinical experience, which you must earn in person, either at the school you are studying or at a medical facility near to your home. If you cannot devote the time to earning a traditional, on-campus degree, an RN online degree may be a good option for you.

   
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