Training Programs for Becoming a Registered Nurse
RN programs are the educational programs, which help the aspirants to gain registered nurse licensure for practicing and working in this field. The conventional choice, of course, in this area is the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). Many nurses choose a BSN degree due to the high knowledge and practicality it offers in comparison to diploma courses and ADN (Associate’s Degree in Nursing). The vital goal of an RN program is to train the students to give and clear the NCLEX-RN, the licensure assessment for registered nurses. These coursework helps to develop a better and educated workforce, and provide excellent learning, train nurses for a superior level of practice, and provide RNs with the skills and theoretical knowledge, with which, they can grow and develop in the nursing field.
Undergraduate Nursing Programs
1. Associates Degree in Nursing (ADN)
An Associate’s Degree in Nursing (ADN) is a two-year degree, which is meant for all those aspirants, who want to enter and work in the healthcare sector. The basic curriculum of ADN involves chemistry, nutrition, psychology, nursing, anatomy, physiology, microbiology, and other sciences. Associate’s degree programs comprise of both the classroom and clinical aspects. It will begin with fundamental evaluation and theory classes, and move on to the classes that concentrate on detailed knowledge about community, mental health, pediatric and adult nursing. This two-year option is beneficial for those students, who are not able to pursue the four-year course due to financial hindrance. Once a student holds the degree of ADN, he/she must clear the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX). Even after becoming an RN, they have the choice to obtain the RN to BSN degree either online or at a traditional college.
2. Diploma Course
A diploma in nursing is a 1 year nursing credential that enables you to make entry in the field of nursing just after completion of the course. The hospital-based nursing schools generally award this diploma to the students. All those individuals, who hold a diploma in nursing can appear for the NCLEX-RN and apply for the license to become a registered nurse. A diploma is adequate to become an RN and it won’t become any impediment in the future. Many experienced RNs are only educated with diplomas. Students prefer diploma courses due to its less course fees, and they also take less time in comparison to other courses. But, if you want career advancement, then you will have to choose a better and professional degree. Diploma nursing programs, at present, give a concrete base in biology and social science aspects of nursing practice. Also, there is a focus on clinical experiences.
3. Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)
Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) is a four-year academic course in the science and principles of nursing. Anybody, who wants to enter the healthcare industry with advanced nursing skills, can opt for this coursework. This program provides both the clinical experience and theoretical knowledge and trains the nurses for a professional atmosphere with assignments in leadership, nursing informatics, nursing science and research. It also equips you with the basic knowledge in math, humanities and social sciences. Emergency care, health assessment, issues and trends in nursing, public and global health are certain educational topics focused in this program.
4. Registered Nurse to Baccalaureate Program
The registered nurse to baccalaureate program is intended for students with at least an associate degree or diploma in nursing. Those nurses, who already have jobs and can’t travel long distances can go for this program. This track offers unique and comprehensive theoretical and practical education with an innovative approach. Considering the developments in healthcare surroundings, students are provided with valuable knowledge through communication, intervention, and leadership. Various aspects are demonstrated through health care technologies, information systems, and communication strategies. Family and community nursing, political awareness, fiscal responsibility, professional regulations, management and leadership in nursing, research, etc. are certain major topics covered in this program.
5. LPN to RN Bridge Program
If you want to get transferred from a licensed practical nurse to a registered nurse, you can opt for the LPN to RN bridge program. Online courses are preferred when the individual is working in any medical institution. LPNs can get tuition reimbursement or financial assistance from their employers to pursue RN program if they are working with that employer from a long time. The course normally takes 2-3 years and covers the subjects, like nutrition, psychology, behavior sciences and liberal arts. LPN to RN programs permit students to go “fast track” which means that they don’t have to repeat any topic already learnt at the time of LPN program. After completion of the program, they can work in private homes, nursing homes, schools, correctional facilities, large corporations, health care facilities for the disabled, and also as staff nurses.
6. Accelerated BSN Degree/ Accelerated Second Degree BSN Program
The accelerated BSN degree, also known as accelerated second degree BSN program, offers the fastest way to get certified as a registered nurse to those candidates, who already has a degree in the field other than nursing. Fast-track baccalaureate coursework takes 11 to 18 months to complete. This degree enhances your career by improving your earning potential. Focusing on the health care environment and needs, the curriculum encompasses all the elements of the conventional BSN program.
7. Paramedic to RN Bridge Program
Those paramedics, who want to grow further in the hierarchy of nursing by expanding their knowledge, can choose paramedic to RN bridge program. This course completes in 18-24 months. The subjects include general microbiology, crisis care, psychology, pathophysiology, human anatomy and physiology, maternal-infant nursing, children and family nursing.
8. LVN to RN Bridge Program
If you are a Licensed Vocational Nurse and want to transit your career to an RN, you can select LVN to RN bridge program. In this program, students get to learn about mental health care, neonatal and obstetric nursing, pediatric and geriatric care, etc. The length of the coursework depends on whether you have completed the pre-required courses or not. The applicant should possess a current LVN license and at least nine months of working experience in an acute care facility. Integrated client care management, mental health nursing, concepts of nursing practice, etc. are some important topics cover in this program.
Graduate Nursing Programs
There are several graduate programs in nursing, which you can pursue only after completing your graduation. They are:
9. Entry Level Master of Science in Nursing (ELMSN)
ELMSN is a post-graduate degree for those non-nursing bachelor degree holders, who wish to accomplish new academic goals or change their career. Along with fundamentals of the nursing, you get to learn the advanced skills that are essential to assume leadership and management roles. You can choose any one of the two specialty paths- Family Nurse Practitioner or Case Management. Fundamentals of nursing skills, basic concepts of pharmacology & pathophysiology, and transition to professional roles of nursing are some of the topics that you can expect to study during the program. It allows the student to acquire credentials necessary to be eligible to work and practice. Once the Entry Level Master’s Degree Program is completed, the student is entitled to sit for the national certification examination. After the completion of all the formalities and clearance of the exam, the candidate can apply for certification and state licensure. You can take up the position of a nurse administrator, health policy expert or clinical nurse leader after obtaining the certificate.
10. RN to Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) Program
This course will provide you with the abilities and superior program, enabling you to offer the best quality medical care to the patients. By receiving master’s degree, you will broaden your avenues for work and practice. This coursework opens door to various high positions, like nurse practitioner, nurse anesthetist, nurse leader, clinical nurse specialist, nurse midwife, nurse educator, and nurse administrator. It usually completes in two to three years of time and comprises of practical knowledge and clinical hands-on program. You can also opt for specialized and advanced courses in this degree program. Also, this curriculum will provide information about leadership, management and health care policies, health care ethics, etc.
Post-Graduate Nursing Program
11. Doctor of Nursing Practices
DNP (Doctor of Nursing Practice) is a professional degree that concentrates on the clinical features. The DNP degree includes topics like treatment of diseases, advanced practice and diagnosis. A registered nurse is trained to become an autonomous care provider to the patients. The main aim of this program is to improve patient outcomes and nursing practice by providing enhanced knowledge, and inculcate advanced competencies among aspirants in order to assume leadership, faculty and clinical roles. Students holding a master’s entry-level nursing degree or BSN can complete DNP coursework in 3 years of full-time study. Nurses possessing MSN from a recognized institute can obtain DNP degree in 3 semesters of full-time study.