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How Long Does It Take To Get A Bachelor’s Degree In Nursing

By David Krug 4 minute read

Preparing for a career in nursing opens up a world of possibilities. In the field of nursing, there are a variety of ways to enter and advance one’s career. Nurses can begin their careers with a one-year certificate or a four-year degree that will prepare them for leadership roles from the beginning. A nursing degree can be earned at any time and at any pace that works for you, whether that be through an on-campus or online program.

Obtaining Your Practical and Vocational Nursing Degrees is Now an Excellent Idea

In order to begin your nursing career quickly, you should consider a licensed practical nursing (LPN) or LPN-VN program. Being a licensed practical nurse or a licensed vocational nurse (LPN) requires only a basic understanding of nursing principles (LVN). A year is all it takes to earn your practical nursing degree, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

However, this does not imply that practical nursing programs are stress-free or that LPNs and LVNs enjoy a carefree existence. Nursing students still have to take science courses like biology, anatomy, physiology, and pharmacology in order to pursue a career as an LVN or LPN after graduation. They must complete both theoretical and practical training in order to become a registered nurse. Because it doesn’t require as much schooling as more specialized roles in nursing, entry-level nursing has lower pay and fewer opportunities for advancement. According to the BLS, LPNs and LVNs earn a median annual wage of $45,030 per year, and if they want to move up the ranks, they will need a more advanced degree and an additional license.

Aspiring LPNs and LVNs can take courses in practical nursing at community colleges, technical schools, hospitals, and even high schools.

How long does it take to become a licensed nurse?

As far as education, job responsibilities, and compensation, professional nursing is superior to practical nursing. Registered nurses (RNs), who are licensed to practice in the United States, must complete a four-year bachelor’s degree program in nursing.

Earning an associate’s degree in nursing (ADN) or a nursing diploma is the fastest way to become an RN. The BLS estimates that you can finish your ADN in two to three years. A registered nurse’s education will include a wide range of topics from microbiology to anatomy and physiology, all of which will be covered in the classroom. Extensive clinical experience, much of it in hospitals, is required outside the classroom.

As soon as you’ve earned your associate’s degree, you’ll be able to apply for your RN license and begin working as an entry-level nurse. You should be aware, however, that your degree program’s shorter duration can be limiting. The fact that some employers, including many hospitals, require a bachelor’s degree may limit your employment options. If you don’t go back to school, you won’t be able to advance. Some states are enacting laws requiring RNs to obtain a bachelor’s degree within a certain period of time if they want to keep their licenses.

You may want to take a different route to becoming a professional nurse for any of these reasons. In addition to the ADN’s core classes and clinical requirements, the four-year Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program also includes more in-depth nursing classes. Critical thinking and leadership skills are honed through courses like nursing research, nursing informatics, public health and leadership in nursing. Management and supervisory positions can be yours if you have a BSN.

According to the BLS, professional nursing diploma programs are less common than bachelor’s and associate’s degree programs in hospitals and medical centers.

The Path to a Master’s in Nursing Degree.

If you want to move up the ladder in your career, a graduate or doctoral degree may be the best option. APRNs, including nurse practitioners, are most commonly trained in the Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

According to U.S. News & World Report, most MSN degrees require students to complete 35 to 50 credits of graduate-level nursing education. According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, you should be able to earn your MSN in 18 to 24 months if you already have a BSN and study full-time. As a result, many working nurses choose to study part-time, which results in longer degrees.

It is possible to earn more money with an MSN degree. An APRN’s salary is $110,930 compared to $70,000 for an RN’s, a significant difference.

If you’re eager to begin your nursing career but concerned about limiting your opportunities for advancement, don’t be. LPN to RN education programs allow practical nurses to expand their knowledge and become more knowledgeable in the field of nursing. RN to BSN and MSN programs are available to registered nurses with an ADN who wish to continue their education. After completing a bachelor’s degree in nursing (BSN), graduates can delay pursuing a master’s degree until they have gained more experience. You can begin working as a nurse in as little as one to four years, and you can work at your own pace to further your nursing education.

David Krug