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Nursing Schools - Programs and Training

While many people think of nursing as a single all-encompassing field, the truth is there are numerous specialties and callings within the nursing profession.

Registered Nurse

Registered nurses make up the majority of working nurses, and most are employed in hospitals. They treat, educate, and care for patients, often acting as de facto filters for the doctors, explaining follow-up therapy and programs, and providing important details to patients and families.

There may be three main ways of becoming a nurse:
  • Bachelor's of Science in Nursing: A BSN from a college or university takes about four years to complete. Though more time consuming and costly, a BSN from a nursing school may lead to better nursing career opportunities and advancement.
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing: If a nursing program at a community or junior college looks best to you, an ADN may be attained in two to three years. While quicker and less expensive, an ADN mcight limit your opportunities for advancement. Many nursing schools offer ADN to BSN programs for nurses who decide they want to move into more advanced positions.
  • Diploma: An increasingly rare options, some hospitals do offer nursing training programs that take about three years.


Nurse Practitioner

A nurse practitioner is essentially a primary-care provider who may prescribe medication and perform physician functions at a lower cost for patients.

More advanced nursing professions include nurse practitioner, nurse midwife, and nurse anesthetist. These nursing careers require a master's degree. With the cost of additional school come benefits of higher pay, greater advancement opportunities, and future positions in nursing administration.

Licensed Vocational Nurse/ Licensed Practical Nurse

LVNs and LPNs provide patient care--often full time--for convalescent, injured, and disabled persons, and spend about a year in a nursing training program, through nursing trade schools or community colleges.

If you have the compassion, organizational skills, and fortitude to take on a nursing career, research nursing schools and look into your options. They are as diverse as the people who enroll in them.

Nursing School Specialities


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