How do I get a Nursing Degree?

A Kaminsky

While many people feel that doctors have superiority complexes, almost everyone recognizes the critical role the nurse plays in healthcare. Nurses work in doctor’s offices, hospitals, nursing homes, home healthcare organizations -- anywhere there is a need for on-the-spot health care. A person may choose to earn a nursing degree that allows him or her to become a licensed practical nurse (LPN), a registered nurse (RN), a clinical nurse specialist (CNS) or to specialize in other areas, including becoming a certified registered nurse practitioner (CRNP).

Nursing degree candidates must have a deep compassion for people.
Nursing degree candidates must have a deep compassion for people.

Whatever the job desired, becoming a nurse begins with training. For any certification program, this begins in college. An LPN can finish a two-year college nursing degree program, sit the national and state exams and come out as a licensed practical nurse.

Nursing students must demonstrate an ability to take histories, interact with patients, and perform other practical duties before they are awarded a nursing degree.
Nursing students must demonstrate an ability to take histories, interact with patients, and perform other practical duties before they are awarded a nursing degree.

Becoming a registered nurse requires a longer, more intensive period of training. A college RN program will often be at least three, and sometimes four, years. Many RNs opt to go ahead and obtain their BSN degrees, since they’ve already been in college four years, and the BSN usually guarantees a higher salary.

A CRNP designation requires a masters degree in nursing, along with a clinical CRNP course. A CRNP will often work in a doctor’s office, but may also oversee an entire nursing department at a hospital or college. A CRNP does everything an RN can do, but can also diagnose and treat medical conditions and in some states, can prescribe certain medications.

A CNS will usually become certified as an RN first, with a BSN, and will go on to get a masters degree in a desired specialty, such as cardiac or community health. They may also work in a variety of settings.

A good beginning to being admitted into a nursing degree program includes good grades in high school, with good standardized test scores. Some students may go into a high school vocational program that focuses on health care, and if their overall grades are good, may also be good candidates for a nursing program.

Nursing degree candidates must love people and must have deep compassion for them, above all things, if they wish to be successful in their fields. Nurses supply the bulk of day-to-day patient care and involvement, and they must be able to deal with even the most difficult patients and give them the same compassionate care they give to the sweetest ones. They must be able to tolerate a variety of smells, sights and sounds that others cannot. They must be able to deliver care under difficult and exhausting circumstances. In almost every case, nurses do their jobs with amazing compassion and expertise. They are indispensable in healthcare.

Obtaining a nursing degree requires hours of clinical studying in a hospital setting.
Obtaining a nursing degree requires hours of clinical studying in a hospital setting.

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