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Find Your Path In Nursing

Which nursing path is for me?

Think you want to be a nurse? That’s great! Not sure how to get there? Not to worry. The fact is, there are many different ways to start your career in nursing, and this tool will help you find the right one for you. Ready? Let’s get started.

Choose the statement that best describes you, and we’ll show you the different paths you can take to become a nurse.

Here are the different nursing paths you can pursue with a high school diploma. Tap each one to find out more about it.

Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)/Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN)

You’ll get your LPN/LVN certification from a practical, or vocational, school and get to start working as a nurse sooner.

Find out more

Associate’s Degree in Nursing (ADN)/Associate of Science in Nursing (ASN)

You’ll get your Associate’s Degree from a community college, college, or university, and can become certified as an RN sooner than other RN tracks.

Find out more

Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)

You’ll get your Bachelor’s Degree from a four-year college or university, and will set yourself up to work at the healthcare facility of your choice. Once you have your BSN, you can pursue more advanced degrees to take your nursing career to the next level.

Find out more

Here are the different nursing degrees you can pursue if you’re already in college. Tap each one to find out more about it.

Associate’s Degree in Nursing (ADN)/Associate of Science in Nursing (ASN)

You’ll get your Associate’s Degree from a community college, college, or university, and can become certified as an RN sooner than other RN tracks.

Find out more

Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)

You’ll get your Bachelor’s Degree from a four-year college or university, and will set yourself up to work at the healthcare facility of your choice. Once you have your BSN, you can pursue more advanced degrees to take your nursing career to the next level.

Find out more

Here are the different nursing degrees you can go for if you’ve got a college degree. Tap each one to find out more about it.

Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN)

If you’ve already got another degree, or have some college under your belt, you can go for an Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN). It’s a faster way to get your BSN without have to repeat any school, and your degree will set you up to work at the healthcare facility of your choice. Once you have your BSN, you can pursue more advanced degrees to take your nursing career to the next level.

Find out more

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)

If you’ve got your Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), you’ve already got a prerequisite for getting your Master of Science in Nursing (MSN). You’ll earn this degree from a university; you might even be able to get it online. With an MSN, you’ll be set up to work in management and leadership roles, research, and even education.

Find out more

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)/Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing (PhD)

If you’ve got a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) and want to move up in your career—in research, academia, or as an executive in nursing—you can go for your Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)/Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing (PhD). You’ll earn your DNP/PhD from a university; you can even get it online.

Find out more

Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)/Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN)

You’ll get your LPN/LVN certification from a practical, or vocational, school and get to start working as a nurse sooner.

Associate’s Degree in Nursing (ADN)/Associate of Science in Nursing (ASN)

You’ll get your Associate’s Degree from a community college, college, or university, and can become certified as an RN sooner than other RN tracks.

Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)

You’ll get your Bachelor’s Degree from a four-year college or university, and will set yourself up to work at the healthcare facility of your choice. Once you have your BSN, you can pursue more advanced degrees to take your nursing career to the next level.

How long will it take for me to become a nurse?

If you enroll in a full-time Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) or Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) training program, you can be ready to take your licensing exam in as little as 9-12 months.

Between 9-12 months

What will I learn in school?

Most LPN/LVN programs include general education classes as well as core classes like anatomy and physiology. You’ll get some hands-on experience, working in a lab and practicing in a hospital, clinic, or other healthcare facility as part of your curriculum.

What will I be doing right out of school?

You’ll work under the supervision of doctors and Registered Nurses, or RNs, and your duties will depend on the needs of those doctors, RNs, and patients.

Here are some places where you can work:

HOSPITALS

DOCTOR’S OFFICES

OUTPATIENT CARE CENTERS

NURSING HOMES

How much can I make?

According to national averages, you can make between

$29,000 - $50,000
per year

What are the benefits?

NO TWO DAYS ARE ALIKE

In fact, it’s common for an LPN/LVN to perform a variety of tasks in a single shift.

HANDS-ON CARE

You’ll be working directly with patients most of the day.

SUPPORT RNs AND MDs

You’ll help doctors, RNs and other healthcare professionals by monitoring, charting, and performing minor procedures for patients.

BUSY DAYS = QUICK SHIFTS

Your day-to-day work tends to be busy, so your shifts seem to go by quickly.

What are the challenges?

Your job will likely involve a lot of manual tasks, which could be challenging for some with physical limitations, either due to age or disability.

If you have a physical disability, check with the guidance counselor at your school, or a Human Resource manager at your healthcare facility, to see what kind of accommodations they can make for you.

What will my job be like?

As an LPN/LVN, you can work in all different areas of hospitals, clinics, and healthcare facilities, with RNs and doctors in all different specialties. There are 104 areas of nursing you can specialize in as an LPN/LVN, you’ll likely spend most of your day working directly with patients.

PATIENT-FACING

You’ll likely work in areas of nursing that require hands-on care. LPN/LVNs do things like administer medication and monitor their patients, collect data, check vital signs, provide wound care, and CPR.

How can I move up in my career?

The good news is, as an LPN/LVN, there are all kinds of ways to advance your career. Getting a degree like the ones below will give you more options on where you can work and more opportunity to move up in nursing. As an LPN/LVN, you can pursue your

ADN/ASN

BSN

How do I get started?

Check out these pages for all kinds of ways to start your career in nursing:

SEE WHAT REAL NURSES HAVE TO SAY

Watch videos and read stories about Licensed Practical Nurses. See what their days are like, find out what inspired them to get into nursing, and what they love about their jobs.

How long will it take for me to become a nurse?

Depending on if you’re enrolled full time or part-time, you can get your Associate’s Degree in Nursing (ADN) or Associate of Science in Nursing (ASN) in 2-4 years.

Between 2-4 years

What will I learn in school?

Most ADN/ASN programs include classes in nursing, anatomy, physiology, microbiology, chemistry, nutrition, psychology, and other social and behavioral sciences. You’ll get some hands-on experience, working in a lab and practicing in a hospital, clinic, or other healthcare facility as part of your curriculum.

What will I be doing right out of school?

You’ll work under the supervision of doctors and other Registered Nurses, or RNs, doing things like monitoring patients, updating charts, performing tests and analyzing the results, teaching patients how to manage their illnesses or injuries at home, operating medical equipment, and more.

Here are some places where you can work:

HOSPITALS

DOCTOR’S OFFICES

OUTPATIENT CARE CENTERS

CLINICS

NURSING HOMES

How much can I make?

According to national averages, and depending on which area of nursing you decide to specialize in you can make between

$54,000 - $88,000
per year

What are the benefits?

YOU’LL GET TO SEE IT ALL

You’ll be exposed to different areas of nursing and have the option to work in all kinds of different healthcare facilities, so you can decide what you want to specialize in.

HANDS-ON CARE

You’ll be working directly with patients most of the day.

BUSY DAYS = QUICK SHIFTS

Your day-to-day work tends to be busy, so your shifts seem to go by quickly.

What are the challenges?

Your degree may limit the hospitals and healthcare facilities where you can work, and your opportunities to move up in your career. Getting an advanced degree, like a BSN, MSN or DNP/PhD, will let you work in Advanced Practice specialties, take on management roles and more.

What will my job be like?

With your ADN/ASN, you can work in all different areas of hospitals, clinics, and healthcare facilities, with RNs and doctors in all different specialties. There are 104 areas of nursing you can specialize in, and with your ADN/ASN, you’ll likely spend most of your day working directly with patients.

PATIENT-FACING

You’ll likely work directly with patients, under the supervision of doctors and other Registered Nurses, or RNs, doing things like monitoring patients, teaching them how to manage their illnesses or injuries at home, operating medical equipment, and more.

How can I move up in my career?

With an ADN/ASN, you’ll have all kinds of ways to advance your career, like getting your Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), which will give you more options on where you can work and more opportunity to move up in nursing. With an ADN/ASN, you can pursue your

BSN

How do I get started?

Check out these pages for all kinds of ways to start your career in nursing:

SEE WHAT REAL NURSES HAVE TO SAY

Watch videos and read stories about nurses who got their Associate’s Degree. See what their days are like, find out what inspired them to get into nursing, and what they love about their jobs.

How long will it take for me to become a nurse?

Most Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) programs take 4 years.

But if you have previous healthcare experience, or a Bachelor’s Degree in another area, you may be able to enroll in an RN to BSN program, which could take less than 2 years.

About 4 years

What will I learn in school?

Most BSN programs include classes in anatomy, physiology, microbiology, chemistry, nutrition, psychology, and liberal arts courses. You’ll get some hands-on experience, working in a lab and practicing in a hospital, where you can train in areas like maternity, surgery, pediatrics, and psychiatry. You can also get experience working in nursing homes, health departments, ambulatory centers, and home health agencies.

With a BSN, you’ll be prepared for both bedside and leadership roles.

What will I be doing right out of school?

Many nurses with a BSN get groomed for leadership roles. When you have more experience, you may be expected to play a bigger role in more high-stakes situations, like major surgeries. Day-to-day, you’ll be doing things like developing nursing care treatment plans, educating patients and providing support to them and their families, assisting doctors, administering medication and injections, even supervising other nurses. Also, Magnet Hospitals—hospitals that have been recognized for the highest quality healthcare and nursing—prefer to hire nurses with a BSN.

Here are some places where you can work:

MAGNET HOSPITALS

HOSPITALS

DOCTOR’S OFFICES

OUTPATIENT CARE CENTERS

CLINICS

NURSING HOMES

How much can I make?

According to national averages, and depending on which area of nursing you decide to specialize in you can make between

$57,000 - $130,000
per year

What are the benefits?

YOU’LL GET TO SEE IT ALL

You’ll get exposed to different areas of nursing and have the option to work in all kinds of different healthcare facilities, so you can decide what you want to specialize in.

YOU’LL BE IN CHARGE

You’ll have the option to move into leadership and management roles.

HIGHER DEGREES = MORE OPPORTUNITY

An increasing number of clinical job postings are listing “BSN preferred.” You’ll also be able to go for your Master of Science in Nursing (MSN), giving you the opportunity to work in education, research, and Advanced Practice specialties.

YOU CAN MAKE MORE

With a BSN, you’ll have higher earning potential.

What are the challenges?

Since it takes about four years to get your BSN, you’ll be in school longer and won’t get to start working as soon as those getting their LPN and ADN/ASN. But, there are all kinds of scholarships and financial aid opportunities available to help, and the advanced education will definitely pay off. Find out more at the bottom of this page.

What will my job be like?

You’ll likely have your pick as to where you want to work and what area of nursing you want to specialize in. There are 104 different nursing specialties, and you’ll have the opportunity to take on more managerial roles with your BSN.

MANAGERIAL

With your BSN, you’ll get groomed for leadership roles. Day-to-day, you’ll be doing things like developing nursing care treatment plans, educating patients, assisting doctors, and supervising other nurses.

How can I move up in my career?

With your BSN, you’ll be set up for advancement. You’ll get management and leadership training in school and you’ll have the prerequisites to pursue your Master of Science in Nursing (MSN), giving you the opportunity to work in Advanced Practice specialties, education, research, and more. With a BSN, you can go for your

MSN

How do I get started?

Check out these pages for all kinds of ways to start your career in nursing:

SEE WHAT REAL NURSES HAVE TO SAY

Watch videos and read stories about nurses who got their Bachelor’s Degree. See what their days are like, find out what inspired them to get into nursing, and what they love about their jobs.

Associate’s Degree in Nursing (ADN)/Associate of Science in Nursing (ASN)

You’ll get your Associate’s Degree from a community college, college, or university, and can become certified as an RN sooner than other RN tracks.

Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)

You’ll get your Bachelor’s Degree from a four-year college or university, and will set yourself up to work at the healthcare facility of your choice. Once you have your BSN, you can pursue more advanced degrees to take your nursing career to the next level.

How long will it take for me to become a nurse?

Depending on if you’re enrolled full time or part-time, you can get your Associate’s Degree in Nursing (ADN) or Associate of Science in Nursing (ASN) in 2-4 years.

Between 2-4 years

What will I learn in school?

Most ADN/ASN programs include classes in nursing, anatomy, physiology, microbiology, chemistry, nutrition, psychology, and other social and behavioral sciences. You’ll get some hands-on experience, working in a lab and practicing in a hospital, clinic, or other healthcare facility as part of your curriculum.

What will I be doing right out of school?

You’ll work under the supervision of doctors and other Registered Nurses, or RNs, doing things like monitoring patients, updating charts, performing tests and analyzing the results, teaching patients how to manage their illnesses or injuries at home, operating medical equipment, and more.

Here are some places where you can work:

HOSPITALS

DOCTOR’S OFFICES

OUTPATIENT CARE CENTERS

CLINICS

NURSING HOMES

How much can I make?

According to national averages, and depending on which area of nursing you decide to specialize in you can make between

$54,000 - $88,000
per year

What are the benefits?

YOU’LL GET TO SEE IT ALL

You’ll be exposed to different areas of nursing and have the option to work in all kinds of different healthcare facilities, so you can decide what you want to specialize in.

HANDS-ON CARE

You’ll be working directly with patients most of the day.

BUSY DAYS = QUICK SHIFTS

Your day-to-day work tends to be busy, so your shifts seem to go by quickly.

What are the challenges?

Your degree may limit the hospitals and healthcare facilities where you can work, and your opportunities to move up in your career. Getting an advanced degree, like a BSN, MSN or DNP/PhD, will let you work in Advanced Practice specialties, take on management roles and more.

What will my job be like?

With your ADN/ASN, you can work in all different areas of hospitals, clinics, and healthcare facilities, with RNs and doctors in all different specialties. There are 104 areas of nursing you can specialize in, and with your ADN/ASN, you’ll likely spend most of your day working directly with patients.

PATIENT-FACING

You’ll likely work directly with patients, under the supervision of doctors and other Registered Nurses, or RNs, doing things like monitoring patients, teaching them how to manage their illnesses or injuries at home, operating medical equipment, and more.

How can I move up in my career?

With an ADN/ASN, you’ll have all kinds of ways to advance your career, like getting your Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), which will give you more options on where you can work and more opportunity to move up in nursing. With an ADN/ASN, you can pursue your

BSN

How do I get started?

Check out these pages for all kinds of ways to start your career in nursing:

SEE WHAT REAL NURSES HAVE TO SAY

Watch videos and read stories about nurses who got their Associate’s Degree. See what their days are like, find out what inspired them to get into nursing, and what they love about their jobs.

How long will it take for me to become a nurse?

Most Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) programs take 4 years.

But if you have previous healthcare experience, or a Bachelor’s Degree in another area, you may be able to enroll in an RN to BSN program, which could take less than 2 years.

About 4 years

What will I learn in school?

Most BSN programs include classes in anatomy, physiology, microbiology, chemistry, nutrition, psychology, and liberal arts courses. You’ll get some hands-on experience, working in a lab and practicing in a hospital, where you can train in areas like maternity, surgery, pediatrics, and psychiatry. You can also get experience working in nursing homes, health departments, ambulatory centers, and home health agencies.

With a BSN, you’ll be prepared for both bedside and leadership roles.

What will I be doing right out of school?

Many nurses with a BSN get groomed for leadership roles. When you have more experience, you may be expected to play a bigger role in more high-stakes situations, like major surgeries. Day-to-day, you’ll be doing things like developing nursing care treatment plans, educating patients and providing support to them and their families, assisting doctors, administering medication and injections, even supervising other nurses. Also, Magnet Hospitals—hospitals that have been recognized for the highest quality healthcare and nursing—prefer to hire nurses with a BSN.

Here are some places where you can work:

MAGNET HOSPITALS

HOSPITALS

DOCTOR’S OFFICES

OUTPATIENT CARE CENTERS

CLINICS

NURSING HOMES

How much can I make?

According to national averages, and depending on which area of nursing you decide to specialize in you can make between

$57,000 - $130,000
per year

What are the benefits?

YOU’LL GET TO SEE IT ALL

You’ll get exposed to different areas of nursing and have the option to work in all kinds of different healthcare facilities, so you can decide what you want to specialize in.

YOU’LL BE IN CHARGE

You’ll have the option to move into leadership and management roles.

HIGHER DEGREES = MORE OPPORTUNITY

An increasing number of clinical job postings are listing “BSN preferred.” You’ll also be able to go for your Master of Science in Nursing (MSN), giving you the opportunity to work in education, research, and Advanced Practice specialties.

YOU CAN MAKE MORE

With a BSN, you’ll have higher earning potential.

What are the challenges?

Since it takes about four years to get your BSN, you’ll be in school longer and won’t get to start working as soon as those getting their LPN and ADN/ASN. But, there are all kinds of scholarships and financial aid opportunities available to help, and the advanced education will definitely pay off. Find out more at the bottom of this page.

What will my job be like?

You’ll likely have your pick as to where you want to work and what area of nursing you want to specialize in. There are 104 different nursing specialties, and you’ll have the opportunity to take on more managerial roles with your BSN.

MANAGERIAL

With your BSN, you’ll get groomed for leadership roles. Day-to-day, you’ll be doing things like developing nursing care treatment plans, educating patients, assisting doctors, and supervising other nurses.

How can I move up in my career?

With your BSN, you’ll be set up for advancement. You’ll get management and leadership training in school and you’ll have the prerequisites to pursue your Master of Science in Nursing (MSN), giving you the opportunity to work in Advanced Practice specialties, education, research, and more. With a BSN, you can go for your

MSN

How do I get started?

Check out these pages for all kinds of ways to start your career in nursing:

SEE WHAT REAL NURSES HAVE TO SAY

Watch videos and read stories about nurses who got their Bachelor’s Degree. See what their days are like, find out what inspired them to get into nursing, and what they love about their jobs.

Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN)

If you’ve already got another degree, or have some college under your belt, you can go for an Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN). It’s a faster way to get your BSN without have to repeat any school, and your degree will set you up to work at the healthcare facility of your choice. Once you have your BSN, you can pursue more advanced degrees to take your nursing career to the next level.

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)

If you’ve got your Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), you’ve already got a prerequisite for getting your Master of Science in Nursing (MSN). You’ll earn this degree from a university; you might even be able to get it online. With an MSN, you’ll be set up to work in management and leadership roles, research, and even education.

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)/Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing (PhD)

If you’ve got a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) and want to move up in your career—in research, academia, or as an executive in nursing—you can go for your Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)/Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing (PhD). You’ll earn your DNP/PhD from a university; you can even get it online.

How long will it take for me to become a nurse?

An Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN), also called a Second-Degree Nursing Program, is a way for those who already have a college degree to get on the fast track to a career in nursing.

If you enroll in a full-time ABSN program, you can be ready to take your licensing exam in as little as 11-18 months.

Between 11-18 months

What will I learn in school?

Like with most BSN programs, you’ll take classes in anatomy, physiology, microbiology, chemistry, nutrition, psychology, and more, just at a faster, more intense pace. You’ll get the same amount of hands-on experience, working in a lab and practicing in a hospital, where you can train in areas like maternity, surgery, pediatrics, and psychiatry. You can also get experience working in nursing homes, health departments, ambulatory centers, and home health agencies.

With an ABSN, you’ll be prepared for both bedside and leadership roles.

What will I be doing right out of school?

Many nurses with an ABSN get groomed for leadership roles. When you have more experience, you may be expected to play a bigger role in more high-stakes situations, like major surgeries. Day-to-day, you’ll be doing things like developing nursing care treatment plans, educating patients and providing support to them and their families, assisting doctors, administering medication and injections, even supervising other nurses. Also, Magnet Hospitals—hospitals that have been recognized for the highest quality healthcare and nursing—prefer to hire nurses with a BSN.

Here are some places where you can work:

MAGNET HOSPITALS

HOSPITALS

DOCTOR’S OFFICES

OUTPATIENT CARE CENTERS

CLINICS

NURSING HOMES

How much can I make?

According to national averages, and depending on which area of nursing you decide to specialize in you can make between

$57,000 - $130,000
per year

What are the benefits?

YOU’LL GET TO SEE IT ALL

You’ll get exposed to different areas of nursing and have the option to work in all kinds of different healthcare facilities, so you can decide what you want to specialize in.

YOU’LL BE IN CHARGE

You’ll have the option to move into leadership and management roles.

HIGHER DEGREES = MORE OPPORTUNITY

An increasing number of clinical job postings are listing “BSN preferred.” You’ll also be able to go for your Master of Science in Nursing (MSN), giving you the opportunity to work in education, research, and Advanced Practice specialties.

YOU CAN MAKE MORE

With an ABSN, you’ll have higher earning potential.

What are the challenges?

Most ABSN programs are competitive and intense—full-time coursework with no breaks between sessions. Since the programs are so rigorous, students are encouraged not to work while in school. So, ABSN students will need to wait between 11-18 months before they can start working as a nurse.

What will my job be like?

You’ll likely have your pick as to where you want to work and what area of nursing you want to specialize in. There are 104 different nursing specialties, and you’ll have the opportunity to take on more managerial roles with your ABSN.

MANAGERIAL

With your ABSN, you’ll get groomed for leadership roles. Day-to-day, you’ll be doing things like developing nursing care treatment plans, educating patients, assisting doctors, and supervising other nurses.

How can I move up in my career?

With your ABSN, you’ll be set up for advancement. You’ll get management and leadership training in school and you’ll have the prerequisite to get your Master of Science in Nursing (MSN), giving you the opportunity to work in Advanced Practice specialties, education, research, and more. With an ABSN, you can go for your

MSN

How do I get started?

Check out these pages for all kinds of ways to start your career in nursing:

SEE WHAT REAL NURSES HAVE TO SAY

Watch videos and read stories about nurses who got their Accelerated Bachelor’s Degree. See what their days are like, find out what inspired them to get into nursing, and what they love about their jobs.

How long will it take for me to become a nurse?

Most Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) programs take 2 years. You’ll earn your degree at a university; you might even be able get it online.

If you have previous healthcare experience, you may be able to enroll in an RN to MSN program, which could take less than 2 years.

If you have a Bachelor of Science degree in an area other than nursing, you can enroll in an Accelerated MSN program, which will take around 3 years.

About 2 years

What will I learn in school?

Your MSN program will include specialty courses to help you in your chosen area of nursing, as well as classes on health care policy, ethics, management and advanced practice nursing, advanced biochemistry and pharmacology, and wrap up with a practicum.

What will I be doing right out of school?

You’ll be qualified to work in an Advanced Practice specialty, and be able to perform some of the healthcare services that doctors do. Also, Magnet Hospitals—hospitals that have been recognized for the highest quality healthcare and nursing—require all nurse managers to have at least a BSN or higher.

Here are some places where you can work:

MAGNET HOSPITALS

HOSPITALS

DOCTOR’S OFFICES

OUTPATIENT CARE CENTERS

CLINICS

NURSING HOMES

How much can I make?

According to national averages, and depending on which area of nursing you decide to specialize in you can make between

$65,000 - $196,000
per year

What are the benefits?

YOU’LL BE IN CHARGE

You’ll be able to focus on leadership, management, research, or education roles, if you’d like.

YOU’LL BE SOUGHT-AFTER

That’s because you’ll be able to provide some of the same duties and care as physicians.

YOU CAN MAKE MORE

With an MSN, you’ll have higher earning potential than nurses with a BSN.

What are the challenges?

Most MSN programs are competitive, requiring you to juggle many responsibilities, so you’ll need to be organized and be able to manage stress.

What will my job be like?

With your MSN, you’ll be able to work in Advanced Practice specialties, management, hospital administration, research, education, and more.

MANAGERIAL

You’ll be qualified to work as a Nurse Practitioner, a Nurse Anesthetist, and other Advance Practice specialties, and be able to perform some of the healthcare services that doctors do. You can also take on management, research, executive, and faculty roles with your advanced degree.

How can I move up in my career?

With your MSN, you’ll be on the fast track to leadership roles and Advanced Practice specialties. You’ll get management training in school and you’ll have the prerequisite to get your Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) or Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing (PhD), giving you the opportunity to rise through the ranks in education, research, and more. With an MSN, you can go for your

DNP/PhD

How do I get started?

Check out these pages for all kinds of ways to start your career in nursing:

SEE WHAT REAL NURSES HAVE TO SAY

Watch videos and read stories about nurses who got their Master’s Degree. See what their days are like, find out what inspired them to get into nursing, and what they love about their jobs.

How long will it take for me to become a nurse?

Most Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) or Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing (PhD) programs take 4-6 years. You’ll earn your degree at a university; you can even get it online.

If you have a Bachelor of Science degree in an area other than nursing, you can enroll in an accelerated MSN joint program, which will prepare you for research and education roles.

Between 4-6 years

What will I learn in school?

In your DNP/PhD program, you’ll extend your skills beyond practical, hands-on nursing and into the scholarly and research arenas. The details of your program will depend on which doctorate degree you decide to pursue, but all programs include courses in research, statistics and data analysis, history and philosophy of nursing, and since the DNP is the preferred degree for nursing executives, you’ll also focus on clinical practice-oriented leadership.

What will I be doing right out of school?

You’ll be able to move into nursing leadership and executive roles in hospitals and healthcare facilities, teach at a college or university, or work in healthcare research.

Here are some places where you can work:

UNIVERSITIES

RESEARCH LABS

GOVERNMENT OFFICES

HEALTHCARE ORGANIZATIONS

MAGNET HOSPITALS

HOSPITALS

DOCTOR’S OFFICES

How much can I make?

According to national averages, and depending on which area of nursing you decide to specialize in you can make between

$106,000 - $200,000
per year

What are the benefits?

YOU’LL BE AT THE TOP

You’ll have the education to move into the highest roles in the nursing industry.

YOU’LL LEAD SCHOOLS AND LABS

You’ll be able to teach at the university level or work in research.

YOU’LL BE SOUGHT-AFTER

Because of your advanced degree, you’ll be in high demand and can work at the executive level.

YOU CAN MAKE MORE

With a DNP/PhD, you’ll have higher earning potential than nurses with an MSN.

What are the challenges?

Since it takes between 4-6 years to get your DNP/PhD, there is a financial and time commitment required. But, there are all kinds of scholarships and financial aid opportunities available to help, check them out at the bottom of this page.

What will my job be like?

With your DNP/PhD, you’ll be able to teach nursing at the college or university level, work in research or become a nursing executive and help improve healthcare systems, and more.

RESEARCH-ORIENTED

Your advanced degree will qualify you to work as Nurse Researcher in labs and universities, as a Health Policy Nurse with government offices, a Nurse Educator at the university-level, or even a Nurse Executive at hospitals or healthcare organizations.

How can I move up in my career?

Your doctoral nursing degrees are the highest degrees you can get in your field. But the more experience you get the higher you can move up in your career. With a DNP/PhD, you can do

POSTDOCTORAL STUDIES

How do I get started?

Check out these pages for all kinds of ways to start your career in nursing:

SEE WHAT REAL NURSES HAVE TO SAY

Watch videos and read stories about nurses who got their Doctoral Degree. See what their days are like, find out what inspired them to get into nursing, and what they love about their jobs.

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