Thinking of becoming a nurse? Then you’ll need to know the different programs that will help you become a nursing professional. Here, we break down the types of nursing degrees and what you can expect from each career path.
1. Certified Nursing Assistant
A nursing assistant certification is the fastest way to gain experience in the field of nursing. Nursing assistantswork under the supervision of registered nurses and the healthcare team to help provide patient care.
A nursing assistant program will teach you how to administer medications, monitor vitals and use medical records. You’ll also learn healthcare basics and general patient care so you can be an effective team member for the medical team.
Most nursing assistant programs take less than a year to complete. Your state may have additional requirements beyond a certification program.
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, nursing assistants earn an annual median wage of $30,310, and the job growth rate between 2021 and 2031 is 5%.
2. Registered Nurse (RN)
A registered nurse is often what we think of when we hear the word “nurse.” RN’s have a large scope of duties and responsibilities, from communicating with families to coordinating patient care with the medical team.
RN positions are expected to grow 6% between 2021 and 2031, and earn an annual median wage of $77,600. Due to the recent nursing shortage, there are often large signing bonuses available to RNs as well. They work in all types of healthcare facilities, including hospitals, rehabilitation centers and nursing homes.
To become an RN, you must pass the NCLEX-RN exam and become licensed in your state. You also must complete an Associate’s or Bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution:
- Associate of Science in Nursing: This two-year degree gives you the foundational knowledge and skills to be a successful RN in a variety of healthcare settings. You’ll also receive hands-on training and exam preparation in addition to completing clinical externships to gain practical experience.
- Bachelor of Science in Nursing: To level up your skills and increase your job opportunities, you can earn a four-year degree in nursing. Nurses with a Bachelor’s degree also tend to earn higher pay and find more opportunities for promotion.
Explore the Many Nursing Programs at Cambridge
At Cambridge, we can help you find the right nursing program to suit your needs. Plus, our career services department is here to support your professional journey with job placement assistance and career coaching. Get started by calling us at 877-206-4279 or send us a message today.