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What are the Available Types of Nursing Classes One Can Take?

Updated on April 23, 2010

Finding the Right Nursing Classes for You

A Nurse Attending to a Senior Patient
A Nurse Attending to a Senior Patient

With the big shortage of nurses in the health care systems, more and more nursing programs are opening. If you decide you would like a nursing career, you are almost sure to find a job. But first you have to decide: What type of nurse would you like to be? How much time and effort are you willing to put into your studies?

The are many different positions available to a person looking for a work as a nurse. You can start from the lower side of the ladder, working as a nurse assistant and climb your way up completing your studies while working, deciding at each stage if your current stage is sufficient or you would like to climb further on. Or you can decide to start by dedicating more years into your studies and starting from a more advanced stage. It all depends on you, on your capabilities, on your life situation and your dreams and aspirations.

You should know that there are many bridge programs available. If, for exmaple, you decide to start out as a LIcensed Practical Nurse (LPN), you can later take a LPN to RN course and become a registered nurse. You can also decide to start out as a registered nurse with an associate degree (ASN), and later on take an accelerated program to finish you bacherlors degree (BSN), which will open up for you more positions.

Another thing to consider is the level of salary you would like to get. As you climb the ladder, more positions open up for you, and correspondantly you can look for a higher salary.

Nursing Studies

A Nurse at Work
A Nurse at Work

Some of the Available Nursing Programs

One common starting point is taking a nurse assistant certification. This program takes only a few weeks to complete, and a certified nurse assistant (a CNA) can work taking care of patients in hospitals, nursing homes and more. Working as a CNA gives you a feeling if the nursing career is for you, and is sometimes a prerequisite for entering an LPN (Licensed Practical Nurse) program.

A LPN program is much longer, usually about 2 years. For this you have to enter a university or college, and learn for an academic degree (you will often get an ASN - associate nurse degree along with your LPN certificate).

A RN - a registered nurse, has to take a more difficult licensing test, but has many more positions available, and has a more senior position in the health care system. You can take the RN licensing exam after completing either an ASN degree (about 2 years) or a full bachelor degree, a BSN, which takes about 4 years to complete. Obviously, a RN with a BSN will be a better candidate for most senior positions.

You can also continue your education to become a nurse practitioner (NP). For this certification you must specialize in some area of nursing, as women's health, pediatrics, geriatrics etc.

You can find out more about the different available programs in nursing classes.

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