The requirements to obtain a registered nurse certification vary from state to state. However, in every state in the US a nurse must have some type of nursing certification before they can legally practice their profession. There are many types of degrees and nursing certifications that a nursing student can work toward, here are a few of those opportunities. No matter what type of certification a future nurse chooses, they will have to pass a state administered examination before they can officially work as a nurse.
A Licensed Practical Nurse certification usually requires one year of college or vocational school training and/or hospital training. After an LPN has completed the required educational and training requirements, they can opt to continue their education for one more year to earn their Associates degree as an Licensed Practical Nurse. The Associates degree LPN program focuses more on technical skills than the one year program observes and also allows for the LPN to continue their education if they so desire.
If the nursing student chooses to continue their education after they have obtained their Associates of Nursing degree, they can continue on to attain a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree. This is normally a four year program, although there are so fast track programs that allow an already licensed LPN to earn their BSN in just four semesters.
An LPN can then take the state registered nurse certification test and can then use the title of RN. A Bachelor of Science in Nursing RN degree program and those with registered nursing certification are the most preferred by most employers as this type of degree offers flexibility in what tasks the nurse can perform.
For those Registered Nurses looking to continue their registered nurse certifications, there is a Master of Science in Nursing Degree program available through many universities throughout the country. Those wishing to specialize in a specific medical field, administration or research will usually be required to obtain a Masters degree and coinciding nurse certifications.
Those interested in obtaining a PhD in nursing can then go on to become hospital administrators or even open their own practice giving limited care to patients under a doctor’s orders.
Positions in health care, especially nursing are expected to raise dramatically over the next decade and beyond. (Side Note: Some said the reasons are populations are aging in many developed countries) If a nurse possesses a registered nurses certification, they can expect to earn significantly more than those nurses that have a LPN certification. Registered Nurses will also be offered more positions and higher up positions within their field in the coming years as well.
As you can see, there are many career options available for nurses of all levels. Experts suggest that in the future there will become even more opportunities for nurses in specialized fields. Many states understand the need for qualified nurses and offer many educational benefits for those wanting to obtain registered nursing certifications.
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