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Degree and Non-Degree Nursing Programs

What does that nursing program abbreviation mean CNA, ASN, BSN, MSN, DNP? Learn which degree and non-degree nursing programs are available near you, how long they take, and how much they cost. The most common Certificate, Diploma, Associate, Bachelor, Master, and Doctor nursing programs are grouped into the titles we list below. As you browse our database of nursing schools these are the abbreviations you will see most often.

Sometimes schools come up with new or unique nursing program names that you can't find elsewhere online. We therefore recommend that students compare at least three nearby nursing programs from competing schools, even if you don't plan on going there. Ultimately the nursing license requirements in the state for which you intend to work must be in sync with the nursing program you choose.

Certificate and Diploma Non-Degree Nursing Programs

Nursing degrees differ from non-degree programs in that the institution has not granted a recognized Associate or Bachelor degree upon completion. Practical Nursing Certificate, Practical Nursing Diploma, and Practical Nurse Training are all commonly used titles for non-degree nursing programs leading towards LPN credentials, for example. Non-degree programs can help entry level nurses reduce tuition costs, start work faster, get into a competitive college, or try out a career in nursing.

365彩票网Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA)

Certified Nursing Assistant

  • Program Length: 6 to 12 weeks
  • License Exam: Written, Clinical
  • Tuition Cost: $500 to $2,500
365彩票网Licensed Practical Nursing (LPN)

Licensed Practical Nursing

  • Program Length: 12 to 18 months
  • License Exam: NCLEX PN
  • Tuition Cost: $1,500 to $8,000
365彩票网Diploma in Nursing (DIP)

Diploma in Nursing

  • Program Length: 12 to 30 months
  • License Exam: NCLEX PN or RN
  • Tuition Cost: $1,500 to $8,000

Please note that the name Licensed Vocational Nursing (LVN) is used more often than Licensed Practical Nursing (LPN) in the states of California and Texas. Practical nursing and vocational nursing students must both pass the same NCLEX-PN exam.

Associate, Bachelor, and Master Degree Programs

Nursing degree programs such as an Associate of Science in Nursing (ASN), Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), and Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) are offered by traditional colleges and universities and increasingly with online or self-study class formats. Students eager to become a Registered Nurse (RN) generally enroll into an Associate or Bachelor degree program. Some nursing programs prepare students to take the CNA and LPN exams along the way to becoming a RN.

365彩票网Associate Degree in Nursing (ASN)

Associate Degree Nursing

  • Program Length: 2 years
  • License Exam: NCLEX RN
365彩票网Bachelor Degree in Nursing (BSN)

Bachelor Degree Nursing

  • Program Length: 4 years
  • License Exam: NCLEX RN
365彩票网Master Degree in Nursing (MSN)

Master Degree Nursing

  • Program Length: 2 years
  • License Exam: NCLEX RN, Varies

Accelerated Bachelor and Master Degree Programs

Accelerated nursing programs help nurses who already have a LPN, LVN, or RN license complete education goals faster. Acceleration options are often given to paramedic, military nurses, and foreign trained nurses as well. These programs are increasingly offered with online and self-study components. Accelerated nursing programs can also be found at traditional colleges and universities.

365彩票网LPN to BSN Degree in Nursing

LPN to BSN Degree

  • Program Length: 2 to 4 years
  • License Exam: NCLEX RN
365彩票网RN to BSN Degree in Nursing

RN to BSN Degree

  • Program Length: 1 to 2 years
  • License Exam: NCLEX RN
365彩票网RN to MSN Degree in Nursing

RN to MSN Degree

  • Program Length: 2 to 4 years
  • License Exam: NCLEX RN, Varies

Please note that LPN to RN programs and LVN to RN programs are also offered by nursing schools. This can be confusing because you can earn a Registered Nurse license by way of a Diploma in Nursing, Associate in Nursing, or Bachelor in Nursing. Contact each school directly to determine if the program is offering either a non-degree Diploma in Nursing or an Associate Degree in Nursing, for example.

How do I choose the right nursing program?

Family commitments, personal finances, need for a job, nursing school entry requirements, state board of nursing license restrictions, location of nearby nursing schools, and professional goals combined will lead you to the nursing program that is right for you. If you do a reasonable amount of research and planning up front, you will become confident that you made the right choice.

Below are seven things we think all prospecting nursing students should do to help choose an entry level nursing program:

  1. Find and compare at least three competing nursing programs.
  2. Identify which nursing program entry requirements you meet.
  3. Print and read the applicable state board of nursing license application.
  4. Create an annual household budget by month including tuition and fee costs.
  5. Determine how many hours per week you can study and attend class.
  6. Consider becoming a CNA first if you are not fully committed.
  7. Consider taking classes at your local community college and later transfer credits to save money.

Don't struggle too much with areas of concentration when you are first starting out. Changing your area of concentration, switching to another nursing school, and continuing onto advanced studies are all normal. A common mistake nursing students make, however, is to attend a non-accredited nursing school. By non-accredited what we really mean is any school for which your credits will not transfer, to the local community college or state university, for example. Attending a non-accredited nursing school can create problems if you need to take time off, transfer credits, advance your nursing education, or apply for a nursing job out of state.

After reading through the most popular nursing programs highlighted above, we recommend that you visit at least three nursing school websites in your state of employment. Compare each school's nursing programs for the desired level of education. Nursing school website links and each school's campus location can be found via satellite map on our site by browsing our nursing schools section. We have also included links to each board of nursing, so that you can print and read that nursing license application.

Last updated: May 12, 365彩票网

References:

  • . For Students, Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing. Retrieved May 12, 365彩票网.
  • . Texas Board of Nursing. Retrieved May 12, 365彩票网.
  • . Careers, Nursing.org. Retrieved May 12, 365彩票网.