Earning Your “RN Degree”: What You Need to Know

Nursing is one of the most highly-respected fields not just around the country, but around the world. Nurses play an integral role in the healthcare system, serving as an important link between physicians and patients, and ensuring quality, compassionate patient care. Because of this, nurses make a valuable impact in people’s lives every single day. If you desire personal satisfaction and growth from your career – and to make a meaningful difference in others’ lives – a career as a Registered Nurse (RN) may be for you. With above-average job growth in the nursing field, it is a great time to earn your RN degree and become a nurse.

The good news is that earning an RN degree is more attainable than ever. Here are a few things to keep in mind if you want to get a nursing degree and become an RN.

There are many paths to earning an RN degree:

There are a couple of educational routes one can take to obtain an RN degree. The most popular path is to pursue an associate degree in nursing (ADN). The ADN is frequently referred to as an “RN degree” for this reason, though an RN degree can also be at the bachelor’s level. It is becoming increasingly common (and preferred by employers) for aspiring nurses to earn their bachelor’s in nursing (BSN). Regardless of the educational path you choose to take, to become a licensed registered nurse, you need to earn your RN certification by passing the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN).

Most RN degree programs offer flexible timing and structure:

With the increase in technology, many RN degree programs offer flexible course structures combining traditional in-person classes, online classes, and classes in hybrid formats. Nursing programs, like the ones at Goodwin College, can also be completed in full- or part-time structures. This allows students to pursue an RN degree that fits their schedules and learning styles. An associate degree in nursing typically takes 2 years to complete. A bachelor’s degree in nursing usually takes about 3-4 years to complete, however, if you are already an RN, a flexible and fast-paced RN-to-BSN program can be completed in just 16 months part-time.

An RN degree will provide the crucial nursing knowledge and skills:

An RN degree covers many subject areas within healthcare, as well as offers hands-on clinical experience. In addition to many general education courses, associate and bachelor’s RN degree programs both cover the foundations of professional nursing. An ADN curriculum typically focuses on developing nursing skills and the understanding of adult and family health issues and wellness, both basic and complex. A BSN program generally focuses on many of those same important topics, however, also covers additional subjects relating to nursing research, clinical nursing leadership, and healthcare policy and advocacy. Both ADN and BSN degrees provide clinical learning opportunities, so students can put the theories they are learning in the classroom to practice in an active, real-life care environment.

The job outlook for RN degree holders looks promising:

Despite the decline of employment in some industries over the past several years, the nursing field continues to grow at a rapid rate. In fact, employment of Registered Nurses is predicted to grow 15% by 2026. For those holding an RN degree and RN licensure, the job outlook and salary potential is strong. Furthermore, there is a need for RN degree and certification holders to work in a variety of different medical environments, including doctor’s offices, hospitals, outpatient facilities, schools and universities, and home healthcare services. This increasing demand for nurses is great reassurance that you will never be short of job opportunities, so long as you work hard to get the education, certification, and experience needed in the field.

Do you want to learn more about Goodwin’s RN degree options? Contact our nursing school counselor’s today by calling 800-889-3282 or visiting us online at Goodwin.edu/nursing.