Are you considering a nursing career? With nursing jobs expected to grow 16 percent in the coming years, there is no doubt now is the time to start making your way towards a nursing degree!
Nursing is one of the most thriving, rewarding career options today. It is also one of the best educational investments you can make if you are interested in the healthcare field. Across the country, there is a strong demand for skilled, qualified nurses – a demand that will remain for many years to come.
So, where do you begin? There are many different programs and educational options available to aspiring nurses in the state of Connecticut. But before you begin your journey to becoming a nurse, it is important that you consider which types of nursing degrees will make the most sense for you. Think about your lifestyle, your career goals, and how much time you would like to commit to nursing school. Only then can you make a sound, informed, and attainable choice regarding your nursing education.
To get you thinking, we’ve outlined the different types of nursing degrees available at Goodwin College:
Associate’s Degree in Nursing (ADN) or RN Degree
An associate’s degree in nursing is typically a two-year degree that can be obtained from a career-focused healthcare school. In most states today, it is also the minimum educational requirement to become a registered nurse.
In an effective ADN program, students receive hands-on training and clinical experience that prepares them for a real-world healthcare setting. They learn and develop technical skills such as administering medications, performing diagnostic tests, and setting up patient care plans. On top of that, RN students get a blended classroom experience, in which they study subjects such as physiology, microbiology, anatomy, psychology, and communications.
If you choose to attend Goodwin College in Connecticut, you can complete your associate’s nursing coursework in as few as 20 months part-time. If you take full-time classes, that degree will be even closer! For your convenience, we offer several format types of nursing degree classes. As an RN student, you will have the option to take classes online, on-campus, or in a hybrid format. You can also take classes during the evenings and seven-days-a-week.
An associate’s degree in nursing from Goodwin will qualify you to take the Connecticut National Council Licensure Exam (NCLEX), which will certify you as an official Registered Nurse. Once you pass this exam, you may choose to enter the workforce or go on to complete your bachelor’s degree. About 30 percent of graduates use their associate’s RN degree as a stepping stone to their BSN later down the road.
Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing (BSN)
While an associate’s degree stands as the minimum requirement for registered nurses, most healthcare employers today (over three-quarters!) prefer to hire graduates that hold a BSN degree. For example, within the next few years, the state of Connecticut will advance towards an 80 percent BSN workforce.
If you want to broaden your career options and qualify for high-paying nursing positions, there is no doubt that a bachelor’s degree is for you. This type of nursing degree is highly valued in today’s healthcare field. So much, in fact, that studies show BSN graduates qualify for more than 88 percent of all available nursing jobs out there today. Nurses with an ADN qualify for about 40 percent of jobs.
Like an ADN program, a BSN program will combine classroom and clinical learning. However, a bachelor’s program will consist of more advanced, science-based coursework: community health, health assessment, ethics, policy, and leadership courses are typically required of BSN students.
Many aspiring nurses understand the value of a BSN degree, but do not have the time to commit to a four-year program. But while a BSN typically takes time to complete, there are programs that allow you to complete this nursing degree in much less time, given you already have some education or experience under your belt. Goodwin College’s RN-to-BSN program, for example, is an accelerated and intensive option for registered nurses who are transitioning from an associate degree or hospital diploma program. Our BSN classes can be taken online, as well, and completed in as few as 16-months.
Master’s Degree in Nursing (MSN)
If you want to maximize your career potential in the field of nursing, you might consider pursuing a Master’s degree. An MSN degree will qualify you as an advanced nurse practitioner, and will put you at one of the highest earning potentials as a certified nurse.
With an MSN also comes great knowledge in Pathophysiology, Pharmacology, Physical Assessment, Policy, and other advanced nursing areas. If you choose to pursue this path, you will also develop in-demand nursing skills in leadership, communication, research, and case management.
The Master’s degree path is typically followed by those who want to specialize in a particular area of nursing, such as midwifery, oncology, pediatrics, or research. Today, more than 95 percent of advanced nurse practitioners with an MSN work in clinical practice. Most others can be found in educational or administrative roles.
As intimidating as a Master’s degree may sound, it is truly one of the most flexible types of nursing degrees available today. Goodwin College’s MSN program, for example, can be completed in just 20 months part-time. For added flexibility, the Master’s coursework can be taken completely online, so that you can earn a Master’s degree on your own schedule, while still maintaining a career.
To learn more about the different types of nursing degrees available at Goodwin’s nursing school, please visit goodwin.edu/healers or call 800-889-3282. You can also interact with us on Facebook or Twitter!
Goodwin College is a nonprofit institution of higher education and is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE), formerly known as the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). Goodwin College was founded in 1999, with the goal of serving a diverse student population with career-focused degree programs that lead to strong employment outcomes.