If you’re a motivated person with a passion (and compassion) for helping others in need, you may be considering a career as a nurse. Often referred to as the “backbone” of our healthcare system, nurses help to save lives every single day – sometimes before the rest of the country has gotten out of bed! Nurses are driven and caring people who work with patients of all ages and abilities. It takes a special kind of person to become a nurse. But did you know that there are many paths to becoming one?
When someone wants to become a lawyer, they must first attend law school. A hairdresser must attend beauty school. There are many careers in this country that require the same path for everyone, from start to finish. But you’re not everyone. You have dreams of pursing a nursing career. The good news here is that there are many options when it comes to nursing school. The right educational path for you will depend on your goals, your schedule, your needs, and your interests. Read on, as we explore five types of nursing programs you can pursue today.
- Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN)
The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is often considered the fastest route to get in the nursing field. This is typically a two-year program that is the minimum amount of schooling required to become a nurse. Once a student earns their ADN, they are qualified to sit for the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN), which is required to pass in order to become a licensed registered nurse.
At Goodwin University, you can complete your ADN – and become a nurse – in as little as 20 months part-time.
Once you have passed the NCLEX and are licensed as an RN, you may choose to hit the ground running and work on a hospital floor or in another healthcare facility. You may also choose to pursue your Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing. If this is something you are interested in (and there are many good reasons to earn your BSN), see the next item on this list for the next part of your journey.
With the increased demand for nurses with a BSN, many RNs today choose to earn their bachelor’s degree – and if not right away (through a direct-entry program) they will do so through an RN-to-BSN program. According to the Connecticut Nurses’ Association (CNA), BSN education is now the expectation (and is becoming required for many careers).
RN-to-BSN programs (such as the one at Goodwin University) are designed for busy, already-working RNs. This type of program can be completed in as little as 16 months part-time. Courses can also be taken online to help accommodate a busy schedule for those working 12-hour, overnight shifts at a hospital. Some of these courses include:
- Health Assessment
- Public and Community Health Nursing
- Clinical Nursing Leadership
- Introduction to Healthcare Policy and Advocacy
To enroll in an RN-to-BSN program, you must be a licensed registered nurse.
- Accelerated BSN
An accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) is a type of program that is geared towards those who have already earned their bachelor’s degree in another field. If this describes you, then an ABSN is the program you’ll want to pursue. Through an ABSN program, you can more easily switch gears and go for nursing, without the guilt of “wasted” time and money.
At Goodwin, the 60-credit accelerated BSN program can be completed in as little as 16 months full-time, so you can get on the right track and start the career of your dreams. Some of the ABSN courses you can expect to take include:
- Principles of Pathophysiology
- Mental Health Nursing
- Pharmacology for Nurses
To enroll in an ABSN program, you must have a bachelor’s degree in a non-nursing major.
- Master’s in Nursing (MSN)
A master’s degree in nursing (MSN) is for the aspiring leaders of the nursing world. If you could see yourself longing for a managerial role in nursing someday, you may want to consider earning your MSN degree. Designed for the hardworking RNs who wish to climb the career ladder, this is another program that may be completed in as little as 20 months part-time at Goodwin University.
Some courses in this 30-credit program include:
- Theoretical Basis for Advanced Nursing Practice and Leadership
- Policy, Politics, and Organization of Healthcare
- Healthcare Quality: Communication and Informatics
With the MSN at Goodwin University, the entire program is offered online, making it easier for hardworking nurses working a variety of shifts to study when they need to.
Of course, to earn an MSN degree today, you must already have your bachelor’s in Nursing (BSN) in hand, and be an actively licensed RN.
- Registered Nurse First Assistant (RNFA)
A Registered Nurse First Assistant (RNFA) is a perioperative nurse that acts as an assistant during surgical procedures. This role is also known as an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN). The RNFA works right alongside the surgeon and other hospital staff to assess patient treatment and status. Once you have become an RN, you may choose to pursue an RNFA program to reach your career goals. Some of the additional courses required for RNFAs includes surgical techniques and advanced perioperative nursing.
Choosing the Right Type of Nursing Program for You
There are many types of nursing programs to choose from, and they all have flexibility to accommodate busy schedules. At Goodwin University, we understand how hard it can be to complete a postsecondary education program while maintaining other obligations in life. Reaching your career goals shouldn’t be impossible, and neither should be reaching for that advanced nursing degree. For this reason, our nursing programs are flexible, with online and part-time scheduling options available.
Whether you are just out of high school, have completed a degree in a different field, or want to continue climbing the ranks within your current nursing job, Goodwin University has the perfect nursing program for you. Call 1-800-889-3282 or visit us online to request more information.
Goodwin University 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 University was founded in 1999, with the goal of serving a diverse student population with career-focused degree programs that lead to strong employment outcomes.