Nursing Degrees, Hospital Nurse Training
There is a shortage of nurses, and a high-paying job may be found if you are able to graduate, but having chosen to become a nurse, please be aware that the education required is very challenging. There are multiple pathways into nursing. Community colleges may offer an Associate of Science in Nursing degree, and some diploma programs award certificates in practical nursing. Nursing training usually takes between 12 and 18 months based on your ability, and whether you attend full-time or part-time. University nursing degrees, such as the Bachelor of Science in Nursing, followed by the Master of Science in Nursing Practice, reward graduates with advanced education, additional applied training, and higher starting salaries. However, these programs require 4 years of college, and tuition can exceed $15,000 annually.
Deciding whether to get an associate’s degree or a bachelor’s degree should depend on your career goals and budget. Most people do not have the means to attend four straight years of college, so by getting an associate’s degree, you can begin working immediately. After you begin work, the hospital or clinic that you are working for may offer tuition assistance to help attain a bachelor’s or master’s degree. An associate degree is a sufficent credential to work in all areas of general nursing. While working as an Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN), you will have a limited scope of care that you can provide legally. You can provide basic patient care and perform tasks that do not require nursing judgment or decision-making. You also cannot administer medications, start or provide IV (intravenous) therapy. However, if you want to work as a nurse in a specialized field such as oncology or geriatrics, you'll need to further your nursing education at a later time, and earn a bachelor’s degree.
If you are already employed in the medical field but want to make a career as a nurse, you can enroll in school to become an RN and not need to start as an Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN). As an Registered Nurse (RN) with an associate’s degree, you are able to provide nursing care, as well as assess patients. You may want to contact large hospitals in your area to inquire if they have a school of nursing. No matter where you decide to attend school, make sure that the school is accredited by the Board of Nursing in your state. Working as an RN gives you a much larger scope of practice than that of an LVN. Being an RN also means that you are in most cases responsible for supervising LVNs.
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Education to become a nurse practitioner (NP) is rigorous and requires advanced coursework and clinical rotations beyond that required of a registered nurse (RN). Curriculum includes courses in epidemiology, physiology, physical assessment, pharmacology, differential diagnosis, laboratory diagnostics, radiology, statistics and research methods, health policy, leadership, chronic disease management. MSN programs also require a thesis or clinical research project.
Nurses treat both physical and mental conditions through comprehensive history taking, physical exams, and ordering tests for interpretation. Duties and responsibilities include, but are not limited to, the following:
Nursing diagnoses, evaluation, and management of acute and chronic illnesses.
Obtaining medical histories, and conducting physical examinations.
Ordering, and performing diagnostic studies (routine lab tests, bone x-rays, EKGs).
Requesting physical therapy, and rehabilitation treatments.
Recommending prenatal care and family planning services.
Providing child care, including screening and immunizations.
Providing care for patients in acute and critical care settings.
Performing or assisting in minor surgeries and procedures, such as biopsies, suturing, and casting.
Counseling services, and educating patients on health issues, self-care skills, and treatment options.
US Nursing Organizations
American Nurses Association
National League for Nursing
American Journal of Nursing
National Student Nurses' Association
Adult nurse practitioner
Certified Medical Assistant
Certified Radiologic Nurse
Geriatric nurse practitioner
Legal Nurse Consultant
Long Term Care
Mental Health Nurse
Public Health Nurse
Women's Health Care
Occupational health nursing
Falls are a common cause of occupational injuries and fatalities, especially in construction, extraction, transportation, healthcare, and building cleaning and maintenance.
Machines are commonplace in many industries, including manufacturing, mining, construction and agriculture, and can be dangerous to workers. Many machines involve moving parts, sharp edges, hot surfaces and other hazards with the potential to crush, burn, cut, shear, stab or otherwise strike or wound workers if used unsafely. Various safety measures exist to minimize these hazards, including lockout-tagout procedures for machine maintenance and roll over protection systems for vehicles. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, machine-related injuries were responsible for 64,170 cases that required days away from work in 2008. More than a quarter of these cases required more than 31 days spent away from work. That same year, machines were the primary or secondary source of over 600 work-related fatalities. Machines are also often involved indirectly in worker deaths and injuries, such as in cases in which a worker slips and falls, possibly upon a sharp or pointed object.
Confined spaces also present a work hazard. The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health defines "confined space" as having limited openings for entry and exit and unfavorable natural ventilation, and which is not intended for continuous employee occupancy. These kind of spaces can include storage tanks, ship compartments, sewers, and pipelines.
Noise also presents a fairly common workplace hazard: occupational hearing loss is the most common work-related injury in the United States, with 22 million workers exposed to hazardous noise levels at work and an estimated $242 million spent annually on worker's compensation for hearing loss disability. Noise is not the only source of occupational hearing loss; exposure to chemicals such as aromatic solvents and metals including lead, arsenic, and mercury can also cause hearing loss.
Temperature extremes can also pose a danger. Heat stress can cause heat stroke, exhaustion, cramps, and rashes. Heat can also fog up safety glasses or cause sweaty palms or dizziness, all of which increase the risk of other injuries. Workers near hot surfaces or steam also are at risk for burns. Dehydration may also result from overexposure to heat. Cold stress also poses a danger to many workers. Overexposure to cold conditions or extreme cold can lead to hypothermia or frostbite.
Electricity poses a danger to many workers. Electrical injuries can be divided into four types: fatal electrocution, electric shock, burns, and falls caused by contact with electric energy.
American Association of Occupational Health Nurses (AAOHN)
American Board for Occupational Health Nursing (ABOHN)
Nurses in Occupational Health
Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)
Obstetrics nursing, also called perinatal nursing, is a nursing specialty that focuses on helping patients who are attempting to become pregnant, or have recently delivered a baby. Obstetrical nurses provide prenatal care and testing, and assist patients experiencing complications, either during labor or in delivery. Obstetrical nurses work closely with obstetricians, midwives, and nurse practitioners. They also provide supervision of patient care technicians and surgical technologists. Perinatal nurses perform post-operative care, conduct stress-test evaluations, and perform cardiac monitoring. Obstetrical nurses must possess specialized skills, and must have the ability to function in a variety of clinical environments.
After completing your nursing education, you must be licensed by the state in which you'll practice nursing. The state boards of nursing each have their own licensing and certification criteria. In general, the criteria include completion of a degree in nursing, and board certification by an accrediting body. The two biggest certifying bodies are the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) and the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (AANP). The license period varies by state, but is usually valid for either two or three years, at which time you'll need to renew.
Registered nurses (RNs) are not required to be certified in a certain specialty by law. For example, it is not necessary to be a Certified Medical-Surgical Registered Nurse (CMSRN) to work on a Medical-Surgical (MedSurg) floor, and most MedSurg nurses are not CMSRNs. Certified nurses may earn a higher salary than their non-certified colleagues. Some hospitals may require certain nurses, such as nursing supervisors or lead nurses, to be certified. In the United States and Canada, many nurses become certified in a particular specialty area. There are over 200 nursing specialties and sub-specialties. Studies from the Institute of Medicine have demonstrated that specialty-certified nurses have higher rates of patient satisfaction, as well as fewer work-related errors.
To keep your license current, no matter what level of nursing you are at, you must take continuing education courses, and renew your license every two years. In any event, you'll wish to stay up to date on advancements in nursing practice. There are a set number of credits that each state requires, and if you work in a hospital facility, these courses may be offered on-site.
AAN: Associate of Arts in Nursing
ADN: Associate Degree in Nursing
ALNC: Advanced Legal Nurse Consultant
ANVP: Advanced Neurovascular Practitioner
AOCN: Advanced Oncology Certified Nurse
APN: Advanced Practice Nurse
APRN: Advanced Practice Registered Nurse
ARNP: Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner
ASN: Associate of Science in Nursing
BN: Bachelor of Nursing
BSN: Bachelor of Science in Nursing
CANP: Certified Adult Nurse Practitioner
CBN: Certified Bariatric Nurse
CCNS: Acute Care Clinical Nurse Specialist
CCRN: Certified Critical Care Nurse
CCTN: Certified Clinical Transplant Nurse
CDDN: Certified Developmental Disabilities Nurse
CDN: Certified Dialysis Nurse
CEN: Certified Emergency Nurse
CFCN: Certified Foot Care Nurse
CFN: Certified Forensic Nurse
CFNP: Certified Family Nurse Practitioner
CGN: Certified Gastroenterology Nurse
CHES: Certified Health Education Specialist
CHRN: Certified Hyperbaric Registered Nurse
CLNC: Certified Legal Nurse Consultant
CM: Certified Midwife
CMA: Certified Medical Assistant
CMSRN: Certified Medical-Surgical Registered Nurse
CNA: Certified in Nursing Administration
CNM: Certified Nurse Midwife
CNN: Certified in Nephrology Nursing
CNP: Certified Nurse Practitioner
CNRN: Certified Neuroscience Registered Nurse
CNS: Clinical Nurse Specialist
CNSN: Certified Nutrition Support Nurse
COHN: Certified Occupational Health Nurse
CORLN: Certified Otorhinolaryngology Nurse
CPAN: Certified Post Anesthesia Nurse
CPEN: Certified Pediatric Emergency Nurse
CPN: Certified Pediatric Nurse
CPNP: Certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner
CPON: Certified Pediatric Oncology Nurse
CRN: Certified Radiologic Nurse
CRNA: Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist
CRNO: Certified Registered Nurse in Ophthalmology
CRNP: Certified Registered Nurse Practitioner
CRRN: Certified Rehabilitation Registered Nurse
CS: Clinical Specialist
CSC: Cardiac Surgery Certification
CTRN: Certified Transport Registered Nurse
CUNP: Certified Urologic Nurse Practitioner
CURN: Certified Urologic Registered Nurse
CVN: Certified Vascular Nurse
EN: Enrolled Nurse
FNC: Family Nurse Clinician
FPNP: Family Planning Nurse Practitioner
GPN: General Pediatric Nurse
HNC: Holistic Nurse, Certified
ICC: Intensive Care Certification
LNC: Legal Nurse Consultant
LPN: Licensed Practical Nurse
LSN: Licensed School Nurse
LTC: Long Term Care (LPN Specific)
LVN: Licensed Vocational Nurse
MICN: Mobile Intensive Care Nurse
MN: Master of Nursing
MPH: Master of Public Health
MSN: Master of Science in Nursing
NCSN: National Certified School Nurse
NNP-BC: Neonatal Nurse Practitioner
NPC: Nurse Practitioner, Certified
NPP: Nurse Practitioner, Psychiatric
NVRN: Neurovascular Registered Nurse
OCN: Oncology Certified Nurse
ONC: Orthopedic Nurse Certified
PCNS: Pediatric Clinical Nurse Specialist
PHN: Public Health Nurse
PMHN-BC: Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse
PNP-AC: Pediatric Nurse Practitioner - Acute Care
RN: Registered nurse
RPN: Registered practical nurse
TNS: Trauma Nurse Specialist
WHNP-BC: Women's Health Care Nurse Practitioner