Are you thinking you should become a registered nurse? Registered nurses are by far the most common at this time in the nursing profession. This fact is changing as more and more RN's return to school to obtain a bachelors degree.
Nurse education today offers training to become a registered nurse through a diploma program or through an associate of nursing degree program. Both programs prepare the nurse to provide patient care in a clinical setting and to write the NCLEX exam to become a registered nurse.
Diploma nursing programs are often hospital based programs. Diploma
schools involve a combination of classroom and clinical courses, as well
as some college based classes.
I am a diploma grad. The benefit for me, of course this was many years ago, was that we were in the hospital setting talking with patients after 1 month of starting the program. I see this as a benefit because at this point is where many decide if nursing is really for them or not. Even without performing patient care, we lost many students because they were not comfortable in a hospital setting. I do believe this is something best to figure out early on in your career, before you become a registered nurse.
If you do not have a goal to be a hospital based nurse than you may decide to work through the 2-3 year program with the intent to change settings after graduation. There are also people who do get used to the hospital setting while they are in a nursing program. No matter what your goals are, I believe it is beneficial to know how you feel early on.
Your nursing career should be more than a job. It should be something you are doing because you love what you do and you should enjoy going to work.
Diploma nursing programs prepare the nurse to work in a hospital based setting. These programs have decreased in their availability as the current push is toward the Associate degree and bachelor of nursing programs.
The Associate Degree in Nursing, or ADN program is considered to
be the entry level to become a registered nurse. This program teaches the nurse to
perform the clinical tasks of patient care.
There is theory involved but it is not as intensive in theory as the
bachelor in nursing degree or BSN. College core classes are required as
well as nursing classes and clinical rotations.
The benefit of ADN programs in nurse education today lies in the fact that it is a shorter program than the BSN. The ADN program is 2 years in length and available at many community colleges, as well as other colleges and universities.
The benefit of this shorter program is that once completed you are qualified to work as a graduate nurse and write the NCLEX exam which will earn you the title of Registered Nurse. Once you have your RN title and are working there are many BSN programs that are available as RN to BSN programs on a part time basis.
This allows you to be working and earning money while continuing your education. Many of these programs also offer online
nursing classes. Many RN's return to school later on this way. Even if
your goal is always to become a BSN this is still an option for you.
There are many factors to consider and
as well as your own personal circumstances. If you are interested in
the nursing profession there are many options out there but only you
know what is right for you.
I will discuss the bachelor of nursing program in more detail separately, but I want to mention it briefly here as well. Nurse education today is focused on a higher level of education.
The BSN program is a 4 year program and once completed you also write the NCLEX exam and receive the title of RN as well as BSN. With my own research I find the BSN program listed under RN education many times. I definitely consider the BSN a higher level degree and it does offer a lot more flexibility in nursing career choices for us as nurses. It is also a program that can be taken once you are an RN. At that point many schools have online nursing classes available to you.
Canadian nurses can come to work in the US as well. Visit the state board of nursing for the state you are interested in to see the requirements for obtaining a US nursing license. Some states are easier to obtain the initial US licensure than others and you may later apply to obtain licensure in other states.