So you want to be a Nurse? What program and which school will you attend?
There are varying credentials in nursing and over 100 areas of specialty. The type of nurse may mean the specialty or, more importantly, the licences one may need for legal nursing practice.
Licensed Vocational/Practical Nurses (LPN/LVNs) are licensed to provide direct nursing care under the supervision of a Registered Nurse. LPN/LVNs are employed in numerous healthcare settings with skilled nursing facilities being their largest employers. LPNs complete 1-1.5 years of study and obtain licensure from their state board of nursing.
Registered Nurses (RN) practice nursing care under the direction of a medical practitioner. RNs manage, assess, diagnose, plan and evaluate patient care and usually function in a leadership role. RNs may obtain licensure via their state boards and may complete 2 years, or 4 years of undergraduate study.
Advanced Practice Nurses are RNs with graduate level study, many are Certified to provide primary care needs similar to a physician.
All nurses must pass the national council licensure examination for nurses (NCLEX) to obtain licensure in the US.
When choosing a Nursing school, should you check for approval or accreditation?
The decision has been made, you want to go to nursing school but with the fraud and confusion surrounding higher education, you sure could use some guidance. Well here goes,
APPROVED- Nursing schools are approved by the applicable state boards of nursing and allowed to open their doors to the public after meeting the necessary criteria as stipulated by law. If you attend a Nursing school that is not approved by the board of Nursing for your state, after you graduate you will not be able to sit for the NCLEX licensure exam.
ACCREDITTED-For institutions to receive Federal Financial Aid they need institutional accreditation, usually obtained within two years of opening the doors. Accreditation is a process of meeting standards of excellence within an industry. Usually accreditation of an organization assures the public that higher standards are held. A Nursing school may seek institutional accreditation for their school to provide financial aid to its students.
PROGRAMMATIC ACCREDITATION-Nursing programs within a school, may obtain programmatic accreditation for the nursing program, different from accreditation for the entire school, college/university. Nursing program accreditation is usually obtained through the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education CCNE or ACEN. The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) and the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) are two of the most recognized accrediting agencies in the nation. CCNE vs ACEN accreditation are different. CCNE does not accredit LPN, Diploma, or ADN programs while the ACEN does.
Ever wonder how much money nurses make. Here’s a breakdown of the average US nurse salary by credential below
NURSE ANESTHETISTS, NURSE PRACTITIONERS & NURSE MIDWIVES
Median pay (annual): $117,670 USD (2020)
Median pay (hourly): $56.57 USD (2020)
Entry level education: Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) after 01/01/2022
Projected 10-year growth: 45% (2020)
Number of jobs: 271,900 (2020)
REGISTERED NURSE RN
Median pay (annual): $75,330 USD (2020)
Median pay (hourly): $36.22 USD (2020)
Entry level education: Assoc./Bachelor's degree
Projected 10-year growth: 9% (2022)
Number of jobs: 2,751,000 (2020)
LICENSED NURSE LPN/LVN
Median pay (annual): $48,820 USD (2020)
Median pay (hourly): $23.47 USD (2020)
Entry level education: Postsecondary nondegree award
Projected 10-year growth: 9% (2022)
Number of jobs: 688,100 (2022)
United States Department of Labor. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Occupational Wages and Salary. Retrieved 03/28/2022. Available at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/registered-nurses.htm