Best Degrees for a Career in Nursing

There are a lot of great job opportunities that you will be able to choose from when you decide to enter the nursing field. Some choose to just get a certificate and then choose an entry-level position to help them out, and others will take it further and gain a doctorate in their chosen medical field. 

Before you jump into the medical field, you need to make sure that you choose which degree you would like to pursue. And there are so many great options that you can go with. Some of the best degrees that you should consider for a career in nursing include:

Diploma in Nursing

You can choose to earn a diploma in nursing to have a quick path to launching a nursing career. This diploma can get done in a year, depending on how much time you give to it. It is also the minimum qualification for becoming a practicing nurse. You can get it through a hospital-sponsored nursing school, but they are no longer offered at other higher education facilities. 

If you choose to get a diploma in nursing, you will find that you are limited to some of the essential career choices within the field. You may be able to work as a Licensed Vocational Nurse or a Licensed Practical Nurse. This is a good way to get your foot in the door, and you can work on other degrees while gaining experience. 

Associate of Science in Nursing (ASN)

Associate of Science in Nursing (ASN)

If you dream of becoming a licensed Registered Nurse, then the ASN degree is the best option for you to choose. This is a two-year program that you can find in many vocational schools and community colleges around the country, and it is considered the minimum qualification for you to get your license as a Registered Nurse

Earning the ASN degree is not only a great way to prepare for a career in nursing; it can be one of the first steps to getting your BSN program down the road if you would like. Once you complete the degree from the right program, you will be able to take the NCLEX exam and then become a registered nurse. You can then start working with this degree. 

Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)

Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)

Like the ASN degree, the BSN degree will prepare students to sit for their NCLEX exam to become registered nurses. This degree will take 4 years, though, compared to the 2 years for the ASN degree. Most employers will prefer the nursing professional to have a BSN degree, and you will find more opportunities available if you have this degree. 

The BSN will be one of the best degrees for those who would like to prepare for more education and career advancement in the future. If you are already an RN, you can further advance your nursing career by enrolling in UTA’s program, which offers an RN to BSN program to help you obtain your BSN degree.There are several different jobs that you can get with a BSN degree, including:

  • Nursing informatics analyst
  • Nurse case manager
  • Neonatal nurse
  • Staff Nurse
  • School nurse
  • Perioperative nurse
  • Occupational health nurse
  • Registered nurse

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)

The MSN degree is going to be a graduate-level program that is meant to prepare aspiring nurses with the knowledge, skills, and credentials that they need to handle some of the more complex and demanding responsibilities that are required of a nurse. It is also the degree required for research and nursing positions that need clinical training. 

It is possible to get the MSN degree as a joint degree, allowing the professional to go through and choose the discipline for where they would like to work, such as public health or hospital administration. Most of these degrees will require that you have a BSN before you start, though there are a few accelerated programs that allow you to start with the ASN degree. 

There are many great career opportunities that you can choose from when you decide to go after the MSN degree. Some of these include:

  • Advanced practice nurse
  • Nurse researcher
  • Nurse practitioner
  • Nurse educator
  • Nurse administrator
  • Nurse case manager
  • Certified nurse anesthetist
  • Certified nurse midwife

This is an advanced degree that you will be able to pursue and can allow you to have a lot of great opportunities in the type of jobs that you can do in the medical field. 

Doctorate of Nursing Practice

As a nursing professional, you may choose to take your education even further than the MSN degree to open up a lot of doors in the industry and to ensure that you have the required credentials and knowledge to do your job. 

The DNP degree is going to be one of only two terminal degrees that are awarded in the field of nursing. Even though this is considered a doctoral degree, it is going to be a practice-oriented degree that helps focus on practical skills development. It will often take 4 years of advanced practice education along with your undergraduate degrees above. 

There are several careers that you will be able to get when you pursue your DNP degree. Some of these include:

  • Nurse practitioner
  • Clinical nurse specialist
  • Certified nurse anesthetist
  • Certified nurse midwife

This is a tough program to get into, but it will provide you with more advanced opportunities than you can get with some of the other degrees that you choose. Many of these professionals can even open their practices and are often seen at the same level as doctors and other medical professionals. 

Choosing the Right Degree for Your Career in Nursing

Whether you have an end goal for the type of position you would like to get in the nursing field, or you get into the industry and decide it is time to further your career, there are many opportunities as a nursing professional. Take a look at some of the best degrees for a career in nursing above to help you make the right decision for yourself.