Five Types of Nursing Degrees Explained
Nurses play a critical role in our healthcare systems at all levels. With the variety of roles, there are many nurse career paths you can take, like saving lives in the emergency room, opening your own nursing practice, or being the head of a hospital executive team. The opportunities for you after earning a nursing degree are endless. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, register nurses (RNs) are projected to have a 6% increase in employment and nurse practitioners (NPs) are expected to increase to 46%.
But first, you have to chose the right degree to pursue and nursing college to attend.
Whether you want to get your start in the field or want to continue moving your education forward, learning which nursing degrees you need will help start you on the path of a successful, versatile, and fulfilling career.
Bachelor of Science in Nursing
Earning your Pre-Licensure Bachelor of Science in Nursing at Ferris is the best fit for freshmen or anyone beginning their college education. Graduates from the program are eligible to write the National Council Licensure Exam (NCLEX-RN) to become a registered nurse and can go on to pursue a Master's of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree.
Benefits of the BSN Program
- Hands-on instruction and learning on the Big Rapids campus
- Five semester professional sequence
RN to BSN Completion Program
The RN to BSN Completion Program is for Registered Nurses who only have an associate-level degree and want to earn a bachelor's degree. "You can get an associate degree in nursing at a community college and then you would come here after to get your bachelor's degree," says Wendy Lenon, Associate Professor and Chair of the School of Nursing at Ferris. "Most health systems now require nurses to get their BSN degree within a certain amount of time of hire. And so the RN to BSN helps move that along as a completion degree."
Benefits of the RN to BSN Program
- Fully online
- Eight week courses
The Nursing Education Graduate Certificate is for graduate level students, who already have a bachelor's degree in nursing. It serves as a possible first step into your MSN degree. The 12 credits required by the certificate can count towards a Nursing Education Specialty concentration in our Master's of Science in Nursing program.
Benefits of Nursing Education Certificate
- Fully online
- Only 12 credits
Master of Science in Nursing
The Master of Science in Nursing is for graduate level students who have already obtained their BSN. There are three concentrations: nursing education, nursing informatics, and nursing administration. "It's really where you want go with your career," adds Lenon. "If you want to teach, you'll go into nursing education. If you are more interested in the data and technology side, you'll chose the informatics concentration. The administration concentration is for those who want to lead and manage in healthcare systems."
There is also an accelerated option of RN to MSN completion.
Benefits of the MSN Program
- Fully online
- National recognition as top online MSN degree
Doctor of Nursing Practice
The Doctor of Nursing Practice is the highest level of nursing degree offered at Ferris State University. This program is for leaders in the field who have already obtained their MSN degree and want to learn more about system leadership in advanced practice and specialty nursing.
Benefits of the DNP Program
- Fully online
- Only six to eight semesters
Explore the School of Nursing
The Ferris State University School of Nursing is committed to preparing you to accelerate your career in the healthcare field. With a wide range of degrees and programs, you'll find an option that aligns with your goals. The School of Nursing also offers many online nursing programs. "Online nursing courses are good for working individuals," says Lenon. "Most people in our programs are already working in the health system, so having the online option helps get around that work schedule."
"We have really great faculty that care a lot about students and we give students a great overview of all the various roles in nursing. Most people just picture nursing in the hospital, but there's a lot more to it and we give students a good idea of all the different possibilities that are out there," adds Lenon.
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