Which degree should I pursue?
There isn’t a universal option. It depends on your prior education, career ambitions, and how quickly you want to get started in the industry. The following are the primary distinctions between earning an associate and bachelor’s degree in nursing:
- How much time it takes
- ASN or BSN core competences
- Patient outcomes
- Passing rates on the NCLEX
- Salary averages
- Curriculum depth
- Career opportunities
How much time does it take?
Depending on the program you choose, college courses you’ve already done, and the pace at which you choose to complete classes, earning a nursing degree might take anywhere from 16 to 36 months.
- If you already have a bachelor’s degree in another discipline, you might be able to finish an Accelerated BSN Option (ABSN) in as little as 20 months. However, 20 months is a fast-paced program, and most students finish in approximately 24 months.
- Current LPNs/LVNs, Respiratory Therapists (RT), paramedics, and Cardiovascular Technicians (CVT) may be able to enroll in a bridge program designed to shorten the time it takes to achieve an ASN, which is typically 16-18 months.
20 months. For people new to nursing, an ASN program normally takes at least 20 months to finish.
28 to 32 months. Bridge-style programs may be available for LPNs/LVNs, Respiratory Therapists (RT), paramedics, and Cardiovascular Technicians (CVT) at the BSN level.
36 months. Students who are new to healthcare and do not have a bachelor’s degree may be eligible for a three-year BSN program. Even if you didn’t complete your degree, you may be eligible to transfer up to 90 credits from previous college courses to reduce the time it takes to earn your bachelor’s in nursing.
Any undergraduate nursing degree program has two main components: didactic/lecture-style courses and clinicals that assist you to prepare for real-world practice as an RN.
4. Participate in clinicals and simulations to gain hands-on experience.
To help you establish fundamental concepts and build a strong academic foundation, most degree programs begin with didactic courses.
You’ll eventually proceed to clinicals and begin building a competency that will prepare you to work as an RN. Clinicals and hands-on simulations are important parts of your education.
While general education and didactic/lecture style nursing courses can be done online, and virtual simulation can be a useful teaching tool, there is no substitute for hands-on laboratory and clinical experiences under the supervision of knowledgeable teachers.
Your clinical experience will aid in the application of theory to practice as well as the development of crucial leadership, critical thinking, and problem-solving abilities.
What you learn in clinicals will be crucial in passing the NCLEX and obtaining your first job as an RN. It will also ensure that you are well-prepared to excel in your future career.