The Common Types Of Nursing Degree Program

Posted on: 22 April 2021

Two people could say that they're in a nursing degree program and mean very different things. How is this possible? Well, as it turns out, there are several different types of nursing degree programs that are common in the United States. Here's a look at each type of program and what it involves.

Licensed Practicing Nurse

The shortest nursing programs in the U.S. are those that award the participant with an LPN degree. Sometimes, this is also known as an LVT degree. LVT stands for "licensed vocational nurse." These programs usually last 12-18 months, and they prepare a nurse for positions that involve more routine care, such as bathing patients, administering medications, and giving injections.

Registered Nurse

Registered nurse programs are a bit longer than LPN programs. Most take two years to complete. As a registered nurse, or RN, you will be able to do most of the tasks required of nurses in a hospital or doctor's office. You may also supervise LPNs with this degree. RNs earn significantly more than LPNs in most cases, so most nurses do aim to earn this degree, at least. Many community colleges offer RN programs.

Bachelor's of Science in Nursing

Earning your bachelor's of science in nursing, or BSN, generally takes four years. This is a full bachelor's degree program that can generally be found at a 4-year college or university. Nurses with a BSN can specialize in fields like pediatrics, infectious disease, or psychiatry. They can work in more specialized roles such as those of a public health nurse, a nurse administrator, or a case manager.

Nurse Practitioner

This is considered to be the most advanced degree you can earn as a nurse. You need to have completed a BSN first, and generally, you need to have had experience in the field before you even enroll in a nurse practitioner, or NP, program. As a nurse practitioner, you can prescribe medication and see patients independently from a physician. You will diagnose and treat diseases, much like a physician, but under the supervision of a physician. NPs cannot perform surgery or complete more advanced procedures, but they can provide a lot of day-to-day care.

Hopefully, this article has given you a better idea of the different nursing programs that exist. If you are just getting started in nursing, you'll typically start with either an LPN or RN program, and then go from there.