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Nursing Career Paths

There are three major educational paths to registered nursing: a bachelor’s degree, an associate degree, and a diploma from an approved nursing program. Depending on the level of education you earn, there are different levels of nurse you can become.

Registered Nurse

To become a registered nurse (RN), students must graduate from an approved nursing program and pass a national licensing examination, known as the NCLEX-RN, in order to obtain a registered nursing license.

Job duties: Registered nurses record patients’ medical histories and symptoms, help perform diagnostic tests and analyze results, operate medical machinery, administer treatment and medications, and help with patient follow-up and rehabilitation.

In addition, they can specialize to work in a variety of settings:

  • Pre-operative nurses work in operating rooms assisting surgeons
  • Ambulatory care nurses provide preventive care and treat patients with a variety of illnesses and injuries in physicians’ offices or in clinics
  • Diabetes management nurses assist patients in managing their diabetes
  • Dermatology nurses work with patients who have skin disorders
  • Geriatric nurses work with the elderly
  • Pediatric oncology nurses deal with children and adolescents who have cancer

LPNs

Licensed Practical Nurses are required to pass a licensing examination, known as the NCLEX-PN, after completing a State-approved practical nursing program.

Job duties: Licensed practical nurses (LPNs), or licensed vocational nurses (LVNs), care for people who are sick, injured, convalescent, or disabled under the direction of physicians and registered nurses.

Advancement

RNs can also choose to become advanced practice nurses, who work independently or in collaboration with physicians. These positions usually require a minimum of a BSN and in many cases a master’s degree and can include:

  • Clinical Nurse Specialists
  • Nurse Anesthetists
  • Nurse-Midwives
  • Nurse Practitioners

Other opportunities for advancement include management, administrator, consulting, and educator roles.

Work Environment

Most RNs work in well-lit, clean, and comfortable healthcare facilities. Since patients in hospitals and nursing care facilities require 24-hour care, the nurses in these institutions may work nights, weekends, and holidays. They may also be on call and available to work on short notice. Nurses who work in offices, schools, and other settings are more likely to work regular business hours. About 20% of RNs worked part-time in 2008.

Most licensed practical nurses in hospitals and nursing care facilities work a 40-hour week, but because patients need round-the-clock care, some work nights, weekends, and holidays. They often stand for long periods and help patients move in bed, stand, or walk.

The information below reflects aggregated data from all of the Herzing University campuses that have students enrolled in the specified program in the specified time period. The information does not reflect data regarding individual campuses unless only one campus had students to report. The reporting period used to obtain this data was 7/1/2012-6/30/2013. If there were less than 10 graduates in a program, median loan debt and on-time completion data were not disclosed for that program to protect the privacy of those students. Tuition and length may vary by campus location. Ranges could not be input for tuition and length, therefore tuition and length reported are the highest tuition rates and longest program length to encompass all campuses. For information regarding specific campus tuition please refer to http://www.herzing.edu/tuition-financial-aid . For a more detailed description of how the data was calculated please refer to the Disclosure Methodology located here http://www.herzing.edu/files/2014Disclosures-Methodology.pdf .

REGISTERED NURSE (RN)

Our associate and bachelor nursing programs are designed to help our graduates successfully pass their national licensing examination, known as the National Council Licensure Examination, or NCLEX-RN. Other eligibility requirements for licensure vary by State. Contact your state's board of nursing for details. Successful completion of the NCLEX-RN examination allows the graduate to use the title Registered Nurse (RN). Note: The Bachelor of Science in Nursing - Bridge program requires applicants to be licensed registered nurses before enrolling.

Additional certification includes:



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