Nursing is wide-open with opportunities. The profession has numerous career paths depending on your degree and professional experience. It is entirely up to you how far you want to take your nursing career. Here is a glimpse of the levels of nursing to get you started.
Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA)
These professionals typically have a high school diploma or GED and have completed an approved CNA program. CNAs work in home care and long-term care facilities, where they assist with patients’ daily activities such as bathing, dressing, eating, and ambulating. This profession will grow much faster than average through 2029.
Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)
With the successful completion of a practical nursing program and the national exam for licensure, you can be an LPN. LPNs take blood pressures, insert catheters, start IVs, and change bandages among other things. There is a huge demand for LPNs, and the national average salary is $59,090.
Registered Nurse (RN)
RN is the role with which the population equates the term “nurse.” RNs have a broad range of responsibilities and can work in multiple specialty areas like cardiac care, case management, or flight nursing. The RN credential requires either an ASN or BSN and successfully passing the NCLEX-RN exam. There is a great future for RNs, and the current national average salary is $77,600.
Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN)
If you are an RN ready to take on a leadership role, the APRN career path might be for you. The APRN focuses on directing a plan of care. The position typically requires a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN), and career paths vary with specialties such as nurse practitioners, nurse anesthetists, nurse midwives, and clinical nurse specialists. A certification exam is a requirement. The average salary for APRNs is $119,601.
Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)
An MSN is not a position but a degree that opens doors. It is a requirement for nurse practitioners and other nurse specialists. One year of experience as an RN with a BSN is advisable before applying. Opportunities are growing much faster than the national average.
Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)
The DNP is another degree and a step above the MSN. The DNP is for those who want to reach a high level of nursing with knowledge of healthcare policy, nursing practice, information systems, and organizational leadership. You can apply with an MSN or a BSN but expect a longer study plan with the latter. Many job openings are available for those holding the DNP credential.
Nurse Managers and Executives
Nurse managers run clinics and hospital systems. This role is less involved in patient care; if you aspire to be at a top administration level, this is the path. Your decisions will impact patient care, requiring integrity, flexibility, communication, critical thinking, and leadership. You will need an MSN or DNP and a specialty in executive leadership.
Let myRN Staffing Solutions help you find a nursing job no matter what level of nursing you seek.