A student who is opting for a nursing career can find different types of nursing degrees. More types mean more opportunities to provide services. (1)


A nursing degree is considered a huge educational investment. The need for nursing services is growing day by day and that reflects the continuous growth of the field in upcoming years.

Entry-level nursing programs (2)

Candidates can pursue associate degrees, certificates, and diplomas to gain entry-level nursing programs. Each level opens different doors of opportunities.

  • Diploma in nursing program

This is one of the paths for registered nurses (RN) to get a license. This minimum level of getting a nursing license is available only in few states. Students can earn this diploma from technical and hospital-based nursing schools, and community colleges. The duration of completion of this program is 2 years. However, this duration may vary according to the enrollment of the student. Some students enroll themselves regularly while some go for part-time enrollment. Admission prerequisites depend on the school. Mostly these include ACT or SAT scores, 2 GPA, and a high school diploma. This diploma offers the following courses:

  1. Foundation of nursing
  2. Nursing care of adults
  3. Developmental psychology
  • Licensed practical nurse program

The licensed practical nurse LPN program is typically offered by community colleges. Students must consider only those programs that are accredited by the Commission on collegiate nursing education or the Commission for education in nursing. With full-time enrollment, students can complete this program within a year. In part-time enrollment this duration increases. Prerequisites vary but mostly include 2 GPA, high school diploma or GED, a background check, and official transcripts. Courses offered by this program are:

  1. Fundamentals of nursing
  2. Mental health nursing
  3. Adult nursing
  • Associate degree in nursing

Communitycolleges and universities are offering an associate degree in nursing ADN programs. Students with full-time enrollment can complete ADN programs in two years. This duration extends in part-time enrollment. Requirements include a 2-2.5 GPA, a background check, and a high school diploma or GED. This program concentrates on clinical skills. Courses offered by ADN are:

  1. Adult chronic and acute diseases
  2. Maternal and child health
  3. Mental health nursing

Career opportunities and salaries

Every type of nursing program provides different opportunity pathways. A qualified person with a diploma in nursing takes the NCLEX exam to earn a license. Whereas a graduate starts a job career as a registered nurse RN. The average income of a practitioner having a diploma in nursing is $65780 and the average income of an LPN is $45680.

Bachelor’s degree in Nursing

  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing BSN

Most universities and colleges are offering this degree. Along with programmatic accreditation, a student must also consider national or regional accreditation while selecting a program. The best programmatic accreditations include:

  • Commission on collegiate nursing education
  • Commission for education in nursing

Programs that come under a bachelor’s degree require 4 years for completion. Prerequisites for admission in the school are ACT or SAT scores, 2.5 GPA, letters of recommendation, and official transcripts. Courses offered by this degree are:

  • Clinical experiences
  • Clinical coursework
  • Laboratory simulation
  • Advanced knowledge of health assessment
  • LPN-to-BSN programs

LVNs and LPNs look for higher levels of nursing degrees. With the help of LPN-to-BSN programs, practitioners get the chance to improvetheir careers. Students with full-time enrollment can complete these programs in 2-3 years. Many schools and colleges are offering these programs in-building as well as online. Requirements for admission are:

  • A personal statement
  • Letters of recommending
  • Official transcripts
  • Unencumbered LPN license
  • RN-to-BSN programs

RN-to-BSN degree is a step for RNs to move forward in their respective field. Several universities and community colleges are offering these programs. Students can enroll themselves either online or in classroom settings. These programs are not like other traditional BSN programs. These account for the previous learnings of students. Additionally, holding an RN license removes the clinical requirement in a BSN. In contrast to traditional BSN programs, which are semester-based, RN-to-BSN programs follow a yearly-based format. For admissions prerequisites are an active RN license, 2.5 GPA, letters of recommendation, and an official transcript.

Career opportunities and salaries

Students who gain a BSN degree open for themselves several doors of opportunities. BSN qualified RNs to provide their services in hospitals, residential care facilities, and ambulatoryhealthcare centers. They conduct a medical assessment, improve patient safety, and educate patients. RNs who work in residential facilities administer medications to patients and follow their treatment plans. The average annual income of a BSN graduate is $86670.

Master’s degree in nursing programs

  • Direct-entry MSN programs

These are also known as Immersion programs. These programs mostly appeal to those candidates who have a BSN degree. Students spend 3 years to meet all clinical requirements and courses for direct-entry MSN programs. Learners with no understandings of relative subjects take a long time to graduate.

  • RN-to-MSN programs

These programs are advanced levels in the field of nursing. These programs allow those RNs who do not have BSN to achievean MSN degree. Universities and colleges are helping students to achieve their goals in this field.

Career opportunities and salaries

Nurses with this degree work as nurse anesthetists, nurse practitioners, and nurse-midwives. Their average annual salary is $96120.

Doctorate in nursing programs

  • BSN-to-DNP programs

DNP is a terminal nursing degree. Students can gain this degree online as well as in classroom settings. These programs differ from traditional DNP programs as students have to explore subjects studied in an MSN degree. Moreover, students have to accomplish clinical coursework to meet licensure requirements.

  • MSN-to-DNP programs

RNs who are searching for programs on which they can get a return on their investment may find these programs best for them. These programs allow the student to learn MSN coursework as well as extensive research in the related field.

Career opportunities

The average annual income of these professionals is $104,350.


  1. https://www.rasmussen.edu/degrees/nursing/blog/different-levels-of-nursing/
  2. https://nursejournal.org/degrees/types-of-nursing-degrees/