2-Year Vs 4-Year Nursing Degree Salary latest 2023

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CNA, LPN, RN, ADN, BSN – Which Nursing Degree Is Right for You?

CNA (Certified Nursing Assistant)

Also known as: PCT (Patient Care Tech)

Description

Certified practical nurses take an 8 to 16 week course to receive certification. They work under the direction of LPNs and RNs and help patients with their daily activities. Simply put, you might think that DACs do a lot of the “dirty work”.

Being a CNA can be hard work, but if you can brave it, you’re definitely strong enough to be a nurse (or pretty much anything, for that matter).

A CNA class is a prerequisite for most nursing programs, with the exception of some 4-year colleges. Even if you take the course and get your certificate, it doesn’t mean you have to work as a CNA. However, many do and it is a good experience.

The class includes the classroom, practice lab, and on-site clinical rotations. Think of it as a miniature nursing school. There is even a state exam at the end to qualify for certification.

salary

CNAs earn between $10 and $14 per hour. Nursing homes are a common starting point for new CNAs. Hospitals also have many CNAs, but depending on your region, they might be looking for experienced CNAs. Many work in a nursing home and then seek employment in the hospital.

LPN – Licensed Practical Nurse

Also Known As: PNC (Practical Nurse Certificate), LVN (Licensed Vocational Nurse)

Description

LPNs go to school for 1-2 years to get their license. If you want to get started and work quickly, this is the fastest and shortest nursing degree of the three.

Technically, LPNs don’t receive a degree, they receive a license. Many people get an LPN and then move on to getting an RN or BSN. This way they can start working sooner.

In the workplace, the main difference between LPNs and RNs is what is called scope of practice.

Scope of practice refers to the tasks for which a healthcare worker is qualified. At the most basic level, scope of practice means the level of responsibility for which you are responsible.

For example, hanging blood, transcribing doctors’ orders, and working in specialty units are often outside the scope of practice for LPNs, but inside the scope of practice for RNs. Scope is determined by the state you live in and varies from region to region. In general, however, LPNs have a narrower scope of practice.

salary

A report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that LPNs earn an average (mean) hourly wage nationwide of $20.21, or a median annual wage of $41,150.

LPNs often work in different settings as well. LPNs are less common in hospitals and more common in rehabilitation facilities, nursing homes, home care, and doctor’s offices. LPNs often play a more central role in rural areas.

Benefits :

  • Take as little time as possible.
  • You can get it cheaply at community colleges.
  • Less legal liability at work.
  • There are many LPN-RN bridging programs for continuing education.

Disadvantages:

  • Less revenue
  • Can cost more time and money for school in the long run if you plan to get your RN or BSN.
  • May limit job opportunities. Most LPNs work in nursing homes, home care, rural hospitals, and rehabilitation care facilities.
  • Less independence: you may work under the supervision of registered nurses

RN – Registered Nurse

Also Known As: ADN (Associate Degree in Nursing)

Most RNs go to school for 2-3 years and receive an associate degree in nursing (ADN). Many people use the terms DNA and RN interchangeably.

Description

RNs are the backbone of the nursing workforce. When you think of a typical nurse you see in hospitals, it’s probably a registered nurse.

As a registered nurse, you would have a variety of job opportunities. RNs work in hospitals, nursing homes, home care, and many other settings.

The scope of practice of the RN is different from that of the LPN and focuses more on critical thinking, assessments and nursing judgments. Since you will be specifically trained for this, you will be allowed to handle more “risky” job situations, such as administering potentially dangerous drugs and working with critically ill patients.

There are many paths you can take once you become a registered nurse. Although most work in hospitals, nurses can be seen doing research, working with health care information technology, management, legal nursing, etc. A career in nursing can be truly diverse.

salary

A report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that RNs earn a median hourly wage of $31.71, with a median annual salary of $65,950.

Benefits :

  • Takes a reasonable amount of time
  • You can get it cheaply at community colleges
  • Very little income difference between RNs and BSNs (except in a management/specialty position).
  • There are many RN-BSN bridge programs. Often, your workplace helps pay them.
  • Many job opportunities.

Disadvantages:

  • You only get your associate degree. May need more schooling to further your education.
  • May limit opportunities for advancement. Less qualified for management, teaching and specialist nursing positions.
  • May also limit your job opportunities. Hospitals applying for Magnet Nursing status have a certain quota of BSN nurses to meet. They will often only hire BSNs.

BSN – Bachelor of Science in Nursing

A BSN is a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. Bachelor’s degrees typically require 4-5 years of schooling. More emphasis is placed on a well-rounded degree with general education and nursing theory.

There are several ways to earn your BSN degree:

There are online schools, technical schools, and universities that link an RN to a BSN. They are often referred to as RN-BSN programs. Some LPN-BSN bridges as well.

Universities, on the other hand, are 4-year schools that award you the BSN upon completion. You skip your associate’s degree and go straight to the bachelor’s degree.

As a nurse with a BSN, you would be better suited to take on managerial responsibilities. Most areas of skilled nursing also require a BSN. There are very few concrete changes in the scope of practice of the BSN compared to that of an RN.

There is a trend in some hospitals to hire more BSNs or to require nurses to obtain their BSN within a certain number of years after being hired there. However, RNs with associate degrees are still extremely common and will have no serious disadvantages in the initial job search.

If you are considering going to school for a higher degree, seriously consider getting your BSN from the start. A BSN opens up many opportunities for advanced and specialty nursing. All graduate programs (programs that offer master’s degrees) require a BSN first.

Benefits :

  • You can get your bachelor’s degree all at once, or transition between LPN or RN.
  • Most are at state universities. Good for high school graduates.
  • Eligible for Management, Education and Skilled Nursing
  • Eligible to enter a Master of Science in Nursing program
  • As many job opportunities as a registered nurse, maybe more.

Disadvantages:

  • Takes at least a 4-year commitment.
  • Universities can be very expensive.

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