Which Nursing Degree Do You Need?

The following short article is written to provide general advice about online education and degrees, not just information specific to WGU. If you have specific questions about WGU, feel free to inquire online or speak with an enrollment counselor (1-866-225-5948).

A variety of degrees exist within the nursing field. More advanced degrees command higher salaries and loftier positions within the hospital chain of command. For instance, earning your master’s degree in nursing online affords you the option to work as a hospital administrator or enter a career in nursing education.

Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN): The first level of nursing degree programs (after a Certified Nursing Assistant, which is not technically a degree), this course of study requires two years. Graduates can go on to become Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) or Registered Nurses (RNs), depending on which certification exam they take.

RN to BSN: Unique to the field of nursing, this degree program permits a Registered Nurse to earn her bachelor’s degree in nursing in order to enter a specialized field. Some online nursing degree programs can be completed in as little as three years. This degree program includes coursework and clinical studies. Most hospitals seek RNs with a BSN degree.

RN to MSN: A Masters of Science in Nursing (MSN) paves the way for an RN to move to the management level of a healthcare facility. Nurses with an MSN may also become nurse educators, guiding the country’s next generation of nurses. Registered nurses who previously earned a BSN can graduate an MSN degree program more quickly.

Doctorate: The demand for nurses with PhDs has grown, especially in the academic sector. Nurses with their doctorates enjoy job security, greater employment options and higher salaries.