A nursing degree is a four year heath care education program offered at the university level. From a general point of view, nursing as a career involves taking care of individual family or community members and ensuring that each one of them attains, maintains, or recovers a quality life characterized by good health.

Nursing DegreeNursing students learn both theoretical and practical modules. For the latter, all students are required to undergo at least 35 hours of clinical practice. Theoretical modules include the study of human anatomy & physiology, written communication, microbiology, human development, organic chemistry and microbiology, writing in social and natural sciences, critical thinking, oral communication, philosophy and other relevant units.

There are several benefits that come about when one graduates with a nursing degree. One, it opens up job opportunities in the medical field by creating an entry point. From there, a nursing degree holder has an opportunity to further their career and achieve his or her desired level. Upon advancing, one can become a teacher, an administrator or even land a position in federal jobs. A nursing degree will earn you a good income and hence you will enjoy job security matched to the level of education you have attained. There are different types of nursing degrees –check out each of them for required qualifications for enrollment into the degree program of your choice.

How to Find the Top Nursing Degree Programs

Nursing education programs include Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA), Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN), and Registered Nurses (RN) as the most basic nursing education programs. They are diploma level training programs.

An Associate’s Degree in Nursing (ADN) is a 2 years degree program which can be either obtained from a vocational school or community college. For those aspiring to become registered nurses, this is the minimum requirement. The downside of taking this degree program is that most employees prefer to hire/employ bachelor’s degree in nursing holders, hence limiting job opportunities for ADN holders.

Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) is a four year training program that is offered at college or university level. Most nursing jobs require candidates to have attained a Bachelor of Science in nursing degree to qualify for employment making bachelor’s degree holders gain preference over ADN holders.

To acquire a Master’s of Science in Nursing, you need to have a bachelor’s degree in nursing. With a Master’s of Science in Nursing, you have the potential to become an advanced practice nurse (APN), and earn a significant pay raise.

The top nursing degree programs are accredited to offer nursing education. The secret to finding the best nursing degrees is to look for top ranking nursing schools like Alverno College or Georgetown University which produce top qualified nurses in the US. You can also opt to study online, such as with University of Phoenix, which offers excellent online nursing degree programs.

Related resource: Top 10 Best Online RN to BSN Programs

Careers and Salaries for Individuals with a Nursing Degree

Nursing salaries vary depending on an individual’s education and degree level, years of experience in a particular nursing field, geographical location, type of work available and the specialty pursued. Licensed Practical Nurses have to pass the National Council Licensure Exam for LPN in order to obtain licensure. Their annual salary is approximately $40,890. Registered nurses are required to possess a nursing associate’s degree and also pass the licensing exam. Their annual salary is approximately $64,700. For advanced level nursing careers, one is required to have obtained a bachelor’s degree in nursing. A Certified Nurse Anesthetist enjoys an annual salary of about $157,010, a Certified Nurse Midwife earns approximately $92,207, a Clinical Nurse Specialist earns approximately $89,300 and a Nurse Practitioner or a Family Nurse Practitioner earns about $90,641 per year.

If you want to start a medical career in any of the above named fields, enroll in a relevant nursing degree program today.