By the year 2020, the government predicts that the United States will need 600,000 nurses to fill available positions. This increasing demand means it’s a good time to consider starting your nursing education. After all, increased demand will mean higher salaries, more benefits, and better job opportunities.
What Nursing Education is Needed
Nursing education actually begins for most individuals in high school. To prepare for the demands of a college nursing programs, students generally need a full four years of math classes and as many science classes as possible. Those math and science classes give students a solid foundation before they get into their nursing program.
Foreign languages are also an important class to take early. Although nursing education does not require individuals to speak a second language, having such a skill makes nurses even more valuable as the culture of the country continues to diversify.
Nursing Education: After High School
After high school, students have a choice when it comes to their nursing education. One route is to earn an Associates Degree in Nursing (ADN). This route will only require two to three years of nursing education, but it does not provide graduates with as many career options.
The second choice is to earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree. This requires four years of nursing education, but it gives graduates more flexibility. With a BSN, students are also able to further their education. For motivated nurses, master’s, doctoral, and even post-doctoral programs are available around the country.
Nursing Education: Licensing
Before beginning a nursing career, graduates must end their nursing education by taking an exam in order to receive a license. Two types of nursing licenses are available: Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) or Registered Nurse (RN). The requirements for receiving a license vary from state to state, and nurses must earn a license in the state where they intend to work. More information about licensing requirements can be found at the National Council of State Boards of Nursing web site .