Registered Nurse Training and Degree Programs
Learn the average salary of registered nurses (RN). Find out education and licensure requirements as well as the typical duties and employment outlook for RNs.
What Registered Nurse (RN) Programs Are Available?
You'll be able to find Associate of Science, Bachelor of Science, Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph. D.) programs in nursing. Some colleges, technical schools, nursing schools and 4-year universities offer programs for established RNs wishing to continue towards a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. Select schools offer online degree programs, but you would be required to participate in hands-on clinic work.
|Degree Types||Associate of Science, Bachelor of Science, Master of Science, Doctor of Philosophy|
|Course Topics||Anatomy, physiology, clinical practice, psychology, biology|
|Career Options||Nurse practitioner, clinical specialist, midwife, researcher, scientist|
|Job Outlook (2016-2026)||15% growth (for registered nurses)*|
|Median Salary (2018)||$71,730 (for registered nurses)*|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
What Courses Can I Expect?
Nursing programs teach you how to work with people, treat sickness and injury, discern pharmaceutical products, work in different environments and pass the national nursing exam. Program courses include care for families, adults, elderly and children, as well as classes in anatomy, physiology, clinical practice, diversity, nursing fundamentals and theory. General courses such as psychology, biology, microbiology, algebra, sociology and chemistry are required. Clinical work is required for all nursing students to develop proper patient care procedures.
What About Post-Graduate Programs?
If you decide to pursue a master's degree in nursing, you can focus on career specializations including education, administration, nurse practitioner, clinical specialist, nurse anesthetist, midwife and clinical nurse leader. If you decide to pursue a Ph.D. in Nursing you can consider career options as a researcher, scientist, manager or college faculty member. Depending on the post-graduate field you might enter and the state you could be located in, you may also have the benefits of prescribing medication to patients.
What Can I Do After I Graduate?
You'll be required to pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) after graduation in order be an active RN. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) states that a 15% increase in job openings is expected between 2016 and 2026 (www.bls.gov). Careers are expected to grow in nursing homes, outpatient centers and at home services. Job increases will be due to the rise in the elderly population, RN retirements and portability of medical equipment. The BLS also estimated that, as of May 2018, the median salary for RNs was $71,730.