Career and Salary Prospects for New Nurses

If you’re considering going back to school to be a nurse, your options might be a bit confusing. Let’s take a look at the career options you have when you graduate, along with the salary you can expect, so you can more easily choose an educational program.

Types of Nurses

The most common type of nurse is the registered nurse, or RN. You need at least an associate’s degree to become an RN, though many nursing students opt to get a bachelor’s degree in the field. When you think of the typical nurse, the RN is what you imagine – in this role, you’ll provide support to doctors, but do little work independently. If you don’t want to go to school for as long, you can instead consider becoming an LPN/LVN, which allows you to work in lower-level roles doing basic tasks like helping patients prepare for surgery or recording vital signs.

Of course, you can also stay in school for more education, which allows you to take on more responsibilities in the medical work. If you earn a master’s degree, you qualify to become an advanced practice nurse (APN) in one of four fields – nurse practitioner, clinical nurse specialist, nurse midwife, or nurse anesthetist. In the coming years, most states will require you to continue with your education to earn a doctorate if you want to work as an APN.

Nursing Salary

Because nurses are in high demand, salaries in this field are typically much higher than other fields where workers have a similar amount of education. The average salary you can expect depends on the amount of education you complete

  • LPN/LVN: $46,190
  • RN: $63,750
  • Nurse Practitioner: $82,590
  • Clinical Nurse Specialist: $80,975
  • Nurse Midwife: $89,337
  • Nurse Anesthetist: $145,216

Your salary also depends on the specialty you choose, since nurses in some specialties are in higher demand than in others. With a two- or four-year degree, you typically don’t have the ability to do much specializing, but as a nurse practitioner or clinical nurse specialist, this is not only a possibility be, with most programs, a requirement. Some of the specialties where you can earn the most money include adult nursing, cardiovascular nursing, surgical nursing, nurse informatics, and acute care nursing.

Online Nursing Programs

Walden University BS in Nursing RN to MSN BSN to MSN Walden University – Walden University offers online nursing programs including: BS, RN to MSN, and BSN to MSN. In these programs students gain the knowledge, ability and influence to affect the lives of patients, organizations and the future of healthcare. Students will collaborate with nurses from around the country in an interactive online environment.
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Chamberlain College of Nursing BS in Nursing MS in Nursing Chamberlain College of Nursing – Chamberlain College of Nursing offers online BS and MS in Nursing. These programs allow students to earn their degrees in less time. For example it is possible to earn a four-year BS degree in three years. No pre-requisites or prior experience is required for the BS degree. Both programs include clinical learning experiences.
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Kaplan University BS in Nursing MS in Nursing MSN: Nurse Administration Kaplan University – Kaplan University offers online nursing degrees: BS and MS in Nursing and MSN: Nurse Administration. These programs are taught by practicing professionals who are dedicated faculty members. The courses encourage critical thinking, enhanced communication skills and teach the technical competencies required by today's leading health care employers.
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Grand Canyon University BS in Nursing MSN: Nurse Education MSN: Nurse Leadership Grand Canyon University – Grand Canyon University offers degree programs in nursing including: BS, MSN: Nurse Education and Nurse Leadership. Graduates of this program have an exceptional record of success on the NCLEX-RN licensure examination. This program cannot guarantee employment after graduation, but traditionally graduates have been highly recruited by health care facilities.
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University of Cincinnati MSN: Adult Nursing MSN: Clinical Nursing MSN: Family Nursing MSN: Nurse Administration MSN: Nurse Midwifery MSN: Women's Health University of Cincinnati – University of Cincinnati offers several different online nursing degrees including: MSN in Adult Nursing, Clinical Nursing, Family Nursing, Nurse Administration, Nurse Midwifery, and Women's Health. Students in these programs integrate theoretical perspectives from nursing science and related sciences as a framework for planning holistic care to enhance the health patterns of client systems.
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Herzing University BS in Nursing MSN: Nurse Education MSN: Nurse Management Herzing University – Herzing University offers online degree programs in nursing including: BS, MSN: Nurse Education and Nurse Managements. This program is for students interested in learning and working with new healthcare technologies. Students will experience new challenges and opportunities, and understand the human body and its various systems.
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