What Type of Education Does A Nurse Need?

Many adults are going back to school to become a nurse, primarily because the demand for nurses continues to grow. According to the Health Careers Network, there are more than 2.7 million nurses practicing in the health care field today. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects the job growth for registered nurses (RNs) will increase 26 percent by 2020. Similarly, the job opportunities for licensed practical nurses (LPNs) and vocational nurses (LVNs) is predicted to increase 22 percent. By 2025, the number of nurse practitioner (NP) is expected to increase by 57 percent. Overall, the projected job growth for nurses is faster than average among all U.S. occupations. From nursing assistants to those with master’s degrees, there is a lot of opportunity for growth. Different educational paths can lead to different kinds of nursing careers. Highlighted here are paths to becoming a certified nursing assistant, a licensed practical nurse, and a registered nurse.

Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs)

A certified nursing assistant job can be a good springboard to a career as a registered nurse, and the duties involve checking blood pressure, body temperature, and pulse rate, as well basic patient care such as bathing and feeding patients. CNAs can be employed by hospitals, nursing homes or other care facilities. While working in hospital, they assist the registered nurses with their routine work and also with cleaning and monitoring the medical equipment. Students can earn their certification in as little as a few weeks to a few months. Classes are mainly taught by registered nurses (RNs) who cover basic responsibilities and help with real-life situations that require a certified nursing assistant.

Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs)

The main duties of LPNs are to assess, plan, implement, and evaluate care for clients under their supervision. They provide care to patients and have direct contact with patients on a daily basis.

An LPN must have a high school diploma and complete a two-year practical nursing program. A lot of colleges offer this course, and some high schools are starting to as well. After completion of the training, the LPN candidates must have some practical work experience before they take the NCLEX-PN, which is the national exam for obtaining certification. They also have to take the state exam.

Registered Nurses (RNs)

Registered nurses perform physical exams and health histories. They provide health promotion, counseling and education and administer medications. Rn’s interpret patient information and make critical decisions about needed actions and they coordinate care, in collaboration with a wide array of healthcare professionals. Finally they direct and supervise care delivered by other healthcare personnel like LPNs and nurse aides. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics the average salary of an RN was $69,110 in 2011.


With the growth and continued stability of the health care sector, nursing is a great career to consider. Becoming a nurse can give provide stable future with flexible schedules and excellent wages.

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commented 2014-12-10 23:00:37 -0500 · Flag
For more information about CNA classes, please visit http://www.findcnaclasses.com
commented 2014-07-24 00:06:05 -0400 · Flag
There’s also bridge programs available for CNAs and LPNs. Your previous credits you earned gets counted towards your ongoing education. Learned that here: http://cna-classes-online.net
commented 2014-02-14 22:49:41 -0500 · Flag
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