Reach your career goals with the right nursing certification or degree program. Explore different steps you can take to further your education.
Certified Nursing Assistant and Licensed Practical/Vocational Nurse Certificates or Diplomas
Certified nursing assistant (CNA) certificate programs train CNAs in 4-12 weeks. Licensed practical nurses (LPNs) and licensed vocational nurses (LVNs) can earn a certificate or diploma in about one year and sit for the National Council Licensure Examination for LPNs/LVNs, commonly called the NCLEX-PN.
Associate Degrees in Nursing (ADN)
ADN programs last for approximately two years. Graduates are prepared to work as entry-level nurses or take the NCLEX for registered nurses (RNs), called the NCLEX-RN, and apply for RN licensure.
Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) Degrees
Pathways to a BSN include traditional four-year programs, 18-24 month ADN-to-BSN bridge programs, RN-to-BSN bridge programs, or accelerated BSN tracks with variable timelines. Options depend on applicants' educational and professional backgrounds.
Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) Degrees
Two- to three-year MSN programs confer graduate nursing degrees, preparing RNs to become licensed advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs). Career paths include nurse practitioner, nurse midwife, nurse anesthetist, and nurse educator.
Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Degrees
Three- to four-year DNP programs train the highest level nursing professionals. Graduates enter nursing administration and management or clinical supervision careers. Most schools require MSNs, but some offer RN-to-DNP bridge programs.
Nursing Specialty Programs
The nursing field offers ample opportunities to specialize at the bachelor's and graduate levels. MSN and DNP programs train nurse practitioners, including family nurse practitioners. Some programs include health informatics and nursing education options.
Accelerated and Bridge Programs
Accelerated tracks and bridge programs require a bachelor's degree or higher and offer streamlined educational paths into nursing careers. These faster paced programs consider past professional experience and accept transferable credits.
View Nursing Degrees by State
To learn about earning nursing degrees, certificates, and diplomas in different states, click on the map below. Many schools offer a spectrum of opportunities, including in-person, online, and hybrid options.
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