Career Pathways in Nursing: Entry Points and Academic Progression

Source: C. Fay Raines, M. Elaine Taglaireni, Online Journal of Issues in Nursing, Vol. 13, September 2008

The national spotlight on the Registered Nurse shortage has helped to generate strong interest in nursing careers among those new to the workforce and those seeking a career change. With salaries climbing, opportunities expanding, and the demand for nursing services on the rise, now is an exciting time to join the nursing profession. This article discusses the traditional entry points into Registered Nursing, specifically Baccalaureate Degree Programs, Associate Degree Programs, and Diploma Programs, as well as emerging routes, which include entry-level master’s programs, community college-based baccalaureate programs, and degree completion programs for Licensed Practical Nurses and other allied health providers. With multiple opportunities for progression to advanced degrees in nursing, the authors also touch on graduate education options including online programs, baccalaureate to doctoral programs, along with Clinical Nurse Leader and Doctor of Nursing Practice programs.

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