Nursing Programs In America
Areas of Study
Nursing is a broader field than you might think, encompassing various undergraduate degree, diploma and certificate programs relating to health protection, diagnosis, treatment and therapy. The range of university degrees reflects--and opens--potential career options.
At the university and 4-year college level, baccalaureate nursing programs provide high school graduates with a solid foundation in health care, including hospice care, preventive care and health maintenance. Because nursing deals with people, and how to understand and relate to people, the curriculum generally also covers general learning - humanities, social sciences, basic sciences, business, psychology, sociology, ethics and nutrition. Many universities will offer courses designed specifically for students with prior education and experience in the field.
There are a range of possible specializations in nursing, and several degree options, including the Bachelor of Science (BS), Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) and Bachelor of Science in Environmental Health (BSEH). Within these are further possibilities for finding something that speaks to your interests and aptitudes. For instance, you can focus on acute care, chronic care, practical nursing, gerontology, nutrition, hospice and home care, preventive care, psychiatric nursing, addictions/ detox, adult and pediatric care, women's health, midwifery, oncology, family planning, community health and health maintenance.
To find the right university or 4-year college program, your first stop should be Colleges or Schools of Nursing, but have a look also at Public Health and Health Sciences for other options. Graduates in nursing fields are prepared to go on to graduate studies or into the job market.
Universities aren't your only options for nursing, though. Two-year colleges also offer Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degrees, diplomas and certificates in areas like practical nursing and dietetics, and private career colleges offer associate degree programs as well as bridge programs for licensed practical nurses (LPN) to become registered nurses (RN). Articulation agreements between institutions allow students to transfer credits from an Associate Degree in Nursing to a bachelor's program. Upon completion of the associate's degree, individuals are academically and clinically prepared to take the National Council Licensing Examination for Registered Nursing (NCLEX-RN).
Whichever program you choose, you will be sure to get an interdisciplinary and hands-on education. Nursing programs generally focus on the practical application of theoretical sciences learning to lab and field-work situations. An education in nursing will have you ready to handle the many different needs of different kinds of patients.
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