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A Nursing Degree Online Is A Great Idea

The nursing profession has changed considerably since the days of white shoes, stethoscopes and a good bedside manner. Where once there was only one kind of nurse, the profession has become an alphabet soup of abbreviations such as LPNís, RNís and many others. Deciding what kind of nurse youíll be even effects your decision when attending an online university or going for financial aid.

Even something as simple as the Wikipedia lists 80 different types of nursing specialties. All of them define the profession as focused on assisting individuals, families, and communities in attaining, maintaining, and recovering optimal health and functioning. Modern definitions of nursing define it as a science and an art that focuses on promoting quality of life as defined by persons and families, throughout their life experiences from birth to care at the end of life.

Critical to all this is certification. While Registered Nurses (RNís) donít need a specific kind of certification, you will need some certification to work in any magnet hospital or decent research facility. Certification means a nurse is an expert in a certain field, ranging from surgical to home health care. Itís another important decision one must consider when entering the field.

The broadest category is the Registered Nurse (RN). They are loosely defined as advocates for the care of the sick and maintenance of their health. From there, an RNís responsibilities/powers are defined by each U.S. stateís Nurseís Practicing Act (NPA). It takes a minimum of three years to get an RN diploma. The national average for salary is about $60,000.

Another main category is the Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN). They are often found working under the supervision of physicians in clinics and hospitals, or in private home health care. Education and training is vocational-based, hospital-based, or college-based, and can vary from 9 month to 3 years in time for certain specialties and require an associate degree in practical nursing. The average salary here is about $34,000.

Below the LPN is the Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA). The Nursing Assistant still holds a high level of ability, but is unable to often perform some tasks due to issues of liability and legality. They provide the bulk of the grunt work in a hospital setting, depending again on the NPA. The CNAís salary is the widest ranging, usually starting at just short of $20,000 and into the 30ís.

From there the nursing field diversifies into a number of different specialties, and can range anywhere from social work and cruise nurses to setting up their own offices as nurse practitioners. Salaries and certification can go into the $100,000 range. Naturally, there is some sort of certification that comes with the specialty, but thatís a decision one can make after getting licensed by a state.

About Author Natasha Bright :

Another important factor is a nurse can jump from one category to another, depending on their personal desires. Many health institutes encourage their nurses to attend <a href="" target="_blank">online degree programs</a>, rewarding them by paying their tuitions or salary increases upon graduation from a <a href="" target="_blank">nursing college</a>. No matter what, nursing has become a broad field for anyone willing to put in the effort.

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Article Added on Friday, March 12, 2010
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