January 18, 2023

Climbing the Nursing Career Ladder

By B&SC Blog Team

Climbing the Nursing Career Ladder

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a six percent growth rate for licensed practical nurses (LPNs) and registered nurses (RNs) by 2031.* Educational requirements, which dictate the responsibilities nurses can perform at each level, differ for LPNs and RNs.

System Office Curriculum Manager for Nursing Danelle Burrows, DNP, gives some insight into the many nursing careers available to pursue and the path to achieve them.

My Background

I began my career at a local hospital in the critical care unit as a baccalaureate (BSN) prepared nurse. I had the privilege of precepting new employees and students and knew that nursing education was the future path of my career. I joined Bryant & Stratton College as a faculty member and knew that I wanted to hold leadership roles. Therefore, I furthered my education by earning a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) and ultimately a Doctorate in Nursing Practice (DNP). In my current position, I am leading our students to fulfill their dreams of becoming nurses.

Nursing Career Paths

The nursing career path is different for different nurses. The most common trajectory for a nursing career is either an LPN or an RN. In either role, a nurse can decide to specialize in a certain area of medicine or pursue a more generalized medical career.

You can become an LPN by graduating from an accredited, licensed vocational or community college LPN program and passing the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) for certification to practice in the United States. LPNs can perform basic patient care duties including but not limited to administering certain medications, taking blood pressure measurements, inserting catheters, and recording other vital signs. LPNs are often the first point of contact for family members of patients and thus have the responsibility of explaining procedures and care programs. Bryant & Stratton College offers a Practical Nursing Diploma in Ohio, Virginia, and Wisconsin.

If you choose to become an RN, you can do so by first becoming an LPN or you can receive your education all at once without having been an LPN. To become an RN, a student must graduate from a nursing school and pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX- RN). RNs oversee LPNs and other healthcare aides. RNs provide round-the-clock care to patients in hospitals, physician’s offices, outpatient care centers, and residential care facilities. They assess patients, administer medication, and communicate with a healthcare team. RNs can specialize in oncology, acute and critical care, gerontology, neonatal, or pediatrics. Bryant & Stratton College offers a two-year ADN Degree in Nursing (with one specific to New York) and three main Bachelor of Science degree programs in nursing: a BS Degree in Nursing (NY), a BS Nursing RN to BSN and a BS Nursing Generalist (programs offered vary by area).

Some RNs may decide to take their careers a step further and continue their education to earn a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN), a Nurse Practitioner (NP), or a DNP, like I did, and Bryant & Stratton College prepares them for that next step. Learn more about all the nursing and other healthcare programs we have to offer by visiting https://www.bryantstratton.edu/.

*Cited projections may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions and do not guarantee actual job growth.

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