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Degree Overview: Bachelor of Nursing Degree

Majors Overview August 21, 2014

Receive information about a Bachelor of Nursing degree program and its education requirements, coursework, job and wage outlook, and licensure and continuing education choices.

Bachelor of Nursing Degree Programs

Students enrolled in a Bachelor of Nursing degree program are taught about assessing health conditions, communicating with patients and health professionals, assisting physicians and performing numerous medical procedures. Sciences and liberal arts provide the basis for the coursework. Those who complete the program can aspire to become registered nurses.

Education Requirements

Some schools accept first-year college students with a high school diploma into a Bachelor of Nursing program. Core or lower-level coursework is required to be completed by incoming students to some other programs. Candidates are also expected to submit proof of a minimum grade point average and completion of specific courses with at least a C.

Coursework

The majority of classes in Bachelor of Nursing programs covers the sciences and math. The program augments classroom lectures with clinical training in healthcare facilities on the watch of a licensed nurse. Core coursework may include topic areas such as:

•Microbiology
•Nutrition
•Psychology
•Pharmacology
•Chemistry
•Statistics
•Anatomy
•Sociology
•Nursing research

Job and Wage Outlook

Over the 2010 – 2020 decade, job growth rates of 26% (or the addition of 711,900 jobs) have been predicted for registered nurses (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). The optimistic projection is attributed to the continual development of advances in the healthcare industry and is expected mainly in physician’s offices, home healthcare services and traditional hospitals, among other types of facilities. While the states with the highest employment are expected to be Pennsylvania, Florida, New York, Texas, and California, the states likely to offer the highest wages are Oregon, Alaska, Massachusetts, Hawaii and California. In May 2012, these professionals brought home an average annual wage of $65,470 (BLS).

Licensure and Continuing Education Choices

Graduates from the bachelor’s degree program can seek continued education by earning master’s and doctoral degrees in nursing, aimed at pursuing advanced positions such as those of nurse practitioners, nurse-midwives, nurse anesthetists, and clinical nurse specialists. Those aiming for the highest professional degree level for nursing should earn a Doctorate of Nursing Practice (D.N.P.). Licensure is compulsory in all states for nurse practitioners. While eligibility conditions may vary by state, standard requirements include graduation from an approved nursing program and passage of the National Council Licensure Examination. Several different credentialing agencies offer voluntary certification options.

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