ADN = Associate Degree in Nursing | BSN = Bachelor of Science in Nursing Degree
MSN = Masters of Scince in Nursing Degree | DNP = Doctor of Nursing Practice
To be eligible for a state license, nurses must complete a degree from an accredited school of nursing and pass the standardized National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX)-RN.
- ADN: The Associate Degree in Nursing is offered by community colleges and hospital-based schools of nursing. Diplomas in Nursing are in decline and only available through hospital-based schools. To receive an ADN, a student nurse must complete clinical hours at the bedside, providing direct patient care.
- BSN: The Bachelor of Science in Nursing, offered at colleges and universities, prepares graduates to practice in all health care settings, and includes study of research, leadership, health care economics, informatics, and health policy. To receive a BSN, a student nurse must complete clinical hours at the bedside, providing direct patient care.
- MSN: Master’s degree programs offer a number of tracks designed to prepare nurses for roles in administration, nursing education, business, government and advanced clinical practice. Must have a BSN to receive a MSN.
- PhD/DNP: PhDs typically teach and/or conduct research, while doctors of nursing practice focus on clinical practice or leadership roles.