An associate degree can be earned in two to three years at a junior or community college. A diploma degree can be earned through a hospital-based school of nursing. However, diploma programs are not being used as much in most areas of the United States.
If one has a degree in another field, they may be eligible for an accelerated program through which a degree of a bachelor science in nursing (BSN) or master of science in nursing (MSN) in one to two years. If one wants to pursue work in advanced practice nursing, they will need a master's or doctoral degree.
In the future, a doctor of nursing practice (DNP) degree will be required to work as an advanced practice nurse. To get in this practice-focused doctoral program, one would need a bachelor's degree. Some nurses who have a master's degree choose to go for a PhD., a research-focused doctorate.
When one becomes a registered nurse they will want to work in a hospital with a NICU. Some NICUs require previous experience in infant care like work in pediatrics or in a well-newborn nursery. However, most NICUs will hire new graduate nurses with a strong interest in neonatal intensive care and have orientation programs that teach nurses how to care for sick infants. Many of educational programs provide introductory information about neonatal care. If you plan to go on to become an NNP, you should practice in a level 3 NICU as a staff nurse before applying to graduate school. These units provide the most highly skilled care to the sickest of infants.
A college or university education is needed to prepare as an RN takes two or four years, depending on whether students attend a bachelor's or associate degree...