educational preparation

Topics: Academic degree, Bachelor's degree, Nursing Pages: 3 (1010 words) Published: October 30, 2014
The United States’ recognizes three traditional routes to becoming a registered nurse. These three routes consist of a diploma program, an associate degree program, and a baccalaureate degree program in which graduates of all three programs have to take the National Council Licensing Examination for RNs (NCLEX-RN©) which measures competency for entry-level nursing practice (Raines & Taglaireni, 2008). From these entry-level positions, there are even more options to further nursing education, such as RN-BSN degree-completion program, master degree programs, and BSN-doctoral programs (Raines & Taglaireni, 2008). In the United States, approximately 60% of registered nurses are prepared at the associate degree level, and of these, only about 21% continue their education, even to the baccalaureate level (Stokowski, 2011). This multiple pathway to nursing can sometimes pose as a challenge to aspiring nurses who are not sure which pathway to choose. In making a decision for the educational preparation of nursing, one has to know the pros and cons of each entry route so as to facilitate better decision making. The nursing diploma is a 3-year diploma program typically administered in hospitals. This route was once the most popular in the United States but it is believed that it will be phased out in the next 10 years. Among still licensed RNs, 20% received a hospital diploma for their initial "nurses training," but this number is said to be in a steady decline. Only 3.1% of registered nurses who graduated after 2004 were educated in a diploma program. The Associate Degree Nurse is a Registered Nurse (RN) who practices within the guidelines of the Nurse Practice Act. The ADN is normally offered in community colleges where it takes 3 years to complete the program. A common misconception exists that the AD is a 2-year degree; whereas, in nursing, the ADN usually takes at least 3 years to complete because of course prerequisites. As of 2008, the Associate's Degree in...
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