6 Most FAQs About Pursuing a Career in Nursing, Answered

Choosing a career is an overwhelming endeavor for many people. Whether you’re just starting out, contemplating your educational route and where you might be in five years or you’re currently on a career path that just isn’t very fulfilling and you need a change, determining the right career isn’t always easy.  If you’re thinking about pursuing a nursing career you are bound to have questions. Here we answer the five most frequently asked questions to help you make your decision.

1. What Are the Different Nursing Degrees?

The field of nursing offers many different opportunities, most of them dependent on your degree. Here are the different nursing degrees:

  • Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN)
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)
  • Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) which includes such specialties as Nurse Practitioner (NP), Certified Nurse Midwife, Certified Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA), Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) and Nurse Educator.
  • Doctorate Degree which includes Doctor of Nursing (DN), Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) and Doctor of Nursing Philosophy (Ph. D).

2. How Long Does it Take to Become a Nurse?

The more advanced your degree the longer it will take to achieve. Of course it also depends on your educational background.

  • ADN takes two years to complete.
  • BSN requires 4 or more years. However if you already have an ADN you may finish your BSN in two years.
  • An MSN requires two years in addition to your BSN.
  • A Doctorate degree takes approximately six years total to complete.

3. How Much Do Nurses Make?

Of course your salary depends on the location of your job and your degree of education. For example a nurse in a rural area may make slightly less than a nurse in a city. Here are some averages based on degrees.

ADN: as an ADN you can expect an entry level salary of approximately $51,000 annually working full time. Your hourly comes out to about 25.00. An RN with an ADN can expect to earn roughly 70,000 annually or 34.00 an hour approximately. 

BSN: The average beginning salary for someone with a BSN is about $56,000 or roughly 26.00 an hour. A salaried position for a BSN with some experience is around $77,000.

MSN: If you hold an MSN you can expect to earn quite a bit more, especially if you have experience. The salary breakdown is this: 

  • Entry level MSN averages $70,000
  • MSN with 1-4 years experience averages $90,000
  • MSN with 5-9 years, $105,000
  • MSN with up to 19 years experience in the field can expect $127,000.
  • MSN with over 20 years experience will earn in excess of $130,000.

With the recent nursing shortage there are additional bonuses in some fields of practice and specialties for all degree levels.

4. What Hours do You Work in A Nursing Career?

The majority of nurses in the United States work in hospitals as bedside nurses. These nurses work 12 hour shifts, either 7am-7pm or 7pm-7am. Some hospitals offer 8- or 10-hour shifts as well.

Clinics, outpatient centers, doctors offices, chemotherapy centers and school nurses typically work 8am-5pm.

5. Is Nursing a Fulfilling Career?

For those who truly care about people and making them feel better nursing is a very rewarding career. Being a nurse isn’t always about the glamor of the job or the paycheck. For most dedicated nurses the real fulfillment comes from helping people heal, feel better or simply being beside them at their darkest hour. 

6. What Next?

If you think a nursing career is for you, contact BOS today.


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