Though doctors often get the glory for healing the sick, it is often the nurses who work with them who provide most of the day-to-day care. Nurses work long hours doing thankless work and, many would agree, for less pay than they deserve. These things are what make many people who work in the nursing field consider going back to school for a graduate degree.
Graduate degrees in nursing are very popular and obtaining a degree can boost your opportunities to get a better, higher-paying job. There are, however, no guarantees. Before you pursue a graduate degree in nursing, you should take a close look at the details and determine whether it is really worth it.
In this article, we’ll explore the details for some of the most popular graduate degrees in the nursing field and whether they are worth the cost. We’ll also talk about details like how long it takes to obtain a nursing degree and how you can use community college to help get you there.
What Are the Most Popular Degrees in Nursing?
The nursing field applies to many of those who have a desire to help people and to work in a challenging field without having to deal with the monetary or time commitment of medical school. Before you enter the field of nursing, however, you should know what the different degree options are and what you can do with each of them.
Here is a quick list of the most common types of nursing degrees:
- Licensed Practical
There are many benefits associated with attending community college versus going to a traditional college or university. For one thing, tuition tends to be much more affordable at a community college and there is often greater flexibility in terms of taking classes online, at night, or in different locations. When it comes to certain career paths like medicine, however, having a degree or college credits from a community college can sometimes be a problem. Keep reading to learn more about getting into medical school with a community college degree.
What are the Prerequisites for Medical School?
Many students who know that they plan to pursue a career in medicine choose a pre-med degree or concentration with their undergraduate schooling. You can certainly get into med school with other degrees, but you do need to have certain prerequisites if you want your application to be considered. Each school may be slightly different but the general prerequisite requirements and recommendations for medical school are as follows:
- One year each of biology, general chemistry, organic chemistry, and physics
- Related lab work for each of the courses listed above
- Knowledge of healthcare issues and volunteering and awareness of healthcare activities
- Well-rounded experience with electives and extracurricular activities
In addition to these requirements and recommendations, you should think about what kind of degree you will pursue in undergrad if you don’t go pre-med. Science majors are the most common in medical school but many medical schools express an interest in well-rounded students by taking applicants from other degrees such as music,
What the Numbers Show
The current report by Community College Week shows that over the past decade, the number of associate degrees offered by community colleges in the health care field grew by an astonishing 111 percent. Certificates offered by community colleges in the health care industry grew by 240 percent during the same time frame. By the end of the 2009-2010 school year, community colleges across the country awarded more than 177,000 health care degrees alone.
- Working with elderly or physically or mentally disabled patients to help them live independently
- Helping patients recently discharged from hospitals as they recover from illness, injury or surgery
- Providing psychological support and instruction to patients they visit
- Performing light housekeeping duties like changing linens and cooking meals
- Checking a patient's vital signs and keeping a record of the results for doctors
- Assisting patients with basic functions like bathing, grooming or dressing