Nursing Schools in Washington

There are a number of nursing programs and nursing schools in Washington. Students may choose from several types of nursing programs to enroll: licensed practical nurse programs, associate's degree, bachelor's degree, master's degree, and doctorate level degrees. Washington has large number of accredited nursing schools, which allows students to have a sufficient choice in nursing programs.

Nursing Programs in Washington

Licensed Practical Nursing
The licensed practical nursing (LPN) program is the quickest route to a nursing career. LPN programs are usually one year in duration, and they focuse on clinical courses and hands-on experience. Once you complete the one year LPN program, you need to obtain licensure by taking the NCLEX-PN exam. Passing the NCLEX-PN exam is a necessary requirement to work as a licensed practical nurse.

Associate's Degree Programs
An Associate's Degree in Nursing (ADN) is a two year degree that you could normally obtain from a community college or a vocational school. An ADN is the minimum requirement in order to become a registered nurse (RN).  Students with an ADN must pass the NCLEX-RN exam to get licensed as a registered nurse.

Bachelor of Science in Nursing
A Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) is required in a number of nursing careers. Like many other bachelor's degrees, it is a four year program offered by different colleges and universities. This program provides nurses with hands-on clinical training and classroom instruction. Clinical training allows students to have direct experience with patients in clinical settings. It is advisable that you choose to attend an accredited nursing program for your BSN degree.

Master of Science in Nursing
For a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree, you need to have earned a BSN or a similar degree. You also have the option of enrolling into a combined bachelor's and master's program. In order to become an advanced practice nurse (APN), you need a master's degree.  APNs are given more clinical authority and autonomy, and they normally have higher salaries than regular registered nurses. Some master's programs also give nurses an option to specialize in different fields.

Doctorate Degree Programs
The highest degree in nursing is a doctorate degree. In order to get into a doctorate degree program, you need to first have a bachelor's and a master's degree. There are two types of doctorate degrees in nursing: Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) and Doctor of Nursing Science (DNS). A DNP degree has its focus on clinical aspects of nursing, while the DNS degree is for nurses who wish to become professors or enter the field of research.

Career Outlook for Nurses
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there is a positive career outlook for registered nurses. Job opportunities for registered nurses are expected to rise by 26 percent between the years 2010 to 2020, which is faster than the average for all occupations. According to the BLS, the median yearly wage of registered nurses was around $65,000 in May 2010.


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