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A vocational, career, or community college is a learning institution that provides specialized education for specific career paths. This streamlined education is presented in a far more “hands-on” approach than traditional college education. Classes tend to have fewer students, and this personalized education offers a rapid path to nursing employment. The standard timeframe to complete a licensed practical nursing (LPN) certificate program is 12-18 months, and most registered nursing (RN) associate's degree programs require two years.

To ensure a satisfying career in nursing, not to mention the highest salary potential, it’s essential to have a rock-solid education. A four-year college or university provides the opportunity to complete your undergraduate education in nursing, typically awarding a bachelor of science degree (BSN) at the conclusion. You'll then be in position to undertake a master’s degree (MSN) program if you wish.

The state of Colorado offers some excellent accredited nursing schools that provide students with high-quality training. A career in nursing offers many possible paths; you might start out as a nursing assistant, or perhaps choose to become a licensed practical nurse and then a registered nurse. Following this, it’s possible to specialize in a particular area, such as nurse anesthetist, nurse midwife, or nurse practitioner.

A master of science in nursing degree enables current RNs to expand their employment options into specialized tracks within the nursing field. This encompasses a large variety of careers including nurse midwife, family practice nursing, and nurse anesthetist. Some RNs who possess an MSN degree also choose to work in related fields like nursing education or nursing administration and management.

What are the benefits of earning an MSN?

For our 2020 rankings of ADN programs, the research team at Nursing Schools Almanac compiled an extensive database of student performance on the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN). Aspiring registered nurses in the United States must pass this examination before they may commence practice. Thus, student performance on the NCLEX-RN exam provides an excellent benchmark for comparing the relative quality of associate’s degree programs.

For our 2020 rankings of LPN programs, the research team at Nursing Schools Almanac compiled an extensive database of student performance on the National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses (NCLEX-PN). Aspiring practical nurses in the United States must pass this examination before they may commence practice. Thus, student performance on the NCLEX-PN exam provides an excellent benchmark for comparing the relative quality of practical nursing programs.