Those who are interested in going to school to become a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) will only need to attend the program for a few months. Nursing assistant programs are available in community colleges, vocational schools, and adult schools. Some of the classes that nursing assistant programs require their students to study are basic medical terminology, physiology, basic anatomy, preventive measures, how to monitor vital signs, ensure patient safety, CPR, emergency methods, and basic first aid. In addition, students are taught how to bathe, feed, and groom patients. CNA programs require students to fulfill a minimum of 75 hours of classroom education and clinical training in order for them to complete the course. Students must also pass an exam in order to receive their certification as a CNA.
Licensed Practical Nursing (LPN) training programs last for about one year. LPN training programs are being offered in vocational schools, technical schools, and community colleges. Most LPN training programs require their students to attend classroom lectures and clinical trainings. Classroom lectures include topics related to anatomy, physiology, medical-surgical nursing, pharmacology, nutrition, first aid, pediatrics, and obstetrics nursing. They are also required to take CPR. In addition, it is advisable that LPN students complete a certification course in intravenous therapy or IV therapy. Most employers prefer or sometimes require having their LPNs have this certification. Students who graduate from LPN training programs are required to pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses (NCLEX-PN) to obtain their license as an LPN.
In order to become a registered nurse (RN), students have the option to get a degree from two-year colleges or four year universities. In some cases, schools or hospitals offer a one year diploma to licensed practical nurses who want to transition to registered nursing. Diploma programs usually take one year to complete. There is also an accelerated master’s degree in nursing (MSN) that takes 3 to 4 years. Individuals who choose to take the accelerated master’s degree in nursing will receive both of their Bachelor’s Degree and Master’s Degree. Two-year colleges offer an Associate’s Degree in nursing (ADN) while four year colleges offer a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing (BSN). Both ADN and BSN programs require their students to take courses in anatomy, chemistry, microbiology, physiology, nutrition, psychology, and nursing. In addition, they must also take non-nursing courses such as liberal arts. Nursing education programs also require supervised clinical training in hospitals and other healthcare facilities. Some individuals who want to switch their careers to nursing may also take the accelerated BSN programs that typically take 12 to 18 months to complete. In addition, MSN programs, which usually take 2 years to complete, are available for students who already graduated with a BSN. Students who graduate with a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing have a more in-depth training in critical thinking and communication. They also receive more clinical training outside the hospital. This enables BSN graduates to hold teaching, administrative and consulting positions. Nursing graduates must pass the National Council Licensure Examination, or NCLEX-RN to gain their license and practice professionally within the country.