Useful Degrees Series: School of Nursing at University of Maryland
What makes nursing such an attractive and interesting field to so many people? There are many diverse reasons for why nursing has become a field that is attracting growing numbers of new students. One of the major reasons that students are turning to nursing is due to the growing numbers of Baby Boomers. Millions of Baby Boomers means millions of new patients for the healthcare industry and this, of course, translates to an ever-growing need for more and more nurses. Another reason that nursing is getting a second look from many students is job availability and security. After the economic downturn, the projected job growth for the healthcare industry in general (and nursing specifically) helped to make this field a compelling option for many.
The bottom line is that a serious shortage of nurses is expected in the coming years. Historically, many shortages in various professions failed to materialize for a variety of complex reasons, but the nursing shortage is already a reality. The problem of finding enough qualified nurses is one that is likely to plague hospital administrators for years, if not decades, to come. With this kind of job security, it is no real shock that nursing is “hot.”
The University of Maryland School of Nursing has range of programs specifically for those interested in entering the field. It is noteworthy that they offer a traditional undergraduate program, but they also have a program for those who already hold an undergraduate degree. Students will generally need to complete 25 prerequisite credits in order to enter the program. Also there is a RN-BSN option, which is for nurses who are interested in furthering their education.
What may surprise many people is that a wide array of nursing-degree options exist including Master’s Degree programs as well as Doctoral programs. Everything from dual-degree programs to specialty degrees is possible. The DNP option, or Doctor or Nursing Practice, is just such a specialty degree and usually builds on existing experience.
Additionally, it is possible to receive a nursing Associate Degree, which usually takes two years to complete. The benefit of this degree is that it allows one to enter the workplace much faster. Students will gain a good deal of experience before entering a traditional nursing program. Some people opt for this path so they can decide whether or not nursing is right for them.
There are many reasons to consider nursing and be excited about the field. Job stability, job growth and ample room for advancement, especially with additional education, are all possible.
Those interested in nursing may also wish to consider a Physician Assistant Program, such as that offered by Indiana State University. This Master of Science degree instructs students in everything that they need to know to assist doctors with a wide range of their day to day activities. This degree generally has a higher rate of pay than many nursing positions. Expect to complete many prerequisites such as organic and inorganic chemistry, biochemistry, human anatomy and even statistics.