2 Year Nursing Degree: The Top Five Things You Need To Know
Two year or four year? RN or BSN? What’s the difference? How will it affect my work? My salary? My job chances? There are many important factors to take into account when choosing a nursing degree. In this article, I will outline the most important facts about the two year nursing degree.
In terms of day to day work, the difference between an RN and a BSN is basically nonexistent. With a two year degree, you can do basically all of the same things that you could with a four year degree. There is not much of a difference. The amount of patient contact you have daily will depend entirely on the specific job that you are assigned to. Choice of degree does not really factor in at all.
Aside from two years, what are the differences in education found in two year and four year nursing programs? There are many. Whereas a baccalaureate program will include general education in addition to nurse training, a 2 year nursing degree program will focus exclusively on nursing related skills. A two year program will also generally be taught at a community college or vocational school instead of a university.
Because a two year program will generally be taught at a community college or vocational school, there is often more flexibility than found in a university setting. Community colleges often are more open to part-time work or alternative scheduling. They’re also a good deal cheaper, in most cases.
Although at the staff nurse level there is little to no difference between Rns with associate’s degrees and BSN holders, this is not true if you wish to move toward a management position or continue on to a master’s degree in nursing. If you want to move on to management or administrative positions, the expanded, more well-rounded education provided by a four year degree is clearly superior. If you plan on becoming a Nurse Practitioner, Clinical Nurse Specialist, or something else of the like a four year degree is also essential. All of this is not to say, however, that a two year nursing degree would bar you from pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in the nursing field. There are numerous RN to BSN bridge programs. If you should decide at some point that you wish to continue your education in the field of nursing, that door is always open.
Pay with a 2 year nursing degree is generally exactly the same as with a four year degree. At some specific hospitals, there may be a difference of a dollar or so an hour.
The final word
In sum: a 2 year nursing degree is faster and often easier logistically speaking to earn than a four year degree. Advancement is faster and easier with a four year degree, but further education can always be pursued. A two year degree will allow you to get your feet wet, so to speak, faster as well. Overall, it offers an good opportunity for work in the medical field without limiting any options for future education.