Nursing Certification Programs

Nursing courses can be taken at a variety of institutions such as vocational/technical schools as part of a high school or post-high school curriculum or at universities and colleges. Advanced nursing courses can be taken at graduate schools.

Lower level nursing courses cover biologically and pharmacologically related subjects such as anatomy and physiology. As students progress in their nursing education, they are required to do hospital rotations in each departmental area such as psychiatrics, maternity, and cardiac where they get hands on experience related to the information they’ve been studying in school.

Registered nursing, Bachelor’s level nursing and graduate nursing programs cover similar subjects with the addition of medical management classes. Two-year nursing programs focus on and prepare nurses primarily for direct patient care while advanced nursing programs cover patient care but have a heavier emphasis on administration and floor management. As a result, registered nurses, bachelor’s degree and advanced degree holders generally perform fewer direct patient care duties than practical or vocational nurses, and receive higher levels of pay. In some settings, nurses with higher levels of education do the same amount of direct patient care as practical or vocational nurses. It is important to take the desire to perform direct patient care and salary concerns into consideration when making a decision regarding which type of nursing certification to pursue.