There are two basic types of professional educational programs in
nursing, the ENTRY LEVEL PATHWAY and the ADVANCED
LEVEL PATHWAYS, designed for high school graduates
and transfer students, are Traditional
RN to BS and
RN to MS programs
provide additional education to RN's who have completed the initial
nursing preparation at a diploma or associate degree program.
to BS programs provide a bridge for the LPN to advance
up the career ladder. ACCELERATED BACCALAUREATE PROGRAMS and direct
entry level MASTERS PROGRAMS provide an entry to nursing for the
college graduate who wants to transition to a career in nursing.
ADVANCED LEVEL PATHWAYS offer Master's Degrees, Post
Master's Certificates, Joint Degree Programs and Doctoral Degrees.
All advanced nursing programs enable graduates to practice nursing
in a variety of roles including practitioner, clinical nurse specialist,
researcher or educator.
Doctoral programs emphasize preparation for research to prepare
students to pursue intellectual inquiry and conduct independent
research for the purpose of extending nursing knowledge. The PhD,
or Doctor of Philosophy degree is the most commonly offered research-focused
degree. However, some schools award a Doctor of Nursing Science
(DNS or DNSc) as the research-focused doctoral degree. Individuals
educated in research-focused doctoral programs are prepared to pursue
careers in research and teaching and are also are prepared to pursue
careers in the fields of nursing and health care administration
and policy. The purposes of the research-focused doctoral degree
are to prepare for a lifetime of intellectual inquiry, creative
scholarship, and research; to provide preparation that leads to
careers in government, business, and industry as well as academia.