According to those at healthcare jobs board Health Jobs Nationwide (https://www.healthjobsnationwide.com/jobs), medical jobs will increase in their thousands every year as this is an ever-growing industry. In fact, with more than 22 million people employed in healthcare in 2020, it is, according to the Census Bureau, the country’s largest employer.
If you are considering a job in a field such as nursing, you might be wondering how long it takes to qualify. You might also be pondering whether you can do this part-time and, if so, will there still be jobs once you are ready to work as a nurse. The good news is that nurses will always be in demand, and with an ageing population, it is likely that more and more nurses are going to be needed as each year passes.
How Long Does It Take to Become a Nurse?
There are different levels of nursing degree and each one takes a different length of time to achieve. Below are examples of different degrees and how long it takes to achieve when studying full-time. In general, studying part-time will double the time required to obtain the degree:
Practical Nursing Diploma
A licensed practical nurse (LPN) diploma can take between one and two years to achieve. How long the course is will depend on the school and the number of semesters. To achieve this diploma, the individual will need to complete both classwork and practical onsite training. An LPN diploma is classed as the fastest route into nursing and ensures that those who hold it have the minimum skills required for the role. Nevertheless, it should also be noted that this qualification is suitable for entry level nursing positions, so further education is required for more skilled roles.
Associate Degree in Nursing
An associate degree in nursing is a two-year program and is the first step on the road to becoming a registered nurse. The associate degree is the absolute minimum requirement for registered nurses but for access to more nursing positions, candidates will usually go on to secure a bachelor’s degree, which takes four years to achieve.
Further Study and Training
Most nurses working in the U.S. are registered nurses, but there are opportunities to continue studying and obtain a graduate degree. Nurses with a graduate degree can secure higher paying jobs with much more responsibility.
There are many reasons why you might want to study nursing part-time. It may be that you need to work to afford the cost of your studies, or perhaps you are a mature student who has decided to go back to education but have a family to support as well.
Whatever the reason, it may be possible to study to become a nurse on a part-time basis. It is worth remembering however that part-time study does increase the length of time it takes to achieve a qualification. If a person can obtain a bachelor’s degree in nursing after four years of full-time study, it is likely that it will take around eight years when studying part-time.
It is Never Too Late to Study Nursing
Whatever your age, nursing is a great career move, especially for those with qualities that include empathy, patience, and compassion. There is no upper age limit for enrolling in nursing schools here in the United States.
Many people choose to go into nursing later in life, and their own skills and life experience helps greatly when it comes to carrying out their duties. So, if you need to study part-time to achieve your nursing position, then go for it. It is never too late.