Types of Certifications for Nursing Students

There are different nursing degrees and certifications you can get that will allow you to work in the nursing specialty you desire. For each nursing degree and certification, there are different educational and work related requirements to fulfill in order to achieve these qualifications. For example, to be a registered nurse students need to hold either an associate degree in nursing or a bachelor of science in nursing to work as an registered nurse (RN). Experience shows that most employers prefer to hire those with associate degree in nursing or a bachelor of science in nursing. Listed below are the different types of nursing degrees and nursing certifications you can pursue.

Types of Certifications for Nursing Students

The time it takes to earn a nursing degree depends on the program you choose. Here are the types of certifications for nursing students:

1. RN Certificate

RN Certificate means registered nurse certificate,  a registered nurse is a nurse who has completed an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) or a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) and has then taken a test that is required to earn RN credentials. In other words, you can earn an ADN or BSN degree to become licensed as an registered nurse (RN).

Registered nurse Cert is the highest type of certifications for nursing students and these nurses are typically found in hospitals, medical offices, and clinics, a registered nurse assists doctors and other nurses in providing critical care to patients.

As the most versatile certifications in the nursing industry, registered nurses (RNs) are in high demand. Working as an RN can be incredibly rewarding and impactful, as well as a great stepping stone if you decide you want to advance your career. A job as an RN comes with a lot of responsibility. No matter where you work or the type of nursing role you pursue, you’ll likely be working closely with patients. You’ll need to be quick on your feet, approachable, and good with people.

RN Certificate is a higher level nurse than an LVN. RNs may supervise LVNs. While LVNs provide basic patient care, RNs assess patient conditions, record patient medical symptoms and histories, administer medicine, perform and analyze diagnostic tests and create patient care plans.

2. LPN/LVN Certificate 

Another type of certifications for nursing students is the Licensed Practical Nursing (LPN) or Licensed Vocational Nursing (LVN) Degree. Licensed vocational nurses (LVN) and licensed practical nurses (LPN) are similar positions. Both LVNs and LPNs provide basic care to nursing patients and work under nurses with more advanced titles, like a registered nurse (RN). The main difference is where the entry level licensed nurse works.

Of all the nursing certifications, LPN or LVN programs are the quickest and most convenient options. Because training can be completed at a hospital, vocational technical school, community college and even online, LPN/LVN programs are ideal for students who work or have other obligations.

The requirements to earn an LPN/LVN certificate are less demanding than higher nursing positions. Because of this, working as a licensed practice or licensed vocational nurse may be a good stepping stone career move if you’re interested in becoming an RN or more advanced nursing roles later. You may gain experience, learn about the types of patients you want to specialize in working with and get closer to determining what you want out of a nursing career.

Licensed Practical Nursing (LPN) or Licensed Vocational Nursing (LVN) work in diverse health care and patient settings, including hospitals, nursing homes, patient homes and doctors’ offices. LVNs may work with specific patient populations, such as kids or older adults, or with patients who need either short-term or long-term care based on the state of their health.

3. Nursing Assistant Certificate

I earned my Nursing Assistant Certificate  before doing my degree program in Art, but today I worked as a in WellCare Home Medicals.  A Nursing Assistant, or a Nursing Aide provides healthcare and support to patients in a medical facility. Their main duties include offering basic physical assistance to patients, feeding patients according to their dietary needs and recording vital signs.

A Nursing Assistant also works in nursing homes, hospitals and other facilities to provide general care for patients who can’t get around on their own or with help from family members.

One way to begin working in the nursing field quickly and with minimal training is by starting out as a nursing assistant. Common level include: certified nursing assistant (CNA), registered nursing assistant (RNA), licensed nursing assistant (LNA), direct care worker, care assistant, home assistant or personal care assistant. The nursing assistant responsibilities may include:

  • Helping patients with hygiene, such as using the bathroom, bathing, brushing teeth and dressing
  • Assisting patients with meals by feeding them
  • Monitoring general health and vital signs and reporting to RN

Nursing assistant certificate is also a respectable certification. Nursing assistants commonly work in long term care facilities, where they assist patients with tasks such as bathing, feeding and dressing, and handle documenting and filing of patients’ paperwork.

Admission Requirement to Study Nursing

The requirements for admission to study nursing include the successful completion of a Senior Secondary School Certificate or its equivalent, as well as five credits that must include a science (Biology/Health, Chemistry or Physics) and an English-language credit.

In some cases interested would be required to apply for JAMB UTME. This exam ensures that you are eligible for the course. Once the candidates meet-up with the required cut off mark for nursing in the preferred institution, they qualify for the school’s Post-UTME which allows them admission into the institutions of their choosing.

As a prerequisite, students must also complete five credit level passes in the West African Examinations Council (WAEC ) or Senior Secondary School Examination (SSCE) exams in one or two sittings in the core subjects of Mathematics, English, Chemistry, Physics and Biology. Completion of this nursing programmes must include a one-year internship in an approved health care facility.

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