Nursing Degree Check-up: Evaluate Your Nursing Career Options

Decide which nursing degree is right to help you meet your career goals.

Compare Nursing Degrees and Careers

When you’re ready to start a nursing career, you’ll find that there are a variety of nursing jobs and a few different ways to get started in the field. The nursing degree you choose will determine whether you qualify for an entry-level job such as a certified nursing assistant (CNA) position or a job at the top of the food chain as a clinical nurse specialist (CNS)—or anything in between.

Career Facts
Careers fields that apply
Are there training options that take 1 year or less? CNA  |  LPN/LVN
Are there training options that take 2 years or less? CNA  |  LPN/LVN | RN
Do you need a Master’s degree? NP  |  CNS
Will you need professional certification? CNA  |  LPN/LVN | RN | NP | CNS


Job Duties
Careers fields that apply
Gathering patient health histories CNA  |  LPN/LVN  |  RN  |  NP  |  CNS
Measuring and recording vital signs CNA  |  LPN/LVN  |  RN  |  NP  |  CNS
Preparing and giving injections LPN/LVN  |  RN  |  NP  |  CNS
Monitoring patient responses to medication LPN/LVN  |  RN  |  NP  |  CNS
Monitoring medical equipment CNA  |  LPN/LVN  |  RN  |  NP  |  CNS
Performing tests and procedures RN  |  NP  |  CNS
Supervising other nurses and assigning hospital tasks based on patient care plans RN  |  NP  |  CNS
Responsible for the management of patient treatment plans NP  |  CNS
Diagnosing patient conditions NP  |  CNS
Ordering tests and procedures and writing prescriptions NP  |  CNS
Collaborating on new research within a given health care environment CNS


Skills/Traits Needed
Careers fields that apply
Attention to detail CNA  |  LPN/LVN  |  RN  |  NP  |  CNS
Patience CNA  |  LPN/LVN  |  RN  |  NP  |  CNS
Compassion CNA  |  LPN/LVN  |  RN  |  NP  |  CNS
Confidence CNA  |  LPN/LVN  |  RN  |  NP  |  CNS
Able to manage stress CNA  |  LPN/LVN  |  RN  |  NP  |  CNS
Stamina CNA  |  LPN/LVN  |  RN  |  NP  |  CNS
Able to work with a team CNA  |  LPN/LVN  |  RN  |  NP  |  CNS
Leadership skills NP  |  CNS


Ready for a Nursing Career?

No matter where you’re starting on the path, there is a nursing degree that is right for you. You can start getting experience in a CNA position in just a few weeks, or you can continue your education until you reach a doctorate degree. Once you’ve decided which nursing degree will best help you reach the next level in your nursing career, the first step is to find a school that will help you reach your full potential.

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