There are many different nursing degrees, specialties, and certificates. This is by no means all of them, but here is a list of the core nursing degrees.
An LPN is a person who has earned a nursing degree or certificate from an accredited LPN nursing program or technical college, passed the National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses (NCLEX-PN) administered by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN), and who has fulfilled the licensing requirements mandated by their state’s nursing commission.
LPNs work under the supervision of a RN or physician. Becoming an LPN takes less time than a RN and many LPNs return to school to become RNs.
Annual Salary Range in WA State: $53k-$63k
An RN has accomplished these three things:
You can start your nursing career by earning a nursing degree or associate degree from an approved two-year or technical college nursing program, then go on to an RN to BSN program to obtain your BSN.
RNs with BSN degrees have received more preparation to care for an increasingly complex patient population and generally have more job opportunities and earning potential.
Annual Salary Range in WA State: $71k-$101k
An ARNP is a person who has completed a master’s program in nursing or earned a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree.
ARNPs include the nurse practitioner (NP), the certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA), the Certified Nurse-Midwife (CNM), the psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner (PMHNP), and the clinical nurse specialist (CNS).
ARNPs often provide patient care and treatment in collaboration with a physician. But, in some states including Washington State, ARNPs can practice independently with full authority and without a collaborative agreement with a physician. In Washington State and 21 other states, ARNPs are qualified to diagnose and treat patients and can be a patient’s primary health care provider.
Annual Salary Range in WA State: $97k-$143k
A nurse educator is an RN with an advanced education who becomes a teacher or professor. It has been said it takes a nurse to make a nurse because only a nurse can teach nursing. Nurse educators evaluate and update educational programs, develop lesson plans, teach courses, oversee students’ clinical practice, and serve as advisers and role models to their students.
Annual Average Salary of WA State: $88k