Learn About Nursing Schools in Delaware
Have you ever considered a career in the nursing field? The aging population, particularly in established areas of the country like New England, has increased health care needs in many cities and rural communities. Furthermore, changing health care legislation and standards have led to an increase in staffing requirements across Delaware. If you want a career that allows you to help people while enjoying a solid job outlook and earning potential, nursing could be the field for you.
While learning about the best nursing programs in Delaware, it’s important to think about what you want to get out of your education. If you are a working nurse, perhaps you want to expand your scope of practice and achieve a higher level of certification. If you are moving into nursing from a different industry, you may want to leverage your education and complete your training more quickly.
When it comes to nursing schools, Delaware has many options. Take your time exploring degrees and deciding which ones suit you.
The Delaware Department of Labor reports that the long-term projection for nurses is good. In fact, they expect jobs for LPNs and RNs to increase significantly in the next 10 years. This may be the perfect time to complete your education and get established in the health care industry.
A recent study, commissioned by the Delaware Health Care Commission, found that Delaware’s nursing shortage has led to a decline in health care standards in the state. Because of this, nursing schools have increased their program offerings and health care employers have started to more vigorously pursue qualified applicants.
Nursing Education in Delaware
As an LPN or RN student or even if you are an experienced nurse looking to expand your education, you may be able to take advantage of professional opportunities offered across Delaware. The Delaware Nurses Association supports students at nursing schools in Delaware with continuing education credits, networking events, and professional development options.
The curricula of nursing programs in Delaware are designed to prepare you for professional practice in many different settings, including nursing homes, clinics, and hospitals. The amount of time you spend in school may depend on which program you choose. An LPN program may be the fastest option, as this type of degree can typically be completed in about one year. You should plan on spending two years in an Associate’s degree nursing program. Bachelor’s-level programs require four years of full-time study.
Prior to beginning your nursing education, you may be expected to complete a certified nursing assistant program. This requirement tests your natural talent for nursing and gives you the chance to begin earning work experience in Delaware nursing.
You should expect to complete a rigorous schedule of classes before earning your nursing license in Delaware. Courses that may be included in your curriculum include Nursing Concepts, Family Health Concepts, Maternal-Child Health Concepts, Professional Ideas in Nursing, and Health Assessment for Nurses. Many of these courses include a practical experience component in which you work alongside licensed nurses. You may need over 400 clinical hours to graduate with an LPN or RN degree.
Scholarships and grants are funded by many different organizations and associations in Delaware. You may wish to look into scholarships provided by local employers, particularly if you are working as a CNA while earning your nursing degree. For example, Bayhealth offers tuition assistance to those who are working toward a nursing degree. Christiana Care Health System funds scholarships for students who perform well academically. Another popular resource for local nursing students is the Taylor Community Foundation.
Nursing Degree Programs in Delaware
In the section that follows, you will find a list of nursing degree options available to you in Delaware. Just click on the specific program from the list below that interests you to learn more.
Transition programs for nurses:
Graduate programs for nurses:
- All Masters in Nursing Programs in DE
- All DNP and PhD in Nursing Programs in DE
- All Nurse Practitioner Programs in DE
Entry level nursing programs:
- All LPN/LVN Programs in DE
- All Associate Degree Nursing Programs in DE
- All Four-Year Bachelor of Science in Nursing Programs in DE
- All Second Degree Bachelor of Science in Nursing Programs in DE
- Direct Entry Master of Science in Nursing Programs in DE
Want a more high-level view of your nursing options in Delaware? We’ve got you covered below!
Delaware LPN Programs
- Admissions requirements: High school diploma, health screen, and clear background check
- Credit hour range: 30 or more credits
- Online degree options: Unavailable; clinical experience is a significant part of your training at this level
- Licensing exams: NCLEX-PN
Students interested in entry-level nursing positions often choose to become licensed practical nurses. This role is one step down from a registered nurse, so it may involve assisting RNs and physicians. Depending on which Delaware school you decide to attend, you may finish your education in as little as one year.
BSN Programs in Delaware
- Admissions requirements: High school diploma, multiple health screens, and clear background check
- Credit hour range: 120 or more credits
- Online degree options: Unavailable, although some programs do have blended study options
- Licensing exams: NCLEX-RN
Registered nursing is one of the biggest areas of growth in the healthcare industry, which is one of the reasons that there are so many RN schools in Delaware. You may get into registered nursing with an Associate’s degree or Bachelor’s degree, but you may find it advantageous to earn a Bachelor’s degree right away. Baccalaureate nurses are associated with better patient outcomes, so this level of education may allow you to take on more leadership roles and responsibilities.
Delaware MSN Schools
- Admissions requirements: A Bachelor of Science in Nursing and a current nursing license from the Delaware Board of Nursing
- Credit hour range: 30 to 65 credits
- Online degree options: Available in some specialties, such as nursing informatics and nursing administration
- Licensing exams: Set by each certification agency; for example, the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners Certification Board licenses nurse practitioners
Once you reach the level of graduate study, your educational options really open up. At this point in your career, you should already have a substantial amount of clinical experience. You can choose to expand your clinical skills by becoming a nurse midwife, nurse anesthetist, or nurse practitioner. You may also shift your focus to administrative work and become a nurse leader, nurse educator, or informatics specialist.
DNP and PhD Nursing Programs in Delaware
- Admissions requirements: A Bachelor of Science in Nursing and a current Delaware nursing license
- Credit hour range: 80 or more credits
- Online degree options: Offered in some specialties, although some in-person work is typically required
- Licensing exams: Determined by each area of specialized study
The highest level of study in nursing is a doctoral degree. You may enter a doctoral program after earning a Bachelor’s degree in nursing or you may choose to earn your Master’s degree before moving on to a doctoral program. If you opt to enroll in a PhD program, you may spend much of your time conducting research and analyzing study results. If you go into a DNP program, you may focus more on clinical work.
Nursing Colleges in Delaware with Nursing Bridge Programs
At many nursing colleges in Delaware, bridge programs are a popular option. Bridge programs are simply another way for students who have already completed some postsecondary study to continue their education. To find the best bridge program for you, you have to think about how much education you have already completed and which level of certification you would like to reach.
If you currently work as a licensed practical nurse or registered nurse, you’ve likely consider the opportunities that may come with earning a Bachelor’s degree in nursing. Bridge LPN and RN programs may significantly shorten the amount of time you spend in school, making it easier for you to continue your career while working toward a degree. If you’re looking for the best Delaware nursing programs online, RN to BSN programs are definitely an option. Since these programs often require several years of nursing experience, you may be able to skip clinical requirements and do all of your coursework online.
Other programs are tailored to fit the needs of students who have Bachelor’s degrees in other areas of study. Rather than starting at the beginning and spending four years earning a Bachelor’s degree in nursing, you may be able to complete a BSN in as little as 12 months. These programs are extremely fast-paced, so they often require a full-time commitment and little to no outside work.
Tips for Choosing the Top Nursing Schools in Delaware
No matter which degree you decide is right for you, picking the best school for your needs is a very important part of the educational process. Everyone has slightly different career goals and learning needs, so you need to think about what’s right for you and act accordingly. However, one factor is nonnegotiable.
Accreditation is extremely important in the world of nursing, since students who graduate from unaccredited schools may have difficulty earning their nursing licenses. In some cases, an unaccredited degree may even keep you from getting licensed at all. There are several accreditation agencies in the United States, but the largest two are the ACEN and the CCNE.
Many other aspects of choosing a school are personal in nature. You may want to meet with professors at each school to find out how they teach, how they encourage students to become better nurses, and what clinical experiences are offered. You can also look at each school’s average class size, NCLEX pass rates, and post-graduation job placement rates. Much of this information is available online or in school brochures, which makes it easy to compare options and eliminate schools that do not fit your needs.
Although you may be able to learn a lot about schools online, you cannot ignore the importance of visiting each school you’re considering. By going to schools in person, you can get a feel for their learning environment, learning goals, and student support.
2017 Career Outlook for Nursing Professions
You are likely interested in the field of nursing because you want to make a difference in healthcare, help the people in your community, and leave your mark on the world. However, don’t forget the other benefits that come with a career in this field.
Many nursing professions have competitive salary ranges in Delaware, allowing nursing professionals to scale up their income potential as they become more experienced and educated. In addition, the demand for nursing professionals is extremely high in Delaware. This has also led to increased scholarship opportunities as more state agencies and employers funnel money into nursing scholarships (Delaware Online, 2017).
Once you’ve finished your training at a licensed practical nursing degree program in Delaware, you may apply for licensure through the Delaware Board of Nursing. Demand for licensed practical nurses is expected to increase 10% by the year 2024 (O*Net, 2017). On average, Delaware LPNs earn $50,330 per year (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2017).
Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree programs in Delaware may open up many career paths for you. Statewide demand for registered nurses is expected to increase 17% between 2014 and 2024 (O*Net, 2017). The average annual income for a registered nurse is $70,820 (BLS, 2017).
If you are interested in clinical practice, you may choose to attend a Master of Science in Nursing nurse practitioner program. Job openings for nurse practitioners may see a 29% jump by 2024 (O*Net, 2017). Currently, Delaware nurse practitioners earn an average of $103,100 per year (BLS, 2017).
Within each of these career paths, there are many areas of specialized study. The school you attend may significantly influence where you work, which connections you make as a nursing student, and how you grow as a professional.
Furthermore, you may spend more than four years at the school you choose. It’s important to make sure that you feel at home.