There are plenty of opportunities in nursing, no matter what a student’s educational background may be. A good place to start often is a practical nurse or associate degree program. Practical nurse students typically receive advance standing for some required courses in the associate’s program, which covers such areas as microbiology, pharmacology, and nursing fundamentals. An associate’s degree requires about two to three years. The program is a great first step and a way to get the necessary education to work in the field as an RN (registered nurse) at many clinics and hospitals. If you wish to advance your career options, a bachelor’s degree helps immensely. A good option for associate degree-holders may be an RN to BSN (Bachelor of Science in Nursing) program, typically offered online or as a blended on-campus and online program. A BSN will add two more years of study, but provides more flexibility when it comes to career options and can lead to leadership roles or let you earn a graduate degree and become a nurse practitioner. Candidates who already have a B.A. or a B.S. degree may be able to transfer some credits, which can reduce the amount of time and study needed to earn their B.S. in nursing. Generally, the higher the degree, the more career opportunities you have and the higher the salary you will earn. If nursing is a career you want to research, visit www.fortis.edu for more information. An expert in nursing education, Dr. Robert Anders is a fellow of the Academy of Nursing Education and elected to the American Academy of Nursing.