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Nursing & Nursing Assistants Major

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Nursing & Nursing Assistants

1,652 Associate's Degrees Annually
433 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
#20 in Popularity (Associate's)
$29,580 Median Salary

Types of Degrees Nursing & Nursing Assistants Majors Are Getting

The following table lists how many practical nursing and nursing assistants graduations there were in 2018-2019 for each degree level.

Education Level Number of Grads
Basic Certificate 46,750
Undergraduate Certificate 44,340
Associate’s Degree 1,666

What Nursing & Nursing Assistants Majors Need to Know

In an O*NET survey, practical nursing majors were asked to rate what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important in their occupations. These answers were weighted on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the most important.

Knowledge Areas for Practical Nursing Majors

According to O*NET survey takers, a major in practical nursing should prepare you for careers in which you will need to be knowledgeable in the following areas:

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  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Medicine and Dentistry - Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.
  • Psychology - Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Therapy and Counseling - Knowledge of principles, methods, and procedures for diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of physical and mental dysfunctions, and for career counseling and guidance.

Skills for Practical Nursing Majors

practical nursing majors are found most commonly in careers in which the following skills are important:

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  • Service Orientation - Actively looking for ways to help people.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Social Perceptiveness - Being aware of others’ reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Abilities for Practical Nursing Majors

A major in practical nursing will prepare for your careers in which the following abilities are important:

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  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Speech Recognition - The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.

What Can You Do With a Nursing & Nursing Assistants Major?

People with a practical nursing degree often go into the following careers:

Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses 12.3% $46,240
Nursing Assistants 11.5% $28,540

Who Is Getting an Associate’s Degree in Nursing & Nursing Assistants?

1,666 Associate's Degrees Annually
86% Percent Women
65% Percent Racial-Ethnic Minorities
This is one of the most frequently chosen trade school majors. It is the 20th most popular in the country with 1,652 students graduating with an associate’s in practical nursing in 2019. This major is dominated by women with about 86% of recent graduates being female.

Racial-Ethnic Diversity

At the countrywide level, the racial-ethnic distribution of practical nursing majors is as follows:

Racial-Ethnic Diversity of Practical Nursing Students with Associate's Degrees
Race/Ethnicity Number of Grads
Asian 148
Black or African American 102
Hispanic or Latino 743
White 419
International Students 5
Other Races/Ethnicities 249

Geographic Diversity

Students from other countries are interested in Practical Nursing, too. About 0.3% of those with this major are international students. The most popular countries for students from outside the country are:

  • South Korea
  • Canada
  • China
  • Kenya
  • Jamaica

How Much Do Nursing & Nursing Assistants Majors Make?

Salaries According to BLS

Practical Nursing majors often go into careers where salaries can range from $29,580 to $47,050 (25th to 75th percentile). This range includes all degree levels, so the salary for a person with just a bachelor’s degree may be a little less and the one for a person with an advanced degree may be a little more.

To put that into context, according to BLS data from the first quarter of 2020, the typical high school graduate makes between $30,000 and $57,900 a year (25th through 75th percentile). The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $45,600 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,600 and $125,400.

Median Salary for a Nursing & Nursing Assistants Major  ( 29580 to 47050 )
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250K
Median Salary for a High School Graduate  ( 30000 to 57900 )
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250K
Median Salary for a Bachelor's Degree Holder  ( 45600 to 99000 )
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250K
Median Salary for an Advanced Degree Holder  ( 55600 to 125400 )
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250K

Some careers associated with practical nursing require an advanced degree while some may not even require a bachelor’s. Whatever the case may be, pursuing more education usually means that more career options will be available to you.

How much schooling do you really need to compete in today’s job market? People currently working in careers related to practical nursing have obtained the following education levels.

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Education Level Percentage of Workers
Less than a High School Diploma 2.7%
High School Diploma - or the equivalent (for example, GED) 21.6%
Post-Secondary Certificate - awarded for training completed after high school (for example, in agriculture or natural resources, computer services, personal or culinary services, engineering technologies, healthcare, construction trades, mechanic and repair technologies, or precision production) 36.6%
Some College Courses 25.1%
Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree) 13.0%
Bachelor’s Degree 0.8%
Post-Baccalaureate Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Baccalaureate degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees carrying the title of Master. 0.2%

Online Nursing & Nursing Assistants Programs

In the 2018-2019 academic year, 1,329 schools offered some type of practical nursing and nursing assistants program. The following table lists the number of programs by degree level, along with how many schools offered online courses in the field.

Degree Level Colleges Offering Programs Colleges Offering Online Classes
Certificate (Less Than 1 Year) 687 15
Certificate (1-2 years) 1,127 18
Certificate (2-4 Years) 49 0
Associate’s Degree 117 2
Bachelor’s Degree 2 1
Post-Baccalaureate 687 15
Master’s Degree 5 0
Post-Master’s 2 0
Doctor’s Degree (Research) 0 0
Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice) 1 1
Doctor’s Degree (Other) 0 0

Is a Degree in Nursing & Nursing Assistants Worth It?

The median salary for a practical nursing grad is $29,580 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.

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You may also be interested in one of the following majors related to practical nursing.

Major Number of Grads
Allied Health & Medical Assisting Services 99,641
Allied Health Professions 86,697
Health & Medical Administrative Services 82,868
Mental & Social Health Services 27,743
Dental Support Services 26,183
Health Sciences & Services 25,948
Clinical/Medical Laboratory Science 19,354
Somatic Bodywork & Therapeutic Services 11,961
Health Aids/Attendants/Orderlies 3,251
Ophthalmic & Optometric Support Services 1,044
Energy & Biologically Based Therapies 73

References

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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