Registered nurses (RNs), regardless of specialty or work setting, treat patients, educate patients and the public about various medical conditions, and provide advice and emotional support to patients’ family members. RNs record patients’ medical histories and symptoms, help perform diagnostic tests and analyze results, operate medical machinery, administer treatment and medications, and help with patient follow-up and rehabilitation.

Accelerated BSN programs also are available for individuals who have a bachelor’s or higher degree in another field and who are interested in moving into nursing. In 2006, 197 of these programs were available. Accelerated BSN programs last 12 to 18 months and provide the fastest route to a BSN for individuals who already hold a degree. MSN programs also are available for individuals who hold a bachelor’s or higher degree in another field.

Learn more from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook...

Advanced Practice Nursing


Master's degree programs prepare nurses for more independent roles such as Nurse Practitioner, Clinical Nurse Specialist, Nurse-Midwife, Nurse Anesthetist, or Nurse Psychotherapist. Master’s-prepared nurses serve as expert clinicians, in faculty roles, and as specialists in geriatrics, community health, administration, nursing management, and other areas.

Most Brandeis students considering nursing would complete their undergraduate studies here, and then enter either an accelerated BSN program, or a Direct Entry Master's Program.  Master's degree-level Nursing programs are known by different names in different places - look for terms like 'direct entry' or 'advanced practice' or 'clinical nurse leader.'