Evening nursing programs allow individuals who have jobs and other daytime commitments to complete nursing training that does not interfere with their regular schedules, according to Education-Portal.com. Employment of registered nurses is projected to climb by 22 percent through 2018, according to the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics. Median annual wages of these professionals in May 2008 were $62,450, reports the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Multiple degree options exist for students who want to complete nursing training in the evening.
Associate Degree Program
Students can complete a two-year associate degree in nursing through an evening nursing program in which they learn about measuring vital signs, caring for patients and medical diagnoses. They take courses on topics including pediatric care, nursing ethics, pharmacology, community health education and human anatomy/physiology.
Program applicants usually do not have to have previous health care experience but generally must have a high school diploma or GED. However, at schools such as Columbia College in Missouri, aspiring evening students must have at least a year of documented clinical experience in a health care setting. Students also must successfully complete an academic skills test and a criminal background check in addition to having current cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) certification. Submission of a professional resume, essay and recommendation letters also is a required part of the admissions process at Harcum College in Pennsylvania.
Bachelor's Degree Program
Evening RN-to-BSN programs exist for registered nurses who want to earn a four-year bachelor’s degree in nursing. In these degree programs, students take classes on health assessment, nursing management, pathophysiology and professional nursing development and typically complete hands-on simulations. To get into this type of program, students must be strong in communication, the physical sciences and math.
Graduate Degree Program
RN-to-MSN programs in the evening also allow registered nurses who have their bachelor’s degree in nursing to complete a master’s degree in nursing while staying employed. Applicants to a two-year master’s degree program typically must submit their college transcripts, proof of full-time registered nursing work and recommendation letters. They also might have to submit scores from the Graduate Record Exam, or GRE. Classes in an evening nursing master's degree program cover topics such as nursing statistics, health care politics, health care policy, research methodology in nursing and nursing leadership.
Through an evening nursing program, students can choose to complete supervised clinical experiences in various settings according to their schedules. For example, they can work in ambulatory clinics, home health agencies, nursing care facilities or hospital departments such as maternity or psychiatry. Following these experiences, students can land positions such as pediatric nurse, critical care nurse, surgical nurse, school nurse or emergency room nurse.
Registered nurses who earn their master’s degree can advance to positions such as nurse educator, nurse practitioner or clinical nurse specialist. Training in an evening nursing program also prepares students to pass the mandatory National Council Licensure Examination, or the NCLEX-RN, given by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing.
2016 Salary Information for Registered Nurses
Registered nurses earned a median annual salary of $68,450 in 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. On the low end, registered nurses earned a 25th percentile salary of $56,190, meaning 75 percent earned more than this amount. The 75th percentile salary is $83,770, meaning 25 percent earn more. In 2016, 2,955,200 people were employed in the U.S. as registered nurses.
- Education-Portal: Evening Nursing Programs
- U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics: Registered Nurses
- Columbia College Evening Campus: Associate in Science in Nursing Degree
- Harcum College: Nursing
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Outlook Handbook: Registered Nurses
- Career Trend: Registered Nurses
- blood pressure image by Ivonne Wierink from Fotolia.com