Types of Degrees Nursing Majors Are Getting
The following table lists how many nursing graduations there were in 2018-2019 for each degree level.
|Education Level||Number of Grads|
What Nursing Majors Need to Know
People with careers related to nursing were asked what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important for their jobs. They weighted these areas on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the highest.
Knowledge Areas for Nursing Majors
According to O*NET survey takers, a major in nursing should prepare you for careers in which you will need to be knowledgeable in the following areas:
- 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.
- English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
- 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.
- 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.
- Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
Skills for Nursing Majors
When studying nursing, you’ll learn many skills that will help you be successful in a wide range of jobs - even those that do not require a degree in the field. The following is a list of some of the most common skills needed for careers associated with this major:
- 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.
- Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
- Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
- Social Perceptiveness - Being aware of others’ reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
- Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Abilities for Nursing Majors
Nursing majors often go into careers where the following abilities are vital:
- Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
- 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.
- Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
- Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
What Can You Do With a Nursing Major?
People with a nursing degree often go into the following careers:
|Job Title||Job Growth Rate||Median Salary|
|Acute Care Nurses||14.8%||$71,730|
|Advanced Practice Psychiatric Nurses||14.8%||$71,730|
|Clinical Nurse Specialists||14.8%||$71,730|
|Critical Care Nurses||14.8%||$71,730|
|Medical and Health Services Managers||20.5%||$99,730|
|Nursing Instructors and Professors||24.0%||$73,490|
Who Is Getting a Master’s Degree in Nursing?
At the countrywide level, the racial-ethnic distribution of nursing majors is as follows:
|Race/Ethnicity||Number of Grads|
|Black or African American||6,438|
|Hispanic or Latino||4,844|
Students from other countries are interested in Nursing, too. About 0.7% of those with this major are international students. The most popular countries for students from outside the country are:
- South Korea
- Saudi Arabia
How Much Do Nursing Majors Make?
Master’s Degree Starting Salary
The median early-career salary of nursing students with a master’s degree is $93,100 a year according to 2017-2018 data from the U.S. Department of Education. During this timeframe, most salaries fell between $88,400 (25th percentile) and $100,350 (75th percentile).
Note that some of these people may have jobs that are not directly related to a nursing degree.
Salaries According to BLS
Average salaries range from $81,350 to $113,730 (25th to 75th percentile) for careers related to nursing. This range includes all degree levels, so you may expect those with a more advanced degree to make more while those with less advanced degrees will typically make less.
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.
Amount of Education Required for Careers Related to Nursing
Some careers associated with 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 nursing have obtained the following education levels.
|Education Level||Percentage of Workers|
|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)||0.7%|
|Some College Courses||1.7%|
|Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree)||17.9%|
|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.||1.7%|
|Post-Master’s Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Master’s degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees at the doctoral level.||5.3%|
|First Professional Degree - awarded for completion of a program that: requires at least 2 years of college work before entrance into the program, includes a total of at least 6 academic years of work to complete, and provides all remaining academic requirements to begin practice in a profession.||2.0%|
Online Nursing Programs
In 2018-2019, 2,152 schools offered a nursing program of some type. 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)||82||10|
|Certificate (1-2 years)||72||1|
|Certificate (2-4 Years)||39||0|
|Doctor’s Degree (Research)||280||92|
|Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice)||421||158|
|Doctor’s Degree (Other)||33||19|
Is a Degree in Nursing Worth It?
The median salary for a nursing grad is $106,910 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.
This is 168% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $1,340,200 after 20 years!
Majors Related to Nursing
You may also be interested in one of the following majors related to nursing.
- College Factual
- College Scorecard
- National Center for Education Statistics
- O*NET Online
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
- Usual Weekly Earnings of Wage and Salary Workers First Quarter 2020
- Image Credit: By Aleksahgabrielle under License
More about our data sources and methodologies.