Nurses are very important, as they work to perform many needful tasks; promoting health, preventing diseases and assisting persons in dealing with their ailments from day to day. Their job can involve anything from providing basic health care to helping surgeons to conduct critical and complex procedures. For persons desirous of becoming nurses there are many levels of practice that are available in this field, with each having their respective educational requirement.Licensed Practical NursingBecoming a licensed practical nurse (LPN) is one of the fastest ways to enter the field of nursing. These nurses are involved in measuring and monitoring patients; collecting test samples from the laboratory; and assisting in the treatments and care of patients. In addition they work under the supervision of a registered nurse. Nurses in the LPN program are allowed to begin working after the completion of a one year study, and this program is mostly available at vocational schools and community college. After successfully completing the LPN program, graduates may choose to sit the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN). In most cases, LPNs do not specialize but work in general health care.Registered NursesRegistered nurses have the job of caring for patients, assisting and providing support for the families of the patients and also give doctors some assistance in performing medical procedures. They, like doctors have the option and in most cases choose to specialize in areas such as pediatrics, hospice, ambulatory care, critical care or surgery. There are different routes to becoming a registered nurse; you can either obtain a diploma, associate degree or a bachelor degree from a nursing program. Whichever the route taken, all graduates are required to sit the National Council Licensure Examination.In order to become a registered nurse, the diploma or associate degree will take about 2-3years. The associate degree program is offered by nursing schools and community colleges while the diploma program is basically offered in the hospitals. Recently the diploma program has loss popularity due to the increased interest in the degree program. The associate degree program is mainly for individuals that do not have a desire to pursue research, teaching or administrative positions.The bachelor’s degree program provides nurses with more clinical experience and more options for possible career goals in the field of nursing. The program takes 4 years for completion and is structured to also equip students for clinical, research, teaching and managerial positions. After completing the bachelor’s degree program, registered nurses must acquire their license by being successful in the National Council Licensure Examinations.Advance NursingNurses can also further their studies by partaking in graduate studies in nursing. These were designed to give students a wider theoretical knowledge in the field, preparing them to facilitate and deal with complex health care situations. With a master’s degree, nurses can play the role of nurse educator, nurse midwife, nurse anesthetist, nurse administrator, nurse practitioner and clinical nurse specialist. Doctoral programs are also available for nurses who desire to work in areas of research, education and practice as administrators, educators, policy makers, clinicians and researchers.In the profession of nursing your knowledge, education, experience and skills gives you many career options and continued growth and advancement.