Career Advancement

  • The federal Bureau of Labor and Statistics offers general information on how to become a Registered Nurse and career advancement.
  • Registered Nurses who have graduated from a two-year program such as the program at Whatcom,  and would like to continue their education by earning a Bachelor's of Science degree in Nursing (BSN) may consider an RN-to-BSN program.
    • Whatcom maintains an articulation agreement with the University of Washington - Bothel. UWB offers an RN-to-BSN program in Mount Vernon, WA.
    • Western Washington University in Bellingham is expected to begin offering an RN-to-BSN program, starting in the fall of 2013.

  • There are three ways to be eligible to sit for RN boards: 1) complete a three year diploma program; 2) complete a 2 year degree program; 3) complete a four year degree program.  Also, one can start as an LPN (Licensed Practical Nurse) and then complete either option 2 or 3.

    Once one has obtained licensure, one progresses through degrees in a somewhat traditional manner.  However, there are now many dual degree programs, eg, RN (two year) to MSN (Masters of Science Nursing), or BSN to DNS (Doctor of Nursing Practice).  The master’s level preparation for ARNP (Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner) is being replaced with the DNS.  And, of course, there is still the traditional Doctor of Philosphy (PhD).