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Nursing & Nursing Assistants

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Nursing & Nursing Assistants Major

Practical nursing and nursing assistants is a major that typically falls into the Health Professions category.

There are 115 programs available throughout the country that offer an associate’s degree in practical nursing, 10 that offer a bachelor’s degree, and 7 that offer a master’s degree. There are also at least 1 schools in the nation where you can get your doctorate degree in the field.

Who Is Getting a Practical Nursing Degree?

Practical nursing and nursing assistants is one of the least chosen majors in the country, ranked #230 in popularity. About 300 students graduated with a bachelor’s degree in the field in 2017. This major is dominated by women with about 78.5% of recent graduates being female.

Racial Distribution

At the countrywide level, the racial distribution of practical nursing majors is as follows:

  • Asian: 1.4%
  • Black or African American: 0%
  • Hispanic or Latino: 98%
  • White: 0%
  • Non-Resident Alien: 0%
  • Other Races: 0.6%
Nursing & Nursing Assistants Majors Ethnic Diversity Statistics

Americans aren’t the only ones with an interest in practical nursing. About 0% of those graduating in 2017 were international students. The most popular countries sending practical nursing majors to the U.S. are South Korea, Canada and China.

What Will You Learn as a Nursing & Nursing Assistants Major?

An O*NET survey asked people with careers related to practical nursing to rate how important certain subject areas were to their job. The following are some of the results of that survey. Importance was rated on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being most important.

Knowledge Areas for Practical Nursing Majors

Practical nursing majors often go into careers in which the following knowledge areas are important:

Important Knowledge Areas for Nursing & Nursing Assistants Majors

Skills for Practical Nursing Majors

Practical nursing majors are found most commonly in careers in which the following skills are important:

Important Skills for Nursing & Nursing Assistants Majors

Abilities for Practical Nursing Majors

As a practical nursing major, you will find yourself needing the following abilities:

Important Abilities for practical nursing Majors

What Can You Do With a Practical Nursing Major?

Below is a list of occupations associated with practical nursing:

Careers Related to Nursing & Nursing Assistants
Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary

Nursing Assistants



Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses



Nursing & Nursing Assistants Major Salary

Practical nursing majors often go into careers where salaries can range from $30,000 to $47,000. This range includes all degree levels, so the salary for a person with just a bachelor’s degree may be a little less and the one for a person with an advanced degree may be a little more.

To put that into context, the typical high school graduate makes between $29,000 and $57,000 a year. The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $44,000 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,000 and $120,000.

Average Salary for a Practical Nursing Major  ( 30000 to 47000 )
Average Salary for High School Graduate  ( 29000 to 57000 )
Average Salary with Bachelor's Degree  ( 44000 to 99000 )
Average Salary with Advanced Degree  ( 55000 to 120000 )

Your salary will be largely dependent on the career path you follow and what area of the country (or world) you work. Getting a graduate degree may open up more options with higher salary potential.

Amount of Education Required for Nursing & Nursing Assistants Major Jobs

Some careers associated with practical 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.

Find out what the typical degree level is for practical nursing careers below.

Education Levels for Careers Associated With Nursing & Nursing Assistants
Level of Education Percentage of Workers

Less Than a High School Diploma


High School Diploma or Equivalent


Post-Secondary Certificate


Some College Courses


Associate's Degree or Equivalent


Bachelor's Degree


Post-Baccalaureate Certificate


Master's Degree


Post-Master's Certificate


First Professional Degree


Doctoral Degree


Post-Doctoral Training


Online Nursing & Nursing Assistants Programs

There are 10 colleges that offer a bachelor’s degree in practical nursing and nursing assistants, with 0 of them offering at least some courses online.

Online learners must listen or watch video lectures, participate in group chats or forums, submit papers and assignments electronically, take tests, and meet deadlines.

Many learners are drawn to online programs due to the ease of use and flexibility. Students should be warned that those who enroll in online programs can take longer to graduate than average and are more likely to drop out.

Is a Nursing & Nursing Assistants Major Worth It?

The median salary for a practical nursing grad is $30,000 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.

This is -24% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $-186,400 after 20 years!

practical nursing and nursing assistants salary compared to typical high school and college graduates over a 20 year period


Bureau of Labor Statistics
National Center for Education Statistics
O*NET Online
Image Credit: Vlastimil via License

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