An Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is a two-year academic degree that allows students to become registered nurses quickly.
It’s the fastest academic route to earning licensure as a registered nurse.
The ADN degree is excellent for those unsure of what specialization they want to pursue.
It allows students to obtain their nursing license to enter the healthcare field and develop experience without spending additional money and four years in a BSN program.
How Long is the ADN Program?
To obtain an associate’s degree in nursing, students must possess a diploma or GED.
Before entertaining a nursing program, students must also pass a college admissions test and complete the necessary nursing school prerequisites.
The ADN program takes approximately two years to complete.
However, part-time nursing students take longer to complete the required courses.
Students must choose an accredited nursing program from a qualified school to ensure they receive adequate education and training.
During nursing school, students learn anatomy and physiology, microbiology, lifespan development, the foundations of nursing, nursing skill development, and health assessment.
They’ll also study other essential topics required for nursing and passing finals and the NCLEX exam.
Finally, students must pass the national licensing exam for registered nurses (NCLREX-RN).
Upon completing the RN program and passing the NCLREX-RN licensing exam, they may apply for registered nursing jobs.
It’s important to note that qualifying nurses must pass a background check and pay state licensing fees to obtain their license.
Other Degrees for Registered Nurses
Registered nurses who want to further their careers and specialize in a particular field can pursue further education.
There are numerous degrees beyond the Associate Degree in Nursing.
It includes the Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree (BSN), Masters of Science in Nursing degree (MSN), and Doctor of Nursing Practice Degree (DNP).
Each degree builds upon a nurse’s education, allowing them to pursue more career opportunities and specializations.
For instance, nurses with a BSN can play more advanced roles in emergency care, ICU departments, critical care units, NICU, and other hospital-based care departments.
They can pursue non-bedside careers as legal nurse consultants, research nurses, forensics nurses, and entrepreneurs.
Beyond that, nurses who pursue an MSN or DNP degree can become advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs).
APRNs work as certified nurse practitioners, midwives, clinical nurse specialists, and registered nurse anesthetists.
These medical professionals have opportunities to open clinics, diagnose conditions and prescribe medications.
They can also act as primary care providers and provide the most comprehensive care/broadest scope of practice in their domain.
Nevertheless, a nurse’s scope of practice varies by state, and their roles, responsibilities, and liberties differ depending on where they work.
Benefits of Obtaining an ADN Degree
Students often pursue a two-year Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) to gain their license and work immediately.
It’s an excellent degree for students who are unsure whether to pursue a nursing career.
You don’t have to invest additional money or spend four years in college to determine whether nursing is proper for you!
Another benefit for aspiring healthcare professionals is that it allows nurses to gain experience quickly.
Nurses with an ADN degree can learn the ins and outs of their profession.
That way, they better understand where they want to specialize before returning to nursing school.
Finally, an ADN degree benefits those who want to earn an income while pursuing further education.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, registered nurses earned over $75,000 on average in 2021.
As a result, the Associate Degree in Nursing is perfect for gaining early experience in entry-level positions to earn a living.
ADN Degree Limitations
Obtaining an ADN degree has numerous benefits, as previously mentioned.
For instance, it limits a nurse’s opportunities to earn promotions, specialize in particular fields, and increase their salaries.
It’s vital for nurses who want to move into different specializations to earn their BSN degree or postgraduate degree.
Further education provides opportunities for positions beyond entry-level jobs like bedside care or general nursing.
Those who pursue further education can quickly move into more specialized healthcare roles.
In addition, many healthcare facilities prefer nurses with a BSN degree.
It shows they’re highly qualified, educated, and dedicated to their profession.
A nurse with a BSN will have more choices to specialize in their career with all things being equal.
They’ll also receive better job opportunities, get hired faster, and make money due to their education, training, and differential pay.
Online Nursing Programs
Some colleges/universities offer online programs for students pursuing their nursing degrees.
These programs offer online and in-school courses to provide a well-rounded education and help students enter healthcare.
As a result, it’s perfect for those working or living far from the school where regular commuting is impossible.
Students who pursue their ADN degree online must still commute to required in-person courses like labs and clinicals.
However, they have more freedom to study from home when traveling isn’t required.
In addition, existing registered nurses with an ADN who are working regular jobs can pursue online education to obtain their BSN.
The online program provides more flexibility while allowing working nurses to make a living.
Interesting Nursing Degree Facts
The ADN degree offers students an excellent education and a basic understanding of nursing.
Many nurses possess an associate’s degree in nursing, with only slightly more than half of nurses having a BSN degree or higher.
As a result, nurses with an ADN make up a large portion of working licensed nurses in the United States.
It provides numerous opportunities for nurses who pursue a BSN or advanced degree to obtain steady and high-paying jobs.
In addition, only a small percentage of nurses earn their MSN or DNP degree to work as practitioners or within other APRN roles.
However, that number is steadily rising due to the need for highly skilled primary care providers in underserved areas.
Nurses with higher education and postgraduate degrees make figure incomes regularly and have lots of flexibility in career choices.
They aren’t limited to bedside care or direct care patient roles.
They work in research, education, science, law, forensics, technology, mental health, and many other specializations.
Accordingly, registered nurses serious about their careers should strive to earn their BSN or postgraduate degree.
There are unique specializations for individuals of all backgrounds.
For example, nurses who don’t enjoy bedside care can move into education, research, or entrepreneurship with additional education and training.
Here are some intriguing facts about nurses and their degree’s impact on their careers.