Earning an Associate Degree in Nursing can prepare students for entry into a new career. Nursing programs can present a challenge, but accelerated students can be ready for entry level positions in about two years.
Start a New Career, Fast
Registered nurses have two basic educational backgrounds: associate degree programs and bachelor degree programs. Both nursing programs prepare students for entry level nursing positions, but it takes twice as long to complete a bachelor program. At the end of either degree, students must take and pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses or NCLEX-RN. An Associate Degree in Nursing simply offers a faster path to the NCLEX.
Nursing Shortages Offer Employment Opportunities
Registered nurses require federal certification through the NCLEX exams, to ensure that they are highly-skilled employees. Hospitals, nursing homes, clinics and other healthcare providers depend on skilled nursing staff to implement patient care activities. Rural areas often need additional nursing staff, and there are always contract opportunities for home healthcare. All the various settings and areas that need nursing staff make an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) a way to a potentially stable career path. As more and more members of the baby-boomer generation retire, America's healthcare needs, particularly for the elderly, grow rapidly.
Enrolling for an Associate Degree in Nursing
Earning a degree takes a combination of knowledge, clinical skills and nursing ethics. This program teaches the skills and academic knowledge needed to prepare students for taking the NCLEX-RN. After passing the exam, students earn the title of Registered Nurse. Those who pass with a bachelors and those that pass with an associates all earn the same title of RN. Some schools offer a combination of on-site clinical experience and online classes, while others only offer on-site academic options. Find a program that fits your needs, and you can be celebrating your new associate degree in nursing within two years.