The associates degree in nursing (ADN) is focused more on the technical skills rather than the theory. It is stepping stone toward the bachelor of nursing degree (BSN). The ADN degree allows the nursing student to become a registered nurse and earn money quicker than the 4-year BSN program. Hence, it works well for many students.
Nursing Education and Training
The ADN is the entry-level nursing degree for technical nursing practice, and with the current nursing shortage it is an ideal way to contribute to the health care profession. The degree is ideal for someone who is either a recent high school graduate, or someone wishing to change career paths.
Students can choose to earn a nursing diploma or an associate’s degree in nursing. Both routes qualify graduates for entry-level nursing position but each offers advantages over the other hence it is important to decide the best route for yourself. Earning your nursing diploma or associates degree is an ideal way to start your career in nursing.
Hospital-based nursing diploma programs take two to three years to complete. Students are prepared for nursing work in direct patient care in hospitals and other facilities. With a diploma in nursing, students qualify to take the NCLEX-RN exam and then apply for the registered nursing (RN) license. The number of hospitals that offer nursing diploma programs has decreased in the United States and those that exist are often affiliated with community colleges.
Students can earn an associates degree in nursing at community colleges and 4-year colleges. The program of study for the 2-year nursing program focuses on technical nursing skills and students also to complete math, science and English courses that are required. Graduates of the program are also eligible to take the NCLEX-RN exam and then apply for their RN license.
It is important to note that Licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses must complete a state-approved educational program, which generally takes one year to complete. They also must pass an exam and get a license before they can work (Bureau of Labor Statistics – BLS).
As with nursing diploma, the associates degree in nursing qualifies students to work in entry-level nursing jobs in hospitals or inpatient facilities. One advantage is that the degree often serves as a steppingstone or bridge for nurses interested in earning the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree. The ADN program provides an advanced track for students who are LVNs (Licensed Vocational Nurses) and LPNs (Licensed Practical Nurse) already.
Careers with an ADN
With a two-year degree in nursing, graduates can be licensed as either a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) or a Registered Nurse (RN) depending on the requirements met in the program. Most two-year curricula provide the preparation students need to pass the NCLEX, the exam for aspiring RNs. With a RN license an entry-level nurse can pursue various specialties in hospitals, doctors offices, private care, nursing homes, travel nursing, etc.
Responsibilities of a registered nurse include administering, a wide range of medications, being a caring and sympathetic health care provider to patients with injuries and illnesses. There are many specialties that intensive care, pediatrics, gerontology, surgical care, psychiatry, oncology, orthopedics, administration, and education. Registered nurses also supervise LPNs, LVN, CNAs and other nursing staff.
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