Overview: An Associate’s Degree in Nursing

Nurses are vital to the success of any healthcare facility, providing support and care to many patients. It has been proven that hospitals with more nurses reduces patient deaths or complications.

To become a Registered Nurse (RN), one must obtain a diploma, an associate’s degree, or a bachelor’s degree from an accredited nursing program or school. Often, one would choose to complete an associate’s degree in order to become a RN as it is a shorter program of study compared to a bachelor’s.

Typical Course of Study

An associate’s degree in nursing (ASN) is typically a two-year program made to introduce students with the fundamental knowledge and practice of nursing. Courses such as biology, chemistry, anatomy, and nutrition are typical in one’s study in an associate’s in nursing. Students also learn about effective patient care.

Besides learning in a classroom setting, most associate’s degree programs require students to complete a term of clinical practice (often referred to as a rotation) in a teaching hospital or nursing home. This is done under the supervision of a nursing instructor. Clinical practices ensure the competency of studying nurses when it comes to hands-on patient care and nursing procedures.

Choosing an Associate’s Program

There are many different types of ways for one to receive associate’s degree in nursing. Many community colleges offer associate’s degree programs in nursing. Some may receive an associate’s from an accredited nursing school.

Online programs are also becoming increasingly available, though it is important to check if they are accredited. Online programs differ from traditional degree programs as students complete coursework on their own (usually in their own homes) and do not go to a physical campus to take their courses. All these programs typically take about 2-3 years to complete, including the time where students are engaged in clinical practice.

Employment Opportunities

With recent problem arising due to the shortage of nurses in health clinics and nursing homes, it is to be expected that those who work as nurses are highly in demand.

A nurse have a variety of employment options, and they usually find it easier to switch focus, location, setting and/or direction throughout their career. Those who have an associate’s in nursing can typically work in most practicing healthcare facilities, from hospitals to private practices.

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