If you want to become a Registered Nurse(RN) then you should first start with an Associate Degree in Nursing. The two year associate program is well suited for students who want to get into the nursing field as soon as possible and are budget conscious. Their is a myth out there, which is not true of course, that you need to have your bachelors degree in nursing to become a Registered Nurse, and get your first job. With the advent of online nursing classes, the number of ADN students has been on the rise.
Associate Degree in Nursing Programs
An Associate Degree in Nursing program is typically offered a few different ways. The most common programs are your traditional campus based which are taken at a community college, trade school, tech institutes and finally private and public universities. Also like I mentioned a minute ago, the online Associate Degree in Nursing programs are very popular with student who do not have the time to attend a regular campus program. It is very important to check that the Associate Degree in Nursing program you are considering is accredited! Again make sure the program is accredited! A good place to start may be the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission. There are lots of places on the web to find out more information about the schools you are considering. Message boards offer loads of useful information(be careful what you read sometimes) about programs, classes and even instructors
I earned my ADN…now what?
You have put in the time and effort and now you proudly hold your associate degree in nursing. So whats next? Well, your next move will be to sit for the NCLEX-RN (National Council Licensure Examination-Registered Nurse). The four main topics covered under this exam are Safe Effective Care Environment, Health Promotion and Maintenance, Psychosocial Integrity and Physiological Integrity Once you pass the exam you will then be qualified to practice as nurse. The test used to be multiple choice, but that has since changed to more modern format.
Employment after getting my Associate Degree in Nursing Program?
The funny thing about having you Associated Degree in Nursing is that you can work alongside someone who went to school for four years and earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing. The reason being, they have taken the same licensure exam! So you can take you ADN and work at a hospital, health center, school or anywhere a BSN graduate works. The important thing to keep in mind is that a licensed ADN graduate is also Registered Nurses(RN) once you pass the NCLEX-RN .
Expected salary with an Associate Degree in Nursing Program?
Entry level jobs for ADN and BSN graduates are very similar when first starting out in the healthcare field. A typical starting salary averages anywhere from $40-$80K. Since the sky is the limit, a Registered Nurse can follow a career path to a higher paying job by some type of specialization.
So there you have it…..You now know the basics of what it takes to become a RN!