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The First Step Toward a Nursing Career : Get Your Associate Degree in Nursing

by Greg Cryns            

             If youíre interested in a career in nursing but arenít ready to commit to a four-year bachelorís degree, you might want to think about getting an Associate Degree in Nursing, or ADN.  This degree will allow you to become a Registered Nurse (RN) and work in the exciting and versatile field of nursing.     The Associate Degree in Nursing is a degree that offers the training and education you need to practice in a clinical setting.  While many nursing degrees are 

offered online, this is one that is not. 


            Thatís because in order to be a competent nurse, you absolutely have to have clinical experience Ė and you canít get that from a computer!  However, you may be able to find programs with flexible hours and even a few online course offerings.


            If youíre interested in getting your ADN, you may want to start by talking to someone at your local community college.  These campuses usually offer Associate Degrees in Nursing and often can accommodate someone who works full-time as well.  However, once you begin your clinical rotations you may not be able to have such a flexible schedule.


            As an RN with an associateís degree youíll be able to work in a variety of settings including hospitals and doctorís offices.  Youíll also find that because thereís a nursing shortage in the United States, there will be plenty of job opportunities for someone with your training.


            The salaries for nurses are also very good.  Itís not uncommon for a staff nurse in a hospital setting to make an average of $50,000 yearly.  The more education you have the higher your salary can be.


            Once you have your basic ADN, you may want to work toward a bachelorís or even masterís degree in the nursing field.  These degrees can often be completed totally online.  As you can see, an Associate Degree in Nursing opens up a world of career opportunities and allows you to make a good living with just a two-year degree.


            Nursing is an exciting field and one that isnít likely to disappear from the economy any time soon.  Nurses are in demand and if youíre interested in going to school, now is the time! 


            One thing youíll find is that admission into nursing school can be competitive.  In order to prepare for nursing school you should make sure you have some background in science.  If your grades arenít high enough from your high school education, you may want to take a few courses at your community college to help improve your chances of acceptance.  Talking to an advisor at your local school can help you to know what you need to do to prepare.



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