Associate Degree in Nursing – Requirements, Coursework, Career Outlook and Top Colleges
If you are planning to pursue your career in the field of health care and don’t want to go for a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), then you can opt for a 2-year Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN). It is specifically for the students who can’t afford and don’t have time to pursue the four-year degree program. As soon as students complete the degree of ADN, they can take the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) to become a Registered Nurse (RN). After this, they can pursue BSN degree either online or on-campus.
Requirements to be Fulfilled for Enrolling in an Associate’s Degree in Nursing
According to the National Organization for Associate Degree Nursing, there are above 1000 programs all over the country that offer ADN courses. Many of the programs demand that the applicant must have studied biology, chemistry, anatomy, and physiology.
For instance, a high school coursework in the following areas is necessary for those who want to apply to the Penn State ADN (or ASN- Associate of Science in Nursing) program.
- Maths for 2 years including algebra and an additional stream of math.
- Science for 2 years comprising of chemistry and biology.
- English for 4 years consisting composition and literature.
- 5 years for any of these combinations- world languages/social studies/arts/humanities
Candidates transferring from another university must have to take additional classes in Math and Science before taking enrollment. Some colleges give preference to applicants who have already taken classes in anatomy, physiology, chemistry, social or behavioral subjects like human development, family studies, psychology or sociology.
Basic requirements to enter in an ADN program are:-
- Grade point average of minimum 2.0 in high school and 2.5 in college.
- Letter of Recommendation
- Your own remark on career objectives
- Offical transcripts from the schools or colleges you have attended
- Submit the report of drug screen test
- Undergo preliminary background check
Coursework of Associate’s Degree in Nursing
Other than the general subjects, coursework for associate’s degree in nursing also includes topics related to nursing. Nursing seminars, internship, and practicum are also important parts of the syllabus and train the aspirants for giving their best to serve the patients. Some important subjects of the curriculum are- anatomy and physiology, nursing basics, nutrition, pharmacology, pediatric nursing, clinical nursing, etc.
First Year Coursework
In the first year, students ideally earn 15 to 17 credits in classes. These courses set the base for nursing skills and instill knowledge of human anatomy in students and make them ready for handling the tasks related to human behavior in adverse situations. Here are some courses that a nursing student can take in the first year of the degree program:-
- General courses for education that include one year of English Composition and minimum one humanities elective
- Basic and introductory courses of human anatomy and physiology
- Basic knowledge about microbiology, sociology, and developmental psychology
- Pharmacology and nursing principles and concepts
Second Year Coursework
The second year coursework prepares the students technically and trains them to start their career. The coursework includes all the introductory tasks related to nurses. The second-year students of nursing complete about 17 credits in the classes. The syllabus includes –
- Basic and general education that is essential to complete.
- Psychiatric nursing
- Nursing related to medical surgery
- Nursing of maternity and infants
- Parent and child nursing
What are the advantages of obtaining an Associate Degree in Nursing?
In comparison to Bachelor degree (a 4-year program), ADN completes in a shorter duration, i.e., in 2 years. It means, you can start your work and earn money faster after clearing the NCLEX-RN exam. Since the program completes in a short duration, you need to spend less money on tuition. Moreover, you can get jobs in the same settings as those holding a bachelor’s degree.
Cities that are best to work in with an ADN/ASN Degree
Though, there is a huge demand for nurses in every sate of the US, there are some cities that rank on top.
1. Austin, Texas
The low rate of unemployment, growing population, and increasing number of educated people in the capital city of Texas result into a rise in the demand for health care services and nursing. Besides this, the cost of living in Austin is also moderate.
2. Portland, Oregon
Another city that has a huge demand for skilled nursing professional is Portland. This city also offers handsome salary to the nurses.
3. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Strong economy of Philadelphia is one of the most important reasons for the high demand of health care professionals in this city. Also, in recent years, many clinical centers and pharmaceutical firms came into existence which raised the job opportunities for nurses.
4. Cincinnati, Ohio
There is a great career outlook for nurses in this city because of growth in Fortune 100 companies.
5. Nashville, Tennessee
Being a pioneer in biotechnology and healthcare, this city too has attractive career opportunities for nursing professionals. Here, cost of living is also very low.
Career Opportunities and Salary of Nurses Having an Associate Degree in Nursing
After gaining an Associates Degree in Nursing, students can become an RN after passing the NCLEX. They can work in hospitals and clinics in any state of the USA. Besides this, they can also work with nursing homes, schools, public health centers, residential care facilities, and doctor’s offices. As demand for nurses can never decrease, thus there are many career opportunities available for them.
As per indeed.com, the average annual salary of a Registered Nurse Associate Degree Nursing was $62,000 per annum (as of April 4, 2016). According to the payscale.com, hourly salary of a Registered Nurse with Associate Degree was between $20.77 and $35.66 while the median annual salary was $57,954 (as of March 27, 2016).
Top Colleges Offering Online Associate’s Degree in Nursing
The following colleges offer online ADN course:-
- John A. Logan College
Address – 700 Logan College Road, Carterville, Illinois 62918
Contact No. – 618-985-3741
Official Website – http://www.jalc.edu
- Allegany College of Maryland – Bedford County Campus
Address – 18 North River Lane, Everett, PA 15537
Contact No. – 814-652-9528
Official Website – http://www.allegany.edu
- Allegany College of Maryland – Cumberland Campus
Address – 12401 Willowbrook Road, Cumberland, MD 21502
Contact No. – 301-784-5000
Official Website – http://www.allegany.edu
- Allegany College of Maryland – Somerset County Campus
Address – 6022 Glades Pike, Suite 100, Somerset, PA 15501-4300
Contact No. – 814-445-9848
Official Website – http://www.allegany.edu
- Hutchinson Community College
Address – 1300 North Plum, Hutchinson, KS 67501
Contact No. – 620-665-3500
Official Website – http://www.hutchcc.edu
- Western Iowa Tech
Address – 4647 Stone Avenue, PO Box 5199, Sioux City, Iowa 51102-5199
Contact No. – 800-352-4649
Official Website – https://www.witcc.edu
- Excelsior College
Address – 7 Columbia Circle, Albany NY 12203-5159
Contact No. – 888-647-2388
Official Website – http://www.excelsior.edu
- Pratt Community College
Address – 348 North East SR 61, Pratt, KS 67124
Contact No. – 620-672-9800
Official Website – http://prattcc.edu
- Northwestern Michigan College
Address – 1701 East Front Street, Traverse City, MI 49686
Contact No. – 800-748-0566
Official Website – https://www.nmc.edu
- Kaplan University
Address – 9000 Keystone Crossing, Suite 800, Indianapolis, IN 46240
Contact No. – 317-208-5311
Official Website – http://www.kaplanuniversity.edu
- Herzing University
Address – W140N8917 Lilly Road, Menomonee Falls, WI 53051
Contact No. – 800-596-0724
Official Website – https://www.herzing.edu
- Azusa Pacific University
Address – 901 East Alosta Avenue, PO Box 7000, Azusa, CA 91702-7000
Contact No. – 626- 969-3434
Official Website – http://www.apu.edu/university-college
- Keiser University
Address – 2101 NW 117th Avenue, Miami, Florida 33172
Contact No. – 305-596-2226
Official Website – http://www.keiseruniversity.edu
- Northern Kentucky University
Address – Nunn Drive, Highland Heights, KY 41009
Contact No. – 859-572-5100
Official Website – https://www.nku.edu
- Eastern Kentucky University
Address – 521 Lancaster Avenue, Richmond, KY 40475
Contact No. – 859-622-1000
Official Website – http://www.eku.edu
- Southwestern College
Address – 900 Otay Lakes Road, Chula Vista, CA 91910
Contact No. – 619-421-6700
Official Website – http://www.swccd.edu
- Louisiana Tech University
Address – Ruston, LA 71272
Contact No. – 318-257-2000
Official Website – http://www.latech.edu
- The University of Montana
Address – 32 Campus Drive, Missoula, MT 59812
Contact No. – 406-243-0211
Official Website – http://www.umt.edu