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Associate of Science Degree in Nursing (ADN): and/or Health Care

An Associate of Science in Nursing Degree can be a great tool for starting your nursing career.  Nurses who choose an Associate of Nursing Degree for their education work in a wide variety of nursing jobs.  Most will become Registered Nurses (RN) practicing as generalists.  Others will go on to pursue additional education and become more specialized nurses, or even advanced practiced nurses such as Nurse Midwives and Nurse Practitioners.

It will take you about two years to complete an Associate of Science in Nursing degree.  Usually these degrees are offered by two year Junior and Community colleges, some vocational schools, and nursing schools as well.

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Work Environment

Getting your Associates of Science in Nursing will allow you to work in hospitals, clinics, doctor's offices and more.  Most people who pursue this degree use it to become a Registered Nurse (RN), and practice generalized nursing on a team supporting one or more physicians.  You could also use your Associates of Science in Nursing to become a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) or Nursing Assistant (NA), who are most commonly employed in nursing homes and as support staff for RNs in all types of medical facilities. 

Qualifications & Training

All Associates of Science in Nursing programs will require you to have a high school diploma or equivalent.  You'll also benefit from any biology or chemistry classes you've taken.  Most of these programs are designed to start your education straight out of high school, so no previous college classes are necessary.  However, your program may have certain pre-requisites you must take either before begining or as part of your degree program.

Licensure & Certification

After completing your courses and receiving your Associates of Science in Nursing degree, you'll still need to get your license to practice nursing.  You will need to pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed and begin your career as an RN.  If you are more interested in being a Licensed Practical Nurse, or a more specified nurse, a different license, additional education and certifications, or both, may be necessary.

Job Outlook

Most people who pursue an Associates of Science in Nursing degree become registered nurses.  Registered Nurses, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, have an average annual salary of $62,450.  Those with more education or certification will stand to make more.  The top 10% were making over $92,000 annually.