Obtaining an Associate’s Degree in Nursing

a female nurse smiles while standing at a nurse's station

Nursing is a vitally important health care job. Nurses serve as one of the most effective means of providing health care to patients. In order to become a nurse, you must first get a degree in this field. An associate’s degree in nursing is a two-year program that can serve as a stepping stone to a rewarding and enjoyable career.

Course Foundations

The associate’s degree in nursing is a two-year program designed to introduce students to the fundamentals of nursing practice. During this time, students study all aspects of nursing care. They are taught basic biology and chemistry. Once this foundation has been established, nursing students progress to learning about how to care for patients effectively in a clinical setting.

Traditional vs. Online Programs

Several different types of programs are available that lead to an associate’s degree in nursing. Each takes place in a different setting. Many community colleges offer a two-year degree in this field. Potential students must apply for admission to the program then complete a series of courses on the college campus. During this time, they are directly supervised by nursing instructors.

Another kind of two-year program that can lead to an associate’s degree in nursing is an online program. An online program in nursing differs from a traditional community college program because students complete their coursework at home without the necessity of attending a physical campus for much of their basic educational coursework.

Both traditional two-year community colleges and online nursing programs require nursing students to complete a term of clinical practice at a hospital or nursing home to earn an associate’s degree in Nursing. Clinical practice is a full time commitment. Students are expected to demonstrate that they can complete nursing procedures under the supervision of a nursing instructor. They are tested in their ability to do so and expected to master all basic aspects of nursing care in order to get a degree.

Employment Outlook for Nursing

Upon completion of an associate’s degree in nursing, nurses can expect bright employment prospects. Nurses are highly in demand in many fields. A nurse can usually have her choice of employment. Someone who prefers a night shift can easily find such shifts to accommodate her preferences. Nurses will also find they can choose where they wish to work. If the nurse wants to work in a hospital, she will find many openings. A nurse who wishes to work in private practice will also find many employment options to suit her needs.

In short, earning an associate’s degree in nursing is an excellent way to prepare for future employment. People who choose this field can easily expect to find work.

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