Nurses are crucial to the healthcare industry. If you like to serve and care for people, there is probably no other career that is more rewarding than nursing. The best feature of this career is that you can get qualified progressively at your own pace.
You can select whether to pursue nursing degrees online or on-campus. This article will show you how you can begin with an online Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN).
What is an online ADN program?
The online ADN program typically comprises 60 credits and span over 18 to 24 months for completion. The curriculum includes online classes, on-campus laboratory work, and supervised clinical experience.
Online nursing programs are widespread across the country so, finding an online college near you should be simple. A word of caution here, select only an accredited online college.
Some of the courses you would take may include:
- behavioral health
- child and maternal nursing
- human anatomy and
Do note that you can complete your ADN online in a year or less if you already are a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) or a Licensed Professional Nurse (LPN) with relevant working experience.
How much can you make as a nurse?
A Registered Nurse (RN) assists doctors in the workplace, provides patient care, conducts physical examinations, administers procedures and other patient-related functions.
Nursing has, for a long time, been a profession that is always in need. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects demand for RN to grow by 7 percent from 2019 to 2029.
As of 2019, RNs’ median salary was $73,300 per annum.
On the other hand, the BLS projects the demand for Nurse Practitioners (NP) to grow by 45 percent during the same period, making $115,800 per year. You can read more about NP below.
The road to becoming a Registered Nurse (RN)
The core function of the ADN is to prepare you for the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX), which is required to become an RN. In other words, becoming RN is the natural progression from ADN.
With an ADN in your hands, you are fit to sit for the NCLEX-RN exams. All states use the NCLEX-RN exams to license RNs.
The NCLEX-RN exam is significantly different from ADN. While ADNs are knowledge-based, the NCLEX-RN will test how you use critical thinking and analytical skills to make decisions as a nurse.
With an RN license, you can be employed in hospitals or other healthcare service providers and earn much more than LVNs or LPNs. As an experienced RN, you will supervise your more contemporary colleagues, LPNs, and LVNs.
How to advance from ADN to Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) online programs?
A further progression for ambitious nurses who hold ADN with RN license is to work a few years before pursuing a BSN degree.
A traditional BSN degree takes four years to complete, but you can earn it within two years if you enroll in an accelerated RN-to-BSN program. Aspiring students can earn a BSN in online colleges and universities.
With a BSN, you would command more salary and be competent to do more advanced work and shoulder more responsibilities.
Another choice when you are a licensed RN is to pursue a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN). This program is a two-year graduate degree taken to become a Nurse Practitioner (NP). An interesting point to note is that NPs earn 50 percent more than RNs.
But their capabilities are also higher. Depending on their specialization, NPs would be able to diagnose ailments and prescribe medication.
From the above, you now have a clearer picture of your career path in nursing. It does take time to move up the ladder.
The ability to take nursing degrees online makes your career progression much simpler with the flexibility and convenience they give.