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Empower Your Career With ADN or Associate Degree in Nursing

Associate Degree in Nursing

Nursing is a career founded on the premise of lifelong learning. It is a dynamic profession that has evolved significantly and will continue to develop through advanced education and evidence-based practice.

If you are looking to enter the nursing profession, there are several options to acquire the qualification you need. One of the more prominent options is that of an Associate Degree in Nursing.

An Associate Degree will give you a strong foundation for a healthcare career. It is very popular among registered nurses (RNs). A significant number of professionals enter the nursing field by enrolling in an ADN program.

ADN or Associate Degree in Nursing
ADN or Associate Degree in Nursing

However, to begin working as a registered nurse, students need to pass the national licensing examination, the NCLEX-RN.

For students who want to pursue a professional nursing career but cannot afford or do not have the time to complete a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree, ADN is a perfect choice.

Students can often pursue Associate degrees on a part-time basis, allowing them to earn money while furthering their career goals. It can also assist licensed practical nurses (LPNs) qualify for an R.N. license and move up to professional nursing.

LPN-to-ADN program – Licensed Practical Nurses (or Licensed Vocational Nurses) can pursue an Associate’s Degree in Nursing in one or two years.

Most ADN programs are very flexible. ADN can be completed in as little as 18 – 24 months. Graduating from an accredited program offered by a community college, university, or nursing school is probably the quickest and most direct route to an Associate Degree in Nursing.

Entry Requirements & Fee Structure

Like most programs, admission requirements will vary by school. Requirements for admission into an ADN program may include: A high school diploma or GED, Students, might need a minimum GPA for entry into specific programs, HESI exam, high school Chemistry, and Biology (with final grades) SAT scores and a personal essay.

Some admissions processes will include interviews, and others won’t. Take time to review the admissions requirements and procedure for your desired ADN program.

A significant benefit of pursuing an ADN is that, in addition to taking an average of only two years to complete, these programs tend to be reasonably affordable as well. Since a wide array of institutions offers ADN programs, tuition costs vary considerably. Ultimately, this type of program’s tuition cost depends on the program’s length, school status, geographic location, state of residence, and other factors.


The average cost of tuition for ADN programs offered by public schools ranges between $6,000 and $40,000. For private schools, the average cost of tuition varies between $30,000 and $100,000.

In the U.K., the fee for Nursing Associate FdSc is £7,800 per year (U.K. residents) and £14,600 per annum for International students.

Course Structure and Content

You can earn an ADN in two to three years. Interested students should expect to take a combination of prerequisite courses and specialist nursing classes. Coursework may include:

  • Microbiology
  • Foundations in Nursing
  • Chemistry
  • Behavioral Health
  • English
  • Communications

Coursework in an online ADN program focuses specifically on nursing fundamentals, as learners take general education courses during their LVN or LPN program.

Major specializations or core courses in an ADN program include;

Nursing Care of the Older Adult

Older adults with specialized needs make up a significant portion of our population. Such type of nursing introduces students to older patients’ unique needs, including typical illnesses and degenerative conditions.

Course highlights include promoting patients’ independence and allowing them to continue making medical decisions on their behalf for as long as possible.

Behavioral and Mental Health Nursing

Mental and behavioral health nursing covers the psychological effects of physical illness and injury on patients’ and families’ mental health and how to identify them on the job. The course also emphasizes typical mental disorders, such as depression and schizophrenia, that lead to hospitalization,

Working alongside psychiatrists and other physicians who specialize in mental health and the Coursework in cognitive and behavioral issues gives nurses the tools to provide the best treatment to patients.

Leadership in Professional Nursing

Nurses in a supervisory role need strong leadership and communication skills. Leadership in professional nursing introduces learners to different leadership theories and how each improves patient outcomes and fosters the next generation of nurses.

Intermediate Medical-Surgical Nursing

Students learn the relationship between surgery and other medical care. Nurses in surgical settings work alongside surgeons and anesthesiologists to ensure positive patient outcomes. Clinical rotation sites include operating rooms, medical offices, and senior care facilities.

Ethics and Law

Learners analyze typical ethical issues that R.N.s encounter on the job. Students in an ADN program study law and ethics to understand the legal rights and restrictions that protect them and their patients in the workplace.

In addition to academics, most ADN programs typically require clinical hours. Through work experience during clinical hours, students will learn how to apply the classroom knowledge to real scenarios in clinics, nursing homes, hospitals, rehabilitation facilities, and other medical settings. They will also be accounted for licensure/registration as a nurse.

Career Opportunities

Our population is growing, aging, and accelerating rates of chronic conditions, such as obesity and diabetes. Healthcare is becoming more focused on wellness, and preventive care has caused a drastic increase in nurses’ demand.

Registered Nurses in the United States who are graduates of ADN programs earn an average base salary of $69,000.

As a registered nurse with an associate degree, you can qualify for a vast range of specialty certifications to increase your career opportunities and your salary potential. The degree can also serve as the foundation for earning a BSN, expanding your professional and earning potential even more.

If you are not what to chose in between ADN or a BSN, please read this comparison of ADN vs BSN

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