Associates Degree in Nursing
An Associate’s Degree is usually completed in two to three years. With this degree, you will receive the necessary technical education to work on staff at a hospital or other facility with patients. Most nursing students choose this degree path as it is a good way to start on a nursing career and can lead to further education by obtaining a Bachelors in Science Nursing Degree. And if an Associate’s Degree is as far as you want to go, you will be able to find positions in a number of interesting fields that require the services of a Registered Nurse, so you will not lack for opportunities.
The curriculum for an Associates in Nursing Degree will include:
• Pediatric Health
• Geriatric Health
• Family Health
• Mental Health
With the completion of a two-year Associates Degree, you can obtain a license as a Registered Nurse or a Licensed Practical Nurse by passing an exam. You may want to pursue a Bachelors Degree after you have obtained your Associates in Nursing, but even if you take your education no further, you can still enjoy a rewarding and profitable career as a nurse starting on an entry-level basis. There are many challenging job options open to you, such as:
• Office Nurse
• Home Health Care Nurse
• Medical Clinics Nurse
• Patient Ward Nurse
• Public Health Agency Nurse
• Nursing Home or Assisted Living Nurse
• Travel Nurse
• Operating Room Nurse
• Trauma Nurse
• Radiology Nurse
• Physical Therapy Nurse
• Delivery Room Nurse
• Intensive Care Nurse
• Psychiatric Ward Nurse
This is just a small sampling of the positions that are available for Registered Nurses. There are many more job opportunities that require the services of a qualified nurse, and these qualifications will be yours with an Associates in Nursing Degree.
A Registered Nurse will have many duties in taking care of patients and assisting doctors. Some of the tasks may include:
- Working with intravenous units, both insertion and removal
- Running laboratory tests and providing test results
- Protecting the privacy of all patients
- Operating machinery for tests, such as X-ray machines
- Compiling information for medical histories
- Administering medication to patients and checking on drug interactions and proper dosages
- Speaking with family members about patient care
- Conferring with physicians and other nurses
- Showing the proper respect to all patients and fellow employees
Universities will offer a variety of programs for nursing students, enabling you to find the best program to fit your schedule. Courses are even offered online by a number of schools. No matter how hectic your schedule may be, there should be a program that will fit right into your lifestyle. And an Associates in Nursing Degree is not as costly as going through a four-year program but will still give you an appropriate education for employment as an RN. After you have worked for a period of time and saved up a little bit of cash, you may even decide to pursue a Bachelors or even a Masters Degree.
The average yearly salary for a Registered Nurse is $50,000.00, and there is always the potential for earning more. A shortage of nurses is also being experienced all over the nation, so a career in this field will net you many opportunities for employment and job advancement. And with baby-boomers becoming older, there will be an increased need for medical care in the near future, so the job market will be wide open for nurses.
There are two types of Associates Degrees that can be obtained, the Associates in Science Degree and the Associates in Applied Science Degree. Either one of these degrees will pave the way for you to take your examination and become a Registered Nurse. You will need a high school diploma in order to obtain an Associate’s Degree in Nursing, and high school subjects that are recommended include mathematics, chemistry with lab work, science, social studies, human anatomy, physiology and psychology. It will also be very beneficial for you to have good communication skills, both in written and oral form.
When you have obtained your degree and passed your license examination, you can choose to work in any number of different institutions. If you love children, you may want a job in the pediatric ward of a hospital or working for a pediatric physician. If you interact with the elderly very well, a job in a retirement or nursing home may be the perfect position for you. Should you feel the need to assist those who are terminally ill, you might find employment in a hospice center to be fulfilling.
There are so many different avenues that you can take once you have become a Registered Nurse. With a shortage of nurses, you will have ample openings in various health care areas from which to choose when seeking employment. Dedication and hard work will pay off, as you may start out in an entry-level position and be able to work your way up to an administrative or managerial position. If you need to further your education in order to progress to the next rung on the ladder to success in the nursing field, you will have that opportunity as well. And an Associates in Nursing Degree will be the start of it all.