What Careers are Available with an Associate’s in Nursing Degree?

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Registered Nurses (RNs) typically find there are many careers with an Associate’s in Nursing degree. Although some employers do prefer RNs, many are very eager to hire RNs with an associate degree. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment should increase 15 percent for RNs between 2016 and 2026. Aspiring RNs may wonder what type of careers RNs with an associate degree may find. This article offers helpful information regarding potential career for an Associate’s in Nursing degree holder.

Where Can an RN with an Associate’s Degree Work?

Many believe that RNs with a baccalaureate degree in nursing find more lucrative careers because they’ve completed a more in-depth study into different areas of nursing. While there may be some truth to that, RNs will also find many careers with an Associate’s in Nursing degree and many places to work.

  • Medical and surgical hospitals
  • Clinics
  • Physicians’ offices
  • Nursing homes
  • Community care facilities
  • Home health care nursing
  • Public nursing

Top Career Opportunities for an Associate’s in Nursing Degree?

Nurse Journal reports that there are many job opportunities open for an RN with an associate’s degree. Here are some of the top paying careers with an associate’s degree in nursing along with potential wages according to Nurse Journal.

  • RN Employed in Hospital – RNs often find working in hospitals interesting and rewarding because they may work in maternity wards, emergency rooms, pediatrics or on general wards. Average annual wages are $69,490.
  • Outpatient Care Nurse – RNs working in outpatient care facilities see a variety of patients throughout the day. Their duties include monitoring and cleaning wounds, monitoring progress following surgeries and providing routine care. Average annual wages are $71,200.
  • Personal Care Nurse – Also known as home health nurses, these RNs are part of a growing field. They visit patients in their homes and provide routine medical care on a regular basis. They help them with their daily routines, which might include physical therapy and exercise. Average annual wages are $65,530.
  • Physician’s Office Nurse – RNs working in a doctor’s office assist physicians and provide routine care to patients, including documenting patients’ histories, taking vital signs, administering medications and consulting with the doctor. Average annual wages are $62,120.
  • Nursing Care Facility Nurse – These RNs work in nursing homes and provide medical care to patients, many of which are elderly. Their job duties include checking vital signs, administering medication, providing general care and working with the doctor on the treatment plan. Average annual wages are $61,2220.

How to Earn an Associate’s in Nursing Degree

Candidates interested in earning an Associate’s in Nursing degree can expect to be in college for about two years. Associate degree nursing programs are offered at technical schools and community colleges. The student will need to complete some prerequisite courses. During the actual nursing program, the student will complete coursework, laboratory classes and clinical work.

The clinical portion of the program, which is usually done towards the end of the program, includes working in a hospital or clinical setting. Once the program is completed, the candidate must pass the NCLEX-RN exam so he or she may obtain licensure.

Registered nurses continue to be the backbone of the healthcare industry by playing such a large role in treating patients and helping them get better. Students concerned about finding successful careers with an associate’s degree in nursing can be reassured that they’ll find more than their share of good opportunities.

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