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Get Online Associate Degree in Nursing

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According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of available jobs as registered nurses would continue to increase in the next few years.

To be a registered nurse (R.N.) is always your dream? Then, earning an associate degree in nursing is one of the basic requirements in achieving your dream in the United States.

However, some of you may not afford to take years off from work, as it would take 2 years to earn an associate’s degree in nursing. Fortunately, for prospective nurses, there are a number of schools that offer online associate degrees in nursing.

Now, let’s have a look at associate’s degrees in nursing.

An associate degree in nursing is intended for students seeking a career as a registered nurse, usually awarded by community colleges or similar nursing schools. Of course, some four-year colleges and universities also offer this degree.

One point I would like to say is that you may have three options for an associate degree in nursing, including an Associate of Science in Nursing (ASN), Associate of Applied Science in Nursing (AASN) and Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN).

Anyway, whatever the type, you would generally take 2 years (sometimes less than 2 years) to complete an associate degree program in nursing. These 2-year degree programs usually combine lecture courses, laboratory work and clinical experience.

Speaking of lecture courses, coursework in an associate nursing degree program may include general education requirements as well as nursing courses. Students also might take part in nursing seminars and a practicum. Examples of courses include:

• Anatomy and physiology

• Nursing basics

• Nutrition

• Pharmacology

• Pediatric nursing

• Psychology

• Maternal nursing

• Medical / surgical nursing

• Acute care nursing

• Medical terminology

• Microbiology

Upon completion of the program, you are eligible to sit for the NCLEX (National Council Licensure Examination)-RN and apply for licensure as a registered nurse. NCLEX, owned by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN), is designed for the licensing of nurses in the United States.

According to NCSBN Member Board jurisdictions, applicants for licensure are required to pass an examination for public protection. The examination serves as a way to measure the competencies required to perform safely and effectively as a newly licensed, entry-level nurse. In fact, NCSBN develops two licensure examinations, the NCLEX-RN (for registered nurses) and NCLEX-PN (for practical nurses). The exam is a way to measure whether a candidate can be competent at performing safe and effective practices of newly licensed, entry-level nurse.

You know the exam’s content is based on client needs. The content for NCLEX-RN examination usually includes:

Psychosocial Integrity

Health Promotion and Maintenance

Physiological Integrity

Safe Effective Care Environment

• Coordinated Care

• Safety and Infection Control

Basic Care and Comfort

• Pharmacological Therapies

• Reduction of Risk Potential

• Physiological Adaptation

• Psychiatric

If you long to earn an associate degree in nursing but work full time or have children at home, getting such a degree online is an alternative way to realize your goal. Here are some tips that may help you in getting an associate degree in nursing online.

• Do a research for schools that offer online nursing programs.

Research schools in your state to find out which ones provide associate degrees in the nursing field online. While many colleges and universities are offering nursing programs online, not all do. As a convenient way, you can visit the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN)’s website, as the website has links to each state’s board of nursing.

Once locating your state’s website, look for an education section where you can find a list of accredited nursing programs in the state. Also, there is information about whether these programs are available online.

While coursework can be taken online, an associate degree program in nursing may also require you to complete clinical work at a health care facility. It is common for nursing schools to work with local healthcare providers, such as hospitals, nursing homes and outpatient medical centers. So, it is better to choose a school in your local area.

Note: Accreditation is important for online programs of all types. Examples of accrediting agencies for nursing programs include the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) and the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC).

• Make a comparison of different online nursing programs.

It is better to choose several nursing programs (not only one) that you are interested in first. Then make a comparison of them in prerequisites, tuition fees, admissions, course schedule and examination requirements.

Speaking of prerequisites and admissions, different online nursing programs have different criteria. However, all associate degree programs in nursing require a high school diploma or GED. Plus, applicants commonly are required to meet a minimum grade point average.

There are some programs which may require applicants to have completed courses in biology or college-level English before enrollment. For some programs, students also have to be active Certified Nursing Assistants (CAN) with a few months of experience and / or be certified in CPR. Additionally, students might also need to have a negative drug screen and pass a criminal background check. Also, proof of specific immunizations may be required.

To be admitted into an online nursing degree program, you might also have to prove your medical abilities. This is required for many online nursing programs, as you won’t be learning in a classroom setting. Be noted that some schools also ask you to take a pre-admission test to show that you have prior medical or nursing-related experience.

• Apply for the nursing program of your choice.

After comparison, find out the nursing program that best fits your needs, skills and abilities. Then apply for the program of your choice. Be prepared to fill in a number of applications and submit various supporting materials such as high school transcripts (or GET report) and letters of recommendations.

A little piece of advice for you is that you can apply for admissions to several different schools. If you have been accepted into multiple schools, choose the one which best fits your educational needs and interests.

• Complete all the courses and clinic work.

Finish all the courses online and submit your work to instructions on time. As we know, clinical work is also required for online nursing programs. Indeed, there are some schools which have set times and locations for both campus-based and online students. For your convenience, however, many online nursing programs allow you to arrange your clinical work individually. Anyway, make sure to meet the clinical requirements of your program.

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Online Associate Degree