Did you know that by the year 2020, there will be an estimated shortage of 800,000 nurses in the USA alone? The life expectancy of mankind increases day by day. This results a growth in the aging population who need more care. This suggests that the nurses are going to be high in demand in the future. The signs of this future demand are already visible with average annual earnings of a nurse reaching $49,840 almost next to accountants. In the light of such a situation, I would say there are plenty of opportunities for those who wish to pursue higher educational qualifications in nursing.
An associate degree in Nursing is an ideal stepping stone for someone who wishes to become a nurse one day. The main advantage of an associate degree over a bachelor’s one, is the lower amount of time required in the associate degree to become a registered nurse. The courses run for two years, at the end of which, a graduate becomes a registered nurse, so the student has the option of starting work immediately. While she is working as a registered nurse, she could study for a bachelor’s degree, which makes it even more lucrative than the conventional bachelor’s degree, which only lets you start working after four years.
Other advantages include lesser financial requirement due to comparatively shorter duration and higher degree of flexibility.
However, most of the associate undergraduate programs require LPN or LVN certification as a pre requisite. Even the ones which don’t require these certifications generally expect the candidates to undergo a bridging course for LPN or LVN. Further, the quality of the education provided will vary significantly depending on the location you select to learn. Therefore, it is essential that you do your own research before you decide on a college. One of the best ways of doing this is to contact the local hospitals nearby you and identify what is expected by your employers.
It is also better to know what it takes to be a nurse and even the lifestyle of a nurse. This will indicate what sort of a life you would live after graduation and more importantly allows you to determine whether the profession of nursing is suited to you.
You may learn health promotion, risk reduction, disease prevention, information and health care technologies, ethics, human diversity, management theory, health care system and policies and many other aspects during your degree. Generally, the program features a capstone course, a requisite clinical course, and a professional development plan, that includes career planning.
If you are a bizymom staying at home caring for your children, but having a dream of becoming a nurse one day, you may be wondering whether you will ever be able to earn your associate degree. Do not worry, you have the option of studying online, which is ideal for you as it lets you stay at your home and still allows you to study for your degree. However, as with some of the other degree programs, you may not be able to complete it entirely while staying at your home. The practical exposure in some of the areas is essential to nursing. So you might be required to participate in lab and clinical sessions. It’s up to you to make arrangements to fit this in to your schedule.
Last, but not least, my final advice for you is it’s never late to start. Therefore, be courageous and strive for your goal. “Try and one day you will fly.”
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