Associate Degree In Nursing ADN/ASN

Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) and the equivalent Associate of Science in Nursing (ASN) are nursing degree programs offered by community colleges and junior colleges. Associate degree programs in nursing offer liberal arts and science courses similar to what you would take within any associate degree program at a community college or junior college. Added to the associate degree foundation courses are nursing courses and clinical experiences in local hospitals and health care facilities.

Associate Degree in Nursing Overview:

  • Associate degree nursing programs generally last 2 years, see nursing schools to find a program.
  • Graduates are eligible to take the National Council Licensure Examination NCLEX-RN.
  • 53% of candidates taking the NCLEX-RN exam graduate from Associate Degree programs.
  • RN salaries are $24,000 higher or more compared to that of an LPN, see average salary comparison table.
  • ADN or ASN associate degrees can help career advancement, job security, job satisfaction and personal growth.

Associate Degree Programs

Last year January through December 2015, about 53% of total first time US educated candidates taking the NCLEX-RN exam did so after completing an Associate Degree in Nursing program. Since taking the NCLEX-RN exam is considered one of the last steps to becoming a Registered Nurse (RN), this information is useful to nurses trying to decide between an Associate Degree versus Bachelor Degree in Nursing. As college and university costs continue to rise, many nurses are advancing their careers to the Registered Nurse level with an associate degree from their local community college which without a doubt helps to save time and money.

The general goal of enrolling into an Associate Degree in Nursing program is to become a Registered Nurse. To become a Registered Nurse (RN), the candidate must complete a state approved Registered Nurse program and soon after pass the registered nurse licensing exam. Registered nursing programs generally last 2 to 4 years and are offered by hospitals, vocational nursing schools, technical schools, community colleges, junior colleges, colleges and universities. The applicable license exam for all US states is the computer based NCLEX-RN, which was developed by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing. Associate Degrees from a community college or junior college generally run for 2 years and graduates are eligible to take the NCLEX-RN. A Bachelor Degree in Nursing generally takes 4 years to complete and graduates are also eligible to take the NCLEX-RN exam.

LPN to RN Associate Degree Programs

Licensed Practical Nurse to Registered Nurse or LPN to RN nursing programs offer fast track completion of an Associate Degree in Nursing. Licensed Vocational Nurse to Registered Nurse or LVN to RN nursing programs also exist. Women and men already licensed as a Practical Nurse can generally enroll into a LPN to RN nursing program and upon completion, if desired, enroll into the next level RN to BSN nursing program to receive a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing (BSN). Women and men already licensed as a Vocational Nurse can likewise enroll into a LVN to RN nursing program.

Remember that your state board of nursing website has the latest information about Registered Nurse RN licensing requirements for your state. Also remember to verify that your Registered Nurse program is approved by your state, otherwise you may not be able to take the NCLEX-RN licensing exam. When deciding between an Associate Degree vs Bachelor Degree in Nursing, we recommend that you talk to RN nurses currently working at your healthcare facility, potential employers, and to search for Registered Nurse jobs online to review job descriptions and any other requirements.

Last updated: February 19, 2017