ADN Programs: 6 Reasons to Consider Them in 2024

Types of Jobs Available to an ADN Holder

Some of your choices include working as:

Hospital Nurse

Assist doctors, senior nurses, and other healthcare professionals. Hospital nurses work in hospitals across all departments, including ERs, delivery rooms, and ICUs.

Home Care Nurse

Help those who are too ill to leave home by becoming a home care nurse. Have a direct, positive impact on patients’ daily lives.

Clinic Nurse

From private doctors’ offices to walk-in and urgent care clinics, registered nurses are in high demand across a vast array of facilities.

Travel Nurse

Go where demand takes you as a travel nurse. Travel to areas and facilities that temporarily need extra nursing staff. Enjoy highly competitive pay.

ADN Programs by State

Just click your desired state below to see all the schools with ADN programs located there.

Frequently Asked Questions

Find out everything you need to know about completing an ADN program and making the most of your degree.

What Can I Expect from an ADN Program?

Associate degree in nursing, or ADN, programs are most commonly offered by community colleges, vocational training schools, and nursing schools. Several four-year colleges and a few of the hospitals offering nursing programs also offer ADN. Most programs are classroom-based, but some can be partially completed online. This is a nice option for those who have to hold down full-time jobs while earning their degrees. Over the course of two to three years, you will learn everything you need to know to care for patients in various healthcare settings and to work effectively with other members of a healthcare team. You can expect your program to include lectures and lab work as well as clinical training in various healthcare facilities. Most important of all, you can expect your ADN program to fully prepare you to take and pass the NCLEX-RN licensing exam, which you must pass in order to earn your RN license.

What Will I Learn in My Program?

A typical program provides in-class instruction that covers a wide array of medical and healthcare topics. Courses that you can expect to take while completing your program include chemistry, behavioral health, microbiology, pharmacology, nursing care, and more. Since they are designed to prepare students for the licensing exam, which includes a clinical portion, much of your training will also take place in local healthcare facilities, where you will earn credit for the clinical portion of your degree. By the time you complete your program, you will have had a firm grasp of fundamental medical topics and skills required to work effectively with patients and other healthcare professionals.

How Much Does the Program Cost?

If the cost of completing a four-year BSN degree is too prohibitive for you, then earning an ADN, which is a cost-effective alternative to becoming a registered nurse, is your best bet. While ADN training isn't quite as inexpensive as LPN or CNA training, it is still within reach for most working adults. With that being said, the cost of ADN training programs varies considerably from one program to the next. Community colleges tend to be more affordable, while vocational schools tend to charge more because of their specialized nature. The price that you pay also depends on where you are located, as training is cheaper in some areas than in others. At any rate, you can expect to pay anywhere from just under $10,000 to more than $25,000 for your ADN program. The higher end typically reflects out-of-state tuition, while the lower one is more in line with in-state tuition. If possible, complete training in your state of residence to save.

What are the Prerequisites for Enrolling in the Program?

To successfully enroll in an associate degree in nursing program, you will have to meet certain eligibility requirements. First of all, to qualify for an ADN program, you must have either a high school diploma or a GED. Many times, you must show that you maintained a decent grade point average during high school. Most programs require students to undergo TB screening and drug screening, since you will be working with patients during your program. You will most likely also have to submit to a criminal background check, which is also done for the safety of patients and coworkers alike.

How Long Does it Take to Complete the Program?

The vast majority of associate degree in nursing programs take two years to complete. This is true about most associate degree programs, so it is not unusual. Those two years encompass four semesters of training in most cases. To get there more quickly, some students opt to take spring and summer semester classes. If you do this, you may be able to earn your degree in just 18 months or so. Some programs take previous experience into consideration too, so be sure to look into ADN bridge programs if you already have an LPN license. Under those circumstances, you might be able to earn your ADN in 12 to 18 months.

Is an ADN Training Program Difficult?

There's no doubt about it: completing an ADN program takes a lot of work. It also requires persistence and organization, as you are required to learn a vast amount of material in a relatively short period of time. The degree of difficulty you experience will partly depend on your existing knowledge and experience. If you have completed a CNA or LPN training program, you already know what to expect. If this is your first formal training, there will be a bit of a learning curve. The coursework is intense, and a lot of memorization is required. As you become more familiar with the terminologies, things will get easier. The clinical portion of your training is equally important. It is also challenging because you are out there applying the skills that you have learned in class in the real world. Most people who earn their ADNs agree that the training is pretty difficult, but well worth it.

What Happens After I Earn My ADN?

Once you have completed your program and received your degree, you will be eligible to sit for the NCLEX-RN licensing exam. In fact, you can probably sign up to take it near the end of your program, as long as you anticipate that you will pass and receive your degree. Within days after passing the exam, you will receive your RN license. From that point, nothing will hold you back from applying for the RN jobs of your choice, although you may be limited to entry-level positions until you acquire more experience.

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