Many people have the dream of becoming a nurse; however not all of them follow through on pursuing their dream because they think it is going to take a long time to obtain their nursing license. Fortunately, you can get an entry level nursing degree in two years, with a 2 year nursing degree.
2 year nursing degrees are also referred to as associate degrees and they are primarily designed to provide students with the basics of nursing, including clinical knowledge and theory. In order to pursue an associates in nursing (ASN) degree or associate degree in nursing (ADN), you will need to have received your high school diploma or passed the GED.
Some nursing schools will require that you have completed college algebra and nursing math before qualifying for an associates’ degree program. At one time, nursing math was incorporated into the degree program, but it is now more common to be required prior to entering the degree program. Nursing math differs from other math classes in that you will need to learn how to calculate IV flow rates, drug dosages and other calculations nurses use on a regular basis. You might also be required to take statistics or other math classes depending on your school’s requirements. These classes usually require a grade of B or higher in order to be considered adequate for entrance into 2 year nursing degrees.
Prior to attending nursing school, most students have completed a number of science courses. These general science classes are designed to provide students with the basics of the human body, its structure and its processes. In addition, science classes such as chemistry concentrate on how substances react in certain situations. Some schools require organic chemistry and biochemistry classes as well. There is a combined course designed specifically for health care professionals that is usually an acceptable substitute.
Once you get into a 2 year nursing degree program, you will be required to take courses in microbiology or bacteriology in which you will learn about microscopic organisms, disease-causing microbes, and how to destroy these microscopic invaders.
Regardless of where you obtain your degree, you are going to need clinical experience before you can graduate with your associate degree in nursing. Individual states determine how many hours you will need before you can apply and obtain your nursing license. You will need to provide hands-on care to patients in a clinical environment. This is a broad term that encompasses hospitals, medical centers, nursing homes, rehabilitation facilities, and physician offices. You will also be required to be supervised by a clinical instructor who will ensure that you have demonstrated the required clinical skills. Some of the skills you will need to master include putting in and taking out a urinary catheter, changing wound dressings and giving an intramuscular injection. Knowledge of drug treatments will also be necessary and you will need to show that you can develop a nursing care plan for your patients.
The Associates Degree in Nursing is a common path for aspiring nursing students to take. You will find that the majority of technical and community colleges offer 2 year nursing degrees at an affordable cost. Once you graduate and take the NCLEX nursing exam, you will be licensed as either a Registered Nurse (RN) or a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) depending on the courses you took while in your program.
There are many career opportunities for newly graduated nurses, who will find that they are immediately employable because of the shortage of nurses in the country and because of the excellent preparation you receive in these programs. Often, nurses who have associates’ degrees decide to continue their education while pursuing their careers. An associates’ degree is a great step toward achieving a Bachelor of Science nursing degree that usually takes four years to complete.
Nursing is a rewarding career that is nearly recession-proof, provides a good living wage, and offers personal satisfaction. If you have a calling to this profession or if you are just looking to change careers to one that is more fulfilling than what you are currently doing, contact your local community college or technical school to get on the 2 year nursing degree path today.