An associates degree in nursing (ADN) is generally a two-year program that will qualify you for the NCLEX-RN exam to become an RN or registered nurse in your state. This degree can allow you to start your nursing career at a high-quality entry point. Be aware that many of the RN associates degrees come from community or technical colleges. The big state universities tend to focus more on BSN or nursing masters degree programs. (read more here about LPN, associate, diploma and associate degrees online that can help start your nursing career.)
RN’s do a good deal of consulting with doctors about the patient’s care. And while they don’t generally get the kind of senior management positions that go to nurses that have a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) degree, an RN is a solid step up the ladder from a licensed practical nurse in the “pecking order.” Some major hospitals have actually stopped hiring practical or vocational nurses, which means that being an RN can be a necessity if you want to work in a particular hospital or other facility.
Nursing Salaries Vary
The Bureau of Labor Statistics currently pegs the median salary for RN’s at about $64,000 per year, though there are wide swings depending on region and type of facility. Some RNs earn closer to $44,000 per year, while a few at the top end earn $90,000. Hospitals, by the way, are offer the highest median salary to RNs nationally: about $63,000. Nursing facilities pay the lowest median: about $56,000 per year. Of course, one of the best things about getting an ADN is that it can prepare you to push your career even further by getting a BSN “completion degree.” If you’re thinking in that direction, here’s a look at courses you’ll have to take to get that BSN degree.
A Range Of Tuitions
ADN programs can cost anywhere from just $3,000. at a community college to over $20,000 at a private university. Some examples:
Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College offers a nursing associate degree program for a total of $10,600. Another community college, Illinois’ College of DuPage ADN degree costs a total of $12,000.
Blinn College, a community college in Texas, offers an ADN program for a total of Blinn $7,900 for in-state residents. The tuition for this program is just $5,500. Books cost $1,800., and your uniforms and nurse’s equipment will set you back $600. A real bargain can be had at little Mitchell Community College in North Carolina, where the nursing degree associates program costs just $6,000. in total. Larger and better known Ohio University’s ADN program is actually less than $6,000. The catch, however, is that all these fees are for in-state residents. If you go to a public school outside your home state, that cost could go far higher.
At the higher end, Kaplan University’s online nursing associates degree program is listed at about $34,000 total. The number of pure online associate’s programs in nursing, however, is somewhat limited. Most of the elearning based degrees are at the higher BSN level.
Moorehead State University, in Kentucky, is an interesting example of the range of fees you can run into at a single institution, depending on where you come from. Moorehead, which has been called one of the best public universities in the south by U.S. News & World Report, calls their nursing associates degree an ADNP for “associates degree in nursing program.” Tuition for this two year degree will run you about $11,000. if you’re an in-state student, about $14,000. if you take all or some of your courses online, and almost $30,000. if you are a full-time student from out-of-state.
Keep in mind that you need to complete several liberal arts prerequisites before you can start the ADNP program here, as you do with most nursing associate degree programs. There’s considerable variation from state to state: SUNY, New York’s university system, charges tuition of about $33,000. for out-of-state students, but is over $21,000 for in-state students for the two-year nursing degree.
Salary estimates from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics