Can I find a Nursing Job with Just an Associate’s Degree?

by | Jan 29, 2017 | Nurse Education, Nursing Programs | 0 comments

Not too long ago, an Associate’s Degree in nursing was enough to get a good job in nursing in most places. You only needed a higher degree if you planned to go into nursing administration or become a nursing educator. That is changing.

Now, fewer nursing jobs are available for those with less than a Bachelor’s Degree. It will become even harder to find work in nursing with only an Associate’s Degree before long. The American Association of Colleges of Nursing has issued a mandate that will require at least 80 percent of nurses working in hospitals have at least a Bachelor’s Degree by 2020.

Even without this mandate, depending on where you practice, nurses with Associates Degrees are sometimes limited in their options. In hospitals, they sometimes rise beyond being floor nurses but not always. Much of nursing is now as specialized as physician care is so a higher degree is necessary for nurses who wish to enter one of the more specialized fields.

Nurses who want to work in hospitals should consider having an Associate’s Degree only as a means to gain an entry level position. To advance beyond that, they need to work toward their higher degree; especially as 2020 approaches when it could be required that they do so in order to retain their position.

As positions in hospitals for nurses with ADNs become fewer, the remaining options will include doctor’s offices (though many of these hire Medical Assistants rather than RNs), health clinics, community service, schools, in-home nursing care, nursing homes, insurance carriers and the military. These positions usually do not pay as well as hospitals and offer little in the way of career advancement.

With the more rewarding and better paying positions requiring a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing, getting an Associate’s Degree is best viewed as a means of getting started in nursing work while working toward getting a Bachelor’s Degree and considering whether to go into a more specialized field of nursing. With a Bachelor’s Degree in hand, a nurse’s career options are much wider.

Getting an Associate’s Degree in Nursing seems attractive to many because one can be earned in two years as opposed to the four years it takes to earn a Bachelor’s Degree. It should not be considered as the primary goal for nurses anymore, though. It should only be considered the first step to getting a Bachelor’s Degree or even a Master’s Degree. As research and technology in medicine advances, the required education of all medical personnel increases and this is as true for nurses as it is for physicians. This means that an Associate’s Degree is a great starting place and of course you can get a job with it. By the same token, consider it a stepping stone to a whole new career.

Article provided by, Advocate Search Groupa recruiting firm focused exclusively on filling academic nursing program positions throughout the USA

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