8 Good Reasons to Get Your Associate’s Degree in Nursing
By Staff Writer Published on February 28, 2014
So, is nursing the right career path for you? Consider the following reasons why it would be smart to get your associate’s degree in nursing:
Amazing job growth
The nation’s need for nurses is growing fast. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that healthcare will add more than 711,000 new registered nurse jobs to the workforce by the year 2020. This 26% growth rate is much faster than the average for all occupations.2
In other words, you couldn’t have picked a better time to start your new nursing career.
According to Business Insider, registered nurses (RNs) were recently ranked number 18 out of the 40 best-paying jobs that don’t require a bachelor’s degree.3
It’s easy to see why RNs rank so high. According to the BLS, RNs earned a median wage of $1,259.04 a week in 2012, or $31.48 an hour. That totals more than $65,000 per year! Entry-level pay was $21.65 an hour, or more than $45,000 a year.4 That’s a solid paycheck when you consider that all you need to get started is your associate degree in nursing and your nursing license.
Full-time RNs nearly always get the same employee benefits as other healthcare professionals employed by the same organization. Most full-time RNs can get medical, dental, and vision insurance at discounted group rates. And retirement plans are commonly provided, such as pensions and 401(k)s.
Of course, most nurses also get paid holidays and vacations, sick time, and personal time off.5
Good job satisfaction
In a recent survey of more than 88,000 RNs, 91% of the participants stated that they were satisfied with their career choice.6
This is no surprise, considering the outstanding compensation, benefits, and job security that nurses generally enjoy. In addition, RNs also get personal satisfaction from helping people heal from injury or illness. As a nurse, you can make a dramatically positive difference in the lives of your patients, as well as their families. You could even save someone’s life!
Wonderful work environment
Does the idea of working behind a desk for the rest of your career sound awful? If so, nursing could be the perfect choice for you.
Nearly half (48%) of all RNs are employed in private hospitals. The rest work in a range of other locations, such as physicians’ offices, urgent-care clinics, public hospitals, nursing-care facilities, and home-health organizations.7
With a job like nursing, your duties can vary widely from day to day. You might do anything from performing physical exams to administering medications or assisting doctors during surgeries and other procedures.
Quick degree programs
At traditional colleges and universities, bachelor’s degree programs can take four years or more to finish.At schools like CollegeAmerica, however, you could get your associate’s degree in nursing and start working as an RN in just 22 to 28 months.8
Flexible class scheduling
Many nursing students face different challenges than typical college students. Some students are already employed full time and need to keep working so they can provide for family members.
If you’re an adult who needs some flexibility in your nursing degree program, CollegeAmerica lets you arrange your courses to fit your scheduling requirements. To help you fit your degree program into your busy life, we offer classes during the day, in the evening, and online.9
Financial aid for those who qualify
Nursing students can tap into some exclusive scholarship and financial-aid resources. At CollegeAmerica, for example, students who want to become RNs can apply for the Future in Nursing Scholarship.10 If eligible, you could be awarded up to $3,000 toward the tuition of your nursing associate’s degree. If you decide to complete your bachelor’s degree in nursing, you could be awarded up to $5,000!10
In addition to applying for scholarships, you can apply for federal financial aid, including loans and grants that can make degrees more affordable for those who qualify.
Would you like more information about earning your associate’s degree in nursing and how to get started? Contact CollegeAmerica and a helpful admissions consultant will provide the information you need to make the right decision, as well as help you apply for scholarships and financial aid that you might qualify for.
Classes start every month, so you could get started on your nursing degree right away! Begin your enrollment process by calling 1-888-773-8591 today, or request info here.
1: The amount of increased earnings varies by field and degree. Source: U.S. Census Bureau http://www.census.gov/prod/2012pubs/p70-129.pdf (see Table 8).
6: http://www.amnhealthcare.com/uploadedFiles/MainSite/Content/Healthcare_Industry_Insights/Industry_Research/AMN%202012%20RN%20Survey. See page 5.
8: Accelerated Degree Programs are compared to traditional colleges and universities. See National Center for Educational Statistics, Table 4 (http://www.nces.ed.gov/pubs2007/2007154.pdf). For more information about our graduation rates, the median debt of students who completed the programs, and other important information, please visit our website at www.stevenshenager.edu/student-information.
9: Online programs are offered by our affiliated institution, Independence University.
10: Scholarship awards are limited and only available to those who qualify. See www.scholarshipshc.com for details.
Christopher Bigelow is a copywriter for CollegeAmerica, with over twenty years of experience in marketing and corporate communications.
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