Nursing is a great profession, offering job security, excellent pay, and terrific benefits. Different paths can lead to becoming a nurse, including three associate degrees. The Associate of Applied Science in Nursing degree (AAS) is the least common of the three. Continue reading for a better understanding of these degrees.
Associate of Applied Science in Nursing Degree (AAS)
An AAS degree is a two-year degree that trains nursing students to learn the basics of nursing, including healthcare subjects such as pharmacology. The main goal of aas nursing programs is career-focused training. This degree is ideal for the person who wants to go directly into nursing rather than continuing to earn another degree, such as a BSN.
AAS degrees include training in nursing care and documentation. This degree teaches the structure of nursing. Additionally, these programs teach nursing candidates how to give the best care to patients and even include psychosocial aspects of healthcare.
An AAS degree usually takes two to three years to complete with 72 credits. The AAS and ASN degrees are almost the same, and hospitals generally don’t see much difference among them. These two degrees are easily obtained through trade schools and hospital training programs. This is not always the case, though, as some four-year schools also offer these degrees. Students earning an AAS degree will need to complete more classes for a BSN degree than someone with an ADN degree.
Associate of Science Degree in Nursing (ASN)
The ASN degree is the most common two-year associate’s program for nursing. This degree focuses on clinical skills rather than academic course work. Students spend more time in hospitals and with patients than in a classroom, but there is some didactic coursework. Students take courses in areas like health assessment, nutrition, mental health, and med-surgical nursing.
Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN)
The ADN degree is the most widely known associate’s degree for nursing and best aligns with finishing a BSN program later. This program focuses on nursing classes and clinicals. Classes are centered on practical experience, not leadership. These nursing students are not required to take courses outside of the nursing curriculum, and the program can usually be completed in two years.
Many community colleges and some four-year colleges offer ADN programs. An ADN program will combine hands-on training with classwork. An ADN degree will teach the technical skills that a nurse needs for an entry-level job.
Which One is Right for You?
All three associate degrees will prepare students for entry-level nursing jobs. Nurses will have experience with coursework and clinical trials. They will have experience in hospitals and with real patients. Students hoping to continue their education and eventually obtain a BSN should choose an ADN, while those who want to only do practical nursing can do any of the three programs.
Nursing is an admirable profession, and our country needs more nurses now than ever. Be sure to consider all of the options available before enrolling in one of these programs.