Best Online Associate In Nursing (ADN) Programs (2023)

Online Associate Degree in Nursing

Online associate degree in nursing (ADN) programs prepare learners for many healthcare careers. Students who graduate from online ADN programs may work as patient coordinators, clinical associates, or care coordinators.

Graduates need state licensure to provide direct nursing care. Most ADN graduates qualify to take the licensed practical nurse (LPN) or registered nurse (RN) licensure exams. Licensed nurses may work as home care nurses, pediatric nurses, or emergency room nurses.

Online ADN programs include core courses in nursing foundations. Learners study behavioral health and nursing care for adults and children. Nurses with an ADN can transfer their associate degree credits toward a bachelor's degree in nursing and choose a specialization.

This page highlights the best online associate in nursing programs. Read on to learn about common courses and degree costs.

View Our Rankings List Here is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Top Online ADN Programs

Explore programs of your interests with the high-quality standards and flexibility you need to take your career to the next level.

Frequently Asked Questions About ADN Programs

What's the difference between an ADN and an RN?

The ADN is a college degree and qualifies graduates to earn an RN license. The RN is a license granted to eligible candidates who pass the National Council Licensure Examination for RNs (NCLEX-RN).

Is an ADN the same as an LPN?

LPNs complete a one-year program to earn an LPN certificate. This certificate qualifies them to take the LPN licensure exam. The ADN is a two-year college degree. The degree qualifies graduates to take the NCLEX-RN and become RNs.

How much does an ADN make?

According to PayScale salary data from September 2021, ADN graduates average about $72,000 annually. However, salaries vary by nurses' credentials, employer, and location.

Why Get an ADN Degree?

Completing an online associate in nursing program can lead to a variety of careers. Many ADN graduates work as nurses. However, graduates can apply their skills in various healthcare careers. They may work as clinical nurse liaisons, infection preventionists, or patient coordinators.

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Many schools offer online ADN programs that accommodate working students. These programs include the same coursework as on-campus programs. However, online learners can complete assignments around work and family responsibilities. Enrollees can complete clinical experiences at approved local sites.

How Does College Accreditation Work?

How Much Does an ADN Degree Cost?

Tuition for online associate in nursing programs varies. Students pay the most affordable tuition at in-state, public schools. Private schools usually charge the highest tuition. Learners can apply for financial aid such as scholarships and grants to help pay for their degree.

Full-time students can complete an ADN program in two years. They can graduate sooner by taking accelerated programs. Some programs offer intensive, eight-week courses throughout the year.

Online learners may qualify for discounted tuition and reduced fees. Some public schools offer in-state tuition rates to online learners regardless of location.

Additional Online Student Fees

Online learners do not pay for campus parking or housing. However, they should budget for other expenses, such as books and graduation fees. Students may also need to upgrade their computer and internet.

Some online programs require on-campus residencies. Learners should factor in travel and lodging costs if they do not live nearby. ADN graduates must also pay $200 for the NCLEX-RN exam. Applying for professional licensure costs $50-$200.

How Much Do ADN Majors Make?

Salaries vary depending on nurses' credentials, position, and employer. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, RNs earn a median annual salary of $75,330. LPNs earn $48,820. Nurses earn more money as they gain experience. Nurses can also boost their salary by earning a bachelor's or graduate degree.

ADN graduates may qualify for direct-care or coordinator jobs in many nursing fields. They can work in specialized nursing areas such as oncology or pediatrics. Possible careers include care coordinator, clinical associate, and clinical nurse liaison.

Courses in ADN Programs

Online ADN programs prepare learners for the NCLEX-RN exam. Core coursework covers nursing foundations. Learners also study pharmacology and behavioral health nursing. Enrollees learn nursing practices particular to serving pediatric and geriatric patients.

Students practice key nursing skills through clinical components. Nurses learn how to examine medical records, track symptoms, and administer medication.

See below for three common courses in online ADN programs. Keep in mind that specific courses vary by program.

  • Nursing Foundations

    This introductory course provides an overview of general nursing principles and practices. Enrollees learn how to provide ethical nursing care. They also learn how to create safe environments for patients. Students build health education and promotion skills.
  • Maternal and Pediatric Nursing Care

    Some programs call this course family nursing care or reproductive nursing care. Coursework covers nursing theory and practice for serving small children and their parents. Students learn how to provide reproductive and pediatric nursing services. Enrollees practice their family nursing skills during a clinical component.
  • Pharmacology

    Students learn how to administer medications safely. Enrollees learn the indications and effects of common pharmaceuticals. Students explore how different drugs interact with each other. The course focuses on sensitivity to patients' physical, social, and psychological needs.

Best Online Nursing Programs 2021


Accelerated Nursing Programs Guide

How to Become a Registered Nurse

RNs need a state license to practice. State nursing boards establish licensure requirements. Most state boards require licensure candidates to complete board-approved nursing education programs and pass the NCLEX-RN exam. Aspiring RNs may also need to complete a background check. TheNational Council of State Boards of Nursing oversees state nursing boards and creates nursing licensure exams.

Most RNs spend their days caring for patients. RNs observe and assess patients and record medical information. They also provide treatments in collaboration with other medical professionals. is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Featured Online RN Programs

Find a program that meets your affordability, flexibility, and education needs through an accredited, online school.

Licensure for ADN Students

ADN graduates can qualify to take the NCLEX-RN exam and become licensed nurses. Nursing license requirements vary by state. Approved programs meet board-established curriculum and clinical experience requirements. Some state boards require candidates to submit official transcripts.

States such as Colorado only license graduates of nursing programs accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education or the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing.

Nurses pay for their initial licensure. Costs vary by state. Nurses also pay to renew their licenses periodically. License renewal requires about 30 hours of continuing education every two years. Specific requirements vary by state.

Some nurses obtain licenses in other states through licensure reciprocity agreements. State boards that participate in agreements such as the Nurse Licensure Compact can help nurses transfer their license.

Best Online Associate in Nursing (ADN) Programs

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North Central Missouri College

School Information
Location Trenton, Missouri
Graduation Rate 41%
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 63% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

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North Central Missouri College connects distance learners with flexible online study opportunities. From its main campus in Trenton, the school supports distance learners across 11 virtual programs.

Students seeking accommodating study in nursing should consider the school's associate degree in nursing. Learners benefit from a rigorous course curriculum, preparing them for the demands of the field. Enrollees can modify their studies by declaring minors and degree concentrations and choosing course electives.

Learners in the ADN program join a supportive virtual learning community upon enrolling. Throughout their studies, learners can pursue internships, research projects, and other learning opportunities. Depending on eligibility, students can benefit from scholarships, fellowships, and other financial aid awards. At present, 95% of all enrollees are awarded aid.

Interested applicants can learn more about funding opportunities and admission requirements by contacting the admissions office.

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Arkansas State University

School Information
Location Jonesboro, Arkansas
Admission Rate 80%
Graduation Rate 53%
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 59% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

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Arkansas State University, a public institution, offers flexible online study for people from all walks of life. The school offers two fully online associate degree programs.

The college’s associate of applied science in nursing program is an attractive option for busy students and working professionals. Students complete nursing-specific coursework, gaining knowledge easily applied to a career in the field. Enrollees can modify their studies by declaring minors, choosing concentrations, and taking electives.

Distance learners connect with classmates and faculty through a virtual classroom environment. To learn beyond the classroom, students can pursue internships or work with faculty members on peer-reviewed research projects. Students may be eligible for internal and external funding opportunities. Students can discuss funding opportunities, such as scholarships and fellowships, with the Office of Financial Aid.

To learn more about the application process, schedule an appointment with the admissions office.


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Excelsior College

School Information
Location Albany, New York
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education

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Excelsior College is a private college offering flexible remote study options for distance learners worldwide. The college connects distance learners with 13 fully online associate degree programs.

The associate of applied science in nursing program allows for flexible study through full- and part-time enrollment options. Students complete industry-relevant coursework, preparing them for a future career in nursing. Enrollees can work with their academic advisor and customize their course schedule to suit their career goals.

While enrolled, students benefit from a supportive online learning community. Enrollees can broaden their learning by pursuing internships, research projects, and other learning opportunities. Eligible students can apply scholarships, fellowships, and other forms of financial aid toward educational expenses.

To find out more about enrollment requirements and the benefits of an online education, speak with the admissions office today.

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What is the easiest ADN program to get into? ›

With an acceptance rate of 95%, Arkansas Tech University offers one of the easiest ADN programs to get into. The program is open to Licensed Practical/Vocational Nurses who wish to pursue an Associate of Applied Science degree in Nursing (AAS-RN).

Is ADN better than ASN? ›

Compared to ASN and AAS, an ADN degree is the best option for transiting to a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program. Remember that every school is different regarding prerequisites and actual course material.

What is the quickest RN program? ›

An associate's degree in nursing (ADN) or a bachelor's degree in nursing (BSN) are the two most common fast track options. With each of these ways to receive nursing instruction, they require passing the NCLEX licensure examination.

Can I do a nursing degree online? ›

Online degrees

From January 2021, some universities are offering adult nursing courses where the theoretical content is mainly delivered online, making it easier to fit studies around home life. You can search for the courses, sometimes called 'blended' courses on our course finder.

Is getting your ADN hard? ›

Despite the shorter education, ADN programs are still extremely challenging and have a competitive curriculum. Most ADN programs expect students to earn a minimum of a C grade or higher, although some ADN programs require higher grades (such as a B-, or above 80%, for example).

Can I get into nursing school with a 2.5 GPA? ›

Most programs require at least a 2.5 GPA or higher. Some set their limit at a 3.0 GPA. This is important to find out during the research phase of your accelerated nursing program search.

Is ADN harder than BSN? ›

A BSN degree is a bachelor's degree, typically a four-year program, that is a step higher than an ADN degree. Registered nurses with this degree not only go to school longer, but they also gain a more in-depth education compared to those with an ADN degree.

Can ADN do Botox? ›

Because, to answer the question, “Can a registered nurse do Botox?” the answer is a resounding “Yes!

Is ADN worth? ›

Associate Degree in Nursing

The main advantages of an ADN program are that it's less expensive and less time-consuming. You'll become a nurse faster, start earning money and getting nursing experience. You can complete ADN programs in as few as 18 to 24 months.

Is adn the same as RN? ›

Is an ADN the same as an RN? An ADN is a two-year nursing degree that leads to becoming an RN. The RN credential is more than holding the degree: It includes earning an RN diploma, ADN, or BSN degree, passing the NCLEX, and completing state licensing requirements.

Can I study nursing for 6 months? ›


As an Enrolled Nurse or Registered Nurse, you can develop your career by specialising in one or more post-basic fields of healthcare.

Whats the fastest you can become an LPN? ›

How long does it take to become an LPN? It can take as few as 12 months to earn a diploma in practical nursing, as opposed to approximately 2-3 years to earn an associate or bachelor's degree in nursing (ADN/ASN or BSN).

Are online nursing schools legit? ›

The short answer is an emphatic yes! It is possible to get a nursing degree online. You can earn a variety of nursing degrees online from Ohio State, ranging from a Bachelor of Science in Nursing to a Doctor of Nursing Practice.

Is 42 too old to become a nurse? ›

While going back to school for nursing at 30 or 40 is a big change, you are never too old to change careers. Nursing provides a rewarding second career, and your life experience prepares you for nursing.

Can I become a nurse at 45? ›

The answer is that going back to school to earn your nursing degree is an incredibly rewarding experience; you're never too old to become a nurse!

What is the hardest semester of an ADN program? ›

Health Assessment: the hardest semester of nursing school

Health assessment will likely be one of the initial courses you'll take in nursing school, and it involves delving into the various body systems and learning how to assess patients from head to toe.

Do people still hire ADN? ›

It's generally easier to get a job with a BSN than with an ADN alone, but, depending on where you live, in some areas they readily hire ADNs, too. And some employers will consider hiring ADNs, with the stipulation that they get their BSN within a set number of years.

Is ASN the same as ADN? ›

An Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN), or Associate of Science in Nursing (ASN) is a two-year degree that prepares students to become registered nurses (RNs). The program typically includes internships, classroom instruction, and/or clinical rotations. ADNs are among the fastest ways to enter the field of nursing.

What can I do to increase my chances of getting into nursing school? ›

8 Ways to Increase Your Chances of Getting into Nursing School
  1. Write Down Your “Why” for Nursing. ...
  2. Choose a Nursing School with Multiple Start Dates. ...
  3. Ensure You Meet Admissions Requirements. ...
  4. Create a Professional Resume. ...
  5. Connect with Your Admissions Counselor. ...
  6. Start Your Prerequisites Early. ...
  7. Spend Time with Patients.
26 Aug 2022

Why is nursing so hard to get into? ›

The main reason many programs are not easy to get into is because they lack the capacity to teach the number of applicants they receive. There is a shortage of nurses with master's degrees or doctorates that are willing to teach. There is also a shortage of clinical sites and classroom space.

What SAT score is required for nursing? ›

Remember that you need scores at the upper bound or higher to ensure you're competitive, so try to aim for around a 1440 on the SAT or a 33 composite ACT score at the lowest.

Is a 2 year nursing degree worth it? ›

You can earn an associate degree and become a licensed RN in about 2 years. You can gain essential work experience in the field sooner than others. You can also start building connections in nursing, and with patients, sooner. You can save money by earning an associate, rather than a four-year degree.

Should I get my ASN or BSN first? ›

Nursing requires training, education and commitment. To be eligible to take the state certification exam and ultimately become licensed as a nurse, you must earn an Associate of Science in Nursing (ASN). To take your nursing career to the next level, you can then obtain a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN).

Is adn the same as LPN? ›

For instance, a licensed practical nursing (LPN) certificate only requires about a year of study, while an associate degree in nursing (ADN) requires two years of study. However, while LPN programs prepare students to become a licensed practical nurse, ADN programs lead to becoming a registered nurse (RN).

How do I become an esthetician nurse? ›

How to become an aesthetic nurse
  1. Complete a nursing degree. ...
  2. Work on your essential skills. ...
  3. Choose a nursing specialisation. ...
  4. Get NMC registration. ...
  5. Get general nursing experience. ...
  6. Move to an entry-level position in aesthetics or become an independent professional. ...
  7. Renew your NMC registration every year. ...
  8. Aim for more.
29 Sept 2021

Do you tip a nurse injector? ›

You should NEVER leave a tip for your PA/NP or nurse injector. Injectables are medications, just like a blood pressure pill or a thyroid medication. You would not tip your primary care provider for doing an EKG on you so no need to tip on our medical services either.

Are ADN nurses in demand? ›

ADN Salary and Pay

According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, there is a national nursing shortage, and this means that Registered Nurses who have their ADN are in high demand.

Is ADN enough? ›

The associate's degree in nursing (ADN) has been the benchmark credential for getting a nursing job for the past 40 years, but change is now afoot. A small but growing number of U.S. hospitals are now only hiring nurses that have a bachelor's degree in nursing (BSN) or higher.

Is the Nclex the same for ADN and BSN? ›

After earning their degree, BSN graduates are required to pass the same NCLEX-RN test taken by ADN candidates. As a result of the additional education, BSN-RNs are otherwise better positioned for certain nursing specialties, career advancement opportunities, and better pay.

What is a nurse with an associate's degree called? ›

Associate in Nursing (ASN)

You can become a registered nurse (RN) in just two years with your associate degree in nursing (ASN). RNs are the first line of care in many healthcare settings, and they are in increasingly high demand as healthcare organizations strive to accommodate a growing patient population.

What can you do with a nursing associate degree? ›

Graduates will be able to work as a Nursing Associate and make career progression within the health and social care sectors. You'll develop a wide range of transferable clinical, care and interpersonal skills (including medicines management) across different health and social care settings.

How long is associate degree? ›

It typically takes two years full-time to complete an associate's degree. For some students, an associate's degree provides preparation for a bachelor's degree, while for others it's a qualification in its own right, helping to improve employment prospects compared to only having completed a secondary-level education.

What short courses can a nurse do? ›

Short Courses
  • Short Course in Ophthalmic Nursing.
  • Short Course on Integrated Management of Childhood Illness.
  • Short Course on Primary Clinical Care (PC) 101.
  • Short Course on Neurodevelopmental Supportive Care of the Preterm Infant.

How much do auxiliary nurses earn? ›

Average Netcare Nursing Auxiliary monthly pay in South Africa is approximately R 11 840, which meets the national average.

Can I study nursing part time? ›

Yes, there are many institutions that offer Nursing courses part-time.

Is the LPN exam hard? ›

NCLEX-PN was fairly easy for me. Most test-takers do not realize that you only need to answer about 50 percent of the questions correctly, just as long as you get enough of the "higher level" questions correct.

Is LPN school difficult? ›

LPN schooling can be very challenging at times; however, you can get the hang of it with dedication and good study habits! Furthermore, nursing is a gratifying job, motivating you to work towards it persistently.

What can an RN do that an LPN Cannot? ›

RNs have a more expanded scope of practice than LPNs, in that they can perform diagnostic tests, administer medications, and educate patients on how to manage their health after treatment. RNs also oversee LPNs, Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs), and home health aides.

Is nursing school online hard? ›

Proper time management is important in all areas of life but when it comes to online nursing school – especially online or hybrid nursing programs – poor time management (or lack thereof) can make nursing school a lot more difficult than it already is.

Do employers care where you went to nursing school? ›

The main aspect that employers care about is whether the nursing school you went to is accredited or not. There are some hospitals that might indeed have some preferences in regards to where their nurses got their degrees from.

Is online nursing papers legit? ›

Yes, nursing paper writing service is legit but make sure you use a reliable one. Paper writing services such as WriteMyEssay. help are assisting students in getting the best-written papers for their nursing and other academic levels. We are committed to quality papers with minimum turnover time.

What is the best career to start at 40? ›

25 best careers to start at 40
  • Real estate agent.
  • Proofreader.
  • Freelance writer.
  • Translator.
  • Consultant.
  • Job Recruiter.
  • Social media manager.
  • Project or program manager.
1 Jun 2022

How old do nurses retire? ›

For nurses with time to plan, the prospect of an early or timely retirement with a properly sized financial portfolio and social security benefits appeals to them when they reach the current full retirement age of about 67 years or even before at 62 years (without full social security benefits).

Is nursing easier than medical school? ›

However, don't take it for granted that nursing school will be much easier than medical school, especially in an accelerated format. Both offer a unique set of challenges and demand the utmost in student commitment and work rate. When comparing the different benefits offered through nursing school vs.

Is 65 too old to become a nurse? ›

The oldest student nurse I have met to date was 70 years old. There are many women and men like yourself coming into the profession after retiring from another career or two. With everyone living and working longer these days, you're never too old to start a career in nursing.

What is the oldest age you can train to be a nurse? ›

There is no upper age limit to start nurse training but you should discuss any concerns that you might have about your suitability for training with the universities offering courses.

What is the average age of a nursing student? ›

The average age of ADN nursing students at community colleges is 26-40 years old. BSN programs have an average age of early-mid 20s. Students in RN-to-BSN programs are typically in their late 30s.

› ... › Become a Nurse ›

Unlike the old days, the job you get right out of college is highly unlikely to be the job you have when you retire. With so many education options these days m...
To each his own. You're never too old to do anything you really want as long as you are willing to accept the circumstance that comes with it. I'm curre...
From certificate programs to doctoral degrees, there are many paths to a career in nursing. Which you choose could depend on time and finances.

What state is the easiest to become a nurse? ›

Easiest states to become a nurse – Length of licensing process
  • Maine: 1-2 weeks.
  • Maryland: 2-3 days.
  • Missouri: 2 weeks.
  • Nevada: 1-2 weeks.
  • North Carolina: 1-2 weeks.
  • North Dakota: 1-2 weeks.
  • Texas: 2 weeks.
  • Vermont: 3-5 business days.

How can I get into nursing school with a low GPA? ›

8 Tips If You Want to Become a Nurse But Have Bad Grades
  1. Take General Ed Courses to Raise Your GPA. ...
  2. Consider a Waitlist Program. ...
  3. Get Involved. ...
  4. Work Your Way Up. ...
  5. Realize That Grades Aren't Everything. ...
  6. Meet with a Counselor. ...
  7. Just Ask For Help. ...
  8. Include a Statement Letter.
15 Nov 2019

Which nursing program is easiest to get into in California? ›

What is the easiest nursing school to get into in California? California State University—Bakersfield has an acceptance rate of 78%, which is higher than other schools in the state.

Is BSN more competitive than ADN? ›

Competitive programs: The program may be more competitive than an ADN program. A BSN program may require more prerequisites and a higher GPA for admission, for instance.

Which state is the hardest to become a nurse? ›

Whether you're a first-time travel nurse or a seasoned veteran, the matter of obtaining licensure in a new state you'd like to work in is always a hurdle.
5 States that Take Longest to Get an RN License In
  1. Ohio (4-6 months) ...
  2. 2. California (3-6 months) ...
  3. Maryland (10 weeks) ...
  4. Maine (8-10 weeks) ...
  5. Alaska (8 weeks)
4 Oct 2018

Can you take the NCLEX exam without going to nursing school? ›

Requirements for Taking the NCLEX

To become a practical or vocational nurse, nursing school or an undergraduate degree is not required. However, candidates must pass the NCLEX-PN, which they can take after earning a relevant certificate in LVN or LPN.

Which semester of nursing school is the hardest? ›

Health Assessment: the hardest semester of nursing school

Health assessment will likely be one of the initial courses you'll take in nursing school, and it involves delving into the various body systems and learning how to assess patients from head to toe.

How can I increase my chances of getting into nursing school? ›

8 Ways to Increase Your Chances of Getting into Nursing School
  1. Write Down Your “Why” for Nursing. ...
  2. Choose a Nursing School with Multiple Start Dates. ...
  3. Ensure You Meet Admissions Requirements. ...
  4. Create a Professional Resume. ...
  5. Connect with Your Admissions Counselor. ...
  6. Start Your Prerequisites Early. ...
  7. Spend Time with Patients.
26 Aug 2022

Can I get into nursing school with a 1.5 GPA? ›

With a 1.5 grade point average, no community college ADN program will admit you. Even if you were to raise that GPA to 3.0, you're competing against the 4.0 GPA hopefuls.

Do grades matter in nursing school? ›

Grades Do Matter, but They Aren't Everything

The most important thing is that you are able to graduate through the program and pass NCLEX. However, I would encourage nursing students to work hard to keep their grades as high as possible, as there are also many benefits to maintaining a high GPA.

Is 48 too old to become a nurse? ›

Even if you have the disposition and drive to enter a new career in the nursing field, you might be asking yourself, “Am I too old to become a nurse?” The answer to this question is no. Nurses come from all walks of life and all age groups.

How many ADN programs are there in California? ›

We have analyzed 90 California Board of Registered Nursing approved ADN programs, and after applying our ranking methodology, we have come up with a list of the 10 best ACEN accredited ADN programs in California that boast the highest NCLEX-RN pass rates.

Can you become a nurse online in California? ›

California offers several accredited online nursing programs. California State University - Dominguez Hills offers both an online RN to BSN and an online MSN program and is one of the most affordable colleges for nursing.

Can ADN do Botox? ›

Because, to answer the question, “Can a registered nurse do Botox?” the answer is a resounding “Yes!

Is ADN worth? ›

Associate Degree in Nursing

The main advantages of an ADN program are that it's less expensive and less time-consuming. You'll become a nurse faster, start earning money and getting nursing experience. You can complete ADN programs in as few as 18 to 24 months.

Is an associate's in nursing worth it? ›

The Benefit of an Associate Degree in Nursing

Rather, you are setting yourself up for success in many ways – For one, an ADN will qualify you to take the licensing exam and start working in the field within two years' time, putting you a step ahead other aspiring nurses pursuing a four-year bachelor's degree.


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