Candidates pursuing an associate’s degree in nursing (ADN) often ask “What kind of job can I get with an associate’s degree in nursing?” Although most students earn this degree so they can begin work as a registered nurse (RN), this is not the only type of job available to graduates. The ADN program not only prepares students to work as RNs in various medical facilities but also provides them with the skills and knowledge to work in other jobs in the healthcare industry. Here are a few jobs an ADN graduate might pursue and find very rewarding.
Related resource: Top 10 Online Colleges for Associates Degrees
Registered Nurse in Hospital
Despite being qualified for other healthcare jobs, most graduates of an associate’s degree in nursing obtain licensure and begin working as RNs in a hospital. RNs are very much in demand and have the potential for growth and excellent wages. Working in a hospital gives the RN experience working in various departments, which often helps them decide if they wish to specialize in a certain area of nursing. The ADN can also act as a foundation for advanced education. Many RNs with the associate degree work as RNs for a few years and then earn the Bachelor of Science in Nursing.
Outpatient Care Nurse
Outpatient care nurses typically work in outpatient clinics where they provide health care to patients recovering from medical treatments and procedures. For instance, an accident victim who is no longer in need of 24/7 hospital care may be released and asked to come to an outpatient clinic for treatment. The outpatient care nurse is the professional that would work with this patient. Outpatient care nurses clean and monitor wounds, analyze progress from surgery, assist with dialysis and provide the patient with the necessary treatment.
Personal Care Nurse
RNs who want nursing as their career but don’t care to work in a hospital often choose to work as a personal care nurse. Also referred to as home health nurses, personal care nurses travel to a patient’s home and provide care for the patient on a regular basis. They may work an 8-hour day or may just come for a few hours per day depending on the patient’s needs. The personal care nurse may focus on one or two patients or may have several to see throughout the workweek. Their duties include assisting with physical therapy, helping with daily activities, examining and monitoring the patient’s condition and providing transportation to and from a healthcare facility. The demand for personal care nurses is continuing to grow as home hospice care is becoming a popular and cost-effective method of care.
Travel nursing is another job an individual can get with an associate’s in nursing. An ADN graduate who wants to work as an RN and loves to travel may find working as a travel nurse to be a perfect fit. Travel nurses generally work in a specific area for about 13 to 26 weeks and then move on to a different location. However, they do have the option of choosing the location and the time, so they may work less than 13 weeks or more than 26 weeks. Due to the shortage of RNs, travel nurses are in demand and can often earn excellent wages.
Job opportunities in the healthcare industry are expected to grow 18% during the decade of 2016 and 2026 according to a U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). In addition to finding rewarding work as an RN, graduates of the associate’s degree in nursing can choose to work in various healthcare-related jobs.