Nursing Degree An Inside Look

People are living longer, mainly due to​ changes in​ lifestyles but also because of​ incredible advances in​ health care. One of​ the results is​ the need for more healthcare professionals, including nurses. One way the industry is​ changing is​ by offering career choices in​ the form of​ more educational opportunities and options.

The Associate's Degree in​ Nursing has only recently become an​ option, though it's quickly gaining favor in​ the health care industry. While there are naturally some differences in​ the training for an​ associate's degree as​ opposed to​ a​ bachelor's degree, many health care agencies - including hospitals and doctor's offices - are recognizing the fact that those graduating with associate's degrees can perform many of​ the same duties and handle many of​ the same responsibilities as​ those with bachelor's degree. But is​ there really a​ difference?

There has to​ be some difference simply by the difference in​ time requirements for the two degrees. an​ associate's degree is​ typically accomplished in​ two years. This is​ sometimes called a​ "fast track" and there are many associate's degree programs available. Most are available through community colleges or​ technical training schools, though some four-year universities are now offering fast track degrees as​ part of​ their training programs.

By comparison, a​ bachelor's degree in​ nursing usually takes four years. Some who go into college with at​ least a​ few hours of​ college behind them and a​ solid plan can accomplish it​ sooner, especially if​ summer school classes are used to​ hasten the process. But as​ a​ rule, it​ takes a​ full four years to​ complete college with a​ bachelor's degree in​ any field, including nursing.

If you can achieve an​ associate's degree in​ only two years, why would anyone go on for the bachelor's degree? Most health care facilities seem willing to​ accept either degree, but most make a​ pay differentiation. Those who have graduated with a​ bachelor's degree can often expect to​ be paid more than those with an​ associate's degree. One of​ the positive points is​ that a​ nurse with an​ associate's degree can usually go to​ work earning a​ good wage and pick up classes toward the bachelor's degree to​ increase their worth.

So what's the difference in​ the actual study required? One important point noted by proponents of​ the associate's degree is​ that the four-year university requires a​ "well rounded" education before conferring a​ degree. That means that graduates are required to​ complete requirements in​ history, communication, physical education and other subjects that some say aren't relevant to​ a​ nursing degree. There are also some math and science courses that are typically above those required for a​ two-year nursing degree.

By comparison, an​ associate's degree program will often use a​ "block" format. Instead of​ taking an​ algebra class and a​ chemistry class, those in​ the associate's degree program may take an​ afternoon class that combines the two, focusing on the way algebra and chemistry apply to​ their chosen field.

Some say there's no substitute for the bachelor's degree and that nurses should all be required to​ go through the full program. as​ long as​ there's a​ demand for nurses and others in​ the health care field, there's no doubt that faster training - as​ long as​ it's adequate - will be in​ demand.

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