The Fast-Track to Becoming a Nurse: Why an Associate Degree in Nursing is Right for You

becoming a nurse ADN

You’ve been called impatient once or twice. And nothing gets you tapping your foot like a long red light or waiting on hold on the customer service line. But there’s nothing wrong with that: You’ve just got your eye on the prize. You know what you want and you’re ready to go!

If you prefer life in the fast lane and you know you want to be a nurse, an associate’s degree in nursing might be the perfect solution.

There are many paths to a rewarding nursing career, though different paths can offer different experiences and their own set of benefits. Keep reading to learn about an associate degree in nursing (ADN) and why it’s the right choice for you!

7 reasons to consider an associate degree in nursing

1. Time is of the essence

Let’s face it – no one wants to wait years and years to start their dream job. And why wait when you can start sooner? By opting for an associate degree in nursing, you can graduate in as few as 18-24 months, as opposed to the typical four years for a bachelor’s degree.1 That translates to less time and money spent in school, meaning you’ll be in the workforce making a difference sooner.

2. You’re still an RN

It doesn’t matter if you earn an ADN or a bachelor’s degree in nursing (BSN) – graduates of both programs will become RNs upon passing the NCLEX exam. And if you’re thinking of completing your BSN in the future, know that acquiring your ADN now will allow you to start gaining valuable experience in the field and continue working while you undergo an RN to BSN program.

3. There are flexible, online courses

Chances are your program will offer a few different modes of learning. These options can be a huge advantage to you and your busy schedule! Online courses combined with on-campus learning makes for the optimal learning experience, offering both the camaraderie of your classmates and the comfort of your own home. It’s the best of both worlds!

4. RNs are in-demand

Really, they are! You’ve probably heard about the national nursing shortage — nurses are needed now more than ever with the aging population living longer and the influx of new patients via the Affordable Care Act.  In fact, nursing jobs are projected to grow 19 percent through 2022, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

5. You can earn a healthy income

The BLS reports the median annual salary for RNs at $65,470 in 2012.2 Considering the average for all occupations is listed at $34,750, this is something to be excited about! Earning your ADN will allow you to start seeing that return on investment sooner than a four-year program.

6. There is plenty of job flexibility

Want to work in a hospital? What about a private clinic? In a lab? A school? Take your pick. There are tons of different types of nurses and many places to work as an RN. And a nurse’s schedule is not fixed. Sure, you may have to work the occasional night, weekend or holiday, but many nurses also benefit from the option to work longer shifts for a three-day workweek. That’s a perk not many get to brag about!

7. You can feel good about your career

An associate degree in nursing may be the right choice for you if you want to get started in a career that gives you the opportunity to help people and make a difference. Seeing your daily work have a direct impact on improving the health of a patient can be incredibly rewarding! In fact, approximately 90 percent of nurses surveyed say they are satisfied with their career choice, according to a 2013 study by AMN Healthcare.

Now you know…

So you know you want to be a nurse, but you don’t have the time or patience to earn a four-year degree at the moment. Aren’t you glad you have so many additional options when it comes to a career in nursing? An ADN can help you get your foot in the door sooner, earn you an above-average salary, provide career flexibility and result in high job satisfaction as a nurse.

If you’re up for the challenge, head over to the Rasmussen College professional nursing degree page to learn more about your degree options and how to get started on the career of your dreams!


1Completion time is dependent on transfer credits accepted and courses completed each term.

2Salary data represents national, averaged earnings for the occupations listed and includes workers at all levels of education and experience. This data does not represent starting salaries and employment conditions in your area may vary.

External links provided on Rasmussen.edu are for reference only. Rasmussen College does not guarantee, approve, control, or specifically endorse the information or products available on websites linked to, and is not endorsed by website owners, authors and/or organizations referenced.

Kristina is a Content Marketing Specialist at Collegis Education who researches and writes content on behalf of Rasmussen College. She hopes her content helps enlighten and engage students through all stages of their education journeys.

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