Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN)

(ADN) Degree

Getting an associate degree in nursing allows you to pursue a career as a registered nurse. Discover the potential of an ADN in achieving your aspirations today.

Average ADN Program Length

2 years

Average Credits Required For an ADN 

60-75 credits

ADN Average Annual Salary


Opportunities With an ADN

Explore the Nursing Field

Explore whether a nursing profession aligns with your objectives without dedicating yourself to a four-year course.

Become an RN

An ADN degree equips students with the essential qualifications and readies them for the NCLEX-RN examination.

Credit Transfer

Credits earned from an ADN can be transferred to a four-year college to obtain a BSN.

Skills Learned

Graduates hold skills in critical thinking, communication, and organization.

Featured ADN Specialties

An ADN program is one of the quickest routes to becoming a RN. This page provides details on entry prerequisites, income prospects, and much more.

Registered Nurse

Registered nurses (RNs) supervise nursing teams, providing care to patients in clinics, hospitals, and nursing homes. They manage patient cases across all age groups, from infants to the elderly, during day or night shifts. In 16 states, RNs hold the authority to prescribe medications.

Emergency Room Nurse

Emergency room nurses are very important in emergency departments. They help patients who have serious health problems. They decide which cases are emergencies and need help right away.


OBGYN nurses help women and babies with their health needs. They work with obstetricians and gynecologists and take care of women in clinics, private doctor's offices, and hospitals. They help women during different times, like when they are pregnant, giving birth, or after the baby is born.

Neonatal Nurse

Neonatal nurses take care of sick or critically ill babies in special hospital units called ICUs or neonatal intensive care units. They work with children's doctors and other nurses, and they teach instruct what to do. Most have worked as RNs for many years and have special certificates for taking care of babies.

Associate Degree in Nursing Salaries

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) doesn’t separate RNs with different degrees, but it reports the average yearly pay for all RNs is $77,600. The lowest-paid 10% made $59,450 or less in May 2021, and the highest 10% made $120,250 or more. Factors that determine their salary include where they live, their education, and how long they’ve worked.

COVID-19 drove high levels of nurse burnout, so some quit their jobs or left healthcare completely. Because of this and the aging population of US, there should be strong demand for nurses. The BLS projects a 9% increase in jobs for RNs between 2020 and 2030.

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Admission Requirements for a BSN Program

Different schools have different rules for getting into two-year ADN programs. But usually applicants must typically submit:

A high school diploma or GED certificate

A lot of MSN programs require students to have a BSN first. But some special programs allow students to join with an associate degree in nursing or a bachelor’s degree in a different field.

Proof of completing high school coursework in math, biology, chemistry, English, world languages, and humanities

Most MSN programs require that students be licensed RNs. Some schools prefer students with 1-3 years of work experience, but that is not the case for all schools. Fast-track programs let students from other areas join, so they don’t need RN licenses.

Official transcripts

Most graduate schools set a minimum undergraduate GPA for admission. That can be between 2.5-3.2, or even 3.5 in very competitive programs.

A high school GPA of 2.0 or higher

Not all MSN program require test scores, however, some programs request students to submit GRE or MAT scores.

ACT scores (18 in English, 19 in math) and SAT scores (450 in English, 460 in math)

Not every MSN program requires test scores, but some request students to submit GRE or MAT scores.

An application and supplemental materials, including a resume, recommendation letters, and a personal essay outlining reasons for pursuing an ADN. Candidates may also need to describe their career goals, along with any applicable training, such as CPR, first aid, and volunteer or work experience

Not every MSN program requires test scores, but some request students to submit GRE or MAT scores.

Core Concepts of an ADN Program

The associate degree in nursing teaches safe, ethical, and legal nursing. Classes include how healthcare works, safety, and patient-centered care.

Students learn useful skills like running tests, checking health signs, and giving medical help; nursing habits like stopping infections and injuries; organizing skills like keeping health records, talking, and working together; and how to care for different patients, like children, pregnant women, and older people.

Clinical & Lab Components in a BSN Program

Besides classes, the ADN program has practice labs and real-life work at healthcare centers.

In practice labs, students can learn skills in a safe and controlled environment.

During clinical rotations, students are guided by a staff nurse and a specific teacher to care for a few patients, while being supervised.

Accredited ADN programs usually have 500 hours of clinical practice and fulfill national accreditation and state licensing needs.

What to Expect From an Online ADN Program

Remote students get the same training as those who attend classes in person. Coursework is online, but clinical hours have to be done in person at a healthcare facility near the student’s home. However, due to the pandemic, some programs may offer virtual clinical experiences.

Online courses fall into two categories: asynchronous, which has pre-recorded lectures students can watch at their own pace, and synchronous, which is like a regular class but on a live stream. Remote students require a good internet connection and a computer. Schools offer support and services, like advice, counseling, and tutoring, on the internet or by phone.