Students curious about what they can do with an online associate degree in nursing should become familiar with the industry and job market trends to better understand specific nursing occupations that may pique their interest.
Basically, there are three routes you can take:
Some students earn their online ADN and immediately enter the workforce upon passing the NCLEX-RN exam.
Similarly, other students choose to continue their education by pursuing a bachelor’s degree in nursing (BSN) — or a higher degree — to increase their marketability.
Work environments are varied and can include emergency rooms, intensive or progressive care units, neonatal ICUs, operating rooms, skilled nursing facilities, outpatient clinics, or physician’s offices, among other settings.
Alternatively, nurses less inclined to work directly with patients often pursue careers in which they can utilize their nursing skills by working for insurance companies; local, state, and federal government agencies; community health facilities; and a wide range of schools.
Graduates of an online ADN program can go on to pursue the following:
RNs enjoy career opportunities in a wide range of healthcare settings, such as community health centers, hospitals, and specialty clinics. RNs are trained to provide essential care to patients, the degree to which varies according to the setting.
Outpatient care centers have become increasingly prevalent in today’s healthcare environment. This type of nurse cares for individuals requiring visits to outpatient care centers for a wide range of medical procedures which do not require overnight care.
General medical and surgical hospital nurses assist doctors and surgeons in providing patients with medical care. They are often exposed to a vast array of medical experiences, resulting in a broader knowledge base than other types of nurses.
Compared to nurses working in clinics, hospitals, outpatient care centers, and related fields, home healthcare nurses provide patients with in-home medical care. These nurses often get to know their patients very well due to the one-on-one care provided.
Nurses employed in physician’s offices provide medical care to patients as directed by office physicians. They are often the first medical professionals a patient meets within a physician's office and they are typically involved in providing care to patients throughout their visit.
Specializations and Certificates
In addition to the aforementioned nursing occupations, ADN program graduates may pursue a variety of more specialized nursing jobs in functional areas — such as radiology, fitness, and nutrition, plastic surgery, labor and delivery, and dialysis care, to name a few.
While some online ADN graduates continue their nursing education at the bachelor’s master’s, or even doctoral level, others focus on earning one of many professional certifications, like a legal nurse consultant certification. Not only can certifications increase marketability, but they usually merit some degree of an increased mean-salary.