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While employers often prefer to hire nurses with a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) degree for more advanced roles, an associate's degree in nursing (ADN) can prepare you for the state licensing exam and provide the skills needed to provide care in a number of introductory settings. Many aspiring nursing professionals choose this path because an ADN takes less time to complete than a BSN. In fact, according to the California Board of Registered Nursing, a BSN requires four years of study while an ADN may be completed in just two to three years.

Did you know that most employers in the state of California (and across the nation) prefer to hire nurses with a bachelor’s or master’s degree? In fact, hundreds of hospitals throughout the U.S. say the minimum acceptable education requirement for their nurses is a bachelor’s degree from an accredited four-year college or university.

When planning a nursing education path, prospective students often focus on the "here and now" and place cost at the top of their considerations. And while cost certainly is an important factor, we encourage nursing students to think of this education as an investment. In investing, the best strategies involve a long-term outlook. Nursing is no different. Though costs may be considerable in the short term, the return on investment can be considerable as well.

Entry-level nursing jobs can be achieved through a two-year (or less) course of study, while advanced nursing positions require an advanced degree. A two-year associate's degree program at a college or university provides students the opportunity to become a registered nurse; this in turn opens the door to continued training through a bachelor's degree program (BSN) or even a master’s degree and the title advanced practice registered nurse (APRN).

If your sights are set on joining the nursing profession, you may benefit from attending a public institution. Georgia has numerous state-supported schools that offer a broad spectrum of nursing programs, including licensed practical nursing (LPN) certificate, registered nursing associate's degree (ADN), and registered nursing bachelor’s degree (BSN). Many public universities also confer the title of advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) after completion of an additional two- to three-year master’s degree program.

Vocational, career, and community colleges are a viable choice for students seeking a headstart in the nursing field without spending years in the classroom. A community college typically costs less than a liberal arts college or private university, accommodates commuter and parttime students, and offers a range of associate’s degrees and certifications.

Nursing is an important and ever-growing profession in the United States, and nurses are constantly in demand. Employers are looking for the most highly skilled applicants, and that typically means a nurse with more education and training. Nursing education can take the form of an associate’s (ADN), bachelor’s (BSN), or master’s (MSN) degree. The latter two degrees can only be earned from the state's accredited four-year colleges and universities.

Nursing is arranged in a hierarchy according to education and responsibility, just like many other professions.

The first level in the nursing hierarchy is the certified nursing assistant (CNA). CNAs provide basic quality-of-life care for patients. CNAs need a high school diploma / GED and a brief course of post-secondary training, after which they are required to pass a certification examination. CNAs in Georgia can expect an average salary of $21,910 per year.