The Associate Degree Nursing Department at Mt. San Antonio College, approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing, is a two-year program designed to prepare individuals at the Associate Degree level for entry into the practice of registered nursing. The Licensed Vocational Nurse and Psychiatric Technician are provided career mobility in the nursing program and are eligible to pursue advanced placement into the degree track earning an Associate in Science Degree in Nursing.
Nurses are versatile and unique healthcare providers who are essential to the day-to-day delivery of healthcare. They diagnose and address a wide range of health and illness-related human responses. Nursing is a strong and respected profession, grounded in science and guided by a code of ethics.
Nursing graduates have the opportunity to work in a myriad of settings: clinics, hospitals, schools and community-based health organizations such as home healthcare and hospice. They can choose to work with any age group and can select to assist individuals who are critically ill, those who have acute or chronic illnesses or even those who are healthy and want to stay that way.
Basic nursing education takes place in diploma, associate degree, baccalaureate or advanced degree programs. Successful completion confers the right to sit for the registered nurse licensure examination. Many nurses pursue advanced education such as specialty certification and master's and doctoral degrees.
The nursing profession is one of the largest professions in the healthcare industry. Currently there is an acute shortage in the field of nursing, which is anticipated to continue through 2020. Nurses are needed in all specialties. Hospitals are having great difficulty filling their vacant positions. As a result of this shortage, sign-on bonuses are being offered at numerous hospitals and healthcare agencies, ranging from $3,500 to $8,000. Recent graduates have had 100% placement.
Salaries and Wages:
Salaries are very competitive, varying according to location, preparation and specialty. An associate degree nursing graduate's average starting salary in a hospital setting is $70,000-$80,000 yearly. Nurses who attain higher education can earn more. For example, a master's prepared nurse can earn an average of $90,000-100,000+.
Career Advancement Opportunities:
Associate degree nursing graduates can pursue their baccalaureate, master's and doctoral degrees to prepare them for advanced nursing, clinical specialties, independent practice, academic teaching and research. Nurses often combine their clinical skills with other professional practices such as law and business in order to serve in other healthcare agencies such as public, private and governmental institutions.
Personal and Technical Characteristics:
All healthcare careers require people with strong communication skills, an interest in and knowledge of human sciences and an ability to perform a variety of specialized skills. Individuals must be able to work independently, work well in teams and manage many tasks at the same time.