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Herzing University

Jessica Neddersen

ASN and RN: Are They the Same Thing?

An ASN is a type of degree that can lead to a career as an RN. You have many options to choose from to become an RN but getting your ASN is a great way to get your career started.

There are a variety of nursing educational options, from getting a diploma to become a practical nurse (LPN) to earning your Masters of Science in Nursing (MSN) and beyond.

You could also start your nursing journey with an Associate of Science in Nursing (ASN) and become a registered nurse (RN). According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there is an anticipated 6% employment increase in RNs between 2022-2032. RNs provide and coordinate patient care, offer education and support and support to patients and their families and work as a part of a team with other healthcare professionals.

ASN vs. RN: What’s the difference?

An ASN is a type of degree that – along with a BSN – can lead to a career as an RN.

To become an RN, you need to complete a certified nursing program and pass the National Council Licensure Exam for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN). Some RNs have their diploma in nursing while others have their ASN or their Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). At the end of Herzing’s ASN program, you’ll have the essential skills needed to begin your career and be prepared to take your NCLEX-RN which is required to practice in the United States.

Why should I get my ASN?

You have many options to choose from to become an RN but getting your ASN is a great way to get your career started for several reasons.

  • Positions you for career growth: Your ASN degree qualifies you for many RN positions and it can be a springboard for another degree. You can apply your credits and work experience toward your BSN and/or MSN degree if you decide to continue your education. You might be interested in going back to become a nurse educator or family nurse practitioner after getting some work experience.
  • Offers a variety of specialties and work environments: A common misconception is that nurses only work in hospitals. While as many as 61% of RNs work in hospitals according to the BLS, RNs who have their ASN also can work in nursing homes, home healthcare services, urgent care, physician’s offices and many more places [2]. RNs can also choose a specialization to work in, such as pediatrics, geriatric care, OBGYN, trauma, anesthesiology or others.

How long will it take to get my ASN?

The amount of time it takes to earn an ASN and then become an RN varies depending on your prior education and work experience.

  • If you’re new to nursing: With Herzing, you can complete your ASN degree in as few as 20 months. Herzing offers many of its general classes online with core courses and clinicals offered on campus. After completing the program, you will be qualified to take the NCLEX-RN.
  • If you already work in healthcare: If you already have a career in healthcare, you may be able to apply some of your previous coursework and experience toward your ASN degree. Herzing offers ASN programs for students who are already LPNs, cardiovascular technicians (CVTs), registered respiratory therapists (RRT/RTs) or paramedics. With transfer credits and enrollment in these programs, you can complete your ASN in as few as 18 months.

How do I get my ASN?

You can get your ASN by following these three steps:

  1. Make sure you meet entrance requirements: To be considered for admission into Herzing’s ASN program, you must meet several requirements, including:
  • Having a high school diploma or equivalent
  • A minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5
  • A minimum composite score on the Test of Essential Academic Skills (TEAS)
  • A minimum score of 21 on the ACT
  1. Enroll in an accredited program: It’s important that you enroll in a program that is accredited, as this helps qualify you to work after graduation or to continue your education by pursuing an advanced degree. You don’t have to wait for the fall to get started on your degree. Herzing has multiple start dates throughout the year so you can start when it’s convenient for you.
  2. Complete the program: Herzing’s ASN program is a combination of both coursework and clinical experience. You will apply your nursing skills in simulation labs and gain real-world experience by completing your required clinical. At the completion of the program, you will have both the practical as well as the soft skills needed to be a great nurse.

If you’re just starting your nursing career, you already work in healthcare or you’re looking for a fresh start, getting your ASN degree could be the next step to where you want to be.

Learn More About Our Associate Degree in Nursing


* Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics 2023 / Occupational Outlook Handbook 2022. BLS estimates do not represent entry-level wages and/or salaries. Multiple factors, including prior experience, age, geography market in which you want to work and degree field, will affect career outcomes and earnings. Herzing neither represents that its graduates will earn the average salaries calculated by BLS for a particular job nor guarantees that graduation from its program will result in a job, promotion, salary increase or other career growth.

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