Earn an associate in nursing and become possible
- Program length: 20-24 months
- Transfer up to 54 approved credits
- Offered at multiple campus locations
- Online general education classes + core on-campus courses
- Degree pathways to continue your education (BSN, MSN)
- Prepare for the NCLEX-RN examination to become a licensed registered nurse
Herzing's RN prep associate degree coursework includes hands-on clinical training and courses covering topics like management and pharmacology. For specific classes, click through to one of our three campus programs:
- Akron, OH program - Associate of Applied Science in Nursing (AASN)
- Birmingham, AL program - Associate of Science in Nursing (ASN)
- Orlando, FL program - Associate of Science in Nursing (ASN)
Earning either the ASN or AASN nursing degree requires about 74 credits based on the location, and typically takes about 20-24 months to finish the program depending on your transfer credits.
To be considered for admission into the ASN program, you must hold a high school diploma or equivalent (Diploma, HSED or GED) and meet any of the below requirements:
- Minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5, and meet a minimum composite score on the most current version of the Test of Essential Academic Skills (TEAS). TEAS score must be from within three years of anticipated date of matriculation
- Minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5, and a minimum score of 21 on the ACT
- Cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher (no entrance test!)
* Minimum TEAS score varies by campus – contact your campus for more information. Students with 12 or more transferable collegiate credits will be assessed on their collegiate cumulative GPA. Candidates with a GED or HSED will be assessed a 2.5 cumulative GPA.
Can you be an RN with an associate degree?
Yes, earning as associate’s degree in nursing qualifies you to take the NCLEX-RN exam, meet board of nursing requirements and become a registered nurse (RN).
The demand for registered nurses with an associate degree is very high and not every employer will require a bachelor’s degree. You’ll have a valuable skillset and qualification in a growing field.
What can I do as an RN?
RNs help develop and direct treatment plans, counsel patients and family members, ensure patient comfort and serve as the key connection between doctors and patients. An RN can perform diagnostic tests, operate certain medical equipment, consult with a physician on a course of treatment and administer medication.
In addition to working in general healthcare practice, RNs also can specialize in areas such as pediatric care, geriatric care, OBGYN, trauma, ER and many, many more.
How much do associate degree nurses make?
Registered nurses earn an average annual salary of $75,510 per year ($36.30 per hour), according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Averages may vary widely based on the state of employment, where you work and the demand for RN’s in your area. The job outlook is bright— according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there will be more than 1 million jobs for RNs by 2022.
Nurses with a BSN tend to earn slightly more than nurses with an ASN—however, ASN nurses with several years of experience often earn more than BSN nurses.
Career pathways: there are many routes to furthering your nursing career
Depending on who you are and who you want to be, you may consider many different options:
- I am new to nursing. You may apply for the ASN program. If you already have non-nursing bachelor’s degree, you may consider an accelerated BSN program to get your BSN in nursing in as few as 16 months.
- I am a CNA. Our ASN program is your fastest path to becoming an RN.
- I am a LPN. We offer an LPN to Associate in Nursing programs in Birmingham, Alabama and Orlando, Florida.
Frequently Asked Questions
Because nurses with a BSN have earned that next degree level and generally have the edge on the job market, they will on average earn a slightly higher salary than nurses with an ASN. However, there are always exceptions; an ASN with several years of an experience may earn a higher salary than an RN with a BSN who is just starting their career.
Registered nurses on average earn $77,460 per year ($37.24 per hour) nationwide, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics—although estimates will vary based on your state of employment. Find the average BSN nurse salary in your state.
An associate degree in nursing is the fastest college-level path to qualifying for the NCLEX exam and becoming an RN. It typically takes 2-3 years to complete. At Herzing University in Orlando, students can complete the program in less than 2 years (about 22 months). Our Akron and Birmingham associate degree programs typically take 20-24 months.
If you aren’t quite ready to jump into college classwork, you may consider a diploma program to become a licensed practical nurse (LPN) and work your way towards the next level in your nursing education.
You can become a registered nurse (RN) if you pass the NCLEX and meet the board requirements. Once you become an RN you can work in any part of a hospital, including the NICU, emergency room or ICU.
Earning an associate’s degree in nursing will also position you for potential job opportunities outside the hospital, including hospice care, home services, rehab centers, schools, nursing homes or other clinical environments.
If you’re looking ahead to possibly work as a nurse manager, nurse practitioner or nurse midwife you’ll want to start thinking about earning your master’s degree – in which case you may consider a BSN program.
Yes. Demand remains extremely high for all registered nurses, and if you earn an associate degree, pass the NCLEX and meet the board of nursing requirements in your state, you’re one of them.
Nurses with bachelor’s degrees may have an advantage in earning a nursing position at a hospital (especially hospitals seeking Magnet status), but nurses are currently in such high demand many healthcare organizations are eager to hire ASN nurses.
- ASN: Associates of Science in Nursing
- ADN: Associates Degree in Nursing
- AASN: Associates of Applied Science in Nursing
For the purposes of being eligible for the NCLEX exam and becoming a registered nurse, there isn’t much of a difference between these types of degrees. Either way you will get an associate degree and be qualified to become an RN.
In general, higher education institutions determine the terminology to use based on the nature of their program and what they emphasize as a priority.
As a career-focused organization, Herzing University stresses the importance of real, engaging coursework to prepare you for a job in the field—so we offer an Associates of Science in Nursing (ASN) at our Birmingham and Orlando campuses, and our Ohio campus offers an Associates of Applied Science in Nursing (AASN).
Compare ADN vs. BSN and discover the difference between the two undergraduate degree paths for nurses.
It’s a question of:
- What your goals are
- How quickly you want to reach them
If your goal is to become an RN quickly, the best choice may be an associate’s degree program since you may be able to become an RN in less than 2 years.
If your goal is to become an RN and potentially advance further by working towards a master’s degree in nursing (MSN), your best option is a bachelor’s degree in nursing program.
Read about the most basic differences between ADN vs. BSN and discover what's best for you.
With Herzing University you are never alone. It’s our goal to provide all students an affordable, career-driven education. Financial aid options include:
- Loan options – Federal & private
- Scholarships & grants
- VA / military benefits
- Other sources of financial aid
You can find an estimate for tuition and expenses by using the Herzing University tuition wizard.
You cannot truly complete any accredited associate degree program in nursing 100% online. There are some programs that offer all online coursework, but in any program you will need to complete a required amount of lab or clinical hours, and that cannot be completed online.
The Herzing University ASN program does offer flexibility to complete your general education classes online. Otherwise the remainder of the program must be completed on campus.
The biggest difference between a RN diploma and an associate degree program is that students in an associate degree program take college courses, and students in a RN diploma program do not. The advantage of an associate degree program is you get a head start on further education—your college course credit will transfer into an online RN to BSN program should you choose to pursue your bachelor’s degree.
Both RN diploma and associate degree programs take about 2-3 years and prepare students for licensure as a registered nurse. However, students with only a diploma have much more time and energy ahead of them to earn their BSN.
Accreditations & Disclosures
|Program||Completion Rate - 2019||Pass Rate - 2019 (NCSBN Report||Job Placement Rate - 2019|
|Akron Campus: Associate of Applied Science in Nursing||58.4%||77.78%||83.02%|
|Orlando Campus: Associate of Science in Nursing||61.5%||83.67%||90.11%|
Note (1): NCLEX Pass Rate is based on first time exam takers from January 1, 2019 through December 31, 2019.
Note (2): Program Completion Rate is the number of students who complete the program in no more than 150% of the stated program length beginning with enrollment in the first nursing course. Completion rate percentage represents cohorts graduating in the year 2019.
Note (3): Program Employment Rate is based on students who graduated the Associate of Science in Nursing program from July 2018 through June 2019, and who found employment or were not eligible for employment as defined by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN).