Part-time nursing programs are typically offered by community colleges. Program length can range between 2.5 and 4 years, and many of the classes are offered at night or on the weekends. The first year of enrollment usually focuses on the completion of general education courses. Once these courses are finished, students can begin classes in nursing. The program also includes clinical training.
Applicants must hold a high school diploma or a GED certificate, and some schools request ACT or SAT scores. Proof of immunizations and a current CPR certification may also be requested. Following degree completion, graduates will need to pass the required national exam to gain licensure before they can seek employment.
Part-Time Associate of Nursing
Students receive training in nursing ethics, pharmacology and nursing administration. If there are any deficiencies in high school math and science classes, students may be required to take the MNE placement test, which is also known as COMPASS. Some programs have supervised clinical training sessions that allow students to gain practical nursing experience in health care settings. Students learn how to assess patients as well as topics like anatomy and physiology and different nursing perspectives. Some of the coursework that can be expected includes:
- Allied health math
- Human development and growth
- Patient assessment
- Nursing practice
- Computer literacy
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
Due to the increasing elderly population, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projected that employment of registered nurses would increase by about 16% between 2014 and 2024. According to the BLS in 2015, registered nurses earned a median hourly wage of $32.45, which amounts to $67,490 per year.
Continuing Education Information
Completion of a part-time associate's degree in nursing does not qualify a graduate as a registered nurse (RN). In order to become a registered nurse, a graduate must also take the National Council Licensure Examination-RN (NCLEX-RN) for state licensure. Once this exam has been passed, the RN designation is recognized, and graduates can apply for entry-level RN positions.
For individuals who work full time and would like to complete the education required to become an RN, a part-time RN program may be a good fit. Graduates will need to take the NCLEX-RN in order to qualify for mandatory licensure. Employment in the field is projected to be above-average during the 2014-2024 decade.