Students who want to take courses in women's healthcare may pursue a nursing associate degree. In addition to the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN), the 2-year associate program is the minimum educational requirement for individuals interested in becoming registered nurses. Schools may also offer a bridge program for licensed practical nurses who are looking to become registered nurses.
Applicants to an associate program need a high school diploma or the GED equivalent. Prospective students of the bridge program must have their license. Once enrolled, students are required to complete extensive supervised clinical experiences in health care facilities. Graduates can then pursue advanced studies through a master's degree in nursing.
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Associate Degree in Nursing
An associate degree program in nursing includes general education requirements in English, science, and social science. Core subjects cover topics such as nursing theory, medical terminology, and anatomy. Common nursing coursework may include:
- Foundations in nursing
- Maternity and women's health
- Anatomy and physiology
- Basic and advance pharmacology
- Mental health nursing
- Women's health and women's health lab
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
Employment growth for registered nurses is predicted to be much faster than average, with a 16% growth expected between 2014 and 2024, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov). The BLS also reported that the average annual salary for registered nurses was $71,000 as of May 2015.
Continuing Education and Licensing Information
All states require that registered nurses graduate from an approved program and pass a national licensing exam to practice in hospitals and clinics. There are specialty certifications in women's health, but those are typically for women's health nurse practitioners. Practitioners must graduate with a master's degree, and there are many accredited nursing schools that offer master's degree programs in women's health care.
The National Certification Corporation does offer some certification programs for registered nurses, including one in maternal newborn nursing. The Association of Women's Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses offers continuing education in the form of research papers, conferences, and seminars on women's health issues.
If you are interested in women's healthcare, associate degree programs in nursing provide the practical training essential for proper patient care and may include coursework focusing on women's health. Licensed nurses have a variety of continuing education opportunities, especially through master's programs with a women's healthcare specialization.