Online Resource to Associate Degrees in Nursing

AssociatesInnNrsing is full of information and guides to getting your associates degree in nursing. Online associate degrees in nursing are offered by very few schools in the country. However, beginning a career in nursing does not always require an associate degree specific to nursing. Taking and passing the NCLEX exam is a key component, but a degree in healthcare can help prepare you.

If you’re interested in becoming a medical assistant, you’ll need the proper education to do so. Earning an associate degree in medical assisting is typically your best bet for starting a career in this field. This degree provides the specialized training necessary to qualify for employment. Many schools now offer this degree online, making it as convenient as possible to fulfill your course requirements.

Entry-Level Nursing Degrees

An associate degree in nursing is an entry-level degree in the medical/healthcare industry. Many students elect to earn an associate degree before pursuing a bachelor’s in order to determine if the healthcare industry is right for them. An associate degree takes only two years or less to complete and gives students an opportunity to explore various career paths and identify your interests.

An associate in nursing or an associate degree in medical assisting requires students to learn the appropriate terminology and skills necessary to use any patient billing software program and to assist nurses with a variety of patient care skills. If you think working in this field is the right career move for you, keep reading to learn more about what it takes to acquire the education and training necessary to obtain employment and ensure success on the job.

What is Medical Assisting?

One type of entry-level degree in nursing is an associate degree in medical assisting, often referred to as an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in medical assisting. This degree typically teaches the following career skills:

  • How to assist physicians and nurses with patient care, scheduling, and examinations.
  • How to perform routine laboratory tests.
  • How to record vital signs and manage patient records.
  • How to communicate with patients, doctors, and other medical personnel.

Other competencies may also include, according to O*Net OnLine, the following tasks:

  • Record patients’ medical history, vital statistics, or information such as test results in medical records.
  • Prepare treatment rooms for patient examinations, keeping the rooms neat and clean.
  • Interview patients to obtain medical information and measure their vital signs, weight, and height.
  • Authorize drug refills and provide prescription information to pharmacies.
  • Clean and sterilize instruments and dispose of contaminated supplies.
  • Prepare and administer medications as directed by a physician.
  • Show patients to examination rooms and prepare them for the physician.
  • Explain treatment procedures, medications, diets, or physicians’ instructions to patients.

Depending on the school and program, students may receive certification preparation. In order to work as a medical assistant, you’ll likely need to take and pass the CMA (AMMA) examination. This exam is often required by employers; therefore, you need to find a program that will prepare you to take and pass this test.

In order to pass this test, make sure the program you choose covers the following topics:

  • Human anatomy, physiology, and pathology
  • Medical terminology
  • Keyboarding and computer applications
  • Recordkeeping and accounting
  • Coding and insurance processing
  • Laboratory techniques
  • Clinical and diagnostic procedures
  • Pharmacology
  • Medication administration
  • First aid
  • Office practices
  • Patient relations
  • Medical law and ethics

The CMA exam ensures that medical assistant graduates are prepared to enter the workforce. Therefore, it’s imperative that you choose a school that offers such training. If you’re unsure, contact your school of interest and speak to a representative to learn as much as possible about the courses offered and whether you specific training is provided to pass the CMA exam.

LPN Programs

Another entry-level program includes the LPN degree. This program prepares graduates to work as a licensed practical nurse, or an LPN. A licensed practical nurse is a registered nurse certified in basic patient care. LPN programs are typically two-year, associate degree programs that can be completed either online or in a traditional classroom format. In order to work as an LPN, you’ll need to complete an accredited degree program as well as pass the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCLEX-PN) exam, which candidates have to pass to obtain their license.

An LPN performs many of the same tasks of a medical assistant, but a medical assistant may not be a registered nurse. Each state has its own licensure and employment requirements. Many LPN programs are also offered online, or in a hybrid format that includes both on-site and in traditional classrooms. This makes it easier to continue working or fulfill other obligations while pursuing your degree.

By becoming an LPN, you’ll be in a good position to continue your education in the healthcare industry. You’ll have the background and skill set to succeed in a bachelor’s degree program, and possibly a master’s degree program, depending on your career goals. As with any program, you want to ensure the program is accredited and offers the courses needed to pass all certification and licensure exams. Check out our list of programs to get a head start on your education and career goals.

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