Advance your nursing career with an ASVN degree
If you want to become a nurse, it’s essential that you receive the right education. While some pursue a diploma program, others seek an Associate Degree in Vocational Nursing (ASVN). This degree aims to help Vocational Nurses grow their careers in the nursing profession.
Once you’ve completed a diploma program and passed the required licensing exam, you can obtain an ASVN degree in as little as ten months. Students who pursue an ASVN degree build on the course work from their VN program and benefit from enhanced critical thinking, scientific knowledge, and communication skills. Some of the courses in these programs can even prepare graduates to pursue a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree.
If you already know that a nursing career is right for you, click here to learn how to become a Licensed Vocational Nurse.
You can learn why Licensed Vocational Nurses made our list of the best entry-level medical jobs.
What is an ASVN?
Before we define an ASVN degree, let’s look at the career path of Vocational Nurses. A Licensed Vocational Nurse, or a Licensed Practical Nurse, provides primary medical care under the direction of doctors and Registered Nurses (RNs). LVNs have completed their educational program and passed the NCLEX-PN licensure exam.
An ASVN degree stands for an Associate Degree in Vocational Nursing. Basically, this extra step for LVNs helps advance their careers by affording them more opportunities in healthcare. This is because students in an ASVN program must have already earned their diploma and an active nursing license. Most ASVN programs focus on General Education courses as well as professional skills. In addition, ASVN programs can be completed in a year and often contain online or hybrid formats.
Plus, a diploma program and an ASVN degree can be completed in a little under two years.
Duties of an LVN
Licensed Vocational Nurses work under the supervision of doctors and Registered Nurses. They care for people who are sick, injured, convalescent or disabled. Generally, they monitor their patients, report adverse reactions to medication or treatment, obtain information from patients, and help educate the community.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that LVNs typically perform tasks that include:
- Monitor patients’ health—for example, by checking their blood pressure
- Administer primary patient care, including changing bandages and inserting catheters
- Provide for the basic comfort of patients, such as helping them bathe or dress
- Discuss the care they are providing to patients and listen to their concerns
- Report patients’ status and concerns to registered nurses and doctors
- Keep records on patients’ health
Courses of an ASVN Degree
The online ASVN curriculum at Unitek College can enhance and propel your fulfilling career as a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN). Building upon your Vocational Nursing diploma, you will complete the same online General Education and science courses required for Unitek’s BSN program graduates.
By the end of the program, you will have completed 540 semester hours of required classes. Course topics include Introduction to Psychology, Introduction to Sociology, Public Speaking, Microbiology with Lab, Anatomy & Physiology, Lifespan Development, Applied Managerial Statistics, and more.
ASVN graduates are trained in the following:
- Patient care
- Nursing fundamentals
- Treatment interventions
- Mental health nursing
- Mother/baby and pediatric nursing
- Public Health
How to Earn an ASVN Degree?
The admissions requirements for an ASVN program often vary by school. However, they generally include the following criteria:
- Submit proof of graduation from a nursing board-approved Vocational Nursing program from an accredited institution
- Submit a copy of your government-issued photo ID
- Complete an interview with the program director
- Financing arrangements and, if applicable, all documents needed to obtain an official award letter for Federal Student Aid
While a nursing license is not required for enrollment into the ASVN program, students who plan to enroll in pathways like the Advanced Placement track at Unitek College must have an active LVN license before applying for the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program.
ASVN to BSN
If you want to pursue a long-term career in nursing, it’s highly beneficial to use an ASVN program as a steppingstone to a BSN degree. An online ASVN program can jumpstart your career as a Licensed Vocational Nurse. Building upon your Vocational Nursing diploma, you will complete the same online General Education and science courses required for students of the BSN program.
Additionally, with an associate degree, you can explore employment opportunities as an LVN in various medical facilities, such as clinics, physician offices, and long-term care facilities. You can also pursue career opportunities in education, medical research, pharmacy, and medical equipment. Not only could this working experience help pay for BSN tuition fees, but it could also help you stand out from other applicants in the BSN program.
Because many ASVN and BSN programs are online or offer hybrid classes, you may not have to consider extra housing expenses, high commuting costs, etc.
At Unitek College, there are several pathways to the BSN program:
- Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) Program: This three-year hybrid-online BSN program will prepare you for the NCLEX-RN licensure exam.
- Advanced Placement Option: Licensed Vocational Nurses with an Associate of Science degree in Vocational Nursing (or those who have taken the required General Education courses) can apply for the Advanced Placement option to earn their BSN degree in two years.
Advantages of Earning Your ASVN Before Your BSN Degree
ASVN degree programs are designed with working adults in mind who typically have to balance their schedules between school and work. By completing their online General Education and science courses, you can build upon your current diploma to earn your Vocational Nursing degree in 10 months or less.
At Unitek College, the ASVN curriculum can enhance and propel your fulfilling career as a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN). With your Vocational Nursing diploma, you can complete the same General Education and science courses required for graduates of the BSN program.
In addition, you will gain essential knowledge and skills through virtual nursing experiences. With an Associate Degree, you can explore employment opportunities as an LVN in healthcare settings like clinics, physician offices, and long-term care facilities. You may also pursue career opportunities in education, medical research, pharmacy, and medical equipment.
Tips for Navigating the ASVN to BSN Journey
It’s important to consider an ASVN to BSN path. Why? An ASVN program can open the door to various educational opportunities. Should you decide to pursue a BSN-Registered Nurse (RN) career, the online curriculum at Unitek grants you the necessary Gen Ed and science courses to qualify for the advanced placement BSN program.
You may also appeal to more employers with an ASVN degree over a VN diploma, as some healthcare facilities may prefer to hire candidates with a degree. As previously stated, experience as an LVN with an ASVN degree could greatly benefit you while pursuing a BSN degree.
It’s also vital that you choose the right program. Consider personal as well as professional goals. Think about your schedule, work or family obligations, time-management skills, etc. You want to make sure that the program provides you with education you need and fits within your schedule. While numerous schools offer BSN programs, you’ll want to be selective in your decision-making process.
You can use several resources to help you compile a list of possible schools, such as the internet, the library, nearby colleges, or word of mouth. Once you have your list, investigate each program to make sure it’s the best fit for you before taking any action.
You can usually find most of this information through the institution’s website or by contacting the program director. Here are some sample questions that you might want to ask:
- What are the tuition costs and financial aid options?
- What are the academic prerequisites?
- How long does it take to complete the program?
- What specific topics are covered?
- What percent of students pass the program?
- How does the career services team help graduates find jobs?
Life After Graduation
After completing your ASVN or BSN program, it’s time to apply to positions. The job application process can cause anxiety for some graduates. However, one of the benefits of attending a good school is its career services team.
Students at these colleges are often given access to a career services team that can help prepare them for a competitive job market. In fact, the best nursing programs understand how competitive the job market can be, and will assign well-qualified career coaches to each of their students. An experienced career coach can provide feedback on your resume, cover letter, and other application materials to increase your likelihood of finding employment soon after graduation.
Again, when selecting the right program, it’s important to make time to meet with admissions representatives and possibly even nursing students to ensure that the school is the best fit for you.
Start by Earning Your ASVN Degree
Now that you better understand the advantages of pursuing an ASVN degree, it’s time to start considering programs. While the ASVN program at Unitek does not offer core nursing classes, it can provide you with General Education and science courses that can help build on your diploma program and advance your nursing career. These Gen Ed courses can also help prepare you for a BSN program.
Before deciding which path to take, consider your goals and the type of nursing career, job opportunities, and management roles, you want to pursue. If a VN diploma sounds like the best path for you, you can learn more about the Vocational Nursing program at Unitek College.
However, if an ASVN degree sounds more appealing, you can click here to learn more about our ASVN program at Unitek College. You’re sure to have a rewarding career, whichever nursing path you choose.