An ADN opens up a wide variety of nursing jobs, particularly when you consider the high demand for new nurses. The U.S. may face a shortage of more than 918,000 nurses by 2030, according to forecasts from the American Journal of Medical Quality.
For an ADN, nursing jobs are typically in direct patient care. The median annual salary for ADN graduates was approximately $74,000 as of November 2022, according to Payscale. The following is a sampling of typical jobs for nurses who have an ADN, with salary data from Payscale:
- Emergency Room Nurse. ER nurses work in a high-pressure environment, caring for patients with acute health problems such as major injuries, heart attacks, strokes, and other traumas. Their care requires the ability to quickly assess patients’ conditions, monitor vital signs, and carry out detailed treatment regimens. The median annual salary for ER nurses was about $75,000 as of December 2022.
- Oncology Nurse. Oncology nurses work with cancer patients, under direction of a physician, to administer treatments such as chemotherapy. They also counsel patients on taking medications, communicate with families, and direct patients to other resources, such as mental health counseling. The median annual salary for oncology nurses was about $80,000 as of December 2022.
- Home Care Nurse. Home care nurses work in their patients’ residences, typically with senior citizens or those with chronic illnesses. They can provide a wide spectrum of care, from giving medications and taking vital signs to assisting with activities of daily living. The median annual salary for home care nurses was about $71,000 as of November 2022.
The chief disadvantage of an ADN is that it can limit career mobility. Nurses who want to move beyond direct patient care into leadership or management positions usually need a BSN to be considered for higher-level roles.