Nurses with Associate Degrees Enter Workforce
According to data from the 2008 National Sample Survey of Registered Nurses, more nurses entered the workforce with an Associate Degree in Nursing than those with a diploma, Bachelor's Degree or higher level of education. For nurses that had established employment prior to 2008, the highest level of education was a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree.
Of the 50% of established nurses with a Bachelor's Degree in Nursing or higher in 2008, around 26% held a Master's or Doctorate level education. In contrast, there were no new nurses reporting a graduate-level education upon beginning a career in nursing. These figures indicate that while many nurses began a nursing career with an Associate's degree, many continued to pursue higher levels of education while continuing to work as a nurse.