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A nursing degree can provide a secure, flexible career helping others. Nurses provide medical care and connect patients and their families with doctors and other medical professionals.
ADN graduates are prepared to work in a variety of nursing positions, including school nurses, cardiac nurses, and pediatric nurses. ADN programs prepare graduates to become registered nurses (RNs) and can lead to employment opportunities in hospitals, schools, private clinics, and home settings.
Nursing professionals are in high demand. Nursing is one of the fastest-growing professions in the United States, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). According to the BLS, over 220,000 nursing jobs will be created between 2019 and 2029. Nursing necessitates compassion and a desire to assist others. Furthermore, with hundreds of specialties to choose from, aspiring nurses can find a perfect fit. Those interested in working with pregnant patients, for example, can become a nurse midwife or a labor and delivery nurse.
Getting a nursing degree online is difficult, but rewarding. Read on to find out more about the best online nurse training programs and the different degree pathways available.
Online nursing programs allow RNs to earn their degrees in shorter periods of time than traditional programs. Students can complete an online BSN degree program in two years or less, giving working nurses the tools they need to advance their careers. Students can typically complete bachelors and masters degree programs entirely online with the exception of face-to-face career guidance and counseling sessions from professors.
A nursing degree can help nurses move into management positions or open new career paths in areas related to nursing. Nurses with online nursing degrees earn higher salaries than those without advanced degrees.
Accessibility is one of the top benefits of online programs. Online nursing programs provide students with easy access to lectures and other course materials. Nurses working under time and resource constraints may be attracted to these programs.
An online nursing degree offers flexibility, allowing learners to create their own educational plan and earn their nursing degree while balancing other responsibilities. Additionally, online programs typically offer several start dates throughout the year.
Prospective nurses should select programs that are closely related to their specific interests and strengths. However, the best programs may not be nearby. Fortunately, pursuing an online nursing degree allows aspiring and practicing nurses to attend classes from a distance.
Aspiring nurses benefit from a variety of experiences and backgrounds, and online nursing programs bring students from all over the country and the world together. This type of program format assists nurses in expanding their professional networks.
Online nursing programs combine technology with hands-on experience, connecting students to classmates and faculty members via a variety of delivery methods while allowing students to complete their practicum experiences locally.
|Associate Degree (ADN)||$69, 540|
|Bachelor’s Degree (BSN)||$85, 250|
|Master’s Degree (MSN)||$94, 950|
Obtaining a nursing degree at any level is difficult – it requires dedication and hard work. An associate in nursing (ADN) is completed in around two years and requires around 70 credits.
The Associate Degree in Nursing is a popular nursing degree. This program prepares students to enter the field as junior nurses, meaning that they are new and fresh out of school. The ADN has become the most popular degree because it is shorter than other nursing degrees, but still allows students to acquire the fundamentals they need to succeed as nurses.
General education credits such as technical writing and human anatomy and physiology are part of the coursework. Leadership, nursing, and pharmacology courses are also included as foundational classes. Students must also complete clinical hours and labs in order to gain practical, hands-on experience and to prepare for the NCLEX-RN exam.
An associate degree in nursing enables graduates to work in many entry-level positions. Hospice care, home care, psychiatric care, and hospital care are among the most common careers. Nurses who have an associate degree can work as part of a team to provide care for patients with a variety of medical needs.
Students cover the human body’s anatomy, including its structure and the functions of different body parts. They also learn about the body’s major systems and how they relate to one another.
This course covers a wide range of classifications and types of drugs, as well as how various medicines work within the human body and the government agencies in charge of monitoring pharmaceuticals.
Students will learn the ethics and best practices surrounding the nursing profession. From defining the role of a nurse in a healthcare organization to discussing best practices, students develop strategies for patient care.
The course covers everything from communication skills to effective leadership strategies that serve to elevate students’ leadership abilities. Students gain experience in the nursing field and learn to collaborate with the rest of the healthcare team.
A nursing student’s theory is put to practice on the clinical floor. Together with a clinical supervisor, they practice skills in a secure environment. Students conduct physical examinations and develop specific skills through these studies.
The bachelor of science in nursing degree allows nurses to work in a variety of healthcare settings. Nurses with a bachelor’s degree have more career advancement opportunities and can provide specialized care.
The Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing is a four-year degree plan that prepares students to work in the healthcare field as a registered professional nurse (RN). The overall program requires general education and courses specific to nursing, followed by an internship for clinical experience. Graduates are prepared to work in a variety of health care settings, such as hospitals, private medical practices, public health agencies and education institutions.
With the growing demand for nurses, there has been a boom in the number of RN-to-BSN programs available. More employers are requiring a BSN, and having a four-year degree can provide more opportunities and help nurses stand out in their field. As a result, more nurses decide to enroll in an RN-to-BSN program.
At some point in their career, most nurses decide they want to advance their education. In many cases, this means enrolling in a RN-to-BSN program.
Nurses need to be knowledgeable about the tiny microorganisms that can cause diseases as part of their job. This course discusses best practices for handling patients with infections and microbial diseases.
An introductory course that covers healthcare trends and numbers, statistical analysis is critical to maintaining evidence-based outcomes in healthcare. This course teaches students how to analyze and interpret healthcare data.
This course covers the basics of genetics and genomics, and how these topics relate to healthcare. Nursing students learn how genetics can influence certain health conditions.
In this course, students study the chemistry of humans and how elements of molecular biology function within the body. Students explore carbohydrates, amino acids, enzymes, and more, exploring reactions and processes in patients.
This course incorporates the principles of nursing with those of public health to investigate the impact of community health on society. The study of populations helps students understand the effects of diseases and opportunities for intervention in certain groups.
A master’s degree in nursing is a post-master’s degree that qualifies nurses to work in positions with greater responsibilities and leadership roles. The most typical MSN programs prepare students to become nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists or nurse executives. Regardless of the focus, graduates of MSN programs master advanced concepts and gain practical knowledge to apply them in a variety of positions. An MSN typically takes two years to complete, requiring 36 credits.
If you’re entering the field of nursing and are unsure if obtaining a master’s degree is the right move for you, keep reading. A master’s in nursing (MSN) allows students to learn about subjects like medical ethics, research methods, and population-based care. Many nurses who finish an MSN program take on Some nurses may choose to focus on nursing education while others take leadership roles in healthcare. A MSN allows nurses to specialize, becoming a nurse midwife, nurse anesthetist, nurse practitioner, or head nurse. Working nurses can also benefit from asynchronous online MSN programs because they can study at their own pace.
The course combines healthcare finance with business management. Students will learn how to create/implement budgets as well as interpret financial documents as nurse leaders.
Learners explore how ethics and social policies influence nursing practice. As well as exploring healthcare justice and patient relationships, this course teaches the importance of advocacy within the healthcare system.
During this course, nurses will learn how to interpret data to make informed decisions about healthcare and how to use this information to make policies and decisions. The class examines theories related to best practices and patient care in order to improve healthcare.
This class explores the ways in which technology can improve nursing by reviewing various technologies used in academic and healthcare settings to support health-related information.
The course covers how to search effectively for information as well as how to interpret research. In addition to teaching students how to critically evaluate research, coursework also covers how to analyze sources independently.
A graduate certificate in nursing is a type of postgraduate credential that allows nurses with bachelor’s degrees to become specialists in a particular area, such as critical care or pharmacology. Graduate certificate programs may take one year or less to complete, and students may participate full-time or part-time. For online nursing programs, coursework often includes course work on leadership methods and direct patient care. Graduates are prepared for specialized roles in nursing, such as administration and education.
Having a graduate certificate in nursing is an excellent way for an RN to further their career and open up possibilities for higher paying jobs. It can also help nurses advance to managerial positions. These programs are designed to provide nurses with the background and practical skills they need to succeed in the healthcare field, and most programs can be completed in less than one year.
If you’re a nurse looking to further your education while remaining in the field, exploring a graduate certificate is a smart way to do just that. A graduate certificate in nursing is an advanced program for nurses—often available online —which allows them to explore specific topics or career objectives not covered by their bachelor’s or associate degree. Graduate certificates are also a great option for working professionals who want to get their foot in the door with a new specialty but who may not have much time left in their careers for full-time study.
This course is intended for nurses pursuing a graduate certificate in nursing education. Students investigate how to develop and implement meaningful curricula for teaching critical health concepts.
This course examines the role of healthcare in society and focuses on how government policies affect healthcare accessibility and costs.
This course emphasizes the characteristics of good leadership while outlining the responsibilities of a nursing leadership role. Topics covered in class include effective management and organization.
This course builds on students’ understanding of anatomy, physiology, and organ systems, and then explores specific diseases and chronic illnesses, as well as their impacts on the human body.
The course builds on previous knowledge related to advanced assessments of physical and mental health. Drawing on deep critical thinking skills, it focuses on creating meaningful assessments and plans for patient care.
A doctorate is the highest degree level a nurse can obtain. In order to enroll in a doctoral program, an applicant must hold at least a baccalaureate (BSN), master’s (MSN), or doctor of nursing practice (DNP) degree. Several programs also offer post-doctoral or specialist degrees that can be earned after earning a doctoral degree. These programs typically take 3-6 years to complete, and students may be required to complete 500 clinical hours.
Nurses with advanced degrees complete graduate programs and can become nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists or nurse educators. Nurses who have a doctorate typically take on leadership roles in hospital administration or non-clinical teaching positions at the collegiate level.
This course addresses the elements of effective research and their effect on healthcare. Students examine the history of healthcare policies and how these theories have affected best practices.
Examining various leadership strategies, this course focuses on the principles behind effective leadership. Students prepare to take on administrative roles.
Through this course, students learn how to improve the quality of healthcare patients receive by reducing risks and improving outcomes. The course emphasizes patient safety and using cost-effective practices to deliver quality healthcare.
Participants learn the proper formatting and citation techniques required to write and publish well-researched articles and studies.
Graduate students determine their own dissertation/project topic and line of inquiry, and then design their doctoral studies around it. A dissertation/Doctoral project represents the culmination of academic study, reflection, and a lot of time invested. It is a culmination of research, reflection, and passion.
Nursing is an exciting and rewarding career for individuals who want to help others in their time of need. After completing a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), nurses may be interested in pursuing a graduate degree or certificate to specialize in a particular area. Nurses who specialize may advance their nursing career by applying for nurse practitioner or physician assistant positions.
Nurse practitioners, or NPs, are medical professionals who work in collaboration with physicians to provide health care services. These nurses are trained to treat patients and perform routine health screenings. Unlike registered nurses, nurse practitioners can prescribe medicine and order tests.
Median Annual Salary: $109,820*
The nurse anesthesiologist assists the doctor or dentist by administering anesthesia to the patient and monitoring them in the recovery room. In addition to the administration of anesthesia, a nurse anesthesiologist may provide pre- and post- operative assistance and education to patients undergoing surgical procedures.
Median Annual Salary: $174,790*
Nurse-midwifery combines medical and midwifery education and training into one profession. Nurse-midwives are trained to handle normal vaginal births, as well as difficulties that may accompany those births. In addition, nurse-midwives are trained to provide gynecological exams and general health education. The term nurse midwife is often used interchangeably with the abbreviated term “midwife”.
Median Annual Salary: $105,030*
The NICU nurse is a highly specialized nursing position. NICU nurses work with babies who need intensive monitoring and care in the hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). This is where premature and/or seriously ill or injured infants go to receive specialized medical care. These infants are often referred to as critically ill newborns.
Median Annual Salary: $67,610*
Occupational Health Nurses ensure the workplace is a safe environment for employees. These nurses monitor worker health and offer advice on how to work more effectively in a healthful environment. This may involve advising companies on hazardous chemicals, reviewing employee accident rates, and offering guidelines for chronic conditions that affect employees. Some employers may require these nurses to hold an MSN, but all will need a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing from an accredited school.
Median Annual Salary: $72,740*
Sources: Bureau of Labor Statistics and PayScale
Nursing licensure requirements vary state by state. Nursing licensure requirements go beyond a standard graduation from nursing school– you need to also pass the NCLEX RN exam and file for your license with your state board of nursing. Many candidates choose to earn an ADN or BSN in order to fulfill these qualifications. In addition to earning a degree, you must also pass the NCLEX RN exam and file for your license with your state board of nursing.
Nurses who hold a license that is about to expire must renew it in order to continue working. If a nurse’s license expires, he or she will not be able to provide care or conduct clinical practice. The process of renewing the license varies by state but usually requires a renewal form and the payment of a renewal fee either online or in-person at an office of the state’s nursing board or equivalent department. In some cases, nurses may be required to attain continuing education credits and/or clinical practice hours before their licenses can be renewed.
Nurses looking to specialize may pursue careers in various fields. Nurses can become certified nurse anesthetists, nurse midwives, certified nursing assistants , nurse managers, neonatal nurses, or psychiatric mental health nurses, among many other specialties. Each specialty has unique requirements when it comes to certification and licensure.
The job outlook for registered nurses is extremely positive. The BLS projects that there will be more than 175,000 RN openings each year over the next 10 years, and job growth for registered nurses will outpace the average for all occupations.
While job opportunities should increase steadily, competition within the field may still be high depending on a worker’s location and setting. The completion of a BSN, certificate program, or DNP can distinguish RN candidates from their peers. You can also increase your earning potential by furthering your education and training.
Hospice nurses tend to terminally ill patients in their homes and provide close companionship for them and their primary caregivers. They can find themselves working closely with families or other health care professionals to assure that the patient is as comfortable as possible during the last part of his life.
A labor and delivery nurse is responsible for the safety of the mother and baby during the birthing process. They make sure the environment is calm, promote a healthy process, monitor vitals, and create a smooth transition between stages during labor.
A nurse care coordinator is a clinical professional who directly working under the supervision of the director of nursing, and provides information support for patients, families, and staff members. A nurse care coordinator will also oversee other healthcare professionals and delegate tasks to them as necessary. There are two main types of nurse coordinators: both hospital-based and discharge-planning based.
RNs who work in schools administer medications to students and monitor the wellbeing of both students and staff in one or more schools within a district. Their duties also encompass screening, diagnosing, treating, educating, and offering general health education for children.
Home health nurses are professionals who provide medical services to patients in their homes. These nurses have the same responsibilities as hospital based nurses except their patients generally reside with them. These nurses may also administer shots, dress wounds, and change bandages.
Millions of nurses are employed all across the United States.
Currently, larger states such as California, Texas, Florida, and New York employ the most nurses. Without taking into account the cost of living, nurses in California, Hawaii, the District of Columbia, Massachusetts, and Oregon have the highest average wages.
Scholarships for nursing majors help students pay for tuition, books and other expenses. RNs receive a plethora of scholarship opportunities, because the field is highly competitive. There are a number of scholarships available for registered nurses looking to advance their career by pursuing advanced degrees. Students who plan to pursue an associate degree in nursing should contact their local chapter of the American Nurses Association. The ANA gives away scholarships to its members, which can be awarded based on membership status and the needs of each chapter.
Who Can Apply: A variety of scholarship opportunities are offered by the NBNA to students who hold organizational membership, are studying nursing at an accredited school, and have at least one year of education remaining. Scholarship requirements vary.
Who Can Apply: All students pursuing a science or medical major with a 3.0 GPA or higher are eligible to apply. Applicants are expected to demonstrate academic excellence, leadership skills, and an interest in social issues through meaningful participation in volunteer or community activities.
Who Can Apply: Scholarships for American Indian men and women pursuing careers in nursing, healthcare, or healthcare education are offered through the National Society for the Colonial Dames of America. Awardees help improve health among their communities through service.
Amount: $1,500 per semester
Who Can Apply: A scholarship offered by the Daughters of the American Revolution is open to students enrolled in accredited nursing programs. Applicants must hold a DAR membership, be a descendant or qualify for membership.
Who Can Apply: The DAR also funds a scholarship for students in accredited nursing programs who demonstrate financial need. Students must submit either a letter of acceptance or college transcripts with their application.
Who Can Apply: U.S. citizens pursuing nursing or nurse anesthesia degrees can apply. They must have a parent, child, or spouse serving in the U.S. Army. This scholarship does not obligate the recipient to military service.
Who Can Apply: ANNA offers six career mobility scholarships each year to 16 applicants. All applicants must have an active membership in ANNA for at least two years, be interested in nephrology nursing or related healthcare services, and be pursuing a bachelor’s degree or higher.
Who Can Apply: Nurse Educational Funds, Inc. has awarded more than 1,300 scholarships. The organization administers scholarships for graduate-level nursing students. Each scholarship has its own application process, selection criteria, and funding amount.
Who Can Apply: In Kentucky, nursing students may apply for scholarships funded by the Kentucky Board of Nursing, which selects recipients based on its own set of criteria. Students with financial need are given preference.
Amount: Up to $3,000
Who Can Apply: All applicants must be U.S. citizens and full-time students at an accredited U.S. school. They must be eligible for federal employment and have no other existing service obligations.
Amount: Covers tuition and provides a living stipend
Who Can Apply: Students must be Maryland residents pursuing a graduate degree in nursing at a Maryland university or college with a GPA of 3.0 or higher. Part-time and full-time students may apply.
Amount: Covers tuition and mandatory fees
Who Can Apply: Registered nurses pursuing advanced degrees in maternal-child nursing may apply. Applicants must hold membership in one of the following organizations: the American College of Nurse-Midwives; the American College of Obstetricians; or the National Association of Neonatal Nurses.
Who Can Apply: Practicing nurses planning to pursue a research doctorate (e.g., a Ph.D.) or clinical doctorate (e.g., a DNP) may qualify. Candidates should possess a current nursing license as well as demonstrate an interest in oncology.
Amount: $5,000 or $7,500