Guide To Online Nursing Programs

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.

Why Earn Your Nursing Degree Online?

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.

Types of Online Nursing Degrees

Associate Degree (ADN)$69, 540
Bachelor’s Degree (BSN)$85, 250
Master’s Degree (MSN)$94, 950
Source: Paypal

Associate Degree in Nursing

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.


Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing

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.


Master’s Degree in Nursing

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.


Graduate Certificate in Nursing

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.


Doctoral Degree in Nursing

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.


Nursing Concentrations and Specialities

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.

Sources: Bureau of Labor Statistics and PayScale

Nursing Licensure and Certification

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.

Career and Salary Outlook for Nursing Graduates

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.

Nursing Careers

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.

Source: PayScale

Nursing Careers by Location

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

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.

Nursing Scholarships for Bachelor’s Degree Students

Nursing Scholarships for Master’s Degree Students

Nursing Scholarships for Doctoral Degree Students