Online Nursing Programs

LPN, MSN, BSN and Online Registered Nursing Degrees

Online nursing degree programs offer several pathways for students to begin a career in healthcare that has both excellent pay and longterm job stability.

Nurses not only care for sick and injured patients, but also work as part of a healthcare team-along with doctors, pharmacists and other allied health professionals-to help keep people healthy.

Being a nurse requires mathematical and scientific aptitude, attention to detail and the ability to handle multiple tasks at once, often while working under pressure.

Most of all, though, nurses need to be compassionate, both with the patients and their families.

What to look for in an online nursing program

Earning a degree from an online nursing school enables students to begin a rewarding career without giving up their current job, or sacrificing personal commitments. Many options exist for potential students; but in order to prepare yourself for the challenges of a nursing career, look for a program that:

  • is accredited by a recognized agency, such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), which certifies both online and traditional schools,
  • focuses on the core nursing competencies, the specific skills you will need to become a successful nurse,
  • includes hands-on experience (depending on program), such as through an in-person clinical component. Most of the accredited online colleges with nursing programs that require clinicals provide the options of how this will be acomplished.

Online Nursing Degrees and Program Specializations

Nursing programs are generalist programs and teach students a broad range of skills and knowledge, suitable for working in many healthcare environments. Nurses can learn additional skills on the jobs, and can become certified through a national nursing organization to work in specialty areas, such as pediatrics and gerontology. Graduate nursing programs offer more concentration options, including nursing management and nursing informatics.

Pathways to a Career in Nursing

Nursing is a challenging profession that requires hard work and dedication, but several options are available for individuals interested in starting a career in nursing:

  • Certificate programs enable students to become a licensed practical nurse (LPN) in as little as a year. In order to obtain state licensure, graduates must also pass the NCLEX-PN exam.
  • Associate's online nursing degree programs take two to three years to complete. After completing the program and passing the NCLEX-RN examination, graduates can work as a Registered Nurse (RN). This type of nurse has greater responsibility and independence than an LPN.
  • Bachelor's degree programs also lead to a career as a Registered Nurse. Licensure with this degree also requires passing the NCLEX-RN examination. RNs with a bachelor's degree learn more nursing theory and skills, along with a greater range of general education topics. Capstone projects and clinicals are often arranged for learners to complete them in their communities so they can apply the knowledge and skills learnt to the real-world setting.
  • For experienced registered nurses, an online RN to BSN program enables them to easily advance their career by obtaining a bachelor's degree in nursing online. This type of program provides nurses with additional skills, such as communication, leadership and decision-making.
  • A master's degree in nursing is ideal for registered nurses interested in advancing their career beyond the day-to-day nursing duties. This degree prepares nurses to work as nurse educators or administrators.
  • Some of the online nursing colleges offer accelerated nursing programs to enable learners earn their degree faster.

Featured Schools with Online Nursing Programs

University of Phoenix - their nursing degrees are accredited by Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

  • RN to Bachelor of Science in Nursing
  • Licensed Practical Nurse/ Licensed Vocational Nurse to BSN
  • BS in Nursing (RN Required)
  • Masters in Nursing (RN Required)
  • Masters in Nursing - Nursing/Health Care Education
  • Masters in Nursing/Family Nurse Practitioner
  • Masters in Nursing/Informatics
  • Masters in Nursing/MBA/ Health Care Management
  • Masters in Nursing/Master of Health Administration
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing

The College Network - is a network that helps nurses or learners who want to become nurses earn their nursing degree from NLNAC/CCNE accredited online universities. The College Network works with different online nursing schools to deliver these programs:

  • Paramedic to RN
  • LPN/LVN to RN - Associate in Nursing (Licensed LPN/LVNs only)
  • LPN/LVN to RN - BS in Nursing (Licensed LPN/LVNs only)
  • RN to MS in Nursing (Licensed RNs only)

Successful careers in nursing

As the population of the country ages, the demand for qualified nurses will also increase. Education alone, however, will not lead to a successful career in nursing. Graduates of online nursing degree programs must obtain-and maintain-successful licensure by passing one of the NCLEX exams, and completing ongoing education courses. In addition, as technology becomes more integrated into the healthcare system, nurses must continually stay informed about the latest computer systems, software and medical equipment.

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