Nursing Degrees

If you are passionate about providing medical care to patients or wish to give your nursing career a boost, online nursing programs can potentially open many different avenues for you in the health care industry.

Online nursing degrees are ideal for nurses who are already practicing and want to continue with their education. People who want to switch their career and study outside work hours can also benefit from these programs. Nursing students can choose an area of specialization from a wide variety of fields, ranging from forensic nursing to ambulatory care nursing.

Why do you want to become a Nurse


Types of Nursing Programs

The four primary branches of nursing are pediatric, adult, mental health, and learning disabilities. All online nursing degree programs start out with basic courses spread across these four divisions, but most schools require students to specify a specialization before applying for the program.

Entry-level nursing programs include associate degrees, LPN-to-RN programs, and diplomas. A bachelor's degree in nursing and patient care is a good choice if you want to increase your prospects of becoming a registered nurse, and enables individuals to qualify for senior-level positions. Any practicing nurse seeking to become a registered nurse in the US is required to pass the NCLEX-RN exam. Nursing professionals who undertake master's degrees and doctoral programs have better chances of establishing a career in nursing education or management.

All nursing schools require students to earn a high school diploma in order to become eligible for an entry-level or Bachelor's online degree program.

Steps to Becoming a Nurse

  1. Complete some college prep courses in high school.
  2. These courses include English, math, chemistry, biology, and foreign language.
  3. Select a suitable nursing program according to your career needs.
  4. Nursing diplomas, associate degrees, and bachelor’s degrees are available after high school.
  5. Look for nursing schools near your area or go for an online nursing school.
  6. Find out about entrance exams and other admission requirements.
  7. Complete your preferred nursing program and educational requirements for RN.
  8. Pass the NCLEX exam, background check, and acquire an RN license to practice nursing.

Associate degree in nursing online

The associate degree in nursing (ADN) is an undergraduate nursing program that takes around 2 years to complete. It is designed to prepare students for entry-level careers as nurses. The program entails a combination of nursing courses, science and liberal arts courses.

Students enrolled in this program develop a foundation of nursing knowledge along with skills. The program will emphasize environmental factors which influence health, nursing concepts and practical implementations, nursing research, and how to provide effective health care services in a variety of settings.

Although the curriculum may vary slightly from college to college, some of the courses most likely to be covered in an associate degree in nursing include:

  • Fundamentals of nursing
  • Pharmacology
  • Pediatric nursing
  • Clinical nursing
  • Anatomy and physiology
  • Role of nurses
  • Adult nurse care
  • Nursing research and methodologies

Bachelor degree in nursing online

A bachelor degree in nursing (Bachelor of Science in Nursing – BSN) is a comprehensive 4-year program that helps students prepare for advanced roles in nursing. The program focuses on advanced patient care and leadership in various healthcare settings.

The coursework of a BSN program will include a range of nursing, science and practical courses. Some colleges offering BSN programs may also include clinical internships in the program. Students will build a solid foundation of nursing knowledge and gain insight into different social, cultural, and intellectual aspects of professional nursing.

Here are some of the courses most likely to be covered in the program:

  • Informatics for patient-centered care
  • Professional nursing role
  • Healthcare policy and finance
  • Evidence-based practice
  • Nursing ethics and professionalism
  • Nursing fundamentals
  • Clinical practicum

Masters degree in nursing online

This is an advanced nursing degree designed for nurses who wish to specialize in a particular nursing field. The program will emphasize clinical skill development, clinical experience, and advanced nursing knowledge.

Students enrolled in this program will cover a range of specialized courses including organizational theories, nursing concepts, health policy making, and healthcare systems. Alongside theoretical learning, students will participate in practical training sessions in simulated or real health care settings.

Here are some of the courses covered in the program:

  • Theoretical foundations of advanced practical nursing
  • Ethical and legal perspectives of advanced practice nursing
  • Epidemiology and health promotion
  • Family nursing care
  • Gerontology nursing
  • Advanced physiology and anatomy
  • Advanced pharmacology
  • Healthcare systems

PhD in nursing online

This is the highest level qualification available to nursing students. A PhD in nursing is designed to prepare students for leadership roles in nursing. The program will enable students to build expertise and skill in a chosen concentration. The program components typically entail:

  • Coursework
  • Research
  • Dissertation
  • During the initial phase of the program, students will cover various theoretical courses related to their specialization. These courses may include:
  • Philosophical perspectives in health
  • Qualitative and quantitative research design and methods
  • Scientific perspectives in nursing
  • Healthcare systems
  • Advanced nursing health policy
  • Health promotion
  • Symptom evaluation and management
  • Evolving roles of nurses

Further in the program, students will be required to conduct an independent research study and complete a dissertation. This portion of the program will require guidance and approval from the dissertation committee or instructor.

Many colleges are offering online PhD nursing programs. However, a few classes may have to be taken on-campus for practical training. The practical components of the program are typically covered in a traditional brick-and-mortar classroom environment.

Online nursing bridge programs

Nursing bridge programs are designed for students who have earned a degree in an unrelated field and wish to become a nurse. Bridge programs are also suitable for students who want to acquire an advanced nursing degree in a short period of time.

The most commonly offered nursing bridge programs are:

  • LPN to RN
  • LPN to BSN
  • RN to BSN
  • RN to MSN  

LPN to RN or LPN to BSN program

LPN to RN or LPN to BSN programs are offered online by many colleges. Both programs are designed for nurses who want to improve their career prospects and pursue more advanced positions. The coursework is similar. Students must cover a range of theoretical and practical courses in both programs.

The curriculum may include courses such as the following:

  • General microbiology
  • Anatomy and physiology
  • Statistics
  • Developmental psychology
  • Nursing concepts

The exact duration of these bridge programs will depend on which college you enroll in. Generally, the duration ranges between 1 to 3 years.  Since the programs are offered online, the coursework is covered through videos, online lectures, tutorials, and conferencing sessions.

 RN to BSN program

This program is designed for registered nurses who wish to advance their career by earning a BSN degree. The program can be covered online with the help of tutorials, videos, video conferences and online lectures. Some of the courses covered in the program are:

  • Community healthcare
  • Advanced nursing practice
  • Information management and the application of technology
  • Organizational systems
  • Healthcare delivery systems
  • Disease prevention

Students must meet the minimum credit hour requirement which typically ranges between 90 and 120. The exact program requirements may vary from college to college. Although many colleges are offering online RN to BSN programs, they are not 100% online. Many colleges offer a hybrid program which means students must take a few classes on-campus for the purpose of practical learning.

It can take 1 to 2 years to complete an RN to BSN program. The exact duration will depend on which college you enroll in and the number of credits you are able to transfer.

RN to MSN program online

This program could help registered nurses prepare for specialized nursing roles in healthcare settings with a MSN degree. The program can be completed in 2-3 years and is offered by many colleges online. Throughout the program, students will develop a broad understanding of advanced nursing practices. The curriculum will include different courses such as the following:

  • Applications of nursing concepts
  • Community nursing and public health
  • Anthropology
  • Social sciences
  • Clinical nursing
  • Students can also choose to specialize in a particular field of nursing. Some of the options available for specialization are:
  • Nursing informatics
  • Healthcare system administration
  • Adult care nursing
  • Pediatric nursing

Students must acquire a minimum number of credits to successfully complete the program. The average credit hour requirement ranges between 60 and 90.

Why should I join an online program?

In addition to flexibility, an added benefit of joining online nursing degree programs is that they may be cost effective as compared to on-campus programs.  However, almost all online programs require nursing students to gain some clinical experience as part of their training. Most nursing schools assist students with finding a medical facility near their residential area. However, make sure the program you are joining is accredited, because some degrees might not be recognized in the job market.



what can you do with a nursing degree

Students pursuing online nursing degrees could apply for a number of scholarships, funds, and grants. You could potentially avail these financial aid options at different levels of your nursing education.

 How to select the right nursing program?

With so many nursing colleges out there, choosing the right college can be a hassle. You would want to enroll in a college that offers the most value for your money and a positive career outlook.

Some of the factors to consider when short listing top nursing colleges are:

  • Accreditation of the institute
  • College ranking and recognition
  • Tuition fee and availability of financial aid
  • Student reviews
  • Educational facilities
  • Faculty
  • Program structure and curriculum

It is recommended you select a college that best fits your schedule and budget, offers flexibility, and is recognized by an accrediting organization.

Job Opportunities and Careers

The job opportunities for trained and licensed nursing and healthcare practitioners are expected to increase in the 2012-2022 decade in the US. The scope of the job opportunities that you can possibly avail will depend on your level of education and areas of specialization. Nurses that hold bachelor's degrees or higher have better prospects for being promoted to supervisory or managerial roles. However, there is also a range of job opportunities for which nurses who have only completed diploma and certificate programs can become eligible for.

Here are a few nursing careers along with their annual median salary data provided by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (2014):

  • Nurse Practitioner – $95,990
  • Registered Nurse – $66,640
  • Licensed Practical Nurse – $42,490

The exact job duties will vary. However, all nurses are required to provide effective health care services to individuals and families in need. This field offers plenty of opportunities for career growth.

Medical Assistant vs. Nurse

  Medical Assistant RN
2012 Median Pay $29,370 per year $65,470 per year
Education Postsecondary non-degree award Associate’s degree
Work Experience No No
Training No No
Number of Jobs, 2012 560,800 2,711,500
Job Outlook, 2012-22 29% (Much faster than average) 19% (Faster than average)
Salary Annual Growth Rate 0.82% 1.15%
Highest Paying State California California
Degree  for a Job 65% Post-secondary certificate  66% Associate's degree
  18% Associate's degree 23% Bachelor's degree
  10% High school diploma or equivalent  11% Some college, no degree
Where to work Offices of Physicians General Medical and Surgical Hospitals
  General Medical and Surgical Hospitals Offices of Physicians
  Offices of Other Health Practitioners Home Health Care Services
  Outpatient Care Centers Nursing Care Facilities (Skilled Nursing Facilities)
  Colleges, Universities, and Professional Schools Outpatient Care Centers

Frequently Asked Question(s)

Q:Is completing courses an important Nurse Degree Requirements?

A:Completion of courses is a major requirement to attain a degree of nursing. With each course is specified a number of credit hours, students must achieve the required number of credit hours. Apart from this, deferred courses, incomplete courses and special credit courses must be completed within the degree program.

Q:What is the Associate Nursing Degree requirement?

A:To get into the Associate in nursing degree program, students must have graduated from high school with a minimum 'C' grade in subjects such as biology, chemistry, English and humanities.

Q:Are there any online nursing degree programs?

A:Yes. Numerous web based universities like Walden University Online and Colorado Technical University Online offer comprehensive online nursing degree programs. You can take up the online classes at your own timings.

Q:How long is the Associate nursing online degree program for?

A:The Associate nursing online degree program is for 2 years, generally. It has about 54 credits. Online degrees offer you the advantage of completing these programs at your own pace from any location.

Q:Are the courses offered in the online nursing degrees programs different from the on-campus ones?

A:No. The course outline of the online nursing degree programs is exactly the same as the on-campus degree programs. In online programs, you can interact with your instructors to gain comprehensive understanding of the subjects. Just like the campus based programs, online coursework comprise of group projects and discussions to broaden your knowledge base.

Q:How long does the certificate degree in nursing online program take?

A:The online Certificate degree in nursing program is a 1 year program. These degree programs comprise of 30 credits. However, since its an online degree program, students can take up as much time as they require to finish the degree.

Q:How long is the online Bachelor's degree Nursing ?

A:The online Bachelor's degree in Nursing is typically a 4 years program. The first year is focused on general courses like medical terminology whereas students can get in depth practical knowledge of the field through more specific courses in the following years.

Q:What is the advantage of studying for a Nursing degree On Line instead of On-campus?

A:Studying for a Nursing degree online is a cheaper alternative to on-campus programs and there is more flexibility, so you can study as per your convenience and manage your time. This can save your traveling and accommodation expenses. Working adults can continue with higher education without having to quit their jobs.

Q:How are the nursing degrees online different from on-campus program?

A:The nursing degrees online are exactly the same as the on-campus program. The courses offered in online and campus based programs are the same. However, online programs are less expensive as they save your college traveling and accommodation expenses. You can take the online classes from anywhere at your convenience.

Q:Do we have to be somewhere to study a nursing degree online?

A:No. You may study for a nursing degree online from wherever you wish to, as per your convenience. You need to have access to fast internet service to be able to take online lectures.

Q:What are the prerequisites to a nursing degree?

A:The prerequisite to a Nursing degree is the One Year Certificate/ Diploma in Nursing. After that admission criteria of each university is different and hence can vary.

Q:Do the Nursing Degree Requirements vary?

A:Although the very basic Nursing Degree Requirements are more or less the same but they may vary from institute to institute. Most of the universities want the candidates to have at least a diploma or certificate in nursing.

Q:Are there any degree in Nursing program that are offered on financial aid?

A:There are numerous universities that offer the Masters degree in Nursing program on financial aid. This financial aid includes grants, scholarships, work-study plans and exemptions.

Q:What are the SAT score preference in the Degree in Nursing requirements?

A:Nursing requirements include SAT score of 1000 points. However, the score preference may be different at every university.

Q:My search for requirements for nursing mentioned women’s health. What courses are covered in the women’s health curriculum?

A:Women's health would be mentioned when searching for requirements for nursing. Some of the courses included in the curriculum are Biostatistics, Methods of Health Research, Advanced Pharmacology, Advanced Pathophysiology, Clinical Assessment and Diagnostic Reasoning. With the health care industry expanding all over the United States, there is huge potential for students interested in this qualification.

Q:Are there any extra curricular requirements nursing have?

A:There are not any extra curricular requirements in average nursing programs, however, some universities prefer a field related volunteering or any such work. Relevant work experience in this field can help you to get into a well reputed university easily.

Q:Which schools offer the best online Nursing degrees?

A:Kaplan University Online and Chamberlain College of Nursing are few of the schools that offer comprehensively designed online nursing degree programs. The students can get enrolled in these programs from any location and take online lectures which can save up on their college traveling and accommodation expenses.

Q:Are there any University of Tennessee Nursing Scholarships?

A:Yes, University of Tennessee like various other accredited well-known institutions does offer Nursing Scholarships. University of Tennessee has an extensive financial aid services, scholarships and grants program which is extended to its Nursing school as well. In fact, UKT Nursing School conducts a scholarship banquet every year attracting students to apply for nursing degrees on scholarship.

Q:Where can I find the best Practical Nursing School?

A:Practical Nursing Schools are highly popular these days. Licensed Practical Nurse Schools are offering their programs online as well as in the campus-based schools. Famous practical nursing schools include: Carrington College, Virginia College, Kaplan College, Brown Mackie College, Pioneer Pacific College, Fortis College, and National American University.

Q:I wish to study for the Bachelors in Nursing in Nevada but feel hesitant because Nevada is an expensive state. Are there any cheap classes offered in this state for a course like BSN?

A:We do understand that the Bachelors in Nursing in Nevada can be somewhat steep for a few. The good news here is that most of the renowned universities and schools in Nevada offer financial assistance programs where you can get financial aid such as scholarships, grants, student loans and work-study options so that you get the best of education in feasible budget. Some pharmaceutical companies and corporations also offer grants and aid for the students of Bachelors in Nursing, which can be equally beneficial.

Q:What are the different Nursing Programs students can opt for higher education?

A:There are many different types of nursing programs available in universities and nursing schools. Students can opt for an Associate's Degree in Nursing, RN (Registered nurse), and LPN (Licensed practitioner nurse) which are the most basic nursing education requirements. Further students can continue by enrolling in a BSN bachelor’s degree in nursing and specialize in a certain area of nursing such as geriatrics, or prenatal nursing. All the above mentioned degree programs are undergraduate level programs. Nursing education is also available at graduate level, such as the MSN - Master’s degree in Nursing, and Doctorate in Nursing. Apart from this, there are many certification programs in nursing and diploma programs in nursing.

Q:Are there any nursing programs that are all online?

A:Yes. Various certificate and doctorate nursing degrees can be pursued online completely. The certificate and doctorate degrees in nursing do not require any compulsory practical experience hence all theoretical courses can be completed online. However, for associate, bachelors and master's degrees in nursing, practical experience is necessary hence they cannot be taken completely online.

Q:How much time does it take to complete the bachelor nursing degree programs?

A:A bachelor in nursing degree can normally take 3 to 4 years to complete. If you are looking to complete the degree in a shorter time, you can go for an accelerated degree program, which covers more of the coursework in a shorter time period and can reduce the total time to around 2 years.

Q:What are the different nurse degree programs?

A:Different nursing degree programs consist of the certificate, associate, bachelor, master and doctoral programs in various specialization areas. The certificate in nursing is the introductory level course for quick entry in the workforce. The associate and the bachelor's degrees qualify students to be 'Registered Nurses' and master's and doctoral programs are highly specialized degrees allowing students to master one specialty.

Q:Name a few popular nursing schools in Florida that offer nursing programs to students?

A:The state of Florida is a well developed state with numerous large cities. There are many universities and schools in the state that offer degree programs in the field of nursing. top nursing schools in Florida are: Florida International University, Miami Dade College, Mercy College of Practical Nursing, International Training Careers, Robert Morgan Educational Center, University of Miami, Florida Atlantic University, University of North Florida, and Nova Southeastern University.

Q:I just had a baby but want to continue my education, where should I get my nursing degree from?

A:If you just had a baby and want to have enough time to spend with your child while you continue studying, you should get your nursing degree from an accredited online school. Online degree programs easily fit into your existing schedule and there isn't even any need to leave home as your presence is not required at any physical campus. The classes can be completed and the coursework can be handed in through the internet.

Q:Should I get my nursing school second degree online as opposed to from a regular school?

A:It is always a good idea to get a second degree from an online institute as the flexible class schedules make it easier for you to focus on your main degree. You can easily plan your second degree's study schedule so it doesn't clash with your existing studying schedule. There are a large number of online nursing schools that offer accredited second degrees in nursing.

Q:What are the advantages of joining nursing degree program online?

A:Students seeking nursing degree program online have the benefit of taking up day time jobs alongside studying since online students can complete the course at a pace of their own and from the ease of their home. Students also get to save quite a lot on the tuition fee and the commuting costs while pursuing campus-based program in nursing.

Q:While searching for various nursing degrees, I came across BS Nursing, I was wondering what does the course Change Management in it refers to?

A:Change Management is an important course in Nursing Programs. In the nursing profession of today, individual needs to be able to keep up with the rapid changes in the society and technology. For this, the course of Change Management is included; it teaches you how to keep up with the healthcare innovations.

Q:In all of the different nursing degrees available, there is mention of the course on Muscle Relaxants. What are the contents of this course?

A:It is common to see the mention of course on Muscle Relaxants while going through the different nursing degrees available. This course is worth 4 credits in total. It is intended to provide the students with ample understanding of the study of nature, the side effects of the medicinal drugs as well as the various hormones drugs and non-narcotic analgesics.

Q:As I read on can I take my basic nursing classes online, there was mention of the course on Introduction to Pharmacy. What are the contents of this course?

A:It is common to get to read about the course on Introduction to Pharmacy while going through articles on can I take my basic nursing classes online. This introductory level course is worth 3 credits in total and offers the students with ample understanding of basically what are the different tasks and the various roles performed at a pharmacy. the course also highlights on the common terms used in a pharmaceutical setup.

Q:What is the best nursing field of specialization, career wise?

A:Different jobs require different skills sets. It may be that your area of specialization at college may not be the same as the jobs that are available to you. This is nothing to worry about. Your course program, regardless of your specialization, will equip you with the necessary foundation skills needed to build your career upon. Also, no-one knows where life will take you, so not many people can predict at college what they will be doing ten/twenty/thirty years later.

Q:Can you tell me what is studied in a critical care nursing program?

A:Critical care nursing program provides the necessary skills and an in depth study of handling patients in emergency situations. The nature of the job is such that it needs specialized training. It generally covers subjects such as health evaluation, clinical pharmacology, advanced nursing care practices and theories, critical care processes etc.

Q:Can you tell me the subjects covered in online associate nursing programs?

A:Online associate nursing programs cover range of subjects but generally they deal with basic studies in biology, chemistry, psychology, physiology, pediatric and geriatric health and pharmacology. With knowledge of these subjects you can pursue your nursing career. It is best to check the subjects in advance on the website of the online school you are opting for.

Q:Are nursing degree programs available online?

A:All the colleges and schools offering nursing degrees on this website offer online versions of their programs. These programs allow you, the student, to study at home in your own time and at your own pace. Therefore, if you are already working, you can fit your studies around you work/ family commitments.

Q:How to get my nursing degree?

A:There are several nursing degrees that you can go for. If you are a high school student you can go for a bachelor's of science in nursing or as associate degree. Nursing programs can be pursued in a traditional class room environment or through distant learning. Online education is a good option for those who want to study at their own pace.

Q:What are The different types of nursing degrees I can find online?

A:You can find almost every nursing program online. From LPN programs to RN programs, and from BSN degrees to MSN degrees, nursing schools offer a wide variety of nursing degrees. Most of the programs will require students to study basic and fundamental courses through online lectures, video conferences, and presentations. For the practical part of the curriculum, students will have to take classes at the campus.

Q:How to get a nursing degree?

A:You can get into the nursing field by pursuing an ADN (Associate degree in nursing) or by taking a BSN (Bachelor of Science in nursing) program. Both these degrees prepare you to become a registered nurse. An ADN degree is two years long while a BSN degree offers more in depth studies and can be completed in four years.

Q:Are scholarships available for 2 year online nursing degrees?

A:Yes, a large number of scholarships, grants and funds are available for students who wish to pursue 2 year online nursing degrees. As long as one makes sure that the degree is from an accredited program and is recognized in the job market, one can look into the option for applying for these grants and scholarships at any level of one's nursing education.

Q:Which Nurse Program is required to be an APRN?

A:In order to be an APRN your nurse program will have to be a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN). It will prepare an expert on advanced nursing practices with developed skills in leadership and/or management. Master degree programs broaden the outlook of students by exposing them to a world of interdisciplinary techniques to resolve healthcare issues.

Q:What is geriatric nursing? Can you describe briefly?

A:Geriatric nursing can be defined as a nursing specialty that focuses on the treatment of older patients. As the aged population is increasing, the demand for geriatric nursing is increased. Nurses who specialize in this field are skilled in meeting the mental and physical health requirements of aged patients. These nurses work with all kinds of older patients suffering from chronic or acute illnesses.

Q:How long does it take to get a nursing degree?

A:There are different types of nurses. If you want to become a Certified Nurse Assistant (CNA), you will need 2 years at a community college along with a certification exam. If you intend on becoming a Registered Nurse (RN), it will take 4 years in an undergraduate bachelor’s program and a licensing exam. And if you wish to become a Nurse Practitioner (NP), you will need 4 years in an undergraduate program and 2 additional years in a master’s program.

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