Online Nursing Degree: Nursing is a vital profession that can result in a rewarding career and significant earning potential. As the healthcare industry continues to evolve, nurses are needed more than ever to help patients and families navigate complex health issues. Whether you’re considering an online nursing degree or looking for additional education options beyond your current role as a nurse, there are numerous programs available for both RNs and LPNs who want to advance their careers.
Online Nursing Program
Online nursing degree programs are designed to meet the needs of working nurses. Online nursing programs are available in many different specializations and can be completed at the master’s or doctoral level. They generally take one year, but many students finish in less time.
Online nursing degrees can prepare you for careers such as registered nurse (RN), nurse practitioner (NP), case manager, nurse educator and more!
Online Nursing Program Overviews by Specialization
Online nursing programs are available at all levels, from the certificate to doctoral degree. You can also choose between a traditional campus program and an online nursing degree that uses a blended learning model. As you explore your options, you may want to consider the various specializations available for nurses:
- Home Health
Master’s Degree in Nursing
A master’s degree in nursing is the most common post-baccalaureate degree for nurses. It can be earned through a variety of programs, and it allows you to advance your career by gaining more specialized knowledge and becoming eligible for higher-level positions.
Master’s degrees are offered in many specialties, including pediatrics, gerontology and family health. You can also choose to earn a generalist master’s degree that gives you the opportunity to explore several topics so that you’re prepared for any future career possibilities or challenges.
Master’s degrees are offered at the graduate level—meaning they require an approved bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution as well as additional coursework—and may take as little as one year (for accelerated programs) or two years (for traditional programs).
Online Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) Degree Program Summaries
The MSN degree is a graduate-level program that prepares students for advanced roles as nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, nurse educators, nurse administrators and researchers. Students who complete the program are eligible to sit for the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN), which allows them to be licensed as registered nurses in any state.
Accredited Online Nurse Programs: A Guide for Prospective Students
MSN programs are available at both traditional universities and online-only schools. The length of time required to complete an MSN degree varies depending on whether your college offers a part-time or full-time program. Typical schedules include three semesters per year with one course lasting 16 weeks each semester. A few schools offer accelerated programs where you can finish your courses sooner than expected after taking summer sessions or starting out with prerequisites during the fall semester of your first year.
Doctoral Degree Programs in Nursing
Doctoral degree programs in nursing provide students with advanced clinical knowledge and skills. The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) may also be a research-based degree that focuses on evidence-based practice. Some schools offer the DNP as either an online or on-campus program, but others don’t allow students to enroll unless they have already graduated from an accredited Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program.
The first step to getting into a doctoral program is making sure your undergraduate degree is from an accredited school or university. You will also need to take some prerequisites courses before applying to your chosen school’s doctoral program requirements. Once accepted into the program, you will complete coursework and pass exams until you receive your doctorate in nursing practice degree certificate.
Online Doctor of Nursing Practice Degree Program Overviews
DNP programs are usually a terminal degree, meaning that practitioners with a DNP have reached the highest level of education in their field. Not only do these programs offer advanced clinical training and academic coursework, but they also provide students with leadership skills necessary for organizational management and professional development. A DNP can be pursued either on a part- or full-time basis depending on an individual’s schedule and needs.
There are many options available for pursuing an online Doctor of Nursing Practice degree program: from traditional universities to specialized institutions that offer the opportunity to earn credit toward your degree while working in your current job as an RN, offering flexible scheduling so you can complete all requirements despite work or family obligations.
Online Doctor of Nursing Practice program formats vary widely as well; some require students to take courses one at a time over several years while others allow them more flexibility by allowing them to take courses simultaneously without having to wait until previous ones are completed first (which may not always be possible if there is limited availability).
Certificate Programs in Nursing
If you’re considering an online nursing degree program, it’s important to know that there are other options for getting started in the field. Online certificate programs are a good option for those who would like to pursue a career as a nurse but don’t have the time or resources necessary for completing a four-year degree program.
Certificate programs are typically shorter than traditional bachelor’s and master’s degrees, with many lasting between six months and one year. This allows people who want to pursue their education online without having to commit to years of study at one time
Online Nursing Certificate Program Options
- Certificate programs are shorter than master’s degrees and can be completed in less time.
- Certificate programs are designed to help you build your skills and knowledge in a specific area of nursing.
- Some online colleges offer certificate programs that can be completed in less than a year, while others take longer depending on your schedule and pace of study.
- Most online nursing certificate programs require students to complete between 20 and 30 credit hours, which often involves taking one or two courses per semester for two years (four semesters).
Post-Master’s Certificates in Nursing Education
Post-Master’s Certificates in Nursing Education
For nurses who want to teach, online certificate programs are available. These online certificates can help you enhance your career options and provide you with the flexibility needed to fit education into your busy life.
These certificates are designed for nurses at all levels of experience, from new graduates looking to improve their resume and gain teaching experience, to those interested in advancing their career path by becoming a nurse educator. The courses are intensive and require a significant amount of self-motivation, but the rewards of completing one-year programs can be great: A post-master’s certificate will qualify you for positions as an assistant professor (AP) or assistant clinical professor (ACP).
There are many different levels of nursing programs offered online.
With an online nursing degree, you can earn your master’s degree in as few as 18 months. In contrast to the traditional on-campus program, which requires you to attend classes at a physical location and complete clinical training in hospitals or care facilities, online programs allow students to complete their coursework from anywhere with Internet access. Many of these programs are offered through distance learning institutions such as Saint Joseph’s University (NJ), Walden University (MN) and Liberty University Online (VA).
For those who would like to pursue further education beyond an entry-level bachelor’s degree, many options exist for earning master’s degrees in nursing. You can choose from several different specialties including adult gerontology acute care nurse practitioner or family nurse practitioner or adult nurse practitioner if you’re interested in working with infants/children/adolescents or adults respectively.
These programs typically take two years of full-time study but may be completed part-time over three years if necessary; however many schools require full-time enrollment for this length of time because it better prepares students for clinical practice once they graduate.
Read also: Are Online Degrees Respected?
Top Schools Offering Online Nursing Degree
Liberty University is a private, non-profit university. It was founded by Jerry Falwell in 1971 and is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
Liberty University is located in Lynchburg, VA.
Kaplan University is a private, for-profit university that offers online degree programs. The university features undergraduate and graduate degrees in fields such as business administration, criminal justice, nursing and health care administration. The school’s accreditation status is provided by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), an organization recognized by the U.S. Department of Education to accredit degree-granting higher education institutions in many states.
Colorado Technical University
Colorado Technical University is a private, for-profit university that was founded in 1932 and has campuses across the United States. CTU offers online nursing degree programs through their College of Nursing.
CTU’s online Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). It consists of 63 credits and can be completed in 2 years full-time or 3 years part-time, though students may take up to 7 years due to financial or other reasons. The curriculum includes courses such as:
- Adult Health Nursing – 12 credits
- Medical/Surgical Nursing I – 5 credits
- Medical/Surgical Nursing II – 4 credits
Students who complete this program will be eligible to sit for an NCLEX exam and apply for state licensure as an RN after graduation; however, they will likely need additional training at a hospital before being allowed to work independently in clinical settings without supervision from another nurse or physician assistant who has been practicing longer than you have been out of school
Arizona State University
Arizona State University offers a fully online RN to BSN program. The program is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. The program operates in a hybrid format, meaning you will take some courses online and others on campus. To keep up with this fast-paced course schedule, it is recommended that you are able to access your computer at least three hours per day.
- Course Requirements: While there may be exceptions depending on your current educational background, most students need at least an associate’s degree from a regionally accredited community college to apply for Arizona State University’s RN to BSN program.
Florida Hospital College of Health Sciences
Florida Hospital College of Health Sciences
Florida Hospital College of Health Sciences offers two online nursing degrees: a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) and a Master’s degree in Nursing. The program is designed for students who have earned an associate degree from another school and want to earn their bachelor’s or master’s degree at Florida Hospital. It can also be used as a “bridge” program for those who are currently working towards their bachelor’s or master’s degrees but want to continue earning college credits via distance learning.
The BSN program requires 120 credit hours, while the MSN requires 60-65 credit hours depending on whether it is taken online or on campus. Both programs offer accelerated options so that students can complete them faster than the traditional pace, which typically takes over three years to complete full time
Washington State University
Washington State University offers an online RN-to-BSN program that is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) and the Washington State Board of Nursing. The program is designed for registered nurses who want to earn a bachelor’s degree in nursing.
It is designed for registered nurses who have an associate’s degree from an accredited school, or those seeking initial certification as a registered nurse. The curriculum covers all relevant topics in nursing education and includes both face-to-face classroom sessions and online learning activities.
The coursework focuses on theories, concepts, practices and applications of health sciences in order to prepare graduates for leadership roles in professional nursing practice at various levels of responsibility
- It’s a public university in Tampa, Florida
- USF offers online nursing degrees. The school is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), which ensures that students receive quality education and training.
- Students may choose between an RN to BSN degree program or a MSN degree program.
- The RN to BSN program takes about two years to complete and costs $3,811 per semester for residents of Florida and $5,721 per semester for nonresidents living outside of Florida. The MSN program takes about three years to complete and costs $5,081 per semester for residents of Florida and $7,561 per semester for nonresidents living outside of Florida
Get your Nursing degree accreditation and license with these programs.
If you’re looking for a fast track to becoming an RN, these programs can help. If you completed an associate’s degree in nursing, many employers will allow you to transfer your credits so that you can earn your bachelor’s degree in less time than it would take otherwise.
If you have experience as a nurse or other medical professional, some schools allow graduates of those programs to graduate from their online RN-BSN program with credit for prior learning. This means that instead of taking courses on topics like anatomy and physiology—which are often required at the undergraduate level—you can spend more time working toward meeting graduation requirements by taking electives.
Additionally, many accredited universities offer accelerated BSN programs that deliver degrees within 16 months or less (the average is 22 months). In these accelerated programs, students attend classes full-time during two semesters each year and complete all coursework before taking summer semester off from school altogether; this allows them to finish their degree faster than they would if they were part-time students who took one class per semester over four years’ time.
There are many different levels of nursing programs offered online. If you’re looking for a career in nursing, an online program might be the perfect fit for you.