Online Nursing Degrees

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It’s true, nursing can be studied online.
How is this possible? Not that long ago,
the U.S. Department of Education invested
$45 million into Learning Anytime Anywhere
Partnerships (LAAP). These partnerships
between the Department of Education and a
few post-secondary education institutions
helped get the ball rolling for online
courses. The main goal for some of the
funding was to prevent a scarcity of
nurses by increasing the availability of
nursing education programs. The foreseen
shortage of nurses was deemed critical and
still is. A secondary goal was to
standardize, as much as possible, nursing
education and licensure between states by
creating a “one size fits all” online
nursing program. As a result of the LAAP,
many colleges and universities offer
online degree programs and more schools
join the bandwagon each year.

Because nursing tends to be very hands on,
online nursing degrees require some type
of experience and background in the field
prior to enrollment. This brings piece of
mind to the patient that their nurse has
had practice with the various medical
treatments he/she administers. Although
online technology is advancing
exponentially, it is not where it needs to
be yet. It is difficult to simulate caring
for a live person online, which is the
basis of nursing, so it will be some time
before technology is able to replace
nursing clinicals.

A very popular route for those that
integrate online learning into their
nursing education, is to spend 2 years
obtaining an Associate Degree in
Nursing (ADN)
and becoming a Registered Nurse (RN)
followed by completing a Bachelor’s Degree
program online. Several schools offer RN
to Bachelor of Science in
Nursing (BSN)
programs online, such
as Colorado Technical University,
University of Phoenix
, Grand Canyon University,
and Liberty University, among many others.
The RN to BSN program is
convenient because you can find a job as an
RN (even with random, long working shifts)
while benefiting from the flexibility of
the online BSN program.

Some employer’s may even offer tuition
reimbursement because they want to invest
in more knowledgeable employees. If
tuition reimbursement is not an option for
you, working as an RN while getting a BSN
is still a good option. It allows you to
have a good job where you are earning a
good paycheck and gaining experience to
enhance your resume, so you are more
marketable once you do have your
bachelor’s. Online nursing degrees
also offer you the flexibility of working
in the field at the same
time as you are pursuing your completion degree, whereas a campus schedule could be
hard to synchronize with your work
schedule.

Don’t have an ADN? Some schools offer an
option to obtain a graduate degree in
nursing even if your Bachelor’s is in
something else. Another option to consider
is schools that offer general and
prerequisite classes online while
requiring a few offline courses or
clinicals to complete the degree.

There is a trend in nursing- the more
education you have in the field, the more
emphasis is placed on soft skills and
leadership roles. This is why graduate
degrees are readily available online,but
diplomas and associate, where hands-on
experience is gained and required, are
not. Higher degrees will prepare you for
consulting, teaching, administrative,
research, and leadership positions, while
entry level degrees will get you into
hands-on, entry level nursing jobs.

Online degrees have
gained ground in becoming more credible. A
recent survey done by Zogby International
found that about 83% of executives
nationwide feel that online degrees can be
just as credible as traditional campus
degrees. That said, it is a good idea to
check with your hopeful future employer to
make sure your online degree is accepted.

Types of Nursing Degrees

Other Nursing Information


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