Current nursing shortage trends demand a continuing increase in the proportion of nurses prepared at the associate degree level. At this level, the individual can make a decision to pursue a higher degree or to advance from an LPN to RN. To become an RN, students need to obtain an associate’s degree in Nursing (ADN), a four-year Bachelor of Sciences in nursing (BSN), or attend a nursing diploma program offered by hospitals. The associate degree provides an advantage, as it allows the student to prepare for the national licensing exam (the National Council Licensure Examination, or NCLEX-RN) and to seek work while deciding to pursue a higher degree.
The online associate’s degree sometimes requires working with local medical facilities so that the student can learn how to collaborate with working health care professionals. The student also studies independently in all cases, with support from online peers and instructors. Many students who acquire an associate’s degree in nursing will become either a licensed practical nurse or a licensed vocational nurse after successful completion of the licensing exam. Most nursing students take the exam within 3 months after finishing nursing school. This correlates to a May-July test “season.”
Online Associate’s Degree Programs
- General Nursing.
Online Bachelor’s Degrees
A Bachelor of Science in nursing is a four-year degree program that equips students with generalized nursing skills. This undergraduate degree is designed to prepare nursing students for a wide variety of health care settings. From hospitals to law firms, nurses are needed everywhere. That is why obtaining a bachelor’s degree in nursing is such a prosperous career move.
After a nursing student completes a bachelor’s degree, he/she will be eligible to take an official nursing exam for licensure. Although a student may complete an associate’s degree in order to become a registered nurse, only a bachelor’s degree can segue into a graduate program. For that reason, a bachelor’s degree may be a better choice for some. Graduate degrees in nursing are essential for nurses who wish to specialize in an advanced nursing field.
The courses offered in a bachelor’s degree program for nurses will ensure that graduates are competent in literacy, capable of critical analysis and have a basic understanding of human nature. Nursing students will also be required to complete an internship period with a health care facility. Upon graduation, licensure testing will take place and passing students will be granted a license to practice nursing.
Online Bachelor’s Degree Programs
- General Nursing.
Online Certificate Degrees
Certificate programs in nursing are offered at many colleges across the country. For students with a rigorous schedule who can not attend a college on campus, many online schools offer the same accredited programs that can be completed at a student’s leisure. As the demand for nurses grows within the health care industry, more people are seeking expedited educational programs in order to enter the work force, which is exactly what a nursing certificate offers.
Some nursing certificates are intended for those who have no previous experience as a nurse and who have never sought related certificates or degrees. For instance, one can become a licensed practical nurse through a certificate program and then pursue an associate’s or bachelor’s degree. Other nursing certificate programs, however, are for those who already have an undergraduate or graduate degree, yet wish to expand on that experience and knowledge.
Courses offered with a nursing certificate program are designed to teach a student medical, legal and ethical practices. All of these standards will be tailored to the specific health care setting the certificate’s emphasis is on. Whether a student is already a registered nurse or is pursuing a nursing license, a certificate program offers a fast, yet thorough curriculum. The careers of both newcomers and seasoned professional should benefit from the acquisition of a nursing certificate.
Online Certificate Degree Programs
- General Nursing.
Online Master’s Degrees
A Master of Science degree in nursing, or MSN, can be obtained in approximately 18-24 months. Direct entry into a master’s degree program requires a Bachelor of Science in nursing (BSN). However, some schools offer accelerated programs to those who wish to acquire a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree at once. Such students must already have an associate’s degree in nursing.
A nurse with a master’s degree will belong to one of the four following groups: nurse practitioner, nurse anesthetist , clinical nurse specialist or nurse midwife. Within each group are hundreds of specialties that a degree can center on. From a master’s degree with an emphasis in pediatrics to one with a focus in education, all post-graduate nursing programs will combine classroom instruction with off-campus internships. Although many classes will concern a student’s particular specialty, there will still be general courses in research, methodology and patient advocacy.
There are millions of practicing nurses in the United States right now, yet the demand for more is rising even higher. For those seeking a career in the health care industry, it is reassuring to know that there will always be a need for medical personnel. Nurses with an advanced degree in a specific area will have more leverage where pay scale is concerned. Also, a nurse with a Master of Science degree will be first in line for positions of authority, as an MSN proves to employers that a nurse is highly developed in both intellect and skill.
Online Master’s Degree Programs
- Family Practice.
- General Nursing.
- Health Care Administration.
- Health Care Education.
- Health Care Management.
- Nurse Midwifery.
- Nursing Education.
- Nursing Leadership.
- Women’s Health.