Explore Online Registered Nursing Programs

Recently, online registered nursing programs have been in high demand; the amount of students looking to become registered nurses is on the rise, as well as available job opportunities. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that available registered nursing jobs will increase by 15% over the next 10 years, a rate much faster than average. In addition, employers have an increased interest in graduates with at least a Bachelor’s in Nursing. The problem arises when students busy home and work lives conflict with the required schedule of school. Students wanting to increase their credentials and expand their knowledge of nursing have to find a balance between the existing responsibilities in their life. Online registered nursing programs are an excellent option for those with work or family obligations that need a flexible option to further their careers.

Associate’s Degree

Potential nursing students have many possible paths to take to gain an associate-level degree in nursing. Various program titles include an Associate of Nursing (AN), an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN), an Associate of Science in Nursing (ASN), or an Associate of Applied Science in Nursing (AASN). Although the courses have different degree results, they all share a similar course schedules that often include online lessons, clinical practice, and internship requirements.

While an Associate Degree in Nursing does not have all the benefits of a Bachelor’s Degree, the program is perfect for students who need a fast and affordable path that will allow them to become a registered nurse quickly. Associate programs generally take around 1 to 2 years to complete, introducing concepts like anatomy and physiology, expository writing, nursing leadership, management, and practice. These 2 year programs are great for students who want to begin their nursing career without committing a large amount of time and money. If graduates of the Associate Degree path want to continue their education, students can find many schools that will allow their credits and degree to transfer to a Bachelor program.

Similar to the Bachelor’s Degree, graduates of the Associate program will have to take the NCLEX-RN examination to become a registered nurse. The Associate path teaches the same concepts as the Bachelor path in a shorter amount of time; be prepared for rigorous lessons and extensive studying. While the path is faster and less expensive, an Associate’s Degree in Nursing will not be easier.

Bachelor’s Degree

Graduates with a Bachelor’s Degree are the most desired candidates in the job market. As a result, there are many online registered nursing programs for a Bachelor’s Degree students can choose from. The program prepares students for a wide array of professional opportunities and spends the time to ensure students master the required knowledge. After students have graduated, they must take the NCLEX-RN exam to become registered nurses, using the extensive practice learned in the Bachelor’s program to pass the difficult test.

In addition to the career options of Associate level registered nurses, Bachelor graduates have the opportunity to apply for administrative and management positions in various facilities. The coursework follows the format of the Associate’s degree, delving deeper into the topics, and explores special study of infants, children, adolescent patients, women’s health care, and nursing fundamentals to provide a safer experience for future patients. The 4 year program is more expensive than the Associate Degree in Nursing, and students should only commit to the in-depth program if they plan on committing to a long term nursing career.

Master’s Degree

The Master’s Degree in Nursing builds on skills learned in previous degrees and specialized practices, creating more career opportunities and higher pay for graduates. The Master’s Degree takes around 2 to 3 years, in addition to the Bachelor’s Degree typically required for admission. Graduates of the Master’s Degree program usually study a specialized area of practice to further widen their career options and knowledge.

Graduates of the Master’s Degree program can expect to understand advanced nursing concepts like health care resource management, pharmacology, and health and illness across human experience. Careers as nurse practitioners, nurse educators, and clinical nurse specialists are typical opportunities for Master’s graduates.

In addition to a Master’s Degree, graduates can pursue Graduate Certificates that certify MSN educated nurses in specialized skill areas. The various Graduate Certificates are open to Master’s graduates who want to demonstrate nursing skills in niche areas without extra clinical requirements. Most Graduate Certificates can be completed online in less than a year; this program is perfect for Master’s graduates wanting to continue working as they expand their certification.

Doctorate’s Degree

Graduates of the Master’s program who pursue a Doctorate will have the widest range of career options. The skills students learn in the DNP program build on those already studied in the MSN, while preparing the graduates for the highest level of skill in nursing. Coursework of a typical Doctorate’s program includes statistics and data analysis, leadership, advanced clinical skills, and nursing philosophy.

Graduates who pursue a Doctorate’s Degree are fully committed to their nursing careers and want to proceed into an executive position in their field. The Doctorate’s Degree takes 3 to 6 years to complete, and it requires around 1,000 clinical hours and a capstone project to graduate.

When you’re a prospective nursing student, the possible paths to become a registered nurse seem overwhelming. Students have to find the path that works best for their personal schedule and goals, while ensuring the program provides the necessary skills and certification to succeed. However, any path taken in the field of nursing will bring you closer to your goal of becoming a registered nurses. Future job opportunities in the nursing field are constantly expanding, and you should find the program that will best help you on the path to becoming a registered nurse.

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