The best thing that has happened to humanity is digital evolution and with it – achieving education with such comfort and ease. Today an aspirant from any corner can get hold of their desired degree without needing to travel miles to schools or quit their job.
But, the field of Nursing was different, it was in fact complicated. With clinical hours necessary and tough lectures that required the highest level of attention to understand are made super-easy thanks to creative teaching methods and modern tools.
These advancements made Online Nursing degrees a possibility. And today, here we are discussing about it. So, are you looking for a nursing degree online? Great!
In this article we will guide you through everything related to an online nursing degree, the must-have features you shouldn’t miss, the online diploma or certificate or degree programs, and importantly discuss the potential steps to get a nursing degree online; and much more.
So, keep reading –
Online Nursing Degree
Thanks to the digital evolution getting our desired degree has become just so easy. The online learning experience has been systematically getting better too. Now, even complicated degrees like Nursing don’t need a classroom or school environment, all it requires is a laptop and internet connectivity.
But … Such is life – with virtue comes vice. Once upon a time, there were options, but now, there are plenty of them, turning it into some good headache. Some programs look great but once you enroll in them, you will face hurdles. Then other programs are simply great.
So, it boils down to your research abilities to find the best online degree in nursing which is also credible, offers quality education, is affordable, and most importantly prepares you for your role as a Nurse.
Not sure how? Here’s how –
5 Must-Have Features While Choosing Your Degree Online
You may be in a hurry to enroll in an online nursing program, but wait, sit down, relax, and read these 5 points before you make a grave mistake. Your online nursing degree should be –
Why do we trust traditional university degree certificates? For they are accepted by employers and recognized worldwide. You could assure the same with an online degree too, by choosing an accredited online nursing school.
Check the (Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education) CCNE site to know your online nursing school’s accreditation status.
Flexibility in Learning
Your degree provider should offer flexible learning. The courses should be self-paced, meaning you can learn at your own pace. The course should be such that you can take it anytime, on-demand classes.
Also, there should be flexibility in the payment part as well, what if someone wants to pay monthly, or in full at a time? Only these features make online education a perfect choice, or else, what difference it makes in the classroom – where there are scheduled classes and a fixed routine to everything.
Clinical experience is the deciding factor in the nursing or healthcare field of education. Consider them as internships or externships. And, there are no online clinical options – yet.
So, your course provider should provide you with clinical hands-on experience opportunities. Also, make sure to bargain with the clinics nearest to your locality.
Try searching for programs that partnered with clinics near you. Why? Because – you need to complete at least 500-700 hours of clinical hours in patient care, as a program requisite. Will you have the time to travel every day? Even if you perform 7 hours a week you will need 10 weeks to achieve the clinical hours.
NCLEX-RN or Other Licensure Exam Preparation
If you choose an ADN or a BSN program, you need to clear the NCLEX-RN exam to become an RN, only this will assure you a job in nursing. If you choose other certificate or diploma programs there are state-based and national licensure exams to clear to be eligible to get a job.
So, an ideal online nursing degree provider would help you prepare for your licensure exam as well.
Money matters and that makes an online degree the best route to education. To get a degree in nursing through the traditional path it costs you between $16,104 to $70,794, depending on your school. But, with the online route, the same nursing degree would cost you between $9,446 to $70,794, depending on your course provider.
If you are thinking this is not a huge difference, in the traditional path there exists other hidden costs like – living expenses, facility fees, parking and fuel expenses, and similar costs. Considering everything, online degrees are cheaper.
Online Nursing Degree Programs
Why Do We Recommend Nursing Degrees Online? Because –
They are Economically Viable and offer you the same degrees that would cost 5x or 10x otherwise.
They allow you to maintain your side hustle, a perfect way to keep working and learning.
They are so perfect for a Career change if you intend to join a profession that is secure, stable, and offers job fulfillment.
They help you the most if you are looking for a career change or professional advancement through higher education.
Let’s explore the diploma/certificate programs first and then we will move to each degree option respectively.
Online Diploma / Certificate Programs
CNA (Certified Nursing Assistant)
They assist the RNs or physicians in their daily tasks in handling patient care. The online certified nurse assistant program could take anywhere between 8-10 hours to complete. The average cost to get this online is – $500; however, some community colleges might offer it for free.
To start working as a CNA, post-completion of your training course you need to pass the state nursing board’s CNA certification examination. Note that – each state has a different CNA Certification exam. Take the state exam where you intend to work in.
LPN (Licensed Practical Nurse)
They assist the RNs and the healthcare professionals or physicians in their daily tasks of patient care. They monitor the patients, check their blood pressure, deliver them medications, and assist them with – changing clothes or using restrooms, etc.
The Licensed Practical Nurse program could take anywhere between 12-18 months to complete. The program costs around $4,000 or $5,000, and could go upwards to $30,000; depending on the program.
To be job ready, you too require to pass the National Council Licensure Examination – NCLEX-PN – post-completion of your program.
LVN (Licensed Vocational Nurse)
LVN and LPN are considered similar in many states and their work area is also similar like – assisting the physicians and RNs, providing patient care, changing bandages, and assisting patients to dress, walk or eat.
The LVN program also takes around 12-14 months to complete. It cost around $4,000 to $50,000; depending on your school.
Like LPN, you need to clear the licensure NCLEX-VN exam post-completion of your course to be job ready.
The online degree options are mentioned below –
Associate Degree in Nursing Online
Associate Degrees generally take 2 years to complete, but with online ADN programs, it can take somewhere about 18-30 months. The course completion time depends on your learning pace.
Post-completion you need to pass the NCLEX-RN exam to become an RN. Post becoming an RN you can start your career as a Nurse.
The online ADN programs generally cost $8,000-$36,000; depending on your nursing school.
Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing Online
A BSN degree would ideally take about 4 years, but with online BSN programs, it can as less than 15 months. The course completion time depends on your learning pace.
The online BSN program could cost anywhere between – $5,000 to $30,000.
Post-completion of your course you need to clear the NCLEX-RN licensure exam and only then you will be eligible to start working as a nurse.
Read -> How To Get A BSN?
RN to BSN Online Degree
This bridge program is for the ones who hold an RN and are working as a nurse. Online options offer you flexible schedules and easy credit transfers allowing you to learn while you continue working and achieve your BSN degree sooner.
The program takes around 12-18 months to complete. The program costs around $350 – $500 per credit hour and the credit hours vary between 30 – 40. The information is general, and it may vary depending on the school of your choice.
Online Master’s Degree in Nursing
If you wish to stop working hands-on with patients and move into non-clinical leadership roles in research, data analysis, executive management, administration, teaching, public policy, and government, an MSN degree could be your ticket.
You can enroll in an MSN program if you have an RN, BSN, or ADN. Online MSN would cost anywhere between – $18,000 to $65,000; and would require 1-3 years for completion.
How To Get a Nursing Degree Online?
Surprisingly, it is fairly easy to get a nursing degree online and it is getting better, more accessible, and popular, over time.
We will guide you through the process to get a Nursing degree online –
Research and Choose an Accredited Program
We have been highlighting the importance of research. Also, make sure to choose only accredited institutions. Plus, make sure to check the NCLEX passing rate, the higher the rate is, the better it is for you.
Post-research you need to go through the prerequisites of the respective program. Check if you fulfill all of them before enrolling to avoid any hurdles.
Finalize and Enroll in the Program
You have now checked the prerequisites, it’s now time to give a last thought and finalize your program and then go on to enroll in your desired program with the best-suited institution.
Finish Online Coursework
Post-enrolment continue with your coursework and finish it at your pace. Ask the teachers for any doubts, and don’t hesitate to ask any questions or contact the support team, if you have any issues.
The most important aspect of a nursing program is its clinical hours. You need to complete your clinical hours most efficiently and gain very useful hands-on experience.
As part of your nursing program, you’ll likely have to complete clinical rotations in various healthcare settings. These rotations allow you to work with different patients and varieties of RNs depending on their specializations.
To be job ready, you need to pass the NCLEX-RN licensure exam. Your course provider should prepare you for it well. Requirements for licensure may vary depending on your state.
* Note that – the process and requirements may vary among institutions.
Read -> Nursing Degree Levels
Will Employers Take My Online Degree Seriously?
Why not? Online nursing degree from an accredited institution is globally accepted. Employers are aware of the online degree trend and they are happy to hire any degree holders.
AACN reports – a 170% increase in online RN-BSN degrees since 2010. This is only possible due to the acceptance of online degrees in nursing in the USA.
Are Online Degrees Recognized All Over the World?
If your online degree is from an accredited institution then it will be recognized globally.
How Much Does an Online Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing Cost?
The online BSN program could cost anywhere between – $5,000 to $30,000.
Is An Online Nursing Degree Worth It?
Well, if you consider learning flexibility, affordability, and upgrading your education without quitting your job. And with the career advancement opportunities, education advancement opportunities, salary earning potential, and various other aspects, yes, an online nursing degree is worth it.
With an online nursing degree, you could become an RN and earn about $77,600 yearly. If you could get to work for the government as an RN you can earn about $85,970 yearly.
If these stats are not enough, the RNs are the 5th in-demand job in the American workforce. And, the United States is experiencing a shortage of RNs, and the job forecast projects a growth of 6% yearly.
Now, we leave it up to you to decide if a degree in nursing is worth the investment for you or not.
Do Online Nursing Students Need to Come to Campus?
The majority of the online nursing degrees and certificates will not require any campus visits. Even if you need to, they will inform you well in advance so you can plan them.
Some institutions may invite students to campus for orientation and instructions before the start of your program and at the end.
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