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Degree Programs at Online Schools for Nursing

January 10th, 2011

Like any other field or degree program, online nursing programs are offered at hundreds of colleges, universities, and institutions across the country. With the healthcare fields being one of the fastest growing fields around, with no signs of slowing down, and an increased nursing shortage, its no surprise that nursing jobs are quickly becoming high demand professions. There are also several different types of degree programs offered, with some programs requiring more commitments and course hours and expectations than others.

Many online schools offer entry-level nursing degrees such as degree programs to earn an associate degree in nursing. While degree requirements and credits will commonly vary between institutions, most associate degree nursing programs take about 2 years to complete, and are usually offered through community colleges. Courses in these programs generally involve basic education requirements, in addition to teaching technical nursing skills, and preparing students with the skills and knowledge needed to work in the field. Many students interested in nursing pursue the associate degree program due to it being more cost-effective, and that it generally requires a shorter time commitment when it comes to school credits.

Online nursing schools also offer students the opportunity to earn a bachelor of science degree in nursing, also commonly known as a BSN. A BSN generally take about 4 to 5 years to complete, and is usually offered through colleges or universities. Typically the first 2 years of the program are general education requirements such as math, English, science, liberal arts, and social sciences. The 3rd and 4th year requirements usually consist of learning the science and principles of nursing, and teaching students the training and skills they will need to practice. BSNs prepare nurses for hospital positions as well as inpatient and community settings.

Other programs offered through online nursing schools include RN to BSN and LPN to RN programs. These programs are offered to individuals that already work as nurses, but would like to have the opportunity to continue to work and go to school so that they may earn a BSN. The RN to BSN program allows registered nurses with an associate degree to earn a bachelor degree with some of the skills they have already acquired through nursing. The LPN to RN program is designed for licensed practical nurses to earn their degree to qualify to work as a registered nurse. Enrolling in these programs and earning degree could open up job opportunities and give opportunities for advancement and/or higher salaries.