Online Nursing Schools

Learn about Online Nursing Schools, the jobs you can expect and the corresponding earning potential.

Online Nursing Schools

Salary

Nursing Salary

Find state-by-state information regarding expected salaries for Nurses, as well as information regarding potential job growth.

Education

Online Nursing Schools

Learn what it takes to become a Nurse. Explore detailed listings of online Nursing schools to find the one that best meets your needs.

Job Description

Nursing Job Description

Educate yourself about what a Nurse actually does. Learn about the day to day life of a Nurse and the skills, knowledge and abilities necessary to succeed in the field of Nursing.

Online Nursing Degree

What is nursing?

Nursing is the profession of taking care of sick and injured people. Nurses are critical to the medical profession, as they assist doctors in taking care of patients. They play a crucial role in providing effective, supportive health care services.

What should I look for in an online nursing school?

The best online nursing schools should either possess either regional or national accreditation from an accrediting body that is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

In addition, you can often recognize top online nursing schools based on:

  • The school’s name and status
  • The school’s history
  • Teacher credentials
  • Alumni network
In choosing the best online nursing school for you, you should consider the following factors:

  • Admission requirements
  • Residency requirements
  • Class and teaching style
  • Testing methods used
  • Course content and presentation
  • Program length
  • Class size
  • Student-teacher interaction
  • Technology use
  • Tuition and financial aid
  • Transferability of credits
  • Availability of a dedicated administration team and resources

What levels of online nursing programs are available?

The following levels of nursing degree online programs are available:

  • Online Nursing Certificate Programs
  • Online Associates in Nursing
  • Online Bachelor in Nursing
  • Online Masters in Nursing
  • Online PhD in Nursing

How long does it take to get an online nursing degree?

The amount of time it takes a student to earn an accredited online nursing degree depends on the level of nursing degree being pursued and the pace of the student.

Typically, the breakdown is as follows:

  • Online Nursing Certification Programs – 6 months to 1 year
  • Online Nursing Associates Degree – 2 years
  • Online Nursing Bachelor Degree – 4 years
  • Online Nursing Masters – 2 years
  • Online Nursing PhD – 2 to 5 years

What are some examples of online nursing courses?

Online nursing degree programs require students with excellent math and science skills, and prior knowledge in these areas for students pursuing degrees beyond the bachelor level. Students who are interested in the nursing profession must have a unique combination of compassion, excellent communication abilities, and highly developed technical skills. Top online schools will provide training in all areas of nursing, including the following courses:

  • Pharmacology
    A foundation course for any nursing program, Pharmacology studies physiology and pathophysiology and the various drugs that are involved in the modification or therapeutics of those systems.
  • Nursing Practice with Children
    This course is designed to develop skills in providing nursing care to the child along the health/illness continuum, including psychosocial, developmental and physical health promotion, risk reduction and illness care.
  • Pathophysiology Across the Lifespan
    Pathophysiology examines alterations in the biologic processes that maintain homeostasis and this class will focus on a various specific physiologic processes or organ systems. Diseases that commonly occur through the lifespan will be discussed to illustrate the pathophysiologic processes.
  • HIV/AIDS Management
    This course will focus on: pathophysiology of HIV infection, diagnosis and management of opportunistic infections and HIV-related malignancies, management of HIV infection through the use of HAART, and symptom management.
  • Illness and Aging
    Caring for the geriatric patient is the focus of this course. Utilizing a systems approach, the diagnosis and management of health problems are examined, including the management of acute and chronic illnesses encountered in the geriatric population are emphasized whether institutionally or community-based.

What areas of nursing specialization are available?

While all nursing students should have a strong foundation in areas such as physiology and pharmacology, most students will specialize their studies into a particular field within nursing. During their studies for a particular concentration, students will take advanced coursework in their specialty area, and possibly complete hands-on practicums or internships at local hospitals or health care agencies. Some specializations in nursing include:

  • Labor and Delivery
  • Pediatrics
  • HIV/AIDS Nursing
  • Emergency Room
  • Orthopedics
  • Surgery
  • Intensive Care Unit

What can I do with a nursing degree?

The best online nursing degrees earn a student the ability to use their skill in the real world. Students should be able to apply their nursing skills in a variety of areas, including their specialty. In addition to technical skills, online nursing programs should develop communication and management skills.

Students with an undergraduate online nursing degree from an accredited online nursing school can pursue the following employment opportunities:

  • Pediatrics Nurse
  • Family Practice Nurse
  • Internal Medicine Nurse
  • Labor and Delivery Nurse
  • Military Nurse
Students with advanced accredited online nursing degrees may consider careers as:

  • ER Nurse
  • Flight Nurse
  • Intensive Care Unit Nurse
  • Nurse Practitioner
  • Nurse Coordinator
  • Charge Nurse
  • Public Health Nurse
Furthermore, those with graduate level education from a top online nursing school, generally a PhD, can pursue opportunities including:

  • Professor of Nursing
  • Nurse Practitioner Educator
  • Hospital Head of Nursing

What is a nurse?

A nurse works in a hospital or medical facility, taking care of sick and injured patients. Nurses advocate for patients, work with family members to handle specific medical situations and provide patient education when appropriate. Nurses must have confidence and the ability to make fast decisions in stressful and time sensitive situations. They must work well as a team and have a calm and sensitive approach when in crisis situations.

What does a nurse do?

Nurses work in all areas of the health care field, from basic patient workups to assisting in delivering babies to teaching courses on diabetes management. Nurses provide a link between doctor and patient, and often are primary caregivers to patients. They show compassion and expertise in their specialty area, skills that can be obtained through a degree in nursing from a top online college.

  • Licensed Practical Nurse
    Licensed practical nurses (LPNs) provide basic health care for patients, including vital signs, blood draws, collecting samples, and feeding or assisting patients. LPNs must have an Associate’s degree in nursing.
  • Registered Nurse, Pediatrics
    A registered nurse has a bachelor’s degree (or beyond) and more responsibility than an LPN. An RN in the field of pediatrics works with sick children, monitoring their health, dispensing medication and educating families.
  • Critical Care Nurse
    A critical care nurse works with patients in a high-intensity are of a hospital, such as an ER or intensive care unit. Typically, critical care nurses have earned an advanced degree.
  • Nurse Practitioner
    Nurse practitioners, having earned a master or PhD level degree in nursing, have the opportunity to treat patients independently, under the consultation of a doctor. Nurse practitioners may prescribe and dispense medication, make diagnoses and treatment plans.
  • Public Health Nurse
    A public health nurse works in a community care clinic or agency to provide specific public health care or education. In some capacities, public health nurses monitor the needs of a particular community and respond with appropriate solutions and education.

How much does a nurse earn?

Both the salary and projected employment growth for nurses will vary, although every area of nursing is expecting faster than average job growth. Career potential in nursing is excellent.

As most nursing positions are connected with a labor union, seniority and experience on the job is an important factor in earnings. Advanced degrees from top online colleges also impact ability and job prospects. Nurses can earn between $59,320 (long-term care facility) and $67,770 (surgical clinics). In addition, the opportunity for overtime pay or even signing bonuses is available. Family friend work environments and excellent medical and dental insurance are other benefits of work as a nurse.

Nursing has excellent prospects for growth over the next decade. According to government statistics, RNs with a bachelor’s degree or higher have more job opportunities than those without.

How do I become a nurse?

Nurses must have advanced skills and training. RNs generally hold a bachelor degree in nursing, and nurse practitioners must have earned a master level degree or higher. Online nursing programs from accredited institutions offer exceptional education in all pertinent areas of nursing, as well as essential degrees to pursuing employment. In addition to college degrees, nurses must pass licensing exams particular to the state in which they live. Ongoing education credits are required to keep a nursing license current; many hospitals offer these courses to staff as a benefit.

Nursing is an excellent career for those interesting in the field of medicine or health care. Individuals with drive, motivation and a passion for helping others can find great success in the field of nursing.

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Resources

  • National Council of State Boards of Nursing

    The National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) provides resources for those in healthcare to collaborate and tackle the issues concerning public health safety. The NCSBN also regulates exams for entry into the nursing field.

  • Nursing Organizations

    This website has an extensive list of all the nursing organizations for the various branches and specialties of nursing. The site can also be organized by location to find local and state chapters of each nursing organization.

  • American Nurses’ Association

    The American Nurses’ Association website often features articles about ethics, research and practices, as well as educational resources and jobs. It also provides guidance in career planning and getting the right credentials and certifications for each branch of nursing, making it a useful resource for nursing students.

  • American Society of Registered Nurses

    The American Society of Registered Nurses is a community committed to providing support for registered nurses in all 50 states. Available to members are a variety of benefits and services, including publications and journals, products, insurance and financial services, and more.