Online RN programs can get you started in one of the most popular and fastest growing professions in the country. With 59 million jobs, registered nurses make up the largest group of employees in the health care profession, and their presence is only expected to grow; the Bureau of Labor Statistics expects available positions in registered nursing to increase much faster than the average for all occupations through 2016.
Nurses perform a variety of tasks in many different health care settings, including hospitals, doctors’ offices, clinics, nursing and rehabilitation centers, and more. Generally they provide medical care and comfort to patients; specific tasks can include taking medical histories, recording symptoms, and performing diagnostic tests. Supervisory nurses also do lots of paperwork, evaluations, and staff counseling.CNA (certified nursing assistant), online RN programs will help you increase your job prospects and salary potential; you can also specialize in a particular health care area you find interesting.
Why go online? If you are looking for a career change, online RN programs will allow you to start down this exciting career path without having to leave your full-time job. Moreover, if you are already an LPN (licensed practical nurse) or
Read on to find out more about online RN programs and how they can help start your career as a nurse.
What types of online RN programs are available?
Online RN programs available include:
- Associate Degree in Nursing or Associate of Science in Nursing (ADN or ASN): The ADN or ASN is a two- to three-year degree. Upon successful completion, candidates are ready to take the Registered Nurse (RN) exam, the NCLEX-RN. State licensing requirements vary, so be sure to check before enrolling in an online associate RN degree program.
- Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing (BSN): The BSN is a four-year degree. It also prepares a candidate for the RN exam, but it is important to note that the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that RNs with BSNs will have the best job prospects, so if you are considering becoming a registered nurse, you should strongly think about going straight for the BSN.
- Associate to BSN: An associate to BSN program allows current ADN or ASN holders to earn a bachelor of science in nursing degree; the time it takes to complete this degree path is usually less than if you had started from scratch; these programs apply associate level credits to the BSN.
- RN to BSN: Similar to the Associate to BSN programs, RN to BSN programs allow current registered nurses to pursue a bachelor of science degree in nursing.
For those interested in management or careers in the advanced practical nursing (APN) professions of clinical nurse specialist, nurse practitioner, nurse anesthetist, and nurse midwife, online master’s in nursing degrees are also available.Yes, some online RN programs allow you to specialize in particular areas of nursing such as:
Can I specialize in a particular area of nursing through online RN programs?
- Critical Care
- Forensic Nursing
- Home Health Care
- Pain Management
What can graduates of online RN programs do?
Upon completion of an online RN program, a graduate will have to take a state exam to be certified as a registered nurse. After that, the career paths taken by registered nurses vary widely, although nearly 60% work in hospitals. Along with traditional nursing settings, travel nursing, through which registered nurses relocate for temporary assignments, is becoming increasingly popular.
What are the requirements to enter online RN programs?
Online RN programs generally require applicants to have a high school diploma or its equivalent (G.E.D.), four years of high school English and three years each of high school math (including Geometry and Algebra II) and science (including Biology and Chemistry). Candidates for admission are also often asked to provide standardized test scores (SAT/ACT).
You may also think of looking at LPN Nursing Schools.
What are online RN programs like?
Online RN programs include both classroom and clinical components; that is, aside from learning material from books, you will also have to complete in-person training at an approved medical facility. If you are already in the medical profession, you may be able to complete this requirement at your current place of employment.
Coursework in online RN programs often includes:
- Anatomy and Physiology
- Behavioral Sciences
- Medical-Surgical Care
- Nursing Leadership
- Nursing Theory
- Science and Technology of Nursing
Some online RN programs also require students to spend at least some class time on campus, so read requirements carefully before choosing your school.
What are some advantages of online RN programs?
Perhaps the biggest advantage of online RN programs over traditional nursing courses is that you can take them while continuing to work full-time; you can take classes and study materials on your own schedule and at your own pace. Online RN programs are also less expensive than traditional learning environments as you’ll save on tuition, fees, books, and transportation costs.