The health care industry has been and remains one of the fastest growing industries in the US today. Within this industry, nursing has been at the top for some time. Across the US, a shortage of qualified nurses has led to a significant increase in the demand for nurses and, as a result, better pay and incentives to those who pursue this field.
But is it possible to acquire a nursing degree online?
Yes, there are online degree programs that cater to those who want to specialize in nursing. Students will learn the basics of nursing care, how to read medical charts, how to maintain accurate medication records, and how to complete standard procedures such as taking blood pressure measurements, the fine points of CPR, and how to administer medication. It should be noted that you would have to complete an internship at your local hospital, health care clinic, or nursing home in order to get the hands-on training needed to be a successful nurse.
A quick look at schools that offer online nursing programs include:
- University of Phoenix
- Florida State University
- Middle Tennessee State University
- California College for Health Sciences
- Jacksonville University
- Mountain State University
- Kaplan University
There are different levels of nursing that will require additional degrees in order to perform certain procedures, give out medications, or lead a team of nurses. Nurses must pass exams at the end of their degree program in order to become registered in the state that they live in. Nurses cannot practice until they pass these exams. Online degree programs will prepare you for these exams and more. A lot of what is required in your program will also depend on the type of program you are pursuing. Many schools will only offer one nursing degree program. However, others will offer 2 or more different programs.
One example of this is the University of Phoenix. For those interested in the nursing program at the University of Phoenix, four different programs are available. These include 1) Master of Science in Nursing 2) Master of Science in Nursing/Health Care Education 3) Master of Science in Nursing/Integrative Health 4) RN to Bachelor of Science in Nursing.
Of course, which program you choose will, in large part, depend on where you are in your professional career and your long-term ambitions.
If you are already in the nursing field, returning to school and earning online degree in nursing administration or specialized area of nursing will allow you to continue working while earning your degree. Those who earn a master’s degree in nursing will be able to apply for many positions such as running a floor of a hospital, or running a nursing facility or clinic.
Teaching nursing education is another nursing degree that you can pursue online. You must first have a bachelor’s degree in order to qualify for the program. Once you have graduated, you will be able to teach at universities, community centers, online colleges, or vocational school. This is a very rewarding career switch if you have been in the nursing profession for a while and want to teach others the skills that you have honed for so many years.