Online Nursing Programs


    There are many online nursing programs, so we will help guide you.

    When looking into your options, it's important to keep these items in mind: 1) cost of the program 2) length of the programs 3) quality and recognition of the school.

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    Best Online Nursing Programs

    We evaluated several factors to rank the best online nursing degree programs, including faculty credentials, graduation rates and student services and technologies.

    1. Rush University (tie) / Chicago, IL
    2. University of South Carolina (tie) / Columbia, SC
    3. Duke University (tie) / Durham, NC
    4. Ohio State University (tie) / Columbus, OH

    With more than 3.1 million registered nurses practicing across the nation, nursing is the largest healthcare profession in the world. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports a projected job growth of 12% between 2018 and 2028 for registered nurses. Students who want to take advantage of the lucrative career opportunities within the nursing profession can review this page to learn more about their options.

    Readers can explore the different types of online nursing programs they can enroll in to prepare them for a variety of nursing careers. The online format allows nursing students to take advantage of the flexible delivery that enables them to continue working while they complete their coursework.

    Online nursing programs typically align with on-campus counterparts, featuring the same course topics and requirements. Students should enroll in accredited online programs that meet licensing criteria.

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    Online LPN/LVN Diploma

    Earning an online LPN/LVN diploma equips learners with the skills and knowledge necessary to pursue licensure and careers as licensed practical nurses or licensed vocational nurses. Diploma programs typically take students about a year or less to complete.

    Some schools offer LPN-to-BSN bridge programs, allowing LPNs to earn their bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) by building on the classes they took to complete their LPN diploma. Before nurses can earn their license and work as an LPN or LVN, they must pass the NCLEX-RN exam. Coursework prepares learners for their licensing exams.

    Online ADN Degree Program

    Many aspiring nurses earn an associate degree in nursing (ADN), providing them with the education they need for a registered nurse (RN) license. Earning an ADN typically takes degree-seekers about two years, allowing them to begin their entry-level nursing careers sooner.

    ADN graduates often pursue a BSN after satisfying their associate requirements. Some schools offer ADN-to-BSN bridge programs, enabling enrollees with an associate degree to earn their bachelor’s degree sooner than traditional bachelor’s students. Learners can explore a variety of program options to earn their associate degree, with unique course requirements.

    Traditional Online BSN Degree

    Nursing students can explore traditional online BSN programs across a variety of colleges and universities. Typically, these bachelor’s programs take learners about four years to complete. They usually require 120 credits of coursework, including general education requirements and nursing-specific classes. While nursing graduates can pursue their RN license after earning an associate degree in nursing, many prospective nurses earn their bachelor’s degree before pursuing their RN license.

    The online format can provide learners with the flexibility to continue working as they earn their degree. For associate degree-holders enrolled in an online bachelor’s program, the convenient delivery can allow them to hold an entry-level nursing position while they complete their degree, enabling them to gain educational and professional experience simultaneously.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Can you become an RN with an online degree?

    Earning a nursing degree online provides individuals with the same degree as on-campus graduates, as long as the online program holds the appropriate accreditation. To become an RN, candidates must earn an associate degree in nursing or a bachelor of science in nursing.

    Are online nursing programs credible?

    When looking for the right online nursing program, degree-seekers should pay close attention to accreditation. Credible nursing programs should feature both regional accreditation and specialized accreditation. Most online programs follow the same rigorous curriculum as their on-campus counterparts.

    How quickly can I get a nursing degree?

    The amount of time it takes learners to earn a nursing degree depends on the degree level, specific program requirements, and whether they enroll part or full time. Some schools also offer bridge programs or accelerated formats, enabling learners to earn their degree sooner.

    Are online degrees easy?

    While online degrees afford students with more flexibility, they are not necessarily easier than on-campus programs. Online learners should be disciplined and self-sufficient. Earning a degree online also requires degree-seekers to possess excellent time management skills.

    Will my online degree get me a job?

    A diploma earned from an online program is the same diploma students earn when they graduate from an on-campus program. Both options follow the same course topics and requirements, preparing enrollees to pursue a variety of job opportunities after graduation.

    Why get an online degree?

    Online degrees provide learners with the flexibility and convenience they need to satisfy their program requirements while balancing other commitments, including career and family. Online programs also allow students to access advanced technologies and resources.


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