Why consider online nursing colleges? Because careers in nursing are amongst the hottest in the medical profession. Patients spend more time with nurses and nurse’s aides, also known as Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA),than any other provider. Programs include CNA training, LPN to RN, RN to BSN, BSN to MSN and RN to MSN. As a nurse you can make a difference in a patient’s care and community health and wellness. If you are empathetic, nurturing, caring, organized, and hardworking, turn that talent into a nursing career. Nurses play a very important role in the lives of their patients.
Nursing Education and Training
In the United States nurses most commonly enter the occupation by completing an Associate or Bachelor’s degree program at an accredited nursing college. A few hospitals offer a 3-year training program resulting in a diploma. Individuals then must complete a national licensing examination in order to obtain a nursing license.
Further training either at nursing colleges or on the job can qualify nurses to work in specialty areas, and may help improve advancement opportunities. Many RNs with an Associate degree or diploma later enter a nursing college with bachelor’s programs to prepare for a broader scope of nursing practice. The most commonly offered degrees at nursing colleges are:
- LPN to RN
- RN to BSN
- RN to MSN
- Nurse Practitioner
While some nursing colleges offer a variety of advanced degree and certificate options for students seeking online education, most schools limit their online degrees to a handful of programs. Be sure to check with the nursing college you are interested in to learn about the specific entrance requirements of your degree program. In general, BSN programs look for the following criteria:
- SAT or ACT score although the minimum scores vary by school or program
- Minimum GPA ranging from 2.0 to 3.25
- Three years of high school math, including geometry and algebra II
- Three years of high school science, including biology and chemistry
- Four years of high school English
- Two years of high school foreign language
The RN-to-BSN, RN-to-MSN and MSN programs generally look for the following criteria:
- Graduation from a National League of Nursing (NLN) accredited nursing school
- A current valid RN nursing license
- A 2.5-3.0 GPA (most want 3.0 and above as most programs are competitive.
- GRE in some cases for the MSN (masters in nursing program)
To practice as nurse, graduates of nursing colleges are also required to take the NCLEX exam. The NCLEX-RN (National Council Licensure Examination-Registered Nurse) is a computer-adaptive test (CAT) of entry-level nursing competence. Passing the exam is required of candidates for licensure as a Registered Nurse (RN) in the US. The NCLEX-RN® and NCLEX-PN® examinations are developed and owned by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing, Inc.
Nurses record patients’ medical histories, ask about symptoms, assist with diagnostic tests and analyze results. They also administer treatment, help with rehabilitation and operate medical equipment. Even more important, they are advocates who meet the needs of their patients. From getting a drink of water to providing comfort to assisting in surgery, nurses are indispensable.
Nursing colleges give you the foundation to work in many settings. Examples of places where nurses are in high demand are ambulatory care, burn care, emergency and intensive care, geriatrics, home care, mother/baby care, pediatrics, psychiatric settings, travel nursing, and rehabilitation. Nurses work in many areas beyond hospitals for example doctors’ offices, research, non-profit organizations, schools and universities. In these areas they can be involved in management and administration.
Some areas of nursing specialization include: Ambulatory nurses, critical care nurses, emergency nurses, hospice nurses, infusion nurses, perioperative nurses, radiology nurses, forensic nursing, nursing informatics, nursing administration, etc.
The nursing shortage means that the need to provide programs of preparation, yet many nursing schools to not have enough space or qualified instructors to teach. To address this challenge, many schools are developing high-quality online nursing degree programs. For that reason more schools are offering online bachelor’s nursing degrees.
Estimated Income and Projected Career Outlook
According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary for registered nurses is about $58,000. The median annual earning of licensed practical nurses is about $36,550. In 2002, the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated that registered nurses across all specialties earned a median annual salary of about $48,000.
Experienced nurses can earn $70,000 or more per year in base salary, in addition to bonuses, shift differential, and overtime. Nurse managers make about $65,000 a year and Nurse Anesthetists (CRNA) make about $99,400-$148,500 a year. This of course requires specialized training and in most cases a masters degree.
Medical professions have been experiencing a shortage of qualified Registered Nurses (RNs), making nursing has been one of the most in demand jobs for the last 10 years. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that the field will continue to expand. The median annual wage of registered nurses was $64,690 in 2010 and the employment of registered nurses is expected to grow 26% from 2010 to 2020, which is faster than the average for all occupations.
The U.S. Department of Labor reports that employment of registered nurses is expected to grow by 23% from 2006 to 2016. This is much faster than the average. Technological advances are driving the growth in patient care. In addition, the aging population of the country will have a significant effect on the need for more nurses in the coming years and online nursing colleges are preparing nursing students for this shift.
- Online MBA program ranked 6th in the USA by CEO magazine.
- In a university-sponsored survey, 4 out of 5 alumni reported being satisfied with their experience.
- #1 Online School for military veterans according to Military Times.
- 75,000+ graduates across all industries offer extensive networking opportunities.
- My Unique Student Experience (M.U.S.E.) lets students watch, view, read, or hear content.
- Smartphone app available for on-the-go learning.
- Master of Science in Nursing - Nursing Administration
- Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN to BSN completion)
- Master of Science in Nursing - Nursing Education
- Which career path will you take – Business, Nursing, Education, Psychology? Something else? GCU offers more than 100 majors to get you started!
- Colangelo College of Business: Features more than 25 programs from the bachelor through the master's level, including several high-demand MBA programs and an accelerated accounting degree.
- College of Nursing and Health Care Professions: Rich 25-year history providing outstanding health care and nursing degree programs, including an RN to BSN program & master's in nursing degrees.
- College of Education: Whether you are looking to start or advance your career as a teacher or administrator, GCU offers bachelor’s and master’s in education degrees in key areas.
- College of Humanities and Social Sciences: Provides a job focused education and features a variety of programs from counseling and psychology to justice studies, history and English literature.
- Does something else interest you? GCU also offers programs in Doctoral Studies; Theology; Science, Engineering & Technology; and Fine Arts & Production. Speak with an enrollment counselor today!
- B.S. in Nursing (Registered Nurse - R.N. to B.S.N)
- M.S. in Nursing: Health Care Informatics (Bridge)
- M.S. in Nursing: Public Health (Bridge)
- And more...
- Programs include Bachelor of Science in Health Care Administration, Bachelor of Science in Health and Wellness, Master of Health Care Administration, and more.
- Students learn from instructors with experience in the health care field.
- Capstone projects and clinical practicums that can help prepare students for more career opportunities.
- Flexible, online and on-campus program available.
- MS in Nursing
- Master of Science - DNP Path (Doctor of Nursing Practice)
- Master of Science in Nursing-Family Nurse Practitioner
- And more...
For over 35 years, Keiser University has maintained a practical, hands-on approach to career education to help our students achieve their personal and professional goals. Our student-centered approach remains at the foundation of the Keiser University mission and continues to attract students who prefer a more personal learning experience.
- Master of Science in Nursing
Centura College, with campus locations in Virginia, South Carolina and Florida, is dedicated to helping students gain the skills and attitudes necessary to succeed. Drawing from over 30 years of career school experience.
- Practical Nursing Diploma
- Associate of Occupational Science Degree in Medical Assisting-Clinical Concentration
Fortis Institute can give you the skills you need to train for a career in the healthcare field.
* Programs vary by location
* Please contact each individual campus for accreditation information
- Associate Degree in Nursing
- Practical Nursing
- Medical Assistant
Experience the Rewards of Caring, With ECPI’s Medical Careers Institute, you can Earn Your Bachelor’s Degree in 2.5 Years or Your Associate’s Even Sooner through Our Year-Round Schedule!
- Nursing (RN-BSN) - Bachelor's
- Nursing (RN) - Associate's
- Practical Nursing - Diploma
- And more...
- MS Nursing
- MS Nursing: Patient Safety and Quality
- MS Nursing: Clinical Nurse Leader
- And more...
- Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)
Earn your graduate degree online with Northcentral University. We offer online programs focused on doctoral and master’s degrees in the schools of business and technology management, education, psychology and marriage and family sciences.
- Doctor of Education - Nursing Education