In the not so distant past, if someone considered nursing as a career, the only way to achieve a degree in nursing was to attend a traditional classroom in a brick and mortar college or university. Due to the advent of the Internet, it is now easier and less time-consuming to obtain an online nursing degree since most of the work can be done from the comfort of your home.
Before enrolling in any of the online nursing schools, a careful investigation should be done to find an accredited online nursing program. If the school is not accredited, then your diploma or degree may be considered invalid when applying for a job in the workplace after graduation.
We offer a guide to online schools who grant degrees in nursing. Fill out our online form and we will assist you in finding the right online nursing college and the type of degree that is best suited for you.
The following are the different types of nursing degrees offered online:
- Certificate or diploma: One year to complete and prepares one to take a licensed practical nurse exam
- Associates degree: Two years to complete and prepares one to take the registered nurse exam
- Bachelor of Science in Nursing: Four years to complete and prepares one to take the registered nurse exam plus gives one an advantage for promotions in the job place
- Master of Science in Nursing: Post BSN degree, usually taking two years with more options for promotions and career paths in the nursing field
- Ph.D in Nursing: Post MSN degree, usually taking two years and a thesis to be written. This degree allows a nurse unlimited options in the nursing field.
Once you have visited several websites, you will understand what credentials or educational background that is required to apply for specific degrees offered by the various schools. Once your application has been filed with your school-of-choice, you will be contacted with further instructions. After all of the required paperwork has been received and processed, you will be notified as to how many previous college credits they will accept and how many still needs to be earned in order to obtain a degree in nursing.
Most online classes work pretty much the same way. It is important to understand that nursing courses require hands-on experience in clinical situations in order to obtain real-life experiences. A student will be assigned to fulfill their clinical requirements at a facility close to their residence. All of the non-clinical courses can be taken online or taken in addition to traditional classroom courses.
The lecture materials and assignments are posted on an online bulletin board. A discussion forum is usually established for the students to post questions and comments. A certain time might be set for a chat session to be held amongst the students. Most schools will let you log on to their web site and work whenever you can find the time. Do not assume that an online degree will be easier to achieve because you are enrolled in an online school because an accredited online nursing program can be just as rigorous as one might find in a classroom setting.
Assignments are emailed to an instructor on the required due date set for completion. Tests are handled differently with each school. They may be offered online, proctored, taken at a physical site close to the residence of the student, or the on-going course work may take the place of an exam.
Obtaining a degree from any of the online nursing programs offered will not only give a person confidence in obtaining a job but it is a rewarding profession where a nurse can make a difference in other people's lives. When people are sick, competent and kind nurses can make a critical difference in the recovery/rehabilitation of their patients.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, due to the nursing shortage, the nursing profession is expected to grow dramatically from now until 2016 due to population growth, the elderly living longer, lives being extended due to improvements in healthcare, and the retirement of older nurses who will need to be replaced. The salaries vary widely for licensed practical and registered nurses based on which area of the country they have chosen to work. The national mean average wage for a licensed practical nurse is $29,020 and for a registered nurse is $44,470. The salaries are much higher for a nurse who possesses a master's or a Ph.D degree. Type of facility, job description, experience, and type of degree plays a major role in establishing salaries for nurses.
The field of nursing is one that is always blooming, but with so many different kinds of nurses out there how do you know which one is just right for you and your particular set of skills? Here's a guide that will hopefully help you narrow down your decision.
Registered Nurse (RN)
Registered nurses educate patients and the public on medical conditions, treat patients, and offer emotional support and advice to the family members of patients. RNs also record the symptoms and medical history of a patient and also examine results, operate medical machinery, run diagnostic tests, give medicine and treatment, and also assist with patient rehabilitation and follow-up.
Registered nurses also instruct patients and their families how to care for their illnesses or injuries, describing post-treatment home care needs, nutrition, exercise programs, and diet as well as how to self-administer medication. A number of RNs might also head immunization clinics or general health screening, public seminars, or blood drives.
Certified Nurse Assistant (CNA)
Nurse assistants are a vital part of a health care team. CNAs are required to give routine care so that nurses can administer care that only they can give like developing care plans, nursing assessments, helping in surgery room preparation, and giving medication. A nurse's assistant has to be skilled not only in actual procedures that are being carried out, but they also have to keep an eye on a patient's condition and report it back to the nurse.
Routine fundamental tasks may include changing linens and cleaning rooms, answer a patient's call signal, help patients with exercising, moving, and walking, using a wheelchair or stretcher to transport a patient to surgery, and watch a patient's conditions which may include recording and measuring liquid and food intake as well as output and vital signs.
Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)
LPNs take care of patients who are injured, disabled, sick, or convalescent under the orders of a registered nurse or physicians. Licensed practical nurses usually provide fundamental bedside care. Several of them record and monitor a patient's vital signs like weight, temperature, height, respiration, pulse, and blood pressure. LPNs might also prepare and give injections, dress wounds, give alcohol massages and rubs, and monitor catheters. In order to keep their patients comfortable, LPNs help with dressing, bathing, personal hygiene, walking, standing, and moving in and out of bed. LPNs with experience might also direct nursing aids and assistants.
Several LPNs have varied skills and will work in any healthcare area, but some do choose to operate in a specialized setting such as a doctor's office, home healthcare, or a nursing home. LPNs in nursing care assist with evaluating the needs of the residents and supervise care administered by nursing aides. When working in a clinic or doctor's office, it may be their task to make appointments, carry out clerical duties, and keep records. LPNs working in home healthcare might prepare meals and instruct family members on fundamental nursing tasks.
A travel nurse is a licensed health care practitioner who operates in several temporary assignments that call for travel. In most cases set up by a traveling nurse agency, RNs and LPNS are partnered with the staffing requirements of various hospitals, clinics, physicians offices, that requires nursing service. Individual assignments for a travel nurse normally last anywhere between eight to twelve weeks, but can vary depending on the needs of the facility.
Several people have discovered that working as a travel nurse comes with several benefits. They are offered the chance to see several different places worldwide while making a rather decent income. Travel nurses choose the distance they travel and how long their assignments last. Travel nurses are also reimbursed for travel and are provided with housing for their assignment.
Critical Care Nurse
Critical care nursing is a specialty field that caters specifically to human responses to life-threatening problems. A critical-care nurse is a licensed professional whose tasked with making sure that critically ill patients and their families receive optimal care.
The idea of critical care is rather modern even though difficult and extremely sick patients have always existed. Patient care has become much more intricate as advances have been made in technology and medicine.
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