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Online Nursing Degrees: Opening the Door to New Healthcare Careers



Currently, the healthcare field is one of the fastest-growing industries in terms of job growth. In fact, there are about 25,000 new health care jobs created every month. Of these jobs, many are in the field of nursing. Online nursing degrees are an excellent way to break into this growing industry.

Online Nursing Certificate Programs
There are a variety of certificate programs that can be completed online in the field of nursing. The most popular certificate program is for a Licensed Nursing Assistant or LNA. This program generally takes anywhere between six and twelve weeks and upon completion, students must take an LNA exam in order to become certified. This prepares them for work in hospitals, nursing homes, hospice care, or even in-home care. LNA work is generally basic nursing work such as personal care.

Online Nursing Associates Programs
An Associate’s Degree in nursing is a two to a three-year program in which students take classes in nursing, anatomy, physiology, and other medical areas. They are then eligible to take exams to become either an LPN or RN. These are similar nursing professions except RNs tend to have more responsibility and a higher salary. There are many online LPN to RN conversion programs. The type of work involved in these professions includes caring for the sick, injured, or disabled with the supervision of a doctor. Of all the nursing fields, RNs are the fastest growing in terms of open jobs.

Online Nursing Bachelors Programs
Online nursing programs that result in a Bachelor’s Degree are generally four-year programs that prepare students for the RN exam. However, these programs also offer general education courses such as English, mathematics, history, and so on which generally prepare nurses for more possibilities in terms of career advancement. For example, these students may specialize in different areas of nursing following the completion of their degree. Nurses who possess a Bachelor’s Degree may go on to administrative or teaching positions while those with lesser degrees have fewer options.

Online Nursing Masters Programs
Masters of Nursing degrees are achieved after the completion of a Bachelor’s Degree program and tend to be far more specialized in the field of nursing. Most nurses who choose to take an online MSN degree program are likely doing so in order to become professors in the field of nursing or possibly work in higher administrative positions at hospitals. These tend to be difficult degree programs but pay off in terms of a higher salary and more opportunity.

Nursing Jobs Outlook
Registered nurses or RNs are currently the most in-demand nursing professions. Only 2 percent of RNs are unemployed and those who are employed make about $60,000 per year on average. There is also a projected rate of 26 percent growth for LNAs within the next year which makes this another desirable option. The rate of pay is generally hourly between $11 and $20, depending upon the area.