Online Nursing Degrees

Considered one of the fastest growing fields in health care, nursing has grown immensely. Now, there is the opportunity for licensed practical nurses and registered nurses to acquire higher nursing degrees online.

The first step in becoming a nurse requires attending a college or technical school in person. A student cannot become a licensed practical nurse or registered nurse through an online program. However, they can study for an online degree afterward. It does not take long to achieve this goal. Most LPN nursing programs are a year in length, while RN programs are two.

After a student has taken a LPN or RN program, they can move forward in their career. Distance learning allows the student advancement in nursing without commuting to a college or university.

Online studies will accomplish the same career goals as a traditional learning experience. All degrees are obtained through an accredited college or university.

Distance programs offer associate, bachelor, master, and doctorate degrees to professionals seeking to obtain more credentials. Higher credentials bring in better pay and employment opportunities.

LPN to Associates of Science (ASN)

Licensed Practical Nurses can expand their credentials through accredited distance learning programs. These programs offer the LPN the chance to receive an associate degree. Once, an associate degree is earned, they have other opportunities to advance to a Registered Nurse.

An Associate degree requires the student to learn more in-depth medical information. With traditional schools, it would take 2-3 years to complete an associate’s degree. Attending an online program reduces the time to 18-24 months. This allows the student to continue working as a LPN and attend school at home.

After completing the Associates, the nurse can consider a Bachelor’s degree. This will require another year or so to accomplish.

There are many online schools offering Bachelor’s degrees. A school admissions counselor can explain how long the program is and what is expected of the student.

LPN to Bachelor of Science (BSN)

Some courses will allow the student’s previous licensure and work history credited to the program. This will cut down the time to graduate.

Look for these criteria when pursuing higher education for a BSN program:

• Accredited school through one of the following:
1) Distance Education and Training Council Accrediting Commission
2) Accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
3) Accredited by The Higher Learning Commission
• Flexible scheduling
• Low tuition cost with financial aid assistance
• Offers specialty courses
• Student guidance and online assistance
• Attentive instructors

RN to Bachelor of Science (BSN)

Registered nurses can advance their careers by obtaining a Bachelor of Science degree. This degree allows the registered nurse to bring in a higher income as well as take on more responsibility as a professional.

A BSN is the next step to achieving a Master’s degree.

Here is a list of what to look for in an accredited BSN program:

• Low tuition cost
• Offers financial aid and other resources
• Offers counseling and guidance for students
• School is nationally or regionally accredited by any of the following:
1) Distance Education and Training Council Accrediting Commission
2) Accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
3) Accredited by The Higher Learning Commission
• At least have some or all areas of specialty, examples are:
1) case management
2) nursing informatics
3) management and organizational leadership
4) nursing education
• Core Classes online
• Provides academic access to all required classes and grades
• Offers flexibility in log in and class schedule
• Access to learning resources and online tools
• Considers previous licensure and work experience as credit toward program degree
• Previous college courses transferrable if health-related

These are all important things to inquire about when choosing a school. The student should have the support of the faculty as well.

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)

MSN is an advanced degree program for registered nurses wishing to practice a higher degree of healthcare. This degree allows a nurse to work as a private healthcare professional or as an employee of the many medical facilities around the United States and beyond.

A Master’s degree involves intensive training and education obtained over many years. It encourages the nurse to expand into new territory.

Career choices are limitless and extraordinary. This degree offers many opportunities for anyone willing to work hard and diligently toward achieving it.

The degree leads to several nursing careers:

1) Nurse Practitioner
• Acute Care
• Family
• Gerontology
• Neonatal
• Pediatric
• Psych/Mental Health
• Women’s Health
2) Clinical Nurse Specialist
3) Nurse Anesthetist (requires twelve years of total education and training)
• Pre and Post Op-Surgery
4) Nurse Midwife
• Doctors Offices
• Hospital
• Private Practice
5) Nurse Administrator
• Case Manager
• Chief Nursing Officer
• Nurse Manager
• Program Administrator
• Quality Improvement Coordinator
• Staff Education Specialist
6) Clinical Nurse Leader
7) Masters of Public Health
• Directors of Health
• Health Inspectors
• Healthcare Administrators

PhD Degrees (Advanced)

All doctorate degrees require study in history and philosophy of nursing science, leadership skills, and statistics and data analysis. This degree is for professional nurses who have exceeded all expectations and wish to practice beyond the scope of nursing. They have attended higher learning for many years to achieve the highest honor as a nurse and professional.

These are types of doctorate degrees:

1) Doctor of Nursing (ND)
• 3 to 5 years of advanced study
• Develops advanced nurse specialist skills
2) Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)
• Advanced nursing that leads to midwifery, nurse practitioners, and nurse educators
• Three years of study for careers in research, clinical care delivery, and system management
3) Doctor of Nursing Science (DNSc)
• Scientific research skills
• Focused on healthcare economics and statistical analysis
4) Doctor of Nursing Philosophy Programs
• Degree that prepares students as nurse scholars and researchers
5) MSN/PhD Dual Degree
• Nurses with Bachelor degrees who have an interest in achieving a Master and Doctoral degree
• Program is five years long
• Students who do not have a bachelor’s degree in nursing may study for this degree

More information available at
Career advancement is a big commitment and takes a great deal of perseverance. It is not easy to set a goal and achieve it, but the end rewards are well worth making the effort.

Find A Program That Fits Your Career Goals