Students interested in becoming a registered nurse (RN) can follow several paths to start a career. To become a nurse, you can earn an RN diploma, a nurse degree (ADN) or a four-year degree in nursing (BSN). Can you get an RN degree online?
Becoming an RN thanks to a diploma program allows nurses to enter the workforce faster than earning BSN. After passing NCLEX you can immediately start work and gain experience as a nurse.
Many nurses choose not to earn BSN after high school. Nurses who start their studies with ADN diplomas or diplomas often decide to continue their professional career in BSN. If you have an RN license or an academic degree, your loans are usually transferred, which allows you to earn a BSN in just two years. Nurses can also implement RN-BSN online study programs.
What should I look for in the program?
First, decide how much program you need to be online. Look at the work schedule, family responsibilities and other important parts of your life to determine if a program partially or completely online (minus clinical hours) would be appropriate. Then ask additional questions, such as:
- Does this program offer courses in any specialization that interests me?
- How much communication will I have with lecturers and other students?
- Will I be able to work with an academic adviser?
- Do I have to attend online courses at specific times?
- What is the average rate of students taking license and certification exams?
- Does the school offer job placement programs?
The key thing to look out for is that your school is approved by the state Nursing Board, which is required if you want to take the licensing exam. Another matter to consider is program accreditation. Although it is not necessary to obtain a license, accreditation shows that your program meets the education standards necessary to succeed in this field. It also allows you to qualify for federal financial assistance and transfer loans if you decide to continue your education.
How long will the online program take?
Again it depends on the program introduced. In most cases, online options take roughly the same time as traditional options, although you can enter an accelerated program that allows you to get a diploma faster. Any loans from previous degrees can also shorten your time. That said, expect the programs to run approximately for the following periods:
- 18 months – 2 years – Associated degrees
- 3-4 years – Bachelor’s degree
- 18 months – 3 years Master’s degree
How much do online nursing programs cost?
There is no easy way to determine how much an online nursing program will cost. Rates vary considerably depending on the school, program, diploma level and number of points obtained. For undergraduate programs, it is common to observe courses that range from $ 200- $ 400 per loan, while graduate programs typically cost more. Regardless of whether the school is public or private, it will also play a role, increased rates for non-state public programs often do not apply to online students, as is the case for campus attendees.
In general, online programs are usually cheaper than traditional programs because students are often not charged extra fees for some resources on campus.