An online nursing degree sounds like a dream come true, with the long waiting lists to get into traditional nursing schools. And there are many advantages to taking courses online; no commuting to school, no searching for parking spaces, and the ability to do your coursework at a time that’s convenient to you while you tend to your work and family commitments.
However, the fact is, there is no such thing as an online nursing school which allows you to get your nursing degree completely online. You can not start out, with no nursing experience, and get an Associate’s Degree in Nursing online.
What there are, however, are schools which offer LPN to RN nursing degrees, Paramedic to RN nursing degrees, and respiratory therapist to RN nursing degrees. These types of programs are not only offered by private career colleges such as Chamberlain, they are also offered by some community colleges and state universities – which means are usually much cheaper than the “career colleges”.
The reason for this is pretty clear; one of the most important parts of a nurse’s education is not the time he or she spends in the classroom, but the time spent in the hospital or other medical setting, learning to work with patients under the direction and observation of a Registered Nurse. Realistically, nobody would want to have their health and life in the hands of a nurse whose entire education was obtained online.
Before choosing an LPN to RN online transition program, it is important to contact the State Board of Nursing to make sure that the school you are considering is accredited in your state. Some states do not accept LPN to RN online programs. Some states accept those programs, but not paramedic to online programs. Make sure that you will be able to sit for the NCLEX-RN once you have completed your program.
There are also LPN to BSN nursing school programs online, and RN to BSN, and Master’s Degree in Nursing online programs. Once you take have conquered that all important first step of getting licensed as an LPN or paramedic, it becomes much easier to progress with your medical career.
To get an Associate’s Degree or Bachelor’s Degree in nursing, you will also need a number of prerequisite courses. These usually include Anatomy & Physiology I and II, college level algebra, psychology, nutrition, human grown and development, sometimes a speech course, college level English, and microbiology. Most of these courses can be taken online, either through your local community college – which will be cheapest – or through your online nursing school.
So while you can’t get your nursing degree online from start to finish, online nursing degrees do exist in the form we’ve discussed, and offer you great flexibility and the ability to advance your career and command a higher salary.