Nursing Degree Programs

Both traditional and online nursing degree programs offer aspiring healthcare professionals the needed educational opportunities and training for gainful employment. Additionally, the programs provide those who are already nurses to receive additional education and training so that they can seek greater employment opportunities and additional income. As in many other professions, there are varying designations for nurses that vary depending on the amount of education and training the individual receives. Most people are familiar with LPNs (licensed practical nurses) and RNs (registered nurses). LPNs receive about one year of education and patient care training. A designation known as LVN (licensed vocational nurse) receives a similar amount of education and training. Both the LPN and LVN are restricted in their patient duties and responsibilities. In contrast, a registered nurse has earned some type of degree or diploma and passed the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN). The diploma may come from a hospital's nursing program. By enrolling in one of the many nursing degree programs, a student can work toward a two-year Associate of Nursing (ADN), a four-year Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), a graduate Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) or a post-graduate doctorate degree. Because the NCLEX-RN is a national exam, the qualified RN can be licensed in multiple states.

Whether an aspiring nurse or a professional who wants more education, the prospective student will want to consider several factors when evaluating nursing degree programs. Only accredited educational institutions should be considered because these schools have proven to an accreditation agency that they have met certain requirements regarding facilities, faculty, and resources. The reputation of the educational institution should also be carefully considered. The cost of the program, including tuition and fees, may also be a factor when choosing a specific program. A public school in the student's home state will probably have the least expensive tuition. Out-of-state public schools almost always have higher tuition fees for out-of-state students than they do for their own state's residents. The tuition at private schools is usually higher than public ones because they don't receive as much, if any, government funding. Because of lower in-state tuition fees, the location of the school may be an important factor for some students. But a student should not despair if the number one school on her short list is far away. Many nursing degree programs offer online classes that provide accessibility for students who don't want to relocate. An online program also provides flexibility to nurses who work irregular hours and would have difficulty scheduling traditional classes around the job schedule.

The decision process can be daunting, but several websites have been set up to help narrow down the choices. Prospective students can research the degrees and specialties offered at numerous educational facilities across the country. Some sites also provide information on the profession, including potential salaries, statistics on nurse shortages, and career profiles. Additionally, the prospective student can find nursing degree programs that assist an RN achieve the BSN or MSN degrees. Many experienced RNs want to gain this additional education to improve their career opportunities, to receive a salary increase, or to receive skills in a specialty, such as midwifery or forensics. A professional nurse may want to get a graduate or postgraduate degree so that she can move into a supervisory or teaching position. Those who are interested in health care management can work toward an MBA or Master of Science in Nursing. Many of those who enter nursing degree programs do so, not for financial gain, but for the reward of helping others. Gifted nurses often seem to have a calming presence. Luke, the writer of the third gospel, records that Jesus once said of himself: "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord" (Luke 4:18-19). Though nurses don't perform miracles, their patients benefit from the caring and compassionate touch.

As expected, the higher educated professional has a higher salary potential over those with less training and experience. An LPN or LVN will not have the earnings potential of an RN. Neither will he be expected to have the same amount of knowledge or given the same level of responsibility. Yet both LPNs and LVNs provide important care to patients and are valued professionals. The prospective student needs to consider how much time and money to devote to education and weigh that against the potential rewards. Many students are eager to get through their nursing degree programs quickly and with relatively little expense. They want to begin a rewarding career caring for those who are hospitalized or who need in-home care. Others take the longer path and the additional responsibilities. Of course, more education equates to higher costs. Prospective students may be eligible for grants or scholarships that will help defray educational expenses. Student loans are provided both through federal programs and private lending institutions. Some nursing degree programs may offer a work-study option that provides practical hands-on experience in conjunction with educational training. Still another option is for the prospective student to apply for loan forgiveness through a federal agency known as the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration. One of the objectives of this agency is to recruit nursing professionals to meet a forecasted shortage, especially in particular areas of the country. A professional nurse can have a student loan forgiven by fulfilling an agreement to work with an underserved population.

Nursing Degree Online

A nursing degree online is earned on the web by people living a hectic lifestyle who are trying to advance or start a career in healthcare. Enrollment for nursing degrees online, are expanding rapidly due to the high demand for professionals needed in the healthcare industry. Job opportunities are good and earnings are above average with more than 2 million jobs available. Acquiring a web education will offer many benefits over traditional campus education. Saving time on travel, no classes to attend, studying at one's own pace and the cost is usually less than a traditional campus education.

Web education provides an alternative to the traditional campus educational setting, which is attained by using a computer and posting to a newsgroup and or email. Nursing degrees online are offered through many higher learning institutions. The prerequisite requirements are set by the individual institutions and may include, a SAT or ACT exam, high school diploma with a 2.0 to 3.25 GPA or general equivalency diploma. Web courses may include, discussion groups, chats, emails, video streams and video conferencing. Each institution offering a nursing degree online can provide the student with specs on hardware and software requirements related to computer use.

Financing is available through most institutions offering distance education for nurses. Some institutions give credits for work related experience. Many different programs are offered for nursing degrees online such as, an associate's, bachelor's, master's and or doctorate as well as forensic and legal nursing degrees. A professional nurse would hold a bachelor's, master's or doctorate degree. A technical nurse would hold an associate's degree and a practical nurse would have 1 year of classroom and training in a hospital setting. The nursing degree online programs involve human biology, medical techniques, chemistry and drugs, crisis management, clinical research, special and cardiac care and various other training and areas of learning.

A program involving an associate's degree would include training in patient care, minor surgery assistance, injections, lab and x-ray, patient records, billing, scheduling appointments, ordering supplies and filing insurance claims. A bachelor's program would include training in professional and technical skills as well as biological, physical and social science, liberal arts and the development of intellectual, social and cultural skills. Nursing degrees online involving a master's program would include training in accessing, diagnosing and initiating treatment for patient care, monitoring and care of patients, advanced knowledge of nursing theory and clinical research. All of these are vital to the job, but most importantly, a nurse will learn to be there for the patients. "And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling" (1 Corinthians 2:3).

Online nursing degrees can help lessen the load when it comes to going to a college that requires a student to be in a classroom day in and day out. An online nursing degree can help a student to take certain courses at their own pace and on their own time schedule so that they have more time for other things. When trying to hold down a fulltime job while trying to get through school, considering an Internet based educational program can help. If concerns about finishing the degree in a certain amount of time arise and the student is not sure whether a medical nurse program is right, taking the time to research each option and basing a decision on what best suits a genuine interest is the best course of action. "whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, not wisdom, in the grave whither thou goest" (Ecclesiastes 9:10).

The first thing that should be done is to find out about online nursing degrees and the schools that offer them. Certain schools might be well known and have a reputation worthy of a significant investment. These types of schools are accredited and offer an online nursing degree that will become a valuable asset once graduated. When pursuing an Internet based diploma program, feeling secure about the education because knowing it's coming from a prestigious institution is important. When realizing that there are top schools competing to make their programs desirable, it is comfortable to know that success is right around the corner.

If when beginning the research and finding some information that seems leery regarding online nursing degrees, think twice about applying to that school. If the student finds a website that tells about schools unfamiliar, make a mental note to research further. Talk with family and friends and see if they are familiar with the schools that seem sketchy. To put most fears to rest, call the schools and ask them questions about their course loads and their mission statements. If the student does not feel they have received the adequate answers they were looking for, then they should disregard applying.

When making an effort to find out about schools that offer online nursing degrees, chances are a wise decision will be made an institution is chosen. Remember that continuing an education can be hard but it doesn't have to be impossible. Many can enjoy the fruits of their labor without overdoing anything. Taking advantage of courses offered through an online nursing degree and diligently striving toward the prize, they will be so glad that they did!

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