The Basics of Earning an Online RN Nursing Degree

Would you like to learn more about how you can earn an online RN nursing degree? These days there are a wide range of Internet based colleges and universities that offer programs such as nursing.

You have the option of pursuing an Associates, Bachelors, and even a Masters by taking classes from home. However, because of the hands on training necessary to become competent in the nursing profession, even an online RN nursing degree will require you to perform your clinicals at an onsite facility. There may even be certain classes you will be required to take on campus.

The Typical Registered Nurse Scope of Practice

Before we begin looking into how to earn an RN degree online, it is important to first take a brief look at the nursing profession.

Most of the nurses employed in the healthcare industry are RNs, Registered Nurses. These individuals are given seniority over LPNs, Licensed Practical Nurses and generally earn more money and possess a better sense of prestige. Most commonly, they are given the responsibility of assigning tasks in the hospital environment. This is a profession that is as challenging as it is rewarding, and due to the shortage of nurses in the United States as well as abroad, it offers excellent job security. Hours can be unpredictable and may include night shifts, weekends, on call hours. However, the competitive pay and satisfaction received from helping others make it all worthwhile.

A registered nurse’s main duty is to care for patients who are ill, injured, or handicapped. These duties may be performed in any of the following settings:

  • Hospital
  • Doctor’s Office
  • Hospice
  • Operating Room
  • Ambulatory Care
  • Intensive Care
  • Healthcare Clinic
  • Specialized Practice

Because there are so many career options for a registered nurse, it is easy to find the perfect setting where you will be comfortable, and there is always a chance for promotion. The duties of an RN also differ depending on the setting, but the following is a brief list of the most common tasks:

  • Keeping track of a patient’s symptoms and medical history
  • Creating and/or making changes to a plan for patient care
  • Delegating certain tasks to Licensed Practical Nurses and nurse’s aides
  • Providing moral support to patients and their families

Registered Nurse Education

A certain amount of secondary education is necessary to become a nurse, regardless of whether you would like to become a Licensed Practical Nurse or a Registered Nurse. The following is a list of the three most common programs where the required credentials may be earned:

Video: What Education Is Required to Become an RN?

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Because it only requires two to three years of college to complete, the Associates in Nursing is one of the most popular choices. This allows for an entry level position in the field that offers competitive pay and even benefits. Even better is that your employer will often be willing to provide college tuition reimbursement to help you continue your education and earn your Bachelors. Once you have completed one of these programs, you will then be responsible for sitting for the national licensing examination and passing with an acceptable score. This test must be taken in the state where you plan on being employed.

Choosing to Pursue an Online RN Nursing Degree

An online RN nursing degree offers many benefits that can be quite enticing to the potential student of nursing. One of the main reasons why students choose this route is due to the time flexibility. Students can log into their courses and perform their homework and reading assignments whenever is convenient for them, instead of having to head to campus whenever they have class. This makes it especially easy for students who are already employed full time and have an unpredictable work schedule.

A student pursuing an online RN nursing degree has to be self disciplined and a good solitary leaner. Time management skills are especially important when you are working at your own pace. In addition, it is important to put a substantial amount of time into researching the different colleges and universities that are offering RN degrees online. Do your best to narrow it down to three or four colleges and then choose the best of the group.

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