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Best Online Colleges For Nursing

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What Are The Requirements For Renewing A Nursing License

Best Online Nursing School? | My Experience at Excelsior College

Requirements for renewing a nursing license vary by state, but in most cases, nursing licenses need to be renewed once every two years. Some states set a specific deadline for renewal, such as the nurse’s birthday.

Almost every state requires nurses to complete a documented number of continuing education hours, called CEUs or “contact hours,” in order to maintain their licenses. The number of contact hours required may vary depending on whether the nurse works full-time or part-time.

Nurses who have allowed their licenses to lapse may have to pay a delinquency fee in addition to the renewal fee. However, nurses can request to have their licenses put on inactive status if they expect to take an extended period of time off work. When returning to work, they can change the status back to active without paying a penalty.

What Is Accreditation And Why Is It Important

Accreditation agencies evaluate higher education institutions and academic programs through the accreditation process. Accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education or the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing ensures that a program offers a quality education. Additionally, nursing licensure candidates must hold accredited degrees.

Other Online Aprn Programs

Whether an RN chooses to enroll in an NP, CRNA, CNM, or CNS program, distance learning is an option. In many cases, “hybrid” programs are available, allowing students to complete some coursework online, but also incorporating classroom and in-person experiences throughout the course of the degree. In most cases, students pursuing a degree as an APRN will need to hold at least a BSN and have an active, unrestricted RN license in order to be eligible for an accredited online program.

While online APRN coursework is convenient and flexible, students should be aware that programs will typically require a certain number of in-person clinical hours, to be arranged at a hospital or other medical facility. Luckily, most online programs allow this preceptorship to be arranged in the student’s local area.

Perhaps you are looking for a Post-Graduate Certificate Programs in Nursing?

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The Best Online Nursing School Programs To Earn Your Bsn

From its 900-acre campus in Las Cruces, NMSU enrolls over 14,000 students annually. The public university offers several top-ranked online nursing programs, including an MSN in nursing administration.

The online nursing program teaches students how to create quality improvement programs. Students learn how to apply nursing research in practice and manage teams of healthcare professionals. Students build the leadership skills needed for healthcare administration roles.

Nurses can also pursue an online doctor of nursing practice degree at NMSU. The program offers specialty tracks for prospective family nurse practitioners and psychiatric/mental health nurse practitioners. Prospective master’s-level nursing students must hold an RN license and a BSN degree. NMSU is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

A public university, SEMO offers an online RN-to-BSN program. The program helps prospective nurses pursue specialized training and advance their career.

The online program includes training in holistic assessment. Courses also train enrollees in nursing research and community health. Learners study healthcare leadership and management. Students gain hands-on experience through required field experiences. Online students can complete this requirement locally.

A public institution, ULM offers 35 online degrees, including an RN-to-BSN nursing program. Full-time students can earn the degree in 14 months.

How Long Will An Online Program Take

The Best Online RN

It depends on the program, but in most cases, online degrees take the same time to complete as traditional ones. You could reduce your time, however, if you choose an accelerated program or have previous credits you can apply to your current program.

Heres a breakdown of the credits and time it takes to complete an associate, bachelors, and masters degree.

Associate Degree: 60 credits over 18 months to two years

Bachelors Degree: 120 credits over four years

Masters Degree: 30 to 40 credits over two to three years

Wrapped into these credits are your clinical hours, which include labs and clinical rotations working under the supervision of nurses in a healthcare setting such as a hospital, outpatient care clinic, or rehabilitation center.

Clinical requirements can vary by program. Both an associate degree and a bachelors generally require 700 to 800 clinical hours and in many cases more. A masters degree requires 500 to 1,000 clinical hours.

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Becoming An Rn Online

To become RNs, students must first complete an accredited, state-approved nursing education program and then pass their states National Council Licensure Examination, otherwise known as NCLEX-RN. The following are several educational pathways aspiring nurses can take to become eligible for the licensure exam:

  • RN Diploma
  • Associate degree in Nursing / Associate of Science in Nursing
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing

The RN programs above cover nursing theory and clinical practice that qualify students to sit for the NCLEX-RN exam. While BSN and ADN/ASN degree programs are offered online, students must complete the clinical experience requirement in-person at an approved healthcare facility.

RN diploma programs are the least common educational pathway for aspiring nurses and are offered by some hospitals and nursing schools. These diploma programs are not available online and do not culminate in a college degree. RN diplomas and associate degree programs can take two to three years to complete, while a bachelors degree requires three to four years of study.

Do Employers Care If You Earn Your Nursing Degree Online

An accredited degree is always reputable no matter how you earn it.

Southern New Hampshire University is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education and the nursing program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education .

SNHU nursing programs are offered in an online format. Given nursing is a hands-on practice profession, our nursing programs will require certain hours of clinical practice be completed at an in-person location, and you can combine the key competencies and skills gained in person with the convenience of an online classroom.

This is especially helpful for those already in the workforce, which “the majority of our students ,” said Lisa Urban, associate chief nursing administrator. “They’re already registered nurses and come to us to complete their bachelor’s degree and/or master’s degrees.” The flexibility of online classes makes balancing your work, home and academic life possible.

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Bachelor’s Degree To Bsn Bridge Program

Students who hold a Bachelor’s degree in a non-nursing area are able to earn a BSN through this bridge program. This track is often offered as an accelerated and/or partially online program or traditional in-classroom program. Clinical hours will be required to become licensed as an RN. This degree track often has a shorter waiting list than traditional BSN programs and is available through many universities.

Can You Take An Online Bsn Program In Another State

Nevada State College offers a top online nursing program in US, report says

Yes! This is one of the beautiful aspects of online BSN programs. Nurses can take a program from anywhere in the country. With that being said, there may be some exceptions. Some programs, especially if associated with a brick-and-mortar university, may require nurses to obtain their RN license in that state. Even if the nurse will never practice there, this could be required.

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How To Choose The Best Nursing School For You

While we thought these were the top nursing schools of 2022 the best nursing school for you may not be on this list. Spend time researching various nursing schools to make sure that you’re making the best decision for your personal situation.

Create a list of potential schools and, using factors mentioned on this page, rank your set of schools to find the best option.

If youre looking for a specific career path such as public health or informatics, make sure the schools youre considering can address these needs.

And, of course, find a school that works within the limits of your current life. You may not be able to move across the country to enroll at a Duke, Emory, or Georgetown.

Chances are good you can find a great program with caring faculty and great clinical experiences in your region.

Best Online Nursing Programs

Located in Orlando, UCF offers an online bachelor of science in nursing through their RN-to-BSN program. Students can complete the 30-credit post-licensure program online with minimal residency requirements.

Course topics include public and community nursing programs, health promotion across the lifespan, dimensions of professional practice, and pathophysiology for nursing practice. Students complete courses in 3-5 semesters, in addition to any required general education core coursework. Required clinicals take place at an approved location near the student and provide an opportunity to practice direct patient care.

Applicants must possess a minimum GPA of 2.8 and must complete seven of the eight prerequisites before applying to the program. All applicants must reside in a nurse licensure compact state to participate in the online program.

UCF is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Located in Miami, FIU offers an online bachelor of science in nursing through its RN-to-BSN program. Students can complete courses online with minimal on-campus requirements.

Applicants need a current registered nurse license with a minimum GPA of 2.75 from an accredited associate of nursing or nursing diploma program and a minimum of 60 lower-division transfer credits.

Located in Las Cruces, NMSU offers an online bachelor of science in nursing. Students complete clinical requirements at a location near them.

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What Are The Requirements For Getting Into An Online Bsn Program

The requirements for each program will vary by school. These will be based off of if the program is supported by a major university or college or is solely an online school. Most programs that are associated with a traditional brick-and-mortar school will also have requirements for admissions to the school itself regardless of the online aspect. Ultimately, all programs share the same basic requirements.

  • Registered nurse licensure in good standing
  • Possess an associates degree from an accredited program
  • Minimum 2.0 GPA in associates program
  • Criminal background checks
  • Working a minimum of 30 hours per week or completion of equivalency exam

Other common requirements include,

  • Introduction to Sociology

The University Of Iowa

With the RN-BSN program at the University of Iowa, students have the ability to gain clinical practicum experience in Swaziland, Africa. Few other programs ranked here offer students the ability to gain knowledge and experience treating patients in another country. If this experience doesnt excite you, dont worry, because most students choose to complete practicum hours at a local health center.

Students can enroll in the full-time program that can be completed in three semesters or the part-time program that will take students five semesters. The RN-BSN program consists of 32 credit hours of coursework with students in the full-time option taking between six and 14 credit hours a semester and those in the part-time option taking close to six credit hours each semester. To graduate, students have to complete a quality-improvement project in their place of employment or a healthcare facility located in Iowa.

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Employment And Salary Outlook

Whether you attend school on campus or online, you should be able to earn more money after earning your graduate certificate and the appropriate certification. The BLS reports that nurse anesthetists, nurse midwives, and nurse practitioners earned a median salary of $117,670 per year in May 2020. Broken down by specialty, nurse anesthetists earned a median salary of $183,580, while nurse practitioners earned $111,680 and nurse midwives earned $111,130.

The increasing demand for nurse practitioners is partly due to a shortage of physicians. The Association of American Medical Colleges estimates that the U.S. could see a shortage of 54,100-139,000 physicians by 2033. The growing population of elderly Americans should also contribute to increased demand for nurse practitioners.

Nurses who earn graduate certificates in nursing administration should see an increase in wages, as well. The BLS reports that medical and health services managers, which includes nurse administrators, earned a median annual salary of $104,280 in May 2020. Postsecondary nursing instructors and teachers earned a median yearly wage of $75,470, which is comparable to the median salary for an RN.

What Are The Requirements For A Nursing Degree

Requirements for online nursing programs often depend on applicants’ academic backgrounds. Most schools accept applications from associate-trained RNs, graduates of a non-nursing bachelor’s program, and applicants with the minimum transferable credits established by the receiving college or university.

Most schools require applicants to meet a minimum GPA, which is usually 3.0 or higher. Applicants must also show satisfactory completion of prerequisite foundation courses prior to enrollment or within their first year in the program. Prior to graduating, BSN candidates complete a supervised internship that involves direct patient care.

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Choosing An Online Nursing Program

When finding the right online nursing program, students should consider program cost, program options, admission requirements, and accreditation. Other factors worth considering include in-state tuition options, residency requirements, and synchronous and asynchronous delivery types. The links below can help learners pick the right online program.

Is Nclex Accepted In Canada

Best Online College For Nursing – Online Colleges For Nursing – Best Online Colleges For Nursing

Yes, NCLEX is now being accepted in Canada as with nine other countries in the world. So, if youre a Canadian students or graduate, or international applicant seeking licensure/registration in Canada, you can take the NCLEX at any Pearson VUE test center within Canada, throughout the mainland U.S., and at select test centers internationally.

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University Of The People

Tuition: $1,200

University of the People offers free online courses that are accredited by the US Department of Education . These online classes give you credit towards a bachelors degree from various colleges around the world including Yale University and Brandeis University.

You can now earn your Bachelors Degree without paying any tuition fee through UOPs partnership with top universities around the globe such as Yale University and Brandeis International Business School. Their courses are taught by experienced academics who have been teaching at traditional institutions like Harvard or Stanford but decided to teach with UOP instead. On our list, the University of the People is the best online college with national accreditation.

Online tuition-free university degrees. . University of the People. Retrieved from:

University of the people. . Niche. Retrieved from:

Florida State College At Jacksonville

All Accreditations: SACSCOC, ACEN, ACBSP, ACFEF, AOTA, CAAHEP, CAHIIM, CAPTE, CODA, JRCCTV, NAACLSApplicable Degree: Bachelor of Science in Nursing Tuition: $219 per credit hour

At Florida State College at Jacksonville, enriching and accessible educational opportunities abound in the academic culture of integrity, trust, creativity, and excellence. Nursing program graduates report 100% success rates in job placement and employer satisfaction.

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Online Bachelor’s In Nursing Career Paths

Professionals can earn an RN license at the associate degree level. However, a BSN allows graduates to apply for higher-level roles, such as nurse manager, quality assurance coordinator, and case management nurse. Alternative career paths include nurse health coach, legal nurse consultant, and public health nurse.

Professionals who remain in the field may go on to earn an advanced nursing degree that leads to leadership roles and an increase in wages. Advanced degrees require an additional license.

Can You Get A Nursing Degree Or Become A Nurse Fully Online


Yes, you can earn a nursing degree online, whether to become a nurse or to advance your RN education, but you will still need to do a few on-ground courses. When choosing an online program, pay attention to how it works, because no good online nursing program is ever fully online good programs are actually hybrid. Especially for students who want to become nurses and need to get their ADN first, most online programs still require in-person learning and clinical labs, even though most of the didactic instruction happens online.

The reasoning is because there are many skills that can only be learned by caring for patients through hands-on experience. While online courses can deliver the concepts of nursing, they are lacking the sights, sounds, and immersive experience of being in a hospital or other health care facility.

We highly advise that learners who need the flexibility of an online program choose a hybrid program, and not a fully online alternative. If you dont have the time in your life right now to complete at least a few on-ground courses, take some time to prioritize, and see what else in your life can wait. Dont let an inadequate program jeopardize your chances at a successful career.

Most online nursing programs you will encounter are geared towards RNs who already obtained a license after passing the NCLEX-RN exam and have either graduated with a Nursing Diploma or an Associate Degree in Nursing.

Recommended Reading: Bachelor Of Science In Nursing Accelerated Program

How Many Years Of Schooling Is Required To Be A Nurse In Canada

The minimum number of years it will take you to become a Registered Nurse in Canada is four years, after which you may have to take specialized programs that span for a year or two to become a better practitioner. Meanwhile, some nursing schools in Canada complete their bachelors program in three years. Also, you can become a Registered Practical Nurse after two years of completing a nursing diploma course and aceing the licensing exam.

Considering Nursing Program Cost

Another factor students need to consider is the cost of their degree. Tuition rates vary by school size, the type of institution, and the degree program. For example, public schools offer in-state tuition to residents, and ADN programs cost less than BSN programs.

Aside from tuition, nursing students need to consider other costs, including:

  • School and lab fees
  • Other course materials such as uniforms and clinical supplies
  • Cost of living expenses which may include on-campus room and board

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