Shaping the Future of Nursing
The demand for BSN and MSN educated nurses is on the rise. This is why Nursing.org strives to connect nursing professionals at any level with online programs to match their education and career goals. Our guides answer your questions about earning a valuable degree in nursing.
Why Enroll in an Online Nursing Program?
75% of nurses report feeling satisfied with their job*
The average BSN graduate can expect to make more than $60,000 per year*
The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 15% growth in nursing employment through 2026
* SOURCE: State of Nursing Survey - Nursing.org
The US needs nurses more than ever before
Due to a combination of factors, including an aging population, baby boomers retiring from the nursing field, and greater access to healthcare, the Bureau of Labor Services projects employment for registered nurses to increase by 15% between 2016 and 2026. The number of people entering the field has also increased, creating greater competition for jobs. As a result, possessing a bachelor's degree or higher in nursing is more important than ever.
Not only does an advanced degree provide a competitive edge on a resume, it also ensures that working nurses are more competent and efficient. Evidence suggests that nurses who possess a BSN or higher provide better patient care, resulting in fewer deaths and errors overall. The Institute of Medicine recommends that by the year 2020, 80% of employed nurses should have at least a bachelor's degree in nursing.
According to responses from a 2017 survey by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, 49% of employers at hospitals and healthcare settings require their nurses to hold a bachelor's degree, while 86% of respondents said they strongly prefer to hire nurses with a bachelor's.
Online Nursing Programs
Earning your degree has never been easier. With 400+ online nursing programs available, you can find a program to support career goals while balancing life's other demands. Begin your school search with our summary of the most popular online nursing programs.
Online Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN)
An online associate degree in nursing is a two-year program that qualifies students for for careers as registered nurses, school nurses, and travel nurses. It is the quickest and least expensive path to becoming a nurse, although many hospitals now require their RNs to possess at least a bachelor's degree. Some people earn their associate degree before going on to earn their bachelor's degree in nursing. In an associate degree program, students take courses covering anatomy and physiology, as well as nursing leadership and management.VIEW PROGRAM
Online Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)
An online bachelor of science in nursing program is a more advanced degree that typically takes four years to complete. The degree results in more career opportunities than an associate, but is more expensive and requires a greater time commitment. Students take courses focusing on specific areas such as women's health, gerontological health, psychiatric health, and infant, child, and adolescent health. BSN programs typically require students to possess a minimum GPA or an associate degree from an accredited institution.VIEW PROGRAM
Online Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)
An online master of science in nursing prepares nurses for more specialized, high-level careers in the field. A master's degree typically takes two to three years to complete. Students pursuing their MSN usually already hold a BSN, but some schools offer RN to MSN programs for those who do not have a bachelor’s. Students earning an MSN take different courses depending on their area of interest. Some students may take courses in clinical areas like women's health or ontology. Others may focus on nurse education or administration. An MSN qualifies students for advanced careers as nurse practitioners or advanced practice nurses. The degree also qualifies students to enter a doctorate-level nursing program.VIEW PROGRAM
Online Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)
An online doctor of nursing practice degree is the highest academic degree a nurse can attain. Depending on the program, students typically earn their DNP degree in three to six years. The curriculum usually includes a capstone project and up to 1,000 clinical hours. Doctorate coursework explores more advanced concepts such as data analysis and statistics, the philosophy of nursing, and leadership in nursing. Nurses who possess a DNP qualify for higher-paying leadership or executive roles. As more nurses enter the field, those with a doctoral degree will have a competitive advantage over their peers. It's important to note that a DNP is different than a PhD in nursing, which primarily prepares students for careers in academia.VIEW PROGRAM
Online Bridge Programs
Online bridge programs help nurses earn their degree more quickly and efficiently. These programs are appropriate for students who want to become a nurse but possess an undergraduate degree in a field other than nursing. Common nursing bridge programs include LPN to BSN, RN to BSN, and RN to MSN. LPN to BSN programs are for those who do not yet possess their nursing license but want to earn their bachelor’s degree and become a registered nurse in the process. RN to BSN programs help working nurses earn their bachelor’s degree. RN to MSN programs allow registered nurses to earn their master's in nursing. Most bridge programs take two to three years to complete.VIEW PROGRAM
Online Accelerated Degrees
Accelerated online nursing programs allow students to earn their degree in less time by completing more classes at once, taking fewer breaks between courses, and advancing through material at a quicker-than-average pace. The three types of accelerated nursing degrees are ADN, BSN, and MSN. While some BSN and MSN programs offer accelerated version of their curriculums, the ADN (associate degree in nursing) is inherently accelerated, requiring only two years of coursework. Accelerated programs are often geared towards older, working professionals who have already earned a degree. They are generally more affordable than traditional programs. An accelerated BSN program, for instance, requires 12 to 15 months of coursework rather than the traditional four years.VIEW PROGRAM
Careers in Nursing
Below you will find a list of common careers that nursing students pursue. For a more extensive and detailed list of career options, visit the career page at Nursing.org.
Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)
Licensed practical nurses work in nursing homes, hospitals, extended care facilities, and private home settings. They provide patients with basic care services such as bathing, dressing, feeding, checking blood pressure, and changing bandages. They also provide emotional support, listening to patients' concerns and discussing their care. LPNs are responsible for keeping records and relaying information to the overseeing doctors and RNs.VIEW CAREER
Registered Nurse (RN)
Registered nurses work in a variety of settings including hospitals, extended care facilities, schools, clinics, community centers, military facilities, or home care. RNs are responsible for monitoring and recording patient symptoms and health, administering medications, performing and analyzing diagnostic tests, and operating medical equipment. They communicate with patients, discuss treatment options, and explain how patients should manage their injury or illness.VIEW CAREER
Nurse Practitioner (NP)
Nurse practitioners work primarily in hospitals and clinics. They often specialize in a field such as oncology, geriatric health, or pediatric health. Nurse practitioners provide general patient care, consulting and coordinating with physicians when appropriate. On a daily basis, they evaluate, diagnose, and treat patients, creating a plan of care and seeing it through. In most states they can also prescribe medications.VIEW CAREER
Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA)
Nurse anesthetists perform anesthetic services before, during, and following medical procedures such as surgeries. Before administering anesthetics, they discuss medical histories, allergies, and medications with patients to ensure that the anesthetic will not cause a harmful reaction. During procedures, they adjust levels of anaesthetics and monitor vital signs. Following a procedure, they may administer pain medications.VIEW CAREER
Nurse Midwife (CNM)
Nurse midwives provide care to women and babies before, during, and after the birthing process. They focus primarily on prenatal, postnatal, sexual, and reproductive health. Nurse midwives assist with family planning, perform gynecological exams, deliver babies, and provide health education to new mothers and their partners. During labor, nurse midwives may assist with complications ranging from hemorrhaging to cesarean births.VIEW CAREER
Nursing Careers Salaries and Job Growth
$46,240Job Growth Rate (2016 - 2026)
$71,730Job Growth Rate (2016 - 2026)
$103,770Job Growth Rate (2016 - 2026)
$107,030Job Growth Rate (2016 - 2026)
$167,950Job Growth Rate (2016 - 2026)
Nursing in Your State
The field of nursing looks slightly different from state to state in terms of employment and wages. Depending on the state, nursing licensing and educational requirements may also vary.
The field of nursing looks slightly different from state to state in terms of employment and wages. Depending on the state, nursing licensing and educational requirements may also vary. Before choosing a nursing program, it may be helpful to understand what the field of nursing looks like in your own state. To learn more about the different requirements in each state and to view a list of each state's accredited nursing programs, visit the Nursing.org state nursing page. These pages also examine each state's career outlooks, projected rate of job growth, employment opportunities, and salary data.
Across the U.S., the cost of tuition is rising for nursing students. By exploring financial aid opportunities like scholarships, students can ease the financial burden of earning their degree. To help nursing students achieve their goals, Nursing.org offers three unique nursing scholarships: one for nurses in an RN to BSN bridge program, one for nurses in any degree program, and one for male nurses in any degree program. To apply, students must meet the scholarship's qualifications and write an essay addressing a prompt. In addition to their essay, Nursing.org assesses applicants according to their community involvement and academic performance.
Bridging Your Career: The RN to BSN Scholarship
This $500 scholarship is for nurses currently enrolled in an accredited RN to BSN nursing program. To apply, students must possess at least a 3.5 GPA and submit a 500 to 1,000 word essay.View Scholarship
Nursing.org's Nurses First Scholarship
This $1,000 scholarship is for nurses enrolled in any accredited degree program. To qualify, applicants must submit a 500 to 1,000 word essay and have at least a 3.5 GPA.View Scholarship
Breaking Barriers: Scholarship for Men in Nursing
Male nursing students who are actively enrolled in a nursing program and possess a GPA of 3.5 or higher can apply for this $500 scholarship. Applicants must submit a 500 to 1,000 word essay.View Scholarship