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What Is an Online Registered Nursing Program?

Online registered nursing programs (RN programs) are primarily structured for RNs who have earned a diploma or an associate degree and have decided to continue education towards their Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). If you are brand-new to nursing and would like to enroll in an online RN program, you are likely able to attend your college courses online, but your clinical work and hours must still be logged in a hospital or other accredited academic facility. This can still be much more convenient than trying to attend all your courses on-campus, however.

What Courses Are Taught in Online RN Programs?

Courses required for online RN programs can differ based on how much experience in nursing you have already earned. If you are already working as an RN, then your online program may be mainly theory-based, concentrating on leadership development and critical thinking. If you are new to nursing, your program may focus more on core nursing classes such as nutrition, anatomy and physiology.

What Are the Advantages of Pursuing an Online RN Program?

The flexibility of an online RN program can be enormously helpful for individuals who have otherwise busy lives and prior commitments, such as a family or a career. These programs often allow you to choose the hours when you want to complete the courses online. Taking an online program also means you are not limited by your location. If the school you wish to attend is on the other side of the country, you may be able to enroll in its online programs and earn your nursing degree from that school without being forced to uproot your life and move to a whole new state!

What Career Paths Are Available after Completing an Online RN Program?

As an RN, you may be able to work in various health care settings, including hospitals, research facilities, outpatient clinics, private offices and public health clinics.

Wages for RNs vary depending on the geographical location of employment and field of nursing. However, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that the annual median salary for RNs in 2016 was $68,450. The registered nursing field is also one predicted to experience ample growth in the future, with the BLS projecting a 15 percent increase in the employment of RNs between 2016 and 2026.

Sources:

1. Registered Nurses, Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook, Accessed March 2018, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/registered-nurses.htm