The medical field casts a wide umbrella over many different professionals, all who coordinate to provide significant value to humanity through services geared towards the maintenance of health. Nursing specifically is a particularly hot niche that has experienced significant growth over the last decade – and the trend doesn’t seem ready to slow down any time soon. Nursing schools provide training in a variety of different healthcare branches often focused on the treatment of families, communities, and individuals in a way that boosts their life expectancies. Typically these schools combine academic and practical knowledge in a way that prepares students to handle the theory and the application of truly effective nursing.
Although the required training for nurses varies from region to region across the United States, graduating with an accredited online nursing degree guarantees that a future nurse has both recent training as well as a holistic understanding of the core principles that drive the profession. Such a degree also gives future employers the assurance that a nurse is versatile enough to perform duties not just within his or her sphere of knowledge, but also outside of it.
The Nursing Profession
In general the nursing profession boasts an array of benefits, among them a stable salary and the ability to travel around the world. Experienced licensed nurses are often needed at the drop of a hat in various medical settings, so sometimes the hours can be challenging. Travel nursing, however, is becoming increasingly more popular – nurses who have just completed their training and licensing can register with placement services for 6 – 13 week placements around the country. One-to-two year placements also exist in some overseas locations, which allow a nurse to spend an extended period of time in a new locale absorbing culture without a permanent commitment.
Nursing is also a solid career choice for individuals who prefer to have lots of options for horizontal movement in a given profession. Opportunities to specialize in numerous areas exist – nurses can work with children, pregnant mothers, the elderly, or the disabled. They can choose to work in emergency rooms as surgical nurses, as educators, or as independent witnesses and contractors in the field of law. Some individuals choose to operate in private practice, large hospitals, correctional facilities, or non-profit service organizations. Since every placement means additional experience, a nurse can change specializations pretty frequently without damaging his or her appeal to employers.
There are many online nursing degree programs available, but only a select few hail from accredited institutions. It is important to thoroughly research the schools offering nursing programs to choose one that is both accredited and suited for your particular needs as a professional.
Accredited Online Nursing Schools
University of Phoenix
The University of Phoenix is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission and is also a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. Founded in 1976, the school is one of the largest private institutions of higher learning, with over 200 locations nationwide. The school offers online nursing programs from the associate to the doctoral level, and programs can be tailored to fit the schedules of students who are also holding full-time jobs. Their nursing programs are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education and are designed to help registered nurses enhance opportunities for further professional development. The university offers an associates degree in healthcare, an RN to BSN degree geared towards registered nurses who want to earn their B.S., various masters degrees, and a Doctor of Philosophy in nursing as well.
Kaplan University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and is a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. Additionally, their B.S. and M.S. programs in nursing are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. The school’s history goes back to 1937; since then it has evolved to offer both campus-based and online degrees in many fields. The school offers nursing programs from the associate to the master level, as well as various certificate programs. Students can earn an Associate of Science in Nursing, a Bachelors of Science in Nursing, a Master of Science in Nursing, as well as an RN to MSN degree. Their certificate programs include nurse practitioner curricula in adult gerontology and family nurse care, in addition to graduate certificate programs for nursing administration, nurse education, and nursing informatics. Courses are taught by practicing professionals and are designed to encourage critical thinking, communication skills, and to develop the technical skills vital in today’s rapidly changing medical community.
Finding an accredited online nursing degree program is important since it’s the only way to ensure that the education received will be valued and accepted by other institutions. The benefits of completing an online nursing program from an accredited body include knowing that the program will be comparable in preparation to those of on-campus programs as well as a guarantee that the staff will be made up of experienced, knowledgeable, practicing industry veterans who can impart actionable wisdom.