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Online nursing degrees ― what’s out there?

Nurses working in a medical setting

Online nursing degrees may be a great avenue toward enhancing a career as a registered nurse or nurse practitioner. Many of these degrees can be earned online, whether you’re considering a bachelor’s degree, master’s degree or doctorate. Therefore, this can help to fit into students’ busy lives, potentially saving time and money.

Once a nurse or professional in the healthcare field begins their career, they may find it difficult to make time outside of work to pursue traditional education pathways. Moreover, limited availability to pursue an education can make enhancing a career difficult. However, registered nurses looking to expand their opportunities have the option to pursue bachelor’s and master’s degrees in nursing online.

A Bachelor of Science in Nursing or Master of Science in Nursing degree can help enhance both your skillset and potential career opportunities. Let’s take a deeper dive into some of the available online nursing degrees.

Bachelor’s degree programs for nursing

  • Registered Nurse to Bachelor of Science in Nursing

Registered nurses looking to expand their skill set may want to consider a Registered Nurse to Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree (RN to BSN) program. For instance, this educational training can help students develop their critical thinking and clinical judgment, apply leadership and management skills, and work in a community or public health setting. Additionally, many hospitals today, particularly those with Magnet designation, require nurses to have earned a BSN.

Master’s degree programs for nursing

Several possibilities for these degrees are available online and include an MSN/Informatics, Master of Science in Nursing/Nurse Education (MSN/Nurse Education), MSN/Family Nurse Practitioner and Master of Science in Nursing/Nurse Administration (MSN/Nurse Administration).

A Master of Science in Nursing with a concentration in Informatics (MSN/Informatics) or a Master of Science in Nursing/Family Nurse Practitioner (MSN/Family Nurse Practitioner) might be excellent options for nurses seeking to broaden their skills as clinicians.

These specialties provide diverse areas of concentrations and skills as outlined below.

  • Informatics

An MSN/Informatics instructs registered nurses how to manage clinical information (including patient charts and records). Furthermore, they also learn how to implement data privacy protections and track staff productivity. 

  • Family Nurse Practitioner

Working as a family nurse practitioner (FNP) may be a good career fit if a clinical environment is more up your alley. There, you will provide and manage the healthcare of patients and populations. With an MSN/Family Nurse Practitioner degree, you can diagnose and treat illnesses in patients, across the lifespan, from children to adults.

  • Nurse Administration or Nurse Education programs

Are you looking to lead the nursing staff of a hospital or private medical clinic? If so, you might want to consider an MSN/Nurse Administration degree. Or do you consider yourself more of a teacher, eager to train the next generation of successful nurses? If so, a Master of Science in Nursing with a concentration in Nurse Education might be the degree for you.

Career options and salaries with a bachelor’s degree

After obtaining a bachelor’s degree in a healthcare program, a graduate can often launch into a rewarding career. For instance, many find positions in hospitals, clinics, private practices and assisted living facilities. Others set up in private practice and/or work in clinics, hospitals or even corporate offices, as a service to employees.

Registered nurses, who often have bachelor’s degrees, earned a median salary of $75,330 in May 2020, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). (Salary information is not specific to University of Phoenix graduates. It may depend on a variety of factors, including your geographic location and experience.)

Career options and salaries with a master’s degree

Graduates with a master’s degree in the healthcare field will be prepared to compete for advanced practice roles. Oftentimes, these are not available to graduates of a Bachelor of Science in Nursing program.

How long does it typically take to get a degree in nursing?

According to BLS, registered nurses "usually take one of three education paths: a bachelor’s degree in nursing, an associate degree in nursing or a diploma from an approved nursing program. Registered nurses must be licensed."

On average, a bachelor’s degree in nursing takes approximately 2.5 to 4 years to complete. However, registered nurses with an Associate Degree in Nursing may be able to transfer credits and earn their BSN in approximately 14 months. A Master of Science in Nursing degree can take from 21 months to three years to complete.

Nursing degrees at University of Phoenix

Whether you’re looking to start out with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing or are thinking of pursuing a Master of Science in Nursing, University of Phoenix offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees through flexible online programs to help fit your busy life.

Additionally, for licensed RNs with an Associate Degree in Nursing who want to earn their degree faster, the University offers an RN to Bachelor of Science in Nursing (Competency-Based) degree. A faculty practitioner and mentor will oversee this self-governed program. It offers an accelerated process for getting students to their goal of a BSN (in under one year). Another benefit is potentially more affordable tuition.

If you’re a working professional with your Associate Degree in Nursing, and you have an unencumbered RN license and at least one year of professional work experience, click here to learn about this specialized program.

Explore the convenient start dates and 24/7 access of programs at University of Phoenix!

Interested in scholarship opportunities? University of Phoenix offers a range of options, as well as transferrable credits and credits for work and life experience.

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