Online Nursing Bachelor's Degree

Overview

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Nurses oversee the day-to-day care of patients and help the sick and injured regain their strength and health. With such a direct influence on the lives of those in need, it’s no surprise that most nurses feel their work changes the world.

In fact, 86 percent of graduates with a bachelor’s degree in nursing say their job makes the world a better place, and nursing tops the list of majors that change the world, according to PayScale, an online salary and career database.

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Course Work

Example courses
Experimental chemistry
Mental health nursing
Statistics: data-driven decision making
Technical applications in healthcare organizations
Health and wellness assessments
Population-based nursing

Students earning an online bachelor’s degree in nursing take a mix of hard and soft science courses - including a variety of anatomy, biology, chemistry, sociology and psychology classes - to help prepare them to care for patients.

Medical best practices are constantly evolving due to technological advancements, so nurses must also learn how to manage patient data and deliver treatment in an increasingly digital environment. Courses such as nursing informatics, data management and health care delivery systems aim to prepare students to work with new medical technology.

Many online nursing degree programs require that students have training in the field, often through an associate degree program, and be licensed as a registered nurse. A handful of programs are open to those without a nursing license, but students must either have a bachelor’s or associate degree, or have completed prerequisite science and liberal arts courses.

Students without RN credentials must also put in clinical hours at a hospital or medical facility and pass a board exam to meet state licensure requirements before they can practice.

Job Outlook

Midcareer median salaries*
Medical case manager $58,200
Registered nurse $65,200
Charge nurse $67,300
Nurse case manager $67,900
Registered nurse supervisor $68,000
Nursing manager $75,600
Nursing director $78,300

*per PayScale.com

Low unemployment rates and strong earning potential earned nursing a top five spot in the U.S. News Best Jobs rankings. Registered nurses can earn a median salary of nearly $64,700 with only an associate degree, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, but RNs can boost their earning potential by earning a bachelor’s degree. Per PayScale, the midcareer median salary for a RN with a bachelor’s in nursing is $65,200.

A four-year nursing degree can also help students advance to management positions. The midcareer median salary for a nurse manager or director is $75,600 and $78,300, respectively, according to PayScale.

Nurses who continue their education at the graduate level can obtain positions in nursing education and administration. Online Master of Science in nursing degree programs are available to nurses who hold a bachelor’s degree and those who do not have a bachelor’s degree, but hold the RN credential.

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