Top Accredited Online Nursing Degree Programs of 2014

If you are interested in earning a nursing degree, start by clicking on one of our top online programs below.

1. Western Governors University – B.S. Nursing (RN to BSN)

2. Capella University – RN to BSN Completion

3. Colorado Technical University – RN to BSN Completion

4. Ameritech College – Nursing RN to BSN

5. Daymar College Online – Nursing (RN to BSN)

Registered nurses typically enter the field with an associate or bachelor’s degree or diploma from an accredited nursing program. While you can approach your pre-nursing degree or diploma in different ways, most students enter the occupation with an associate or bachelor’s degree. If you choose to complete an associate degree in nursing, offered at online colleges and community or junior colleges, it will take you about two to three years to complete. An associate degree in nursing teaches you basic patient care needs and techniques, IV therapy, how to assess different health needs, as well as anatomy and physiology. With an associate degree, you can pursue a registered nurse certification, as well as a licensed practical nurse certification or work in other health care occupations.

For those entering a nursing program without an RN or LPN licensure, may be interested in the bachelor of science degree with a major in nursing. This four-year degree program combines clinical nursing courses, general education courses, electives and theory classes. This is considered the basic track for students pursuing a nursing career, as it prepares graduates to be generalists. Licensed practical nurses, who want to become eligible to take the RN licensure exam, may be interested in the bachelor’s degree with an LPN-to-BS track. Students may turn to this degree track because they want to gain a wider understanding of nursing or they need a bachelor’s degree to advance their nursing career. Lastly, students can earn a diploma in nursing that may be used toward an associate or bachelor’s degree in nursing. Diploma programs can be taught online, in hospitals or at local community colleges and they typically last about three years. Students who are planning on working in a hospital or other inpatient facilities, may benefit most from a diploma program. Some schools may offer accelerated degree programs that will speed up your curriculum and completion time.

According to theĀ American Association of Colleges of Nursing, there are articulation agreements between associate degree in nursing programs and diploma programs and four-year institutions. Articulation agreements are official agreements that make it mandatory to match coursework between schools. The purpose of these agreements is to make a student’s transfer to another school more smooth, and allow them to apply their credentials to a new school. AACN warns students to contact their school’s administrators to verify what their articulation agreements are for baccalaureate schools, and to confirm which courses and credits will transfer, before enrolling in any associate degree or diploma program.