According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of registered nurses is expected to increase by 6% from 2021 to 2031. This growth is as fast as the average of all other occupations.
Nurses have always been in demand, but the need for professional nurses across healthcare facilities boosted during and after the pandemic. The shocking effects of the recent pandemic on the healthcare sector made the world realize that the sector can no longer continue working efficiently with the decreased supply of nurses. The demand for nurses encourages aspirants to pursue nursing degrees to benefit from current job opportunities.
Best Online Nursing Degrees in 2023
Regarding the mode of education, online education is becoming a preference among nursing candidates, with many popular universities like the University of Texas Arlington offering efficient and manageable online courses. The online nursing degree allows them to continue their education without giving away their established career in a healthcare facility. The best online nursing degrees you can consider include the following.
Online Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)
BSN is a degree in nursing, which is an excellent option for practically entering the nursing field. While in the past, having a nursing diploma was enough to get a job in a hospital, the demand is higher these days. Therefore, many prestigious institutions, including The University of Texas, Arlington, have been offering online BSN programs.
The UTA online nursing program prepares nurses for many employment opportunities at numerous healthcare facilities, including trauma centers, schools, health agencies, and more.
A BSN degree from a prestigious university imparts you with employability skills, current knowledge of the field, and evidence-based practices and prepares you for higher education.
You are introduced to patient safety, health promotion, and nursing theories during an online BSN degree. You will also take general courses related to social and behavioral sciences, chemistry, anatomy, leadership, mathematics, critical thinking, etc.
Some career options available to you after a BSN degree include the following:
- Perioperative Nurse
- Nurse Case Manager
- Occupational Health Nurse
- Nurse navigator
- Critical care nurse
- Trauma nurse
- Pediatric nurse
- Staff Nurse and many others.
Online Associate of Science in Nursing (ASN)
If you don’t want to wait four years before becoming a licensed nurse practitioner, you can jumpstart your nursing career with an ASN degree. You can complete your ASN in two years, prepares yourself to sit in the NCLEX exam, and earn the nursing license. As a Registered Nurse, you can demonstrate your abilities in various work settings.
During your ASN degree, you will study various courses, including labor and delivery, emergency medicine, surgical nursing, orthopedics, and many more. These multi-department programs aim to provide you with basic knowledge of multiple fields within the nursing sector. Later you can build up on the elementary knowledge of a nursing field you are inclined to and make it your concentration during higher learning programs.
Some career opportunities for an ASN nurse include:
- Home care nurse
- Nurse care coordinator
- Clinical associate
- Clinical nurse liaison
- Oncology RN
- Emergency room RN
Online Accelerated BSN (ABSN)
It is a degree program for people with a non-nursing bachelor’s degree who want to transition to a nursing career. As the complexity of work in nursing is increasing, so is the demand for people with interdisciplinary knowledge. So those who have a different degree in an unrelated field and decide to enter nursing with ABSN can quickly become an asset for healthcare, thanks to their comprehensive knowledge.
It is one of the fastest routes to earning a nursing degree, making you have a BSN in about 16 months. Some universities even offer a one-year accelerated BSN degree program.
An accelerated BSN program imparts you with the required clinical skills and didactic coursework to start your work in a prestigious healthcare facility.
The courses you will study during an accelerated BSN program include health assessment, introduction to nursing, illness management, evidence-based practices and research, and many more.
Clinicals in the ABSN program are localized to top healthcare facilities as no theoretical knowledge can replicate the benefits of hands-on practice.
As an ABSN, you can take up the following roles:
- Hospice Nurse
- School nurse
- Critical care nurse
- Labor and delivery nurse
- Emergency room nurse
- Medical-surgical nurse
- Informatics nurse
Online Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)
If you have already had an entry-level education in nursing, you can consider a graduate-level degree that imparts higher-level skills and knowledge for more critical roles. Thanks to the courses, simulations, and assessments in an online MSN degree program, they polish skills like problem-solving, critical thinking, decision-making, leadership, communication, etc.
An MSN nurse is prepared to tackle more complicated situations and demanding workloads. MSN is the degree required if you want to transition to leadership, decision-making, and research positions. MSN is also needed if you wish to receive advanced clinical training.
For most MSN degrees, you are required to have a BSN degree. However, fortunately, some accelerated MSN programs allow ASN nurses to earn an MSN and a BSN together.
An MSN degree opens countless career opportunities for nurses, some of them are:
- Healthcare Administrator
- Hospital Administrator
- Nurse Educator
- Nurse Manager
- Nurse Practitioner
- Psychiatric Mental Health NP
- Nurse consultant
- Research nurse
- Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS)
- Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM)
Direct Entry MSN
Direct Entry MSN allows non-nursing professionals to advance their nursing careers. This program’s cost is generally lower than separately pursuing BSN and MSN degrees. You can work as a registered nurse or APRN with a direct entry MSN.
Students opting for a direct entry MSN can transfer their credits earned through their previous bachelor’s degree program for the competition of BSN and then move on to get an MSN. Students can simultaneously prepare for a licensing exam and get training related to a specialized nursing field.
Best Online Nursing Degrees in 2023: Conclusion
The increase in demand for nurses is promising for all aspiring nursing candidates. Therefore, all nursing degrees, whether online or on-campus, have witnessed a spike in enrollment. Some online nursing degrees available to aspiring students are mentioned above. You can look and choose them based on your current qualification and future goals.