One of the largest and most popular fields in online education is health and nursing. Online health and nursing degree programs can be found at every level, ranging from certificate degrees for medical assisting and record keeping to advanced master’s degrees in nursing and administration. While most online degrees are limited to fields that do not involve hands-on patient care, there is still a wide variety of nursing degrees available that allow individuals to assist in patient care. Almost all online health and nursing degree programs require students to gain supervised work experience before graduating.
The Online Health & Nursing Degree Program Experience
In most cases, associate degree programs in health and nursing can be completed in two to three years. However, certain entry-level careers such as phlebotomy or licensed practical nursing can be obtained with a certificate degree in less than two years. At the bachelor’s level, most online degree programs can be completed in four to five years, while online master’s degrees in health and nursing take three to five years to complete depending on the school and specific program. Online doctorate degrees in health and nursing are typically only offered in health care administration, or in psychology and related fields.
Online associate and bachelor’s degree programs in health and nursing typically prepare students for clerical work, medical assisting, or some entry-level nursing duties. Online programs typically include basic courses in composition, English, mathematics, and several science courses such as biology and anatomy. Major-specific curriculum consists of courses specific to the program. For example, health care administration majors participate in courses like health care ethics, accounting for health care, human and resources management, among others. Nursing majors participate in courses like pathology, microbiology, global health and policy, and more. Online master’s degree programs in health and nursing are typically aimed at individuals looking to go into health care administration, or for individuals hoping to teach courses in the subject at the college level. The programs consist of courses in quantitative analytics, health policy and economics, financial management, and more. Lastly, it’s important to remember that all nurses, whether registered nurses or licensed practical nurses, must be licensed in the state where they work. Requirements will vary by state, but you can find out the specifics through the National Council of State Boards of Nursing.
Online vs. Campus for Health & Nursing Degree Programs
When choosing between a traditional campus-based or online degree program in health and nursing it is important that you select the best program for your needs. If you plan on going into medicine to become a doctor or physician of any kind, you must complete medical school at a traditional campus-based program in most cases. Individuals hoping to pursue a traditional on-campus program should be prepared to devote most of their day-time schedule to classes. Typically, on-campus programs are most popular for recent high school graduates since set schedules for courses, exams, and papers help students adjust to the rigors of college studies by providing a routine. The downside of this is that it can be difficult for most non-traditional students, and working professionals to work their existing schedules around a traditional program.
For this reason, online degree programs in health and nursing provide a great option for individuals hoping to change careers or advance their existing career in the healthcare, particularly for nurses. Online programs all non-traditional and existing healthcare workers to continue their jobs while pursuing their degrees in their own time. Online health and nursing students can access all lectures, course material, professors, fellow students, and library services anywhere there is an internet connection, at any time convenient to them.