Category Archives: Nursing Education

Library of resources for nursing planning to earn a nursing degree online. How to choose the right nursing school, distance learning challenges and information on accelerated nursing programs.

Accelerated Associate Degree in Nursing Programs

To become a nurse is a serious ambition for many students today. Even those who are already holding employment look to obtaining a nursing degree so that they can join a hospital, clinic, or any such facility as a nurse. The growing desire to become a nurse is borne out of several factors. One among them is definitely the higher paycheck the occupation pays these days. Also, the job of a nurse is considered very noble and you get due respect for being a nurse. Life, therefore, is quite comfortable in for nurses compared to many other jobs. That is why more and more students, even if they happen to be employed, look to get a nursing degree online so that they can have a more prosperous future.

An ADN (Associate Degree in Nursing) is one of the strongest qualifications you can gain when you’re heading for the top. With many courses you can also choose to specialize in a certain area of nursing, which should help steer your career in the direction you are most interested in. Think about the amount of time you will be able to dedicate to your studies, and choose accordingly. Of course choosing the right college is also going to be very important.

A visit to mynursingdegree.com will provide complete details of how to select the right type of college or university to pursue accelerated ADN programs. Be it the different online nursing programs or nursing schools that offer the courses you wish to gain access to, all you need to do is to browse the site, enabling you to make a thorough comparison of the various educational institutions that offer different types of online programs at varying costs. You can also find opportunities for obtaining financial aid to carry forward your nursing goals.

If you’ve really made up your mind to join one of the accelerated ADN programs, the first thing you must do is find online schools available locally.

Mynursingdegree.com offers full details of the long list of online educational institutions that offer Associate Degrees in Nursing and Healthcare Administration, such as Everest University, Chamberlain College of Nursing, AIU Online and Argosy University. Exploring these online nursing degree programs and comparing them on various aspects is much simpler than what you may have actually anticipated.

Online College Programs vs. Campus College Programs

While most employers will value a degree from an established campus college without question, there is a different response from employers reviewing applications for those that list an online college degree completion. Should a degree from an online college be valued the same as a campus college degree? The times are quickly changing and while the question is valid now, as online education continues to grow and improve their technology for course delivery, in the near future there may be no question at all to consider.

Frequently, online students encounter questions about the validity of their degree. However, if you avoid the “degree mills” that give you an official sounding degree but offer no accreditation, you should wind up with a legitimate degree. Consider taking virtual courses from an established school, like George Washington University, or register for a recognized online classroom course.

Online vs Classroom School
Students that enroll in an online nursing degree program from an accredited university typically have no problem during the interview process post-graduation. Hospitals and healthcare facilities have embraced online education and many offer financial assistance for their nurses that want to pursue advanced degrees.

Students that enroll in an online nursing degree program from an accredited university typically have no problem during the interview process post-graduation. Hospitals and healthcare facilities have embraced online education and many offer financial assistance for their nurses that want to pursue advanced degrees.

Unfortunately, un-accredited universities and degree mills are besmirching the reputation of distance learning. It may be worth your time to perform a quick search online for the name of the college you are considering with the word “unaccredited” or “fraud”. The results can either bring you peace of mind or reasons to investigate further.

However, there are still dozens of schools with quality reputations; just make sure to research your online college before you enroll. Employers have expectations about the quality of worker hired when his credentials list Harvard University, Boston College or UC Berkeley, but there is less known about distance learning institutions.

As a consequence, completing a degree program with very little history or reputation as a credible establishment can have an effect on how your education is perceived. Those who attend more recognized online schools like University of Phoenix or Walden University will see that human resource managers have less questions about the validity of those types of colleges as they are well-known across the country.

In terms of what kinds of degrees you should be taking classes towards in an online program, Masters degrees are considered more credible than bachelor’s degrees, although neither have the prestige of a traditional degree. 26% of human resource professionals accept an online degree as the equivalent of a campus degree, while they accept 37% of Masters degrees as a brick and mortar equal.

Depending on the industry you plan on entering, some online degrees may be more accepted. Those in technology, interior design or culinary arts fields can expect employers to be more open to interviewing applicants with degrees from an online institution, whereas those seeking employment at law firms or in specialized fields of medicine will have a more of a challenge competing with other applicants who have traditional campus degrees. This is due to the face-to-face interaction of standard classroom format. Degrees that are based on computers allow you a day-by-day interaction through the class, whereas a Biology major from an online program would not have been given the same materials as a traditional student.

In the end, the credibility and validity of your degree truly depends on the person that is hiring you and your ability to sell yourself based on the knowledge you gained through your online education. Some may favor work experience; others may care about the university from which you graduated upon. Additionally, choosing a college with a broad alumni base will help you network in the future, as it increases the potential that one of the employees already hired will be from the same college as you. Nonetheless, as the number of students enrolling online continues to increase exponentially, companies are being forced into the 21st century and are incorporating ways to seriously consider virtual degree applicants evenly with campus degree applicants.

A lot of companies these days are adding continuing education to employee benefits and support those that want to advance their career through online training. Many employers even offer financial assistance or paid leave for employees to participate in these programs, just like they would for someone heading back to a campus for traditional schooling.

RN to BSN – The difference between RN and BSN

by Michael V. Gruber, MPH
The complexities of a changing medical field in technology, advanced information, and facing a growing leadership role among nurses has increased the need for a degree of a Bachelor of Science in Nursing among registered nurses (RN to BSN). This higher level of education takes commitment and dedication and in the following article, we will outline how to achieve these goals.

Advancing your nursing degree – The difference between RN and BSN

Beginning a career in nursing for those who desire an abbreviated education will get an associate’s degree (AD) which usually involves 2-3 years of schooling. A nurse may also follow a diploma program, usually through a hospital, that is also 2-3 years in length before becoming an RN. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics Sample Survey, 70% of nurses have AD or diploma level degrees. An RN must also pass all required examinations such as the NCLEX-RN (National Council Licensing Examination for Registered Nurses) before practicing with patient contact.

For many nurses looking to advance their careers, the RN to BSN Degree Program is the natural next step. It is a 4 year program that includes research oriented learning, leadership training, and liberal arts. Many of the students that are enrolled in the BSN program are previous RN’s with associate degrees or diplomas. They are now going back to school with all the hardships involved; financially, time inflexibility, family and other outstanding commitments.

The differences between an RN and BSN are not necessarily clear to the patient who is being treated with basic care. A nurse treating a patient won’t be asked, “excuse me, are you a RN or a BSN?” Yet the differences lie within. The education gained, the additional technical training, and the potential advancement are not immediately recognized by the patient. A nurse with a BSN can review research papers, advocate for the patient, work with leaders in the hospital or medical facility with confidence and advanced management skills. A nurse with an RN may have all these abilities, yet a BSN enhances them and increases advancement opportunities.

Career Opportunities with a BSN

RN’s return to school for a number of reasons, yet many are personal in nature: To become leaders in the nursing industry, advancing their careers, or move to the next level and receive a master’s or doctoral degree.

Management-level nursing requires an advanced degree such as a BSN. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, in management, nurses can become anywhere from the assistant head nurse or head nurse, to assistant director, director, and vice president and upwards. Other career opportunities include research, consulting, and teaching. A nurse with a BSN can manage a home health care clinic and ambulatory services, etc. Nurses can also move into the business side of nursing to becoming an manager of an insurance company, pharmaceutical manufacturer, and managed care organization (U.S. Dept. of Labor, 2005).

Nursing Scholarships & Grants for the Military

Joining the Military can be a useful way to both earn college credit while working and to pay for college. But did you know that in addition to your GI Bill, you can also obtain scholarships and grants to help pay for your tuition, books, and living expenses? There are several options, from general scholarships and grants to major-specific ones, including Nursing scholarships and grants.

Many online nursing schools and campus schools, provide opportunities for both general and nursing-specific scholarships and grants, in addition to scholarships and grants for military members and their families. Speaking with a financial aid office and/or veteran’s office at a prospective or chosen university can not only help narrow down the available options, but even begin the process of finding the right campus-based or online nursing school program and financial assistance needed. Also, a college or university website can provide a quick overview of available options for nursing school scholarship and grant qualifications and applications.

The Military also offers its own scholarships for its members, based the choice of major and length of service. These can come in the form of an ROTC scholarship (such as Air Force or Navy ROTC programs), or a scholarship from the particular branch of the Military in which one serves such as the Navy Nurse Candidate Program or the Army Nurse Corps Nurse Anesthetist Scholarship. The National Health Service Corps is another option for those considering a career as a nurse, or who are currently enrolled in a campus or online nursing school program.

In addition to scholarships offered by the Military, your Military training and service can also serve to train you to be a nurse. For example, the Army Medical Department Enlisted Commissioning Program (AECP) allows you to both complete a college degree in Nursing and serve as a nurse for the Army at the same time, earning both an education and priceless experience in the field. All military scholarships pay tuition and fees, plus offer a stipend for things such as fees, books, and living expenses while attending college.

Military scholarships are not just for those who serve.  Military children, spouses, and family members are also afforded a variety of opportunities to obtain assistance in paying for their schooling, from scholarships and grants to military-specific degree programs, job placement services, and career matching services. These opportunities can be especially important for military and their family members who are facing relocation, deployment, or some other hardship as a result of their military service and/or affiliation.

The U.S. military is a great way for nurses to gain experience in nursing, and can be a strong foundation for a nursing career. From the training provided while enlisted, to scholarships, grants and incentives for nurses in the military, it’s easier than ever to transition from a military to a civilian nursing career.

10 Featured Nursing Schools in the United States

An individual who wants to pursue a nursing degree should make a thorough research about the school he wants to go to. When selecting a nursing school, one should consider his goals, the type of nursing career he wants to practice, and school accreditation.

To better help you in choosing the right nursing school, we listed the top 10 nursing schools according to U.S. News & World Report. The ranking is based on several criteria including students’ standardized test scores, tuition fees, faculty resources, graduation rates and alumni donation rates.

1. University of Washington

Since 1984, the U.S. News and World Report ranked the University of Washington as the top undergraduate nursing school in the country due to its experiences and renowned faculty, as well as the opportunities for research and community partnerships.

2. University of California-San Francisco

The University of California San Francisco is one of the top undergraduate nursing programs in the US because of the amount of research funding it receives, the diversity of their programs and the large number of specialty areas it offers. The UCSF School of Nursing adheres to the four primary goals of nursing education: teaching, research, patient care and public service, which enables them to remain at the forefront of nursing education.

3. University of Pennsylvania

The University of Pennsylvania is ranked third among the top undergraduate nursing program because of its long history of excellence in education. Their School of Nursing offers technologically advanced approach to learning specializing in biobehaviorial and health sciences as well as family and community health.

4. Johns Hopkins University – Baltimore, MD

Located in Baltimore, MD, the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing (JHUSON) is one of the nation’s oldest and pre-eminent schools for nursing education in the country. The Johns Hopkins School of Nursing aims to provide leadership to improve health care and advance the nursing profession through education, research, practice, and service. JHUSON is also one of the recipients of research funding in nursing from the National Institutes of Health.

5. University of Michigan – Ann Arbor

Founded in 1817, the University of Michigan – School of Nursing in Ann Arbor, MI is the state’s oldest university. It is one of the original eight schools known as the Public Ivy.

6. University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill (School of Nursing)

The University of North Carolina – School of Nursing located in Chapel Hill, NC claims to be the oldest public university in the US. It is also one of the original eight schools known as the Public Ivy.

7. Oregon Health and Science University

Formed in 1974, the Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) is a public university that combines state dentistry, medicine, and nursing programs into a single center.

8. University of Illinois – Chicago

The University of Illinois – Chicago (UIC) is the largest university in the Chicago area. UIC is the second member of the University of Illinois system serving approximately 25,000 students within 15 colleges, including the nation’s largest medical school.

9. University of Maryland – Baltimore

The University of Maryland – School of Nursing was founded in 1889 by Nightingale Fund graduate Louisa Parsons. It is known for innovative educational programs that address urgent health care needs nationally and internationally.

10. University of Pittsburgh – Main Campus

Founded on April 6, 1939, the University of Pittsburgh – School of Nursing in Pittsburgh, PA educates nurses for the increasing demanding environment through comprehensive curriculum combining rigorous academic work, intensive clinical experiences, and research.

Choosing a Nursing School

Careers in nursing are abundant throughout the nation. In fact, there is a reported nursing shortage that is expected to grow even larger in the future. Nursing is the top healthcare occupation in the United States, and career opportunities are widely available. Below are some important things to know and look for in nursing training programs.

Nursing School Accreditation. To train for a career in the nursing field, one must receive training from a specialize school that focuses solely on nursing. Nursing schools are by the National League of Nursing Accreditation Commission and are recommended for all pursing a nursing career. There are other accreditation boards that focus on masters or doctoral level programs or on specific nursing specialties.

Available Degrees. There are several levels of education that can be obtained to work in a nursing field. Diploma programs for Certified Nursing Assistant take about one year to complete. ASN (Associates Degree Nursing) and BSN (Bachelor’s Degree Nursing) programs prepare students for certification in order to become a LPN (Licensed Practical Nurse) or RN (Registered Nurse).BSN is not required for LPN, but is for most RN’s. Other nursing careers include Nurse Practitioner (NP), Legal Nurse Consultant(LNC), and Nursing Master’s Degree (MSN, and they all require advanced nursing education on the master’s or doctoral level.

Things to Look For. There are several things to consider when choosing an online nursing school:

*Online Classroom Quality: Request an online demo of the cyber learning environment class size.

*Accreditation: Accreditation is not required, but is it an advantage when it comes to employment and examination.

*Clinical Rotation: Clinical rotation should be sufficient in order to receive adequate clinical training in preparation for examination.

*Exam Pass Rates: Review exam pass rates to see how well other nursing students at the school are doing on their respective examination.

*Tuition: Tuition may be an issue for some, for nursing programs can take anywhere from 1 to 8 years to complete. Fortunately, many institutions will pay off student loans pending 1 year of employment.

Beginning a nursing career is easy as finding courses online or at a nursing school in your area. Nurses enjoy high compensation for their training, and are highly compensated due the shortage of nurses. A good nurse starts with a good nursing school. Use Healthcare-Trainingcenter.com to find nursing schools in your area and start a training program today.

Online Colleges: Benefits & Drawbacks

When considering an online college degree, student hopefuls must weigh many pros and cons. The benefits of completing coursework from anywhere at any time are sometimes diminished by a weak variety of degrees available or programs that are not . Learn about the advantages as disadvantages of online degree programs.

Advantages Most students report that the best advantage of an online degree program is the freedom available. You can take classes when you want to, without worrying about forcing the class into your schedule – your class works around you. Better yet, working adults considering continuing education online can feel confident with their decision as most of the classes offered at online colleges are equal to their counterpart offered at the brick and mortar 4-year university.

Because you are responsible for staying on top of your schoolwork, you can take as much time to graduate as you need. Whether you choose to graduate in one year or seven, you’ll have the ability to choose the track to graduate when you want. Supplementary coursework is available for extended training that only take a short time to complete.

Another of the benefits in attending online college rather than campus is the decrease in cost of books. Online schools generally use ebooks and etexts, so you won’t have to spend hundreds of dollars on textbooks you’ll only be using for four weeks. Additionally, online colleges also allow you access to their online research library, making papers even easier to write.

Drawbacks The most significant drawback of online courses is the risk of enrolling at a college that is not either nationally or by the state. Such certifications or diplomas will not hold up when seeking jobs or career advancement as many companies know to research an applicant’s education history to confirm that their school exists and is legit. Research schools before enrolling in order to make sure you won’t become a victim of fraud. Try to talk to previous students if possible in order to find the credibility of your degree.

Social students won’t do well in online classes. All communication with classmates is virtual via forums, IMs and email threads. In person interaction is one sacrifice a student makes with online education programs. It is not uncommon for students enrolled in an online degree program to sometimes feel lonely as a result.

The independence of online schools can be a problem for people who can’t set limits for themselves. Is your home environment a good setting for independent study? If you have a space to be quiet and by yourself, you may be a good candidate, but if you live somewhere loud and crowded, you may not be able to achieve what you need.

Financial aid can present a problem for some online college students.

Scholarships are available for students pursuing degrees at online colleges, however it appears that there is not even distribution of scholarship funds between campus students and virtual students. If you would like to pursue an online degree, you can easily check with to find out if it qualifies for federal student financial aid by filling out an FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). Visit fafsa.ed.gov and complete the application online and get a response in just three to five days.

Be advised that non-degree and non- programs do not qualify for financial aid.

Home Health Care Nurse Education – A Critical Analysis

The nursing venue is in constant flux with an ever changing elderly population. Soon the baby boomers will be our elderly population needing nursing care, both in the hospital and out. But we must define “out.” “Out” can be in a nursing home, in an assisted living facility, or now, many choose to stay at home. This article will focus on the latter.

Nurses must be prepared for all situations and Howard Community College in Columbia, Maryland is doing such with the teaching of home health care. Through the addition of home health theory and a two day clinical experience – not withstanding a laboratory on campus built with a living room and a bedroom area, these students are receiving critical skills that will provide them with access to open doors throughout the nursing field.

Nurses learn in hospitals and nursing homes, but this learning can not always be translated into home health care. Home health care in many instances is where the nurse is working on their own, without the help of other medical staff. This takes critical thinking for oneself and through education, with Howard Community College being the frontrunner of this concept; we must all take note to begin the process of educating our nursesfor the future.

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Learn more about the home health aide profession.

Michael V. Gruber, MPH

Putting Focus on Accelerated Nursing Programs

Registered Nurses throughout the country are constantly looking for ways to improve their skill-set and increase their knowledge. However, between fulltime working schedules and family commitments, finding the time is not always an easy task and for some becomes another barrier to career growth. The good news is that there are now courses designed for working RN’s to achieve their BSN within 16 months. And the focus on these programs is starting to take hold across the nation.

King College in Bristol, VA has recently paired up with Wytheville Community College for a joint effort in offering an RN to BSN degree program at WCC’s education center starting next spring. The program is an accelerated course, allowing students to complete their BSN requirements in approximately 16 months, taking one course at a time and meeting once per week. These programs are helping to meet the needs of healthcare organizations both locally and nationally and serve as a great resource for economic and workforce development. Accelerated nursing programs like the RN-to-BSN program are designed specifically to meet the needs of working adults who want to advance professionally and achieve their career goals. This provides students with viable opportunities for advancement and also creates a base of local, highly qualified employees, said WCC President Charlie White.

Recruitment and retention of nurses is gaining attention nationwide as the Baby Boomers are starting to retire. Encouraging its nurses to take the BSN courses came as part of the hospital’s “focus on not only recruitment but retention,” White said. “Education is one way to enhance retention, and it says a lot to the nursing staff that we’re focusing on education.”

RN to BSN – Career Benefits and Education Options

Salary Benefits of advancing a degree from RN to BSN

Advanced nursing degrees create new career opportunities and justify an increased salary. An RN and a BSN will receive the same salary for the same nursing position, but as the BSN moves through the ranks to a higher position, salaries tend to increase. For example, a promotion to a management position of head nurse with a BSN has a higher salary than being the floor nurse with an RN.

Education Opportunities and Education Cost

In 2004, there were 600 RN to BSN programs in the United States. Many RN’s use the tuition reimbursement from their employer as an incentive to go back for the BSN. There are also accelerated BSN programs for those individuals who already attained bachelor or higher degrees and wish to go into nursing. There are more than 165 of these programs in the United States. These programs are 12 to 18 months in length (U.S. Dept. of Labor, 2005). In choosing the appropriate program, it is necessary to choose whether to work in a classroom setting or study through an RN to BSN online program.

The classroom setting has many benefits which include peer contact and live lectures. Sharing experiences with others and learning from other previous like-minded RN’s is a great benefit. The dilemma with classroom education for most nurses is the stringent scheduling and time management needed to attend class and work around an RN’s busy schedule.

An online nursing degree course is the other alternative. It is a way for nurses to work while continuing with their education with flexibility around time commitments. The non-clinical portion of the classroom courses are given online and the clinicals are usually arranged at a medical facility near the nurse’s home. There may be timed lectures or the nurses may do lectures at their own time with assignments being sent to the lecturer by fax or mail on designated due dates. Examinations are usually offered online. Many times the online school follows a semester schedule and has a set start and finish date, though this is not true for all schools. To learn more about online RN to BSN programs, refer to your school of choice and learn what that school offers.

Conclusion

Personal satisfaction, a qualitative factor that can not be measured or quantified, is what many BSN students say is most important about receiving their advanced degree. Our society is advancing in all areas, with technology and intellectual expertise. The information is available and the prerequisites allow many RN’s to attain an advanced degree; the determining factor is, we must advance as a society and create leaders in all areas of industry. A BSN gives the degree and knowledge and critical leadership skills for an RN to advance in the world of medicine, business, and personal achievement.

By Michael V. Gruber, MPH is a contributing author to My Nursing Degree Online, providing articles and resources for nurses looking for continuing education online. With a Masters of Public Health and two years of medical school, Michael provides a unique perspective on the current nursing shortage crisis on the Nursing Career Blog as well as comprehensive articles about nurse education and advancement.

Find more information about RN to BSN Online programs and job openings at My Nursing Degree Online.