written by: Nicki H•edited by: Sarah Malburg•updated: 1/8/2010
An online RN degree is often overlooked because students are confused how they would complete the clinical portion of their studies. But there are programs that allow you to get hands on experience while completing a nursing degree online. Read on to learn how to get your online nursing degree now.
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The Demand for Registered Nurses is Growing
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for Registered Nurses (RNs) is growing fast – with an increase of 23% expected by 2016. But to become a Registered Nurse, you’ll need to earn a bachelor’s degree in nursing. Fortunately, individuals who are too busy to attend traditional classes have an additional option; getting an online RN degree.
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How It Works
Most nursing students don’t consider an online program because they’re unsure how they would get clinical experience. With an online education, you complete the non-clinical portion of your training online and the college arranges the clinical portion of your studies with medical practices in your community. This ensures you’ll get the required experience to become a Registered Nurse in your state.
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Degree Programs Offered
There are many universities that offer online RN programs such as Kaplan University School of Nursing. Other programs to consider are University of Phoenix, KeiserUniversity and Chamberlain College of Nursing. Most of these programs also offer an online RN Degree from LPN; which means if you’re currently a Licensed Practical Nurse (which requires an Associates Degree), you can complete your bachelor’s degree to become a registered nurse.
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The Cost of RN Degree Programs
The cost of a program of this nature, ranges from about $350-$450 per credit hour. You can expect to pay about $25,000-$35,000 for the entire program depending on which college you choose.
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Get Licensed with your State
Before starting your online RN degree, make sure to check with your state’s nursing board. Some states are picky about which programs will qualify you for state licensure, so it’s important to check this out before enrolling in a program.
Once you graduate from your program, most state nursing boards will require that you fill out an application and sit for a board administered exam to become a Registered Nurse. After you pass the exam, you’ll be qualified to work in a variety of settings; including specializing in specific areas like pediatrics, oncology or dermatology.