Time management and economic factors have caused a surge in online graduate education programs, including online nursing programs. If you are considering whether you can study nursing online, you’ve come to the right place. We’ll help you get the information you need and show you the best programs.

There are certain professions that inspire respect. Doctors, nurses, police officers, firefighters: the dedicated individuals choosing such career paths live to serve the communities they live in. Obtaining the required education for these jobs is pretty straightforward (or so we think): go to college, study hard, earn your degree. Yet times are changing and so are our needs.  Granted, it’s hard to believe that universities, colleges, and schools offer medical degrees online, but surely enough, they do.

As tuition fees keep increasing, online education will become the wave of the future. Its appeal is particularly to those who must keep their jobs while pursuing a higher education. But how can one earn an online nursing degree?

Understanding the Requirements of Online Nursing Programs

Regardless of whether you wish to pursue an MSN (Master of Science in Nursing) or an RN (Registered Nurse) degree, there are certain requirements that you must fulfill. Becoming a state-licensed practitioner after passing your NCLEX-RN examination is the most important one.

Many universities and colleges offer high-quality online nursing programs. They can effectively train you to become a registered nurse or earn your MSN degree. The first step is deciding what type of education you is right for you. Here are the degree types that you can earn:

Associate of Science in Nursing (ASN): for those who wish to obtain their RN licensure. Some may already be working as a vocational nurse, practical nurse or paramedic. Such programs may take two years to complete.

Online Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN): a longer program, usually taking four years to complete. This program is for an RN.

Accelerated RN to BSN programs: certain schools and colleges offer accelerated programs for those who have already earned their nursing diploma. These programs are for registered nurses seeking their Bachelor’s degree.

Online Master of Science in Nursing (MSN): Those with an RN or BSN who wish to further specialize in one particular area, a Masters of Science is what you should aim for.

Online Nursing Doctorate Programs: if you are aiming for leadership roles or wish to partake in clinical research, earning a PhD may aid you and is generally required.

online nursing programs

Don’t forget to research state requirements

Be sure, however, to research your particular state’s requirements. Do this before deciding on the degree and school that you will pursue. It’s paramount that the institution you enroll in meets the requirements of the state you wish to practice in. Also, be sure to verify that the school you wish to enroll in is properly accredited.

Each program has certain prerequisites. Such as having completed certain courses. Examples are course in anatomy, physiology, biostatistics, nutrition, human development or microbiology. Make sure to read about the prerequisites of the program you wish to pursue; check whether you may complete these courses online before enrolling.

Despite the fact that the majority of your education will take place online — most coursework, all tests, and examinations — there are real-world clinical and laboratory requirements.  You will have to complete them on-campus or at a real-world facility.

Best Online Nursing Programs to Enrol in

Certain universities and colleges with longstanding tradition in preparing tomorrow’s medical and health care providers have started offering online courses. Universities — such as Johns Hopkins, Georgetown University, Duke University, Penn State, the University of South Carolina and Ohio State — have all amended their courses to encourage an online education.


1.      Johns Hopkins School of Nursing

This world-renowned institution offers both Master’s programs and Post-degree programs. The former include Clinical Nurse Specialist; Health Systems Management or a combination of the two. The latter offers you the possibility of earning your Nurse Educator Certificate — as well as your Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Certificate.

2.      Georgetown University School of Nursing

There are four distinct programs that the university offers: Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP); Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (AG-ACNP); Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner (WHNP) and Nurse –Midwifery (NM)

3.      Duke University School of Nursing

At Duke, you can obtain both your MSN and your DNP (Doctor of Nursing Practice) degree. This university is one of the first adopters of online and distance education. All courses are online, though students may have to also attend a few on-campus courses (once or twice during the semester). D

4.      Pennsylvania State University

Penn State offers a competitive, high-quality Masters of Science in Nursing degree. It requires a total of 37 credits to complete. It will prepare you for both educational and leadership positions in the industry. The courses are recognized and accredited by ACEN (the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing); as well as CCNE (the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education). Duke also offers other programs. Such as Nurse Administrator Graduate Certificate; Nursing RN to BS; Nurse Educator; Doctor of Nursing Practice; as well as Health Policy and Administration.

5.      University of San Francisco

This university offers both Associate’s Degree and Bachelor Degree programs for nurses. Its programs have a 24 month minimum time commitment and are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

Make sure to inquire as to the cost of your tuition and the cost per credit hour that the institution of your choice offers and assess your ability to cover that tuition. Luckily, there are many colleges that offer grants and scholarships even for online nursing programs, so make sure to inquire as to any financial aid programs you may be eligible for.


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