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Associate Degree In Nursing

Updated on May 18, 2009

How to get an associate degree in nursing online?

Online associate degrees in nursing are possible, although most people never thought they were. The education that a nurse needs is basically hands-on knowledge, patient oriented. However, not the whole education of a nurse is practical. That's why many online schools offer online courses in nursing.

The only caveat is that online associate degrees in nursing are normally for licensed RN (registered nursed). These program are for expanding their education online. An asssociate degree in nursing is a logical stepping stone to a Bachelor's degree. Many nursing programs are designed to provide an RN to BSN track for nurses.

These courses are complemented with campus stays, internships, lab, clinical work or fieldwork. This hands-on experience is in a hospital or clinic. The residency is normally between a couple of days to some weeks. Students may normally choose where and when they want to fulfil this requirement. Normally, they do it in the state where they are licensed as RN.

RN to BSN Online Program
RN to BSN Online Program

Associate Degree in Nursing

The theoretical knowledge is delivered online. Before you enroll in a online degree program, check what materials the school offers. The content is often delivered through a multimedia platform where students can interact with each other and with the teachers.

Some schools will offer you the whole range of online multimedia - web-pages, podcast, online lectures, chat with the teachers and with your colleges. Other schools will not send you more than some books and give you the possibility of asking questions through email.

Online associate degrees are the ideal choice for learners who want to expand their professional chances, but have family responsibilities or already have a full-time job. They are specially designed for RN's who want to learn additional skills in different disciplines like business management or health administration.

There are many schools that offer online associate degrees in nursing as well as RN to BSN program - Phoenix University, Kaplan, Walden, Jacksonville University, National American University, Saint Joseph's College, University of Delaware.

The additional good news is that you are eligible for grants and federal loans. If you need or want to apply for a loan or grant check first if the school is nationally accredited. A national accreditation is not only a guarantee of quality, but also a guarantee of recognition from employers.


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      Lory, MSN, RN 8 years ago

      I am confused. You state "that online associate degrees in nursing are normally for licensed RN ". There are LPNs, ADNs, Diploma, BSN, MSN and DNP. So how does one get an RN without an associates degree? Not possible to my knowledge. The associate degree is the lowest entry level for an RN therefore your statement confuses me. Also it is not recommended that any pre-licensure nursing program be all online; there needs to be face to face didactic time to develop the student's socialization into nursing.

      The RN to BSN is most definitely a viable option especially since it is a non-licensure degree. However, I must add that nursing is an art and science that is translated through socialization of skills and role so it is much more difficult to foster higher critical thinking and professionalism in an online program. It is not a good option for everyone and I strongly recommend that if online is your only option for a RN to BSN find a good BSN or MSN mentor to meet with and process your learning as you move through your program.