Online Nursing Masters Programs

The master in nursing degree program combines advanced nursing knowledge with ethical principles, holistic patient care and clinical excellence in advanced practice nursing. The program can be completed within two years or even less. However, in some programs, the maximum allowed time for program completion can be as much as 7 years. Mostly, students who are enrolled in the part-time or online format take more time to complete their requisite coursework.

Learning Outcomes
This graduate degree program enables students to acquire skills to engage in lifelong learning and practice. It equips them for professional development and enables them to participate and contribute positively in the improvement of health care systems.  Graduates will be able to play an important role in the development of health policies. Students are given training to make use of the knowledge and skills acquired and apply them in various areas of the nursing field including education, practice and research in order to excel in advanced practice roles. They will be utilizing research to integrate theoretical and scientific concepts and use these in the in the advancement and validation of nursing science. The main focus is to develop the role of nursing to improve the quality of patient care outcomes. After completing this program students will be better prepared to pursue doctoral education in nursing.

Gaining Admission into the Program
Generally, for admission to a master in nursing degree program, applicants are required to have graduated from a program that is accredited by National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission or the Commission for Collegiate Nursing Education. A Registered Nurse License is also mandatory for most programs. Other requirements for admission vary from school to school.

Program Curriculum
The advanced nursing courses taken during this program will vary by specialty area. The curriculum is designed to enable students to develop skills in evidence-based practice. In most schools, it is based upon the American Association of Colleges of Nursing's Essentials of Master's Education in Nursing. Following are some of the courses offered in this program:

  • Advanced Health Assessment
  • Theoretical and Conceptual Foundations of Nursing
  • Healthcare Informatics and Technology
  • Advanced Pharmacology
  • Marketing Management in Healthcare
  • Advanced Physiology/Pathophysiology
  • Advanced Concepts in Gerontology
  • Current Trends and Issues in Professional Nursing 
  • Healthcare Policy

In addition to these students will have to complete a series of practicum courses in most programs that train students in currently required entry-level nursing behaviors and competencies.

Your Future Career Paths
After completing this program graduates can possibly work as nurse educator or as advanced practice nurses in various tracks. Some of these tracks include:-

  • Nurse Anesthesia
  • Women's Health Nurse Practitioner
  • Family Nurse Practitioner
  • Adult Gerontology Nurse Specialist
  • Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
  • Clinical Nurse Specialist

Graduates employed in the nursing field can possibly earn competitive wages. For instance the O*NET reports that the median annual wage of Clinical Nurse Specialists is $65,470 as of 2012. Due to the current shortage of nurses all over the U.S. there are expected to be sufficient employment opportunities for future graduates in this field.


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