Why a Career in Nursing?
The population in the US is rapidly growing. With this growth, the need for competent healthcare professionals is also rising. In fact, the US Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS) has estimated that employment in nursing will increase by 26 percent between 2010 and 2020, the fastest growth in the healthcare industry.
How To Become a Nurse?
If you are interested in a nursing career, you may find that the path may require you to complete an undergraduate nursing degree. However, not everyone may be able to enroll in a full-time program; some individuals may also not be able to afford the cost of enrolling in school. There are alternative options that individuals are now able to access because online nursing courses are available to help facilitate access to the nursing curriculum.
Why Online Programs?
A large number of educational institutions in the US are offering nursing courses online, which cover specialized topics in anatomy, physiology and chemistry. Some universities have broken up the four year degree into shorter modules, which can be completed by students who need flexible deadlines. The advantages of taking online courses are that you may save money on expensive tuition rates, complete coursework at your own convenience, and still earn college level credits toward your degree.
Another benefit of these online nursing courses is that you can enroll in classes that offer specific training for nursing responsibilities. Regardless of whether you want to become a registered nurse, a licensed practical nurse, or a certified nurse assistant, you can find courses which may hone your skill set in the relevant area. Those looking for clinical experience can also benefit - universities often have agreements with hospitals, which can be used to gain practical knowledge. Some universities are also offering special bridge programs. Junior position holders can use these courses to improve their resume and apply for senior or administrative positions. Some programs are also aimed at equipping licensed practical nurses with the expertise to become registered nurses, in what are called 'LPN to RN' programs. The amount of opportunities available to help you start a new career or advance your career in these online courses is enormous. If you wish to continue your education by enrolling in a campus-based school, your internet-based course credits may also be transferred or used to meet enrollment criteria.
How to Become a Licensed Nurse?
It is important to note that taking and passing internet-based courses does not mean you are qualified to legally practice your profession. Regardless of the classes you take and the qualifications you achieve, you will ultimately have to take a test administered by the National Council for Licensure Examination (NCLEX). Without this test, you cannot be licensed and apply for a job. Another thing to be cautious of is to check the authenticity of the classes being offered. The NCLEX has a list of approved institutions whose programs you can choose. These authorized programs follow an approved syllabus which covers all the essential topics you need. When enrolling in an online nursing program, be sure that it is certified by the NCLEX or your state's health board. Internet-based classes are available for you and fit within your busy schedule, so don't delay and look into these classes.