Which Online Programs Nurses Should Go For In 2022?

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With the increase in health problems and hospitalizations, the need for nurses is higher than ever before. Nowadays, the public suffers from various diseases that could lead to permanent damage or disability. These health problems are very severe as they can lead to permanent disabilities due to lack of proper care, so to prevent such diseases and look after such critical patients, nurses are high in demand. However, to cope with the ever-changing health conditions and system, nurses should be well educated and well experienced. 

A person wishing to opt for nursing as a career mostly starts with an associate degree. After completing two years of an associate degree, they pass the state exam and begin practicing. The best way for nurses to advance their careers is by choosing higher nursing programs. These nursing programs provide the much-needed knowledge and experience that is in demand nowadays. Following are four online nursing programs that will shape you according to today’s requirements.

1. BSN Programs

A BSN program is a four-year program: that is available for individuals opting for a nursing career after high school. However, many registered nurses also go back to study bachelor’s in nursing science to improve their understanding of various nursing concepts. As registered nurses are practicing alongside, they mostly pick an online RN to BSN program, as it is fast, easier to follow, and does not affect the nurse work schedule. 

A BSN program for registered nurses is a two years program and covers courses such as current nursing practices, informatics, research, patient safety, and health policies. Along with these, BSN programs also equip nurses with technological, leadership, and practical skills required in the field. Moreover, clinical training is a part of this program that exposes nurses to clinical situations and helps widen their experience. A BSN program also puts a star on your resume and opens unlimited career options. Travel nurse, public health nurse, health policy nurse, and clinical research nurse are some of the careers nurses can pursue after an RN to BSN program. Most of these careers also have higher salaries and job safety. 

2. Dual Degree Program

As the name indicates, dual degree programs consist of two master’s degrees, one of which is a master’s in nursing science while the other degree can be regarding administration, business, law, or public health. Dual degree programs tend to take four years to complete, and the benefit of these programs is that nurses attain a degree that consists of both majors instead of going for each major separately. Moreover, these programs also cost less than studying nursing and another degree separately. Nurses learn extensive courses from both majors and gain experience in both fields of these dual programs; they become better equipped to face the challenges of coming times. 

Nurses who choose to do a master’s in nursing and administration (MSN/MHA dual degree) can work as managers in healthcare systems. With more experience, they can take administrative and leadership roles in the system: policy-making, setting up safety protocols, and improving the system. Nurses who choose MSN/MBA dual degree can work in business relating to nursing and health. This degree tends to have various rewards as nurses, after completing the dual program, can open up a business, run an ongoing business, provide resources to healthcare systems, and provide plans on improving cost and finances. 

3. MSN Program

An MSN program is a graduate program that can take two to three years to complete. Some nurses choose to do part-time MSN programs or full-time MSN programs. Online MSN programs are also available for practicing nurses; however, clinical practice is necessary for online and on-campus programs. An MSN program tends to be costlier than a BSN program, but it equips nurses with advanced skills and expertise. A master in nursing science program focuses on clinical education and advanced practice: it includes courses such as genomics, global health systems, evidence-based practice, decision making, professional nursing, and research. Along with this, MSN programs also enhance teaching skills and leadership skills. 

MSN programs provide further specializations in clinical, administrative, and primary care fields. A nurse can specialize in adult-gerontology primary care nurse practitioner, family nurse practitioner, neonatal nurse practitioner, pediatric nurse practitioner, nursing education, and nursing leadership. Nurses can further sub-specialize in cardiology, palliative care, oncology, diabetes, orthopedics, and informatics. After studying such advanced courses, nurses are eligible for higher administrative and leadership roles. They can choose to work as educators or leaders in healthcare systems.

4. DNP Programs

DNP stands for doctor of nursing practice, and it is the most advanced degree in nursing that prepares nurses with the most up-to-date knowledge and expertise so nurses can handle the challenges of the future. DNP programs tend to be different from doctorate programs as DNP programs focus only on courses related to nursing, while Ph.D. programs also cover other topics as well.

Moreover, DNP programs are available online for nurses who wish to work and study, while Ph.D. programs mostly occur on campus. DNP programs include courses such as statistics, advanced research, organized and systemic leadership, interpersonal collaborations, and many more. Nurses also have to submit a final research project to obtain their DNP degree. Nurses with this degree have top-class jobs that also pay a hefty amount of money. 

Whatever pathway nurses choose to advance their nursing career, the ultimate goal should be the betterment of the community. These four online programs expand nurses’ perspectives and expertise, enabling them to adapt to the ever-changing world of healthcare.

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