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Online Bachelor Degrees in Nursing Tips

Read these 20 Online Bachelor Degrees in Nursing Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Bachelor Degree tips and hundreds of other topics.

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Are you suffering from burnout in your nursing career?

Break Free of Burnout and Revitalize Your Career!

Nursing is hard work and it takes a toll on you physically and emotionally. Burnout is a constant threat as it hurts not only you but also your patients, family and associates. Could you already be suffering from burnout? Here are a few common signs and symptoms:

  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Fatigue and exhaustion
  • Gastrointestinal problems
  • Headaches
  • Increased vulnerability to illnesses, such as colds and flu
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Guilt
  • Irritability
  • Callousness
  • Pessimism
  • Substance abuse
  • Absenteeism
  • Misuse of work breaks
  • Tardiness
  • Dehumanization of patients
  • Reduced communication with colleagues or patients
  • Withdrawal from colleagues or patients
One of the best ways to revitalize your career and regain control of burnout is to enhance your education by taking nursing courses online. They are convenient, flexible and offer an unprecedented opportunity to focus on a different specialization or move into a supervisory capacity. Perhaps you would even enjoy becoming a nurse practitioner or working with an entirely new population. The choices are wide open for experienced and skilled nursing professionals. Don't allow burnout to ruin your life and career. Instead, invest in yourself and regain the enthusiasm for a career you love!

   
What are salary expectations of a nurse practitioner?

Enhance Your Career by Taking Nursing Courses Online

Obtaining a bachelors degree in nursing is a great way to prepare for a supervisory position, move into a different field or even prepare to become a Nurse Practitioner. Taking nursing courses online is not only convenient and flexible but it allows you to benefit from obtaining a fully accredited degree from a top ranked college like Penn State. In fact, taking an online nursing degree program is so flexible and convenient many people choose to continue their education and obtain a graduate degree!

Not sure education pays? Compare these average incomes for nurse practitioners across various practice areas and degree types, according to Advance for Nurse Practitioners 2005 Salary Survey Results:

Nurse Practitioners:

  • Doctoral degree: $81, 440
  • Masters degree: $74,777
  • Bachelors degree: $70,961
  • Independent Nurse Practitioners: $90,574
  • Emergency department: $84,835
  • Surgery: $84,084
  • Neonatal unit $81,511
  • Hospital $79,393
  • Gerontology: $77, 020
Be sure to ask if you can receive life credits toward the fulfillment of your degree! Some program like that of Penn State, allow generous lifetime experience credits for licensed RN's who are seeking to continue their education and obtain a bachelors degree in nursing.

   
Can I use real life experience to obtain a bachelors degree in nursing?

Use Real Life Experience to Earn an Online Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing

Do you enjoy helping people? Have an aptitude for science and great people skills? Enjoy the ability to work in different locations? An online bachelor of science degree in nursing may be the perfect career! This exciting and innovative degree program combines the best of all worlds into an online format that is flexible, convenient and in high demand.

If you are currently a Registered Nurse with a valid RN license then be sure to find out if you are eligible for “lifetime learning” credit. Nursing is one field where it's possible to obtain credit for your real life experience which can dramatically reduce the time it takes to earn a bachelors degree. According to the Penn State website you will “receive 33 advanced-standing credits toward this degree's 120-credit total—immediately upon enrollment”. This is an impressive offer for those wishing to enhance their education from a top ranked and highly recognized university like Penn State. The program is fully accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission, Inc. (NLNAC), the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), and approved by the Pennsylvania State Board of Nursing.

To get started you will need to submit a formal application and transcripts of your high school diploma and all other schools you have attended. You will also need copies of your current RN license and other credentials. It's a good idea to request letters of reference in advance and discuss possible tuition reimbursement with your current Human Resource department. In the meantime, schedule a time to speak with an academic advisor about the application process. Be sure to request a complete outline of your proposed plan of study especially if you hope to transfer credit hours from another college or apply for lifetime learning credit toward your degree.

   
Worried about returning to school for your online nursing degree?

Scheduling Study Time for an Online Nursing Degree

If it has been a few years since you took classes then it's natural to feel a little overwhelmed when first returning to school. One of the biggest problems for new students enrolled in any online degree program, including an online nursing degree, is how to set aside study time. Here are a few tips that will help ease the transition between work and study:

  1. Plan ahead. You should already have your schedule of nursing courses online as outlined with an academic advisor but don't neglect asking for advance copies of course outlines as well. This will allow you to plan your schedule in advance – especially those large projects!
  2. Set aside a special time of day to study. Make sure everyone knows this is your study time and there can be no interruptions unless it's a dire emergency.
  3. Find your personal space. Approach your study time like you would a small luxury. Make sure the area is pleasant, well lit and comfortable. Bring your favorite beverage or a small treat. Not enough to disrupt but just enough to make it something you look forward to!
  4. Begin small and don't be too tough on yourself! Especially at the beginning you may not have the focus and concentration to complete an entire task all at once. Set aside small blocks of work to perform and then give yourself a break. Gradually work up to longer blocks of time.

   
What can I specialize in to obtain a bachelors degree in nursing?

Selecting a Specialization for Your Bachelor Degree in Nursing

Before obtaining a bachelor degree in nursing, it's important to have a specialization or concentration in mind. Nursing is a versatile program that encompasses a variety of diverse subjects and specializations. Here are a few questions to get you started and then examples of common areas of specialization to consider when pursuing your bachelor of degree in nursing.

Where do you like to live and work? Do you enjoy travel? What type of environment do you prefer? Here are a few examples of common specializations by placement type:

  • Military
  • Private nursing
  • Travel and/or concierge
  • Correctional (prison, jail, adolescent detention centers)
  • Summer camps
  • School system
  • College campus
  • Nursing homes
What population do you enjoy working with the most? Here are a few examples of common specializations by population type:

  • Newborns (neonatology)
  • Children and adolescents (pediatrics)
  • Adults or the elderly (gerontology or geriatrics)
  • Terminally ill
  • Mentally Ill
  • Pregnant or new mothers
What conditions do you enjoy working with?

  • Epidemiology
  • Diabetes
  • General Education
  • HIV/AIDS education, prevention or treatment
  • Oncology
  • Many More!
Schedule a time to speak to an academic advisor in your department to determine whether a specific course of study will fit your needs. Particularly if you intend to further your education or pursue a graduate degree at a later date, be sure to review not only the undergraduate plan of study but also graduate courses for any colleges you may wish to attend.

   
What kind of environment does a nurse work in?

The Work Environment of a Nurse

The working environment of a nurse varies, depending on the type of nurse and the place of employment. However, it is very typical of a nurse to work long hours at odd times. It isn't uncommon for a nurse to work a 12-hour shift, have a day off, and then back on for another long day/night. The environment can be hectic and high-pressure, as nurses are depended on to make quick decisions, follow a strict protocol, and care for the sick and injured. In some cases, such as when caring for someone with an infectious disease, the nurse's work environment can be dangerous. However, the emotional benefits can be rewarding. In addition to providing medical attention, a nurse provides moral support to the patient and the patient's friends and family. Your training while earning a nursing degree inclass or online will help prepare you for these types of working environments.

   
What is a certified midwife?

Certified Nurse Midwives

A certified nurse midwife is a licensed, practicing nurse who has advanced training in delivering babies and providing medical care for pregnant and postnatal women. As an alternative to birthing a child in a hospital setting, a woman can arrange for a home birth with a certified nurse midwife. However, nurse midwives do deliver babies in the hospital too, particularly if there are complications involved. A nurse midwife is also qualified to prescribe medication to the mother and offer help in developing birth plans.
If you're earning your degree in nursing online or in the classroom, and you're interested in learning more about midwives, find out what classes are offered that teach this subject. Many nursing programs feature a class on midwife management, and online nursing degree programs provide an outlet for online nursing degree students to connect with one another about midwife programs and job opportunities.

   
How quickly can I earn a bachelor of nursing?

Accelerated Nursing Degrees

Accelerated nursing degrees allow students to complete a bachelor of nursing in as little as a year. Online degree programs are sought after by many as a means of completing an accelerated degree. The accelerated program has grown in popularity as a reaction to the US's nursing shortage of recent years. Understandably, an accelerated nursing program requires long hours and diligent participation. Also, the schools that offer accelerated programs are often very selective with candidates. It is a great program for those seeking a quick route to a lucrative career, but it is not without its challenges.

   
What kind of nursing programs are available?

Types of Nursing Programs

There are a few different programs you can participate in either online or oncampus when you're studing to become a nurse. You can become a licensed vocational nurse, or LVN, after approximately one year of training and passing the NCLEX. A registered nurse, or RN, requires more training, as they will be overseeing the duties of LVNs and orderlies. RNs often graduate from bachelor programs before taking their NCLEX. There are also post-graduate degrees, such as a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN).

   
What kind of specialties can a nurse be trained in?

Specialties of Nursing

In general, it is a nurse's duty to provide medical attention to a patient, assist other nurses and doctors, and administer tests. However, there are some nurses who specialize in certain fields, which may add to or change their list of duties. Nursing specialties include: psychiatry, critical care, pediatrics, midwifery, and gynecology. Some specialties require further training and education, beyond a regular nursing program. These additional programs are often attainable through online degree programs that you can customize to work with your schedule. A nurse may wish to attend a post-graduate degree program in a particular specialty.

   
What should I look for in a nursing school?

Choosing A Nursing School

When choosing a nursing school, you should first decide which program you want to enter. Then, you should look for a school that is accredited, has a good financial aid department, and that provides the right kind of clinical rotation. You may also have a preference for what size the school is, as that will change the instructor-to-student ratio. Online bachelors degree in nursing programs are well suited for those with a busy schedule from work and/or family.

   
What is a BSN?

Bachelor of Science in Nursing

A bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) is the most commonly sought nursing program and is the one most preferred by employers. Like most bachelor programs both in class and online, the first two years are spent completing general requirements, such as English, history, and humanities courses. The last two years are more focused in medicine and it is after graduation that nursing hopefuls take their National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX). If you're working toward your Bachelor of Nursing online, special counseling sessions and chat rooms are available to talk with other students. A BSN opens the most doors for nursing students hoping to have a successful career in the field.

   
What kind of job opportunities does a nurse have?

Job Opportunities

The demand for graduates of a nursing degree is high today. There has been a shortage of licensed nurses for years. Due to the demand of nurses, colleges are offering accelerated programs and online programs for nursing students to be able to accomodate the busy lives of profressionals. Nurses account for over 2 million employees in the United States, but that still isn't enough. Upon graduating with a bachelor in nursing, one can find job openings at the following places:

*Hospitals

*Physician's Office

*Nursing Homes

*Outpatient Services

*Government Agencies

*Schools

   
Is nursing school expensive?

Tuition For Nursing School

Tuition for nursing school varies greatly for public and private institutions and whether the program is being administered online. An out-of-state school may be higher if you do not legally reside in the area, however, an online nursing degree program may fit with your financial and personal goals. Many colleges and online degree programs have a good financial aid program in place, and the financial aid office can assist you in whatever state you reside. Speak to a financial aid counselor at the college if you are very intent on attending their program.

   
What kind of courses must I take in a nursing program?

Nursing Courses Online

Attending nursing courses online can be a very rewarding experience. Instructor-led, live chat rooms recreate a classroom experience from the comforts of home. General online courses include:

*Anatomy and Physiology

*Biology

*Chemistry

*Statistics

*English Composition

*Psychology

*Sociology

   
What is a registered nurse?

Registered Nurses

A registered nurse, or RN, is a degreed individual who is trained and licensed to practice nursing after receiving their degree online or in class. An RN can be a graduate of an associate or bachelor degree program online or on campus, depending on the particular requirements of the state. Upon graduating from nursing school and passing the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX), an RN trains in a medical setting for many hours. The work schedule includes long, erratic hours and includes overseeing LVNs and orderlies.

   
How do you complete clinical requirements when taking an online nursing degree?

Completing Clinical Requirements for Online Nursing Degree Programs

Taking nursing courses online might seem counter-intuitive for some people: after all, don't you need to actually work with people? Yes, but with the right program what seems like a major hurdle is already taken care of for you. When you complete an accredited nursing degree program with a respectable and progressive college then you can rest assured the education you receive is of the same caliber as that of a traditional format…including clinical requirements!

Clinical requirements for an online nursing degree program work just like traditional programs of study. You will need to plan in advance for those courses that include clinical lab requirements. Typically you will schedule clinical requirements with a local health care facility under the guidance of a qualified preceptor who will supervise your progress.

Before applying to participate in any clinical related experience, be sure you have the following forms and/or clearances:

  • Annual health examination/health examination forms
  • Health insurance
  • Malpractice insurance
  • CPR
  • Criminal abuse history clearance
  • Criminal record check clearance
If you are interested in learning more about how clinical requirements are met while obtaining an online bachelors degree in nursing then phone an advisor from Penn State's program at 800-252-3592 to discuss your specific questions or concerns.

   
What is the NCLEX?

The NCLEX

The National Council Licensure Examination, or NCLEX, is what nursing school graduates must pass in order to become a licensed nurse. It is usually taken within three months of graduating a bachelor of nursing program, and is required for both online and oncampus nursing school graduates. When looking for a nursing school to attend, look at the pass-rates of their past students. That will be a good indication of how reputable the program is both online and incampus.

   
What is a licensed vocational nurse?

Licensed Vocational Nurses

A licensed vocational nurse, or LVN, is the name of a basic licensed nurse. Qualifications for becoming an LVN are different in each state and the educational programs vary from school to school. You can work towards your vocational nurses license online through accredited colleges and community colleges nationwide. LVNs are usually trained for a year or two at a community college or hospital before they take the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX). Upon passing the NCLEX, they are free to practice as a nurse. The hours required of a licensed vocational nurse can be long and erratic, but the salary is substantial and the emotional rewards can be significant. You can also choose to expand your education during your career by taking online nursing certificate programs that work in concert with your hospital schedule.

   
How can I pay for a bachelors degree in nursing?

Financing a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing

The good news is obtaining a bachelor of science degree in nursing is now more convenient than ever, thanks in part to online degree programs. However, it is still a major investment in terms of both time and money. There are many ways to pay for a degree in nursing and many people are able to use more than one method so schedule a time to speak with a financial aid officer who can assist you in determining your full eligibility for assistance. In the meantime, here are four places to begin:

1. If you are currently employed then contact the human resource department at your place of employment. Many employees are eligible for tuition reimbursement especially if it will enhance their current job skills. Be sure to find out exactly what is covered and any stipulations such as minimum grade required for reimbursement. If you are attending a college like Penn State, ask about the direct billing option so you don't have to wait for reimbursement!

2. Contact FAFSA otherwise known as Free Application for Federal Student Aid at the U.S. Department of Education. You can visit the website or call (800) 4-FED-AID (433-3243).

3. Find a scholarship. Scholarships are everywhere so keep your eyes and ears open. To perform a comprehensive scholarship search visit FastWeb. FastWeb contains a huge database of scholarships with eligibility criteria clearly listed.

4. School financial aid office. This is a must. Nearly every school has private scholarships in addition to grants, loans, deferred payment plans and much more. Schedule a time to speak with a financial aid advisor to explore all available options.

   
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