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Best guide to online nursing graduate programs 2023

Online nursing graduate programs. The advantages of nursing careers for the entire community are now readily apparent everywhere you look. The importance of front-line healthcare workers in the United States at the time of this writing is greater than it has ever been during a period of peace.

Nurses continue to be one of the most important employees in the nation, even though Covid-19 has a greater impact on some places than others.

In addition to having the knowledge and resources to contribute to this massive, all-out battle against a microscopic pathogen and the abilities to deal with uncertainty, nurses are always in demand. A skilled nurse won’t ever doubt the value of their training or the security of their employment.

Nurses can work anywhere and can charge more for their competence the more experience they have. Health insurance, retirement plans, and occasionally pension plans are frequently excellent for nurses. More than ever, the value of nursing in today’s society is being recognized. People appreciate nurses.

Nursing school necessities

There are many aspects of nursing that cannot be taught. One of these is being devoted to the love and caring of others. Another is the kind of work ethic that helps you get through days when you’re extremely ill and have a lousy mood. Beyond hard labor is showing up every day, no matter the conditions, the time of year, or the terrible disease that awaits you. It is brave, and nurses are brave people.

Additionally, there are some skills that need to be taught. One of the key justifications for why nurses require a higher degree is this. Covid-19 won’t be the only story in the news one day in the not too distant future. We will have made many gains and many losses.

The nurses who gave their lives to help the sick will also have gathered the vital information that will help the sick long beyond this terrible period. With the use of this information, medical researchers can stop epidemics from happening in the future or, God forbid, stop a second wave of the Coronavirus. But first, how can you tell if a nursing school is actually legitimate? Accreditation of nursing programs is the solution.

Programs for Nursing Degrees that are Accredited

It would be hard to know whether patients are receiving the best care possible without a means to standardize and evaluate the training that new nurses are receiving.

Several separate accrediting agencies are responsible for establishing and upholding those standards across the nation. Some areas of the nation might not receive new knowledge about how to save lives or stop illness and harm without this work.

A significant loss of life is likely when there are insufficient supplies for the number of people there (back then, lifeboats, in New York City respirators), as the Coronavirus has demonstrated in 2020 and the Titanic demonstrated when it sank over 100 years earlier. The certification of nursing programs guarantees that nurse training will remain one of the system’s many advantages.

Institutional accreditation for colleges and universities is often granted by regional accrediting organizations. Council for Higher Education Accreditation, or CHEA, is the federal agency in charge of monitoring the performance of these accrediting bodies. Their main goal is to serve the public, students, and ensure via leadership and advocacy that schools are able to provide a quality education to everyone who attends. The regional organizations that carry out the following stage of the procedure are,

  • Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC)
  • Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)
  • WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC)
  • Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
  • New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE)
  • Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)
  • Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC)

Who oversees the accreditation of nursing schools?

Nursing schools have some requirements to meet before they are granted the opportunity to instruct the future generation of Nightingales, and this is fair. Nursing school accreditation is the process of giving an undergraduate or graduate nursing program this stamp of approval. Accreditation essentially serves as a guarantee to potential students that this nursing school or nursing program is committed to providing a top-notch education.

Programs must offer current coursework, have instructional-grade technology and equipment, and well-trained and educated professors, among other requirements, in order to receive accreditation as a nursing school. Every few years, reevaluations are required of accredited schools in order to preserve their accreditation.

In order to provide nursing school certification, the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) was formally established in 1996. For undergraduate and graduate students in the US, this is one major accrediting agency.

By establishing and upholding the high standards previously mentioned, encouraging the industry’s ongoing evolution to keep up with advances in medicine and technology, and promoting nursing as a vital profession that attracts the best and the brightest, they serve as a voice for post-secondary nursing education.

online nursing graduate programs
online nursing graduate programs

Accreditation of Nursing Schools: What to Look For

The CCNE effectively serves as the American Association of Colleges of Nursing’s independent accreditation division (AACN). Every certified nursing program in the US is a member of the AACN, a national membership organization that was established in 1969. The U.S. Department of Education has given them the responsibility of ensuring that nursing programs are run to the highest standards.

In its Standards of Accreditation document, the CCNE outlines the professional and institutional types of accreditation. In a later section, the paper states that institutional accreditation is concerned with the college, university, or institution as a whole, how well it fulfills the mission, and how closely it can foresee and adhere to goals.

The degree to which an institution satisfies the program’s stated objectives is determined by its professional accreditation. When establishing the CCNE accreditation requirements, both of these are taken into consideration.

You are not alone if your line of work casts you adrift in a sea of three- and four-letter abbreviations and left you perplexed over the differences between CCNE and ACEN. The “A” in ACEN comes before the “C” in CCNE, making it simple to recall that ACEN, which was created in 1969, is the larger organization and that CCNE, which was founded in 1996, is the accrediting arm. It’s that easy.

The CCNE only cares about the accreditation of nursing schools, while the ACEN is the agency in charge of oversight. What to look for when evaluating a nursing school’s accreditation depends on the goals you have for your education. In nursing, a CCNE accreditation is the benchmark.

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What are the various nursing levels?

An individual who is finishing high school and is certain that they want to pursue a nursing career in college may research an associate’s degree in nursing. These are two-year degrees that instruct nursing students in the fundamentals of nursing practice. But with only two years of coursework, some of the most theoretical approaches to nursing are left out, along with the business and in-depth legal components of their curriculum.

Alternatively, the same student might be interested in pursuing a 4-year Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree. A Certified Nursing Assistant certificate is the entry-level nursing qualification (CNA). This is an excellent course of study to understand the most fundamental techniques even though it is not a licensed program. Usually, in order to start working, at-home attendants and nursing care staff must obtain this certification.

Nurses can obtain a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree, which is a 4-year degree. The traditional BSN, where students enter as freshmen and concentrate on nursing as a major the entire time, is one of three basic routes to this goal.

Another choice is to enroll in an accelerated program of study with all of their non-nursing credits already transferred in if you already hold an undergraduate degree in another subject. A second-degree bachelors program or accelerated BSN program is what this is.

A person who already has an RN license, is employed as a nurse, and is interested in furthering their career can pursue the bridge nursing degree. This “bridge” could go from an RN to a BSN, an RN to an MSN, or even further. The advantage of the online alternative is that the nurse can apply their work to the practical needs of their course of study while still being actively employed.

Students who pursue further nursing education will eventually earn a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN), a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DPN), and a Doctor of Nursing Philosophy (DNP) (PhD). There is more to this.

How to Begin a Nursing Program

The LPN, or Licensed Practical Nurse, degree is the entry-level nursing license. The National Council Licensure Examination, or NCLEX, is a two-year associate degree in nursing that graduates can take.

If you succeed, you will soon be able to practice as a registered nurse. RNs must additionally pass a state board of nursing exam in order to obtain a complete license. Graduates will receive a pre-licensure RN (Registered Nurse) credential once they have finished all the necessary fundamentals.

Nurses may now register for the NCLEX exam, often known as the National Council Licensure Examination. Each state’s nursing board employs a globally recognized exam to determine whether students have taken the steps required to become competent entry-level nurses.

Since nurses are required to hold a license from their respective states in order to practice, regional accreditation confirms that the nursing program in question meets a high standard, and the NCLEX confirms this for the individual nurse. Specialized accreditation from CCNE also confirms this for the nursing program in question.

For the two separate entry-level possibilities for nurses, the NCLEX offers two different exams.


This is for nursing professionals who have completed a 2-year degree but are not interested in continuing their education. Technically speaking, nurses in this job are either Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) or Licensed Vocational Nurses (LVNs). The most fundamental and entry-level nursing position is this one.


This is for nurses who obtained their registered nurse license after completing a four-year nursing program or another type of training other than an LPN or LVN program.

How to Choose a Nursing Specialization

One of those professions where people from many walks of life, backgrounds, and ages enter is nursing. Where you begin your nursing career will depend on what you have accomplished in the period since you arrived. Additionally, there are several nursing degree requirements, which will somewhat alter the amount of coursework a nursing student must complete to get licensed.

In order to ensure that they graduate from school with a firm understanding of their preferred professional specialization, students can customize their education. One of the most crucial factors to think about when picking what to study is what you enjoy doing, what you are skilled at, and what programs you can afford. These specialty areas may include:

  • Neuroscience Nurse
  • Certified Post Anesthesia Nurse (CPAN)
  • Holistic Nurse
  • Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)
  • Nurse Executive
  • Public Health Nurse
  • Registered Nurse
  • Intensive Care Unit (ICU) Nurse
  • Nurse Educator
  • Emergency Room (ER) Nurse
  • School Nurse
  • Surgical Nurse
  • Certified Gastroenterology Registered Nurse
  • Case Management Nurse
  • Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA)
  • Occupational Health Nurse
  • Nurse-Midwifery
  • Nurse Practitioner
  • Nurse Anesthetist
  • Psychiatric Nurse
  • Neonatal Nursing
  • Pediatric Nursing
  • Geriatric Nursing

The ability to further your education online is one of the advantages of nursing degrees at and above the associate’s level. The fact that many nursing degrees above the LPN level are offered online is due to the fact that the first two years’ worth of coursework is heavily applied and hands-on.

These foundational instructional components call for on-site labs, stringent supervision, and regular understanding assessments. Typically, they train nurses to work in hospitals, clinics, or other healthcare facilities.

Nurses who obtain their 2-year RN license and start working later decide they want to pursue a more advanced degree can enroll in an online RN-BSN program or choose to pursue an RN to MSN program. With the second option, nurses can finish their Master’s degree while still working as a practical healthcare professional. Because of this flexibility, nursing leadership can anticipate a 12% increase in these jobs by the year 2028.

FAQS on Best guide to online nursing graduate programs

Which nursing masters degree is most in demand?

Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA)
Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP)
Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner (AGPCNP)
Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (AGACNP)
Pediatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner (PPCNP)

Do MSN get paid more than BSN?

MSN Salary Variations Higher annual income are frequently associated with higher education. PayScale reports that as of June 2021, the median annual salary for nurses with a BSN was approximately $86,800 and the median annual compensation for nurses with an MSN was approximately $96,300.

Can I study to be an RN online in Las Vegas?

The University of Nevada at Las Vegas and the University of Nevada Reno are two of the ten Nevada institutions that provide online nursing degrees. Both boast NCLEX pass rates of over 95% and provide graduate-level online nursing degrees.

Is an online BSN worth it?

After completing an online BSN program, students have a variety of job options. A person can continue working while enrolled in an online BSN program to assist them earn useful experience and improve their employment prospects.


Accredited institutions provide on-campus and online nursing degrees to help fill the urgent need for qualified nurses.

The format of an online bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) usually consists of degree completion. Candidates must hold a bachelor’s degree in a field other than nursing or an associate degree in nursing. Some online nursing programs accept candidates with adequate transferrable credits from a recognized institution in a related field of study.

Registered nurses (RNs) with a bachelor’s degree earn a median annual pay of $75,330, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). This wage is more than the $41,950 national median wage for all occupations. Additionally, the BLS forecasts an above-average 9% job growth for nurses between 2020 and 2030.

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