Nursing careers involve taking on a variety of responsibilities, ranging from patient care and monitoring treatment to assisting doctors. Throughout the world, the pandemic has pushed the demand for nurses to an all-time high. The nursing profession has excellent growth possibilities.
According to Gallup’s annual Most Honest and Ethical Professions Poll, nurses topped the list as the most honest and trustworthy profession for the 20th year in a row. Because they act as confidantes and liaisons between doctors and families, nurses enjoy a high level of trust. Nursing is a profession that is difficult to match, especially during a pandemic and pandemic recovery, due to this degree of professional respect and the fact that nurses have committed their lives to assisting others.
There are millions of opportunities for nurse practitioners, especially in the current scenario where there is a significant shortage of nursing staff in all types of organizations. As the world is still affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, hospitals are continually looking for nursing staff to meet their requirements. Nurses are also essential for fulfilling all the neglected healthcare needs that were put on the backburner during the pandemic. This means that there are many opportunities for registered nurses to choose from based on their skills, experience, and interests.
Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degrees, Associate Degrees in Nursing (ADNs), Master’s of Science in Nursing (MSN) degrees, and Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degrees are just a few of the qualifications that may be earned through online nursing schools. While having dual degrees may open up more job options, accelerated and online programs can shorten the time it takes to graduate.
What are the different degrees in nursing?
Most of the highest-paying nursing jobs require an advanced or higher degree. Moreover, many of the jobs have specific specialization requirements. As the job openings are increasing in the profession, having a higher degree will also give you an advantage over your peers and boost your confidence.
Each of the different career paths in nursing has a different set of certificate requirements.
Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) – In the past, a BSN was considered a sufficient degree and a minimum requirement for qualifying for nursing administrator roles. At present, most employers look for a master’s as a prerequisite for administrative positions.
Nurses with a BSN are qualified to become registered nurses (RNs), and they can manage a patient’s treatment plan, supervise junior staff, and educate patients and their families about their illness and wellness.
Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) – An MSN has become a prerequisite for nurse management and administrator positions, which is good news for nurses who are aiming for leadership roles in their industry. Some of the highest-paying nursing jobs, such as neonatal nurse practitioners, also require at least a master’s degree, along with a specific specialization.
Graduates with an MSN can explore specialized nursing levels. The knowledge and skills acquired through these programs give candidates what they need to pursue national certification in a specialist field, such as obstetrics, pediatrics, or geriatrics.
Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) – This degree can help nursing professionals move into leadership roles and boost their confidence through training and experience. Nurses with a DNP degree qualify for careers such as nursing educators, Doctors of Nursing, and nurse administrators. This program offers an online DNP option to accelerate the transition from being a nurse.
Ph.D. in Nursing Degree (PND) – Nurses working toward a Ph.D. in nursing usually bring research into healthcare innovations and novel approaches to the care of patients.
Why can studying online kickstart your nursing career?
Suppose you are considering advancing your career in the field of nursing. In that case, you can choose to pursue online education through a reputable university, or you can opt for a regular coursework program.
The benefit of choosing an online mode of classes is that you can pursue the new degree along with your usual workload and other commitments. You can design your courses in such a way that you can continue working, and you don’t have to leave your job to advance your education.
It is a common misconception that an online program will not have a practical component where you can gain in-person clinical experiences. Moreover, choosing an online program does not mean that you won’t have any practical or field training. Most online nursing programs have a hybrid format where concepts and contents are covered in online classes, while the in-person clinical component is in the field, where concepts can be applied in real-life situations.
How to choose the right online nursing program
Before selecting an online nursing program, it is important to see if it passes the following checklist.
- In-person clinical experiences are included in the program.
- Despite the university being in a different location, the in-person clinical training is organized in an area that is easily accessible to remote students or is nearby to the student’s location.
- Online learning experiences use real-time communication tools such as live chat and video conferencing to keep the courses interactive.
- Courses are designed in collaboration with preceptors so that the program includes all that is required and relevant in the field and profession.
- The online program should have strategies to make the coursework innovative and teach using evidence-based studies so they can offer effective learning experiences.
These are some of the important points to keep in mind while comparing online nursing programs for advancing your education. A good nursing program will help you become better equipped to deal with all the professional challenges you may face in the field. To make a decision about the program, you can consider several factors, such as the faculty, online and residency experiences, testimonials, university accreditation, and even the ROI and cost of the program.
Faculty: The teaching faculty profile will greatly impact the quality of the nursing program. You should review the skills and experiences of the teaching faculty, as some of them will become your mentors in the online nursing program. Reviewing their profiles will also give you confidence about the online program.
Online experience: You can find information about what to expect in the online course. You may also get an opportunity to attend a webinar or even a virtual open house to observe the online practices. This will allow you to interact with faculty and get answers to any questions you have related to the program and courses.
Residency experience: You may have the opportunity to learn advanced nursing evaluation and other nursing skills from faculty before entering the real-life clinical setting during a brief on-site experience, frequently referred to as a residency experience. One should not undervalue the importance of the brief in-person time needed for an online nursing program. For many students, this residency experience is the program’s most essential feature to make sure you are ready for practice as you participate in a brief but intensive hands-on training session with a clinical checkoff.
Accreditation and testimonials: Accredited nursing study programs have glowing recommendations from both current and former students. What better approach to assess an online program could there be than getting feedback from students who have actually graduated from it?
ROI comparing potential salary and program cost: The return on investment is an important parameter that you can evaluate by comparing your potential salary with the cost of the online nursing program. The cost of tuition will vary among universities and even geographical locations.
With these key points for consideration, you will be able to find the best online nursing program to advance your career in the field.
Can you really get a nursing degree online?
The idea of earning a nursing degree online is a topic of considerable discussion. While some people contend that online learning cannot provide proper education, others assert that it is an excellent method of instruction. Is it truly possible to earn a nursing degree online?
The answer is a resounding “yes”. In fact, earning your degree online has certain undeniable benefits. Your schedule will be much more flexible, which is the biggest benefit, especially if you are working. Being able to study at your own speed and on your own schedule is ideal for working individuals who might find it difficult to dedicate themselves to a traditional nursing program.
Can you get a job with an online degree in nursing studies?
Most institutions do not distinguish between nursing graduates coming from traditional educational programs and online programs. This means that you can get a job after earning your nursing degree online and kickstart your career in the noble nursing profession. The most important thing to keep in mind while selecting an online program is that it should be accredited by a national regulating body and approved by the state board of nursing.
5 Highest-paying nursing careers
Nursing is not just a profession of compassion; it is also a very rewarding profession. Monetary compensation is a big factor influencing the way nurses feel about their profession and how much effort they put into advancing their skills and knowledge.
Some of the highest paying nursing careers include Nurse Anesthetist, Critical Care Nurse, Neonatal Nurse Practitioner and others.
1. Family Nurse Practitioner
A Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) takes care of patients across their lifespan. As the name suggests, these nurses can take care of everything from geriatrics to pediatric cases. They provide primary care, manage patients, and educate them regarding the best health maintenance practices. FNPs can be a part of a hospital, private practice, community clinic, and other institution.
An FNP earns an average annual salary of around $105,000, along with several additional benefits worth up to $25,000 depending on the nurse’s education and experience.
To become a family nurse practitioner, you need an advanced degree, such as a Bachelor’s or Master’s in Nursing, along with basic RN training. There are plentiful opportunities for FNPs, and they are going to be one of the most sought-after specialty roles among nurse practitioners in the future.
2. Critical Care Nurse
Critical Care Nurses (CCNs) are essentially the hospital nurses in departments such as ICUs (intensive care) or critical care units, trauma units, cardiac care and surgical units. They are responsible for the patients in the most critical conditions. Many of these patients may be on life support, so their care involves complete equipment management and caring for them.
A critical care nurse can earn up to $115,000 in a year, including benefits and bonuses. Nurses looking for a career as a critical care nurse need to have good communication skills as they will have to interact with other nurses and patients’ families. You can become a CCN after graduating with a BSN and an associate degree in nursing, but most institutions prefer candidates with a specialization certification.
3. Pediatric Nurse Practitioner
One of the many varieties of NPs is the pediatric nurse practitioner (PNP). These are the nurse practitioners who provide treatment and care for patients in the age range of infancy to late adolescence. PNPs may find great career prospects in hospitals, outpatient clinics, schools, universities, and independent practices. Under the bigger umbrella of pediatric care, they may have a focus or specialization in acute care or primary care.
As a pediatric nurse practitioner, you can earn an average salary of up to $111,000 per year; the exact number depends on your education and experience.
To work as a pediatric nurse practitioner, you will need a master’s degree in nursing or a specialization certificate post-master’s with a focus on pediatrics. An additional certification from the regulatory board may also be required.
4. Neonatal Nurse Practitioner
The treatment and care of high-risk newborns and their families are provided by neonatal nurse practitioners (NNPs) who diagnose and treat acute and chronic illnesses that may be brought on by genetic or congenital abnormalities.
Neonatal nurse practitioners earn an annual salary in the range of $95,000 to $160,000 depending on their specialization, education, and experience.
Higher advanced education is required, along with a post-master’s certification in neonatal care. A certification from the regulatory board will also be required to register as an NNP. With the continuing advancement in technology and increasing numbers of premature births, there will be a high demand for neonatal nurse practitioners in the future.
5. Nurse Anesthetist
Perioperative, intraoperative, and postoperative anesthesia treatment are some of the main responsibilities of a nurse anesthetist. Anesthetics are a very tailored care protocol as they must be customized according to the patient’s age and legal recommendations. Patient safety during and after the procedure is the main priority. The nurse anesthetist may be expected to oversee trainee nurse anesthetists in addition to being in charge of the anesthesia documentation.
Nurse anesthetists are renumerated quite handsomely and are one of the highest-paid nurse practitioners. According to statistics, the average annual salary of a nurse anesthetist is around $195,000.
To become a certified nurse anesthetist, you must have a degree from an accredited master’s program and get a certificate issued by the national certifying authority. Additionally, a nurse anesthetist needs to be able to work well with other medical professionals, so communication skills are essential.
The importance of nurses in their communities is unparalleled. Along with all the other nursing career paths, nurse leaders who ensure good patient outcomes and high-quality patient care while advancing the careers of their nursing colleagues are necessary for effective nursing. Nurse leaders can learn the knowledge and abilities necessary to succeed in leadership roles and design a successful nursing career path through online nursing programs.
Nurses are always going to be in demand to fulfill the healthcare needs of the world in a variety of different roles and specializations. It is a great choice for a profession as you will not only get to feel good by helping those in need, but you will also get financial satisfaction from the job.
To become a successful nurse practitioner, you can always work on advancing your skills and education. This will set you apart from your peers and give you better chances of advancing professionally in your chosen career. The best part is that you can work on advancing your skills through online nursing study programs while working in your current job.
There are a variety of online programs available, and you can choose the best one to suit your professional requirements, aspirations, budget and other parameters.