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Becoming a Registered Nurse

Becoming a Registered Nurse (RN), can be an excellent career move. Registered Nurses are in short supply throughout the United States. In California, hospitals are struggling to meet a new, first-in-the-nation requirement that they have one nurse on duty for every five patients at all times, and officials say most institutions are falling short. One of the main factors contributing to the nursing shortage is the diminishing number of new students in nursing. For those who are unable, for whatever reason, to enroll in a bricks and mortar nursing program, an online registered nurse degree program might be the answer.

What hospitals need

As a result of improved technology and managed-care issues, only the sickest patients require hospital stays and intense treatment. Thus, hospitals and other institutions need more nurses, especially those who deliver specialized care.

Benefits to new nurses

If you think you'd like to become a registered nurse and want to enroll in an online registered nurse program, you might be interested to know that the nursing shortage may mean a better job for you. Because so many hospitals and institutions are working hard to attract high-quality registered nurses, many are offering large sign-on bonuses and are advertising significant salary increases for key specialties, such as intensive care.

Staying connected

Students enrolled in an online registered nurse program take courses and will usually have access online to lectures, reading materials, assignments, exams and instructors. You can communicate with your professors and classmates through e-mail and web-based thread discussions. Although you might think you are isolated when you participate in an online course, many people say it's just the opposite. Distance learning methods encourage interaction and networking among those who participate.

Bachelor of Science in Nursing Degree

The Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree is widely considered a standard requirement for registered nurses seeking broader professional responsibilities and career opportunities. Accredited online registered nurse degree programs make it possible for RNs to complete the education needed to enhance their skills to better meet the demands of patient care and qualify for new opportunities in specialized nursing and management. If you want to work in case manager and supervisory positions, you will need a degree. This degree is also needed if you would like to continue your studies and achieve a graduate degree in nursing.

Classes to take

Coursework for a RN degree online includes current trends in nursing practice, foundations in nursing practice, pathophysiology, pharmacotherapeutics, nursing research, physiological nursing, advanced health assessment, advanced physiological nursing, leadership in nursing, capstone study project, communications in nursing, complementary and alternative medicine in nursing practice, mental health nursing, forensic nursing, community health nursing, introduction to pharmacology, nursing and families, nursing and managed care, pain assessment and intervention in nursing practice, adult health and illness and writing for publication.

If you'd like to get your Registered Nurse degree online, there are many programs available and you can start and finish at your own pace.

Schools to consider: