Online Associate of Science Programs in Nursing

Online associate's degree programs in nursing are typically offered in a hybrid format that requires you to complete on-campus lab and clinical work. Check the prerequisites for admission to one of these programs. Review the courses you'd take as an online nursing student, and get info on the licensure requirements for becoming a registered nurse. Read about advancing your education in a bachelor's degree program in nursing. Schools offering Nursing degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Can I Earn an Associate of Science in Nursing Exclusively Online?

You'll most commonly find associate degrees in nursing via campus-based curricula. Colleges may confer an Associate of Applied Science in Nursing or an Associate Degree in Registered Nursing. Several online nursing programs are intended for residents of the state where the college is located.

When available, online programs typically include components that must be completed on a campus or in a clinical setting approved by the college. The in-person requirement includes clinical rotations that give you experience planning patient care as you progress in your nursing study. These can be completed in a local hospital, health center or other healthcare facility.

Online nursing programs include lecture-based coursework that you can complete entirely online. These subjects are identical to the courses you would take in a campus-based program. Your coursework will be delivered through an online platform, such as Moodle or Blackboard. Using a computer with high-speed Internet access, you'll watch recorded lectures, communicate through e-mail with faculty members and participate in discussion boards with your fellow students.

Online A.S. in Nursing Online programs typically include components that must be completed on campus or in an approved setting; classes often delivered via Moodle or Blackboard platforms
Prerequisites Online programs designed for students with some prior nursing training, like licensed practical nurses (LPNs), vocational nurses (LVNs) and certified nursing assistants (CNAs)
Common Courses Nursing leadership and management, mental health nursing, family health, nursing practices
Career Options Become a registered nurse (RN); work in hospitals, nursing care facilities, ambulatory care nursing and rehabilitation
Median Salary (2018) $71,730 (for all registered nurses
Job Outlook (2016-2026) 15% growth (for all registered nurses)  

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 

Are There Any Prerequisites?

Online associate's degree programs in nursing are often meant for students who already have some nursing training. Depending on the program, you could qualify if you are a licensed practical nurse (LPN) - also known as a licensed vocational nurse (LVN) - or a certified nursing assistant (CNA). The coursework to become a CNA or LPN can typically be completed in a year or less of study.

Anatomy, physiology and chemistry courses are often prerequisites for admission. In addition, some programs require you to earn professional training that is relevant to nursing. This may include cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) certification, which can be achieved through completion of a single-day course.

What Courses Will I Take?

Your coursework will involve essential nursing practices in preparation for your career. You'll learn how to care for various groups of people and help them cope with their illness or injury. This may include courses on mental health nursing or family health. You may even take a class in nursing leadership and management.

What Can I Do With This Degree?

Most associate degree programs in nursing prepare you to become a registered nurse (RN). To become an RN by earning a state license, you'll need to pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN). As an RN, you can work in a multitude of healthcare settings, from hospitals to nursing care facilities. You can specialize your career by location or treatment area. For example, you might work in long-term care nursing, ambulatory care nursing or rehabilitation nursing.

In many cases, you will need additional study to advance your career. Many colleges offer online RN-to-BSN degree programs that build on your associate's degree curriculum, enabling you to earn your Bachelor of Science in Nursing. Beyond the BSN, other options range from certificate programs to master's or doctoral degree programs.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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