Online Pre-Nursing Programs
If you intend on continuing your education toward a bachelor's or master's degree program in nursing, you may want to look into a pre-nursing program. Continue reading to find out what a pre-nursing program is, when you can start one, how to become certified and how to take classes online.
What Is a Pre-Nursing Training Program?
The term 'pre-nursing' can refer to several academic paths. Some programs are meant for current high school students looking to get a jump start on their college education. Other pre-nursing programs are specifically designed to train you for a job as a certified nursing assistant (CNA).
If you hold a licensed practical nurse (LPN) certificate and wish to eventually pursue a bachelor's degree in nursing, you can enroll in an associate's degree program that gives you credit for your LPN and offers courses that prepare you for baccalaureate nursing education. Such programs may be conferred in liberal arts or general studies, and they don't alone prepare you for licensure as a registered nurse (RN).
|Pre-Nursing Programs||Refers to programs for current high school students and those leading to nursing assistant certification|
|LPN Certification Holders||Can enroll in associate degree programs to gain credit in order to pursue a bachelor's degree in nursing|
|When You Can Start||Programs for high school students can start during their junior year; high school graduates can pursue pre-nursing CNA program at any time|
|Getting Certified||Your state's board of nursing can grant you CNA certification; the National Federation of Licensed Practical Nurses and the American Nurses Credentialing Center grant LPNs and registered nurses their certification; licenses prior to certification are obtained through the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX)|
|Distance Learning||Email, internet, basic software and a printer are required; content delivered via video, interactive learning platforms and other media; some hands-on campus-based training may be necessary|
|Median Salary (2018)||$46,240 (for all licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses)|
|Job Outlook (2016-2026)||12% growth (for all licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses)|
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
When Can I Start This Program?
Schools that offer pre-nursing training to high school students may admit you as early as your junior year. These pre-nursing programs allow you as a high school student to take foundational courses on biology and human health for a smooth transition into a nursing program. Some of these classes are even offered online to allow you to continue your high school education without disruption.
If you're already a high school graduate, you can pursue a pre-nursing CNA program at any time. CNA programs train you to assist licensed nurses and provide essential grooming, bathing and feeding services to patients.
If you already have LPN licensure, you can go on to a liberal arts-based associate's degree program designed to prepare you for a bachelor's degree program in nursing. These programs include full liberal arts general education curricula and provide coursework that allows you to test out of many bachelor's degree-level nursing courses. Unlike some associate's degree programs, however, these preparatory programs don't prepare you for RN licensure.
How Do I Become Certified?
If you're looking for CNA certification, you'll need to pass an exam proctored by your state's board of nursing. LPNs and registered nurses earn certification through various professional organizations, including the National Federation of Licensed Practical Nurses and the American Nurses Credentialing Center. Before pursuing certification, you'd need to earn a license by passing the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) for your respective career levels. The NCLEX exams are developed by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (www.ncsbn.org).
How Are Online Courses Delivered?
Colleges offering online pre-nursing courses require a valid e-mail (some provide you with a unique e-mail address), working Internet, file-viewing programs such as Adobe Reader and Flash Player, document software such as Microsoft Word and a printer. Lectures are delivered through streaming video. Some college websites offer interactive pre-nursing modules that allow you to practice your terminology and newly learned concepts. Most pre-nursing training programs are hybrids and require some time on campus to develop hands-on skills, such as working with basic biomedical equipment and performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).