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Distance Education Nursing - How to Obtain a Nursing Degree Via Distance Education

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If you enjoy caring for people and have a lot of patience, then a nursing career may be a good fit for you. There is much demand for nurses due to the large elderly population. With about one million new jobs being created and pay increasing, there has never been a better time to join the nursing field. Even if you have a full-time job and family obligations, you can still obtain a degree via distance education, or online study. Distance education allows you to study from the comfort of your own home or anywhere with an Internet connection. There are nearly 100 accredited nursing programs available online.

Nurses work in a variety of settings. Not only do they work in hospitals and doctor’s offices, but also in clinics, mental health facilities, correctional facilities, laboratories, long term care facilities and even in the education field as school nurses.

Before enrolling in a program, you’ll need to determine what type of patients you are interested in caring for. Do you prefer babies, young children, teenagers, adults or the elderly? Perhaps you even want to focus on women, veterans or those of a specific ethnic background. You can even choose a specialty such as OB-GYN, cardiac, cancer, orthopedic, respiratory or cancer.

Once you decide what types of patients and settings you want to work with, you can start planning your education. Ther are three main types of nursing degrees: Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN), Registered Nurse (RN) and Advanced Practice. LPNs are the lowest level of nurses. They have basic, limited skills for patient care. RNs are the industry standard for nurses and are preferred in hospitals. They typically specialize in a type of patient care. Advanced Practice nurses are RNs who have a master’s degree in nursing and are certified as a nurse practitioner, nurse midwife, nurse anesthetist or clinical nurse.

Next, decide how long you want to study. You can aim for one year certificate/diploma and work as an LPN. If you study for a two-year associate’s degree, you can become certified as an RN, which is high in demand. You can even continue your education beyond that and study for a master’s or Ph.D. in nursing. Whatever degree you choose, expect to take classes in writing, sociology, physiology, psychology, anatomy, biology, chemistry, family, pediatric, geriatric and mental health, and pharmacology.

Next, search for distance education programs in nursing. Be wary of Web sites and colleges offering quick, easy and cheap nursing degrees via distance education. Do some research to ensure the college and program of your choice is accredited by your state board of nursing and the Department of Education before applying. Note that programs offered as distance education may not be fully online. For example, for lab or clinical components, you may have to perform hands-on training in a local doctor’s office, clinic or hospital.

Distance education is becoming a popular option for nursing degrees. There are many options when looking for a career in the nursing field. The opportunities are endless, plus it’s a selfless job where you’ll be doing a good deed by helping people.

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