Anyone who seeks a nursing degree, whether online or on campus, will discover that many nursing schools often look for previous experience when students apply for acceptance. This search for experience, whether it was a volunteer or paid position, remains a somewhat active criterion for those who seek a degree for working within a hospital or clinical or long-term facilities. However, you also may discover that a person who has little to no nursing experience is welcome to earn a double degree if that person already has obtained a college degree. Individuals who seek a double degree or a graduate degree or higher often seek administrative or managerial positions rather than hands-on nursing careers.

But, don’t let a lack of experience keep you from seeking a degree in nursing. Nursing degrees range from nursing diplomas to LPN/LVN certifications to a BSN, MSN or doctoral degree in nursing. You will find that many nursing degrees from the diploma to the BSN all meet the same goal — that of successfully passing an exam to become an RN, or registered nurse. But, the BSN and higher also allow students to focus on specialties within the nursing profession. These special courses include on-campus or online classes, research and hands-on applications in the field to be fully immersed in any given specialty.

Additionally, with today’s widespread nursing shortages, many schools seek to fulfill those jobs with qualified graduates. Students who wish to enter the field as quickly as possible can seek a degree as an LPN, find work, and then continue higher education while working. The LPN, perhaps more than any other degree, is the most difficult degree to earn totally online. The LPN must obtain hands-on learning to work in a health care facility, so some classes will need to be taken in an on-campus environment. But, to continue a degree, many students can advance their careers with online classes.

The desire to work as a nurse requires nursing education. It’s up to you to decide Whether you want to spend the next six years in college to qualify for a leadership role, or take two years to earn an LPN to enter the field as soon as possible. No matter what you decide, further education is always possible. In many cases, further education is a must to remain a viable candidate for employment within the nursing field.

Types of Nursing Degrees

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Top 10 Online Nursing Schools

University of Phoenix
University of Phoenix — BSN, MSN, and Certificate. The University of Phoenix is the nation's largest online university and currently offers several nursing programs at three different degree levels, based on previous nursing education and experience.

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Kaplan University
Kaplan University — Bachelor's, and Master's Nursing Degrees. Kaplan's School of Nursing offers specializations for nurse administrators and nurse educators.

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Grand Canyon University
Grand Canyon University — BS in Nursing (BSN) and MBA/MS in Nursing. Grand Canyon University offers a unique MBA/MS in nursing degree program that teaches students about the business aspect of healthcare, specifically nursing healthcare. Current nurses who want more business experience will find this may be an ideal fit.

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Liberty University
Liberty University — RN to BSN Degree and MSN Degree. The Department of Nursing at Liberty prepares students for baccalaureate level nursing, putting strong emphasis on Christian ethical standards and viewing nursing as a ministry of caring.

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Walden University
Walden University — M.S. in Nursing (RN Track), M.S in Nursing (BSN Track). Walden offers a wide variety of nursing degrees and certificates that are all accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

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