Nursing Degrees


In 2010, nurses scored high in the annual Honesty and Ethics Gallup poll as having high or very high ethical standards. Nurses are the face of the health care system, and opportunities in the field are growing. In this career, you can choose from many options for specializations and places of employment, ranging from hospitals to schools. Online nursing degree programs can help you get your foot in the door or further your career in health services.

Careers in nursing

Nurses fulfill a range of functions, depending on their degree level. Certified nurse assistants and licensed practical nurses may monitor vital signs, administer medication and help with basic care. Registered nurses take medical histories, provide patient education and develop nursing care plans. Advanced practice nurses may evaluate and diagnose patients or provide well-patient exams. Nurses with a background in management can enter nursing administration.

Nursing education and training

Since much of the training is hands-on, most online nursing degree programs offer a hybrid approach to the degree. Licensed practical and vocational nurses can generally earn their degree with one year of training, which includes supervised clinical work.

Registered nurses can choose from various training options:

  1. Hospital-based diploma program
  2. Associate degree in nursing
  3. Bachelor's degree in nursing

Advanced practice nurses must have a master's degree. Some online nursing degrees, such as the accelerated BSN or MSN programs, are designed for nurses who have already earned a degree and want to further their education while continuing to work full time in health care.

Nursing employment growth and salary

The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects jobs for licensed practical and vocational nurses to grow by 22 percent from 2010 to 2020, compared to a 26 percent rise for RNs. This increase reflects health care trends such as an aging population, advances in medical technology and more patients who prefer home care. The mean annual wage for LPNs and LVNs was $41,360 in 2010, while RNs made $67,720, the BLS reports.

Nursing Schools

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5 Program(s) Found

An accredited online university, Capella University offers bachelor’s, master’s/MBA, doctoral, and certificate programs designed to take you to the forefront of your profession. Our competency-based curriculum delivers foundational knowledge and real-world skills, so what you’re learning is immediately applicable to your career. Right now, more than 36,000 students are expanding their opportunities with Capella programs.

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  • Registered nurses, advance your career - earn your Master of Science in Nursing online with GCU.
  • Our MSN degree will strengthen your knowledge, values, analytical and critical thinking skills so you are prepared to advocate the highest-level of care possible.
  • GCU prepares nurses for leadership roles in today's rapidly changing healthcare delivery systems.
  • Earn an MSN degree with an emphasis in health care informatics, nursing education, public health and more.
  • The baccalaureate degree in nursing and master's degree in nursing at GCU are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
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  • Designated as a 2015 Military Friendly® School by Victory Media, publishers of G.I. Jobs®.
  • Each program is designed to instill the knowledge, ethical values, and interpersonal skills of professional practice and to foster values of social responsibility.
  • Offers several flexible learning options, including a blended format that combines campus and online learning.
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