The 5 Best Online Associate Nursing Degree Programs
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Nursing can be one of the most rewarding career paths and is one of the most in-demand, especially since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. While many nurses have bachelor's degrees or higher, only an associate degree is required to get started in this career. In this guide, we're sharing five of the best online associate nursing degree programs to help you find the right program for you.
5 Best Online Associate Nursing Degree Programs
The programs below are hybrid programs, meaning some of the coursework is online, and some is in-person. Especially with hands-on healthcare careers, we suggest attending at least part of your online associate nursing degree program in person so you can get live feedback on your patient care techniques.
Hybrid programs blend necessary education with the convenience of working wherever you want. Here are five of the best online associate nursing degree programs:
School type: Private
Net price: $21,608
Graduation rate: 80%
Ameritech College of Healthcare offers an associate of science in nursing degree that allows aspiring nurses to start their careers in as little as 20 months. This program is shorter than many, allowing you to start your career faster. It also boasts one of the highest NCLEX pass rates in the state, with scores consistently above the state and national levels.
Not only does this program provide all of the training you'll need to become a nurse, but they also offer job placement assistance to help you find your first nursing job.
School type: Private
Net price: $22,972
Graduation rate: 51%
Fortis College's associate degree in nursing provides a strong foundation for its students for a successful and rewarding career in the healthcare field.
Students receive a mix of traditional classroom instruction, online classes, and hands-on development in their academic and clinical instruction. The program at the Centerville campus is a hybrid program, with the majority of the program taken on campus, as well as some online.
Fortis College-Orange Park
School type: Private
Net price: $22,646
Graduation rate: 64%
Fortis College also offers a partially online associate nursing degree program at the Orange Park campus.
Fortis College-Salt Lake City
School type: Private
Net price: $24,238
Graduation rate: 58%
Fortis College's associate of nursing degree program at the Salt Lake City campus is a hybrid program, with the majority of the program taken on campus and some online.
Santa Fe College
School type: Public
Net price: $11,195
Graduation rate: 53%
Santa Fe College offers a two-year associate degree in nursing to prepare students to work as registered nurses. In this program, students spend about 50% of their time in clinical facilities and the other 50% in classroom and lab settings. In their hybrid program, some of the content is online.
How to Choose the Right Online Associate Nursing Degree Program
When you're choosing between different online associate nursing degree programs, it's important to consider how each program will fit with your lifestyle. Some programs are entirely online in terms of classroom learning, while others require plenty of in-person learning as well.
Additionally, any nursing degree requires some education in a clinical setting, even for online students. It's important to consider whether you'll be doing your education during the day or in the evening so you can choose a program that fits your needs.
Next, consider the reputation and quality of instructors at each program. Additionally, each program you consider should be accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization.
Finally, consider what other services each program has to offer. In addition to quality instruction, many nursing programs provide internships, externships, job placement, and more that can benefit students once they've finished their schooling.
How to Become a Nurse
When it comes to education, only an associate degree is required to become a registered nurse. Upon completing school, most states require that aspiring nurses pass a licensing exam and become licensed with the state. They may also be required to go through continuing education to maintain their license.
In addition to the schooling, there's also lots of hands-on training required to become a nurse. Any nursing program you choose will require clinical training, and there will be plenty of on-the-job training once you start your nursing career.
Other Ways to Become a Nurse
While only an associate degree is required to become a nurse, many people take different educational paths to get there. It's common for nurses to complete a bachelor's degree in nursing before entering the field. Such a degree usually takes four years to complete.
Additionally, some nurses earn their master's degrees to become nurse practitioners and more. While these advanced degrees require more time and greater schooling costs, they also have higher pay and more career opportunities.
Paying for Nursing Classes with Financial Aid
Barbara Rhomberg Excellence in Nursing Scholarship
- Who qualifies for the scholarship: Nontraditional undergraduate nursing students working toward an associate or bachelor's degree
- What/how much it covers: $1,000
- Deadline: Varies
The Foundation of the National Student Nurses' Association, Inc. Scholarship
- Who qualifies for the scholarship: Undergraduate students currently enrolled in a state-approved nursing program leading to an associate degree, baccalaureate, diploma, and more.
- What/how much it covers: Varies
- Deadline: February 11
Healthline Stronger Scholarship
- Who qualifies for the scholarship: Certain undergraduate and graduate students at accredited US institutions who demonstrate a commitment to addressing the chosen health and wellness subject.
- What/how much it covers: Up to $7,500
- Deadline: Varies
Companies with Tuition Reimbursement Incentive Programs (TRIPs)
In addition to scholarships and grants, students can also pay for their nursing degrees with tuition reimbursement from an employer. Some healthcare employers that offer tuition reimbursement include Mayo Clinic, Baylor Health Care System, Cleveland Clinic, and more.
FAQs on Online Nursing Associate Degree Programs
Are there fully-online nursing associate degrees?
While many nursing associate degree programs offer online coursework, they still require some sort of in-person training for hands-on experience.
How long are online associate nursing degree programs?
Online associate nursing degree programs often take two years to complete, but you can complete some even more quickly.
How much do online associate nursing degree programs cost?
The price tag for an online associate nursing degree program depends on which program you choose, but many programs cost less than $20,000.
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