Both individual nursing courses and complete associate degree programs in nursing are available online for individuals interested in becoming registered nurses (RNs). Many of these programs are designed to enroll nurses who are currently working at the licensed practical nurse (LPN) level, since they already have a foundation of hands-on nursing experience.
Applicants who are not currently LPNs might consider looking for a program that allows them to complete online general education courses in subjects like math, communications and the humanities; many institutions offer this option. Applying these credits toward a traditional 2-year nursing degree program is one way to incorporate online learning into an on-campus program.
Online Associate-Level Nursing Courses
Below are descriptions of some commonly offered online nursing courses.
- Foundations of Nursing Course: This online course provides students with an overview of the standards, history and practices of the nursing profession. Nursing topics such as holistic patient care, multicultural awareness and mental health influences are introduced to students through virtual classroom interaction.
- Anatomy and Physiology Course: Through the use of Web-based videos and discussion boards, this online class introduces students to the multiple structural and functional systems within the human body. Understanding how the organs, nerves and body chemistry function independently and together is essential knowledge for those pursuing a medical career. Most nursing programs require a lab component in addition to this online course.
- Management and Communications Course: Nursing professionals are required to work with a variety of individuals within the health care system, so knowledge of proper leadership, management and communication skills is essential. This online class helps students understand the importance of establishing collaborative relationships and making executive decisions that benefit their fellow health care workers.
- Essentials of Nursing Care: Health Differences Course: Students learn to use skills and behaviors appropriate to different health care situations. Patient differences, such as nutritional status or mobility, must be taken into account when providing medical care; nursing students are taught to evaluate each patient in their unique situation.