Top 10 Online Colleges for Health Degrees for 2013
The health care field is historically one of the most stable, in demand professions. Across the nation, the health care industry is in need of educated professionals. The need for nurses specifically is expected to consistently continue to rise significantly over the next ten years. Obtaining a degree in the field of nursing will provide individuals with extensive career opportunities in a range of settings without geographical limitations. Individuals interested in beginning a degree program in a challenging field with substantial career opportunities will find that nursing suitably corresponds to these requirements. Individuals who have already obtained a certificate or undergraduate degree in the field of nursing will find that higher levels of education result in substantial career advancement opportunities and salary ranges which increase exponentially.
Many reputable institutions of higher learning have responded to the needs of the working adult population by providing online degree programs to individuals just beginning on their educational path and to those who are endeavoring to progress towards educational and career advancement with the completion of advanced degrees. Completing a degree program while trying to continue working in the profession can pose a challenge to many individuals who find themselves overwhelmed with work and domestic responsibilities that hinder their ability to attend a traditional college. The solution to this dilemma is presented in the form of distance learning options. Online programs offer the same high quality degree programs as traditional institutions. The curriculums for the online programs are designed based on the standards prescribed by highly regarded professional organizations regulating the education of health care professionals. Obtaining a degree delivered through online courses will result in the same career advancement opportunities as one would receive after completing a degree program on campus.
Below is a list of the top ranked, accredited nursing degree programs offered:
The University of Phoenix, established in 1976, is regarded as a leading provider of high quality online degree programs, certificate programs and professional development courses. The University of Phoenix offers students the option of completing programs entirely through online classes or at one of their 200 campus locations across the country. Classes are offered on a continuous basis, allowing students to begin as soon as they are ready. Courses are completed one at a time to allow students the time needed to fully comprehend the subject being studied. The curriculum for the degree programs offered at the University of Phoenix are routinely reviewed and updated to ensure students receive the most current knowledge and training available within their area of study. In addition to the flexible scheduling, continuous enrollment and quality programs, the University of Phoenix offers students access to their extensive digital library. The nursing programs offered at the University of Phoenix are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.
The College of Nursing at the University of Phoenix offers a range of comprehensive degree programs in the health fields. Students are offered the opportunity to complete an RN to a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program, to obtain a Master of Science in Nursing or a Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing. The BSN program expands on the skills and knowledge students have attained through their previous education and experience in the areas of biology, physical science, social science. Emphasis is placed on the quality of care provided to patients. The Master of Nursing program offers areas of concentration from which students are permitted to select including business and teaching. Certificate programs and professional development courses are also offered to students enrolled at the University of Phoenix. The instructors teaching the courses at the University of Phoenix are licensed nurses with a minimum of five years of experience in their fields of instruction.
Kaplan University has earned a reputation as a leading provider of online, distance learning educational programs. Students enrolled at Kaplan are offered the advantage of flexible scheduling, with high quality, career focused degree programs. The degree program include practical application of the skills learned through the online courses by providing students with the opportunity to participate in various aspects of the nursing and health care profession. The School of Nursing at Kaplan University boasts a high success rate among their nursing students, with more than 250,000 passing the NCLEX-RN exam. Kaplan University also assists students with the development of a professional plan and goals. The faculty members instructing the courses are experienced nursing professionals who are published authors in renowned industry journals. Kaplan University’s nursing program is accredited by the Commission of Collegiate Nursing Education.
The School of Nursing at Kaplan University offers an RN to BSN program resulting in a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. Earning the BSN provides graduates with advanced opportunities in the health care field. The 93 credit nursing degree program includes studies in the area of theory, empirical research, behavioral and biophysical sciences and professional care. Students learn the basic competencies necessary to be successful leaders in the nursing field, develop skills in communication and problem solving and attain an understanding of their ethical and professional responsibilities. Students attain advanced knowledge which enables them to provide higher quality patient care, assume leadership roles and develop skills in areas essential to the nursing profession. The BSN program can be completed in only one year’s time. Students also have the option of pursuing a Master of Science in nursing which can be completed in as little as eighteen months. The curriculum for both degree programs provide training with the most technologically advanced medical equipment and testing methods.
Capella University is a well regarded provider of quality distance learning programs with flexible scheduling options. Students are provided with industry relevant curriculum utilizing the most current and advanced knowledge and technology. The courses at Capella University are usually taught in a prescribed sequence. Because of this practice and as an added convenience to their students, Capella University is able to provide an automatic course registration option where students are enrolled automatically for the next course in their sequence upon completion of the previous course. The electronic textbooks and interactive multi-media materials are another convenient benefit and resource for students. The nursing programs offered at Capella University include bridge programs, degree completion programs and specialization options which expand their student’s knowledge, skills and abilities within the areas essential for successful practice in the health care field. Capella University is in the process of attaining their accreditation through the Commission of Collegiate Nursing Education for their nursing programs and is currently accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and is a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
The School of Public Service Leadership at Capella University offers an RN to BSN degree completion program and a bridge program where students who possess a bachelor degree in a field other than nursing are able to earn a Master of Science in Nursing. The 180 credit BSN program curriculum is designed based on the requirements of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing. The 84 credit Master of Science in nursing program is offered to licensed registered nurses. The program curriculum for the MSN also complies with the regulations established by the A ACN by including subject areas required in the undergraduate nursing degree programs as well as requisite courses for the master program. Areas of study include health care systems and policies, health promotion, patient education and technology. Since the program is intended as a program for individuals interested in pursuing a career in nursing education, students also learn to design, deliver and evaluate nursing education programs. Courses offered within the curriculum include policy, law, ethics and regulations, nursing leadership and management, introduction to nursing research and technology, introduction to nursing concepts, organizational and systems leadership for nursing practice, role of the professional practice nurse and teaching and learning strategies.
The School of Nursing at Walden University is ranked as having the second largest online graduate program in nursing by the US News & World Report, boasting an adult student body of more than 40,000. The curriculum is developed from industry experts and professionals and taught by “100% doctorally prepared faculty members”. The degree programs are designed to meet the requirements of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing and are proven to develop leadership and collaboration skills. The flexible degree programs can be completed in as little as twelve to eighteen months. Students enrolled at Walden University are offered individualized technical, academic and career support from experienced advisers. Walden University has formed alliances with several renowned health organizations to provide students with access to industry relevant degree programs, offering tuition reductions other benefits to students with associations to Walden University partners. Walden University is accredited by the North Central Association of Schools and Colleges and the nursing program is accredited through the Commission of Collegiate Nursing Education.
The School of Nursing at Walden University offers a range of degree options in the nursing major. Students are able to pursue a bachelor of science in nursing online degree completion program, a master of science in nursing general RN track or an MSN BSN track education or informatics track. The 180 credit BSN degree completion program permits students who are already registered nurses and possess either a certificate or associate degree to obtain a bachelor in the field of nursing. The program can be completed in as little as eighteen months. The challenging curriculum provides evidence based training in the areas of cultural diversity, core and specialty nursing practices and knowledge and holistic patient care. The program develops students’ skills in critical thinking and problem solving. Students are permitted to transfer in up to 135 credits. The program requires students to complete 45 credits in general education courses. Courses offered within the program include issues and trends in nursing, the context of health care delivery, pathopharmacology, health assessment, topics in clinical nursing and research and scholarship for evidence based practice.
Grand Canyon University, founded in 1949, is a private Christian university which has evolved into a well regarded provider of distance learning programs committed to providing high quality degree programs. The College of Nursing at Grand Canyon University is recognized as a leading provider of nursing education and training. Graduates of the program are sought by employers and graduate and research institutions resulting in a respectable career placement rate. Grand Canyon University emphasizes a student centered approach to learning; supported by dedicated faculty members committed to the success of their students. The degree programs include five semesters of clinical coursework where students attain experience and satisfy the requirements to become licensed. Grand Canyon University is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education and the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education.
The College of Nursing and Health Sciences at Grand Canyon University provides rigorous concentrated career degree programs with a solid liberal arts foundation to ensure graduates are prepared for successful careers in the health care and nursing fields. The challenging degree programs provide a comprehensive curriculum which teaches ethical and responsible professionalism and quality patient care. In addition, the program serves to develop their students’ skills in communications. The curriculum is theory based but incorporates practical application of skills. Students learn to provide health care to diverse populations and to care for the person as a whole, spiritual, physical, emotional, social and intellectual. The programs offered at the College of Nursing include the pre-Licensure Bachelor of Science in Nursing and RN to Bachelor of Science in Nursing. The Master of Science in nursing degree programs include clinical nurse specialist, family nurse practitioner, nursing education and nursing leadership in health care systems.
National American University, established in 1941, provides quality, career relevant degree programs for the most in demand fields; serving a domestic and international student body. The University has grown to include campuses in several states as well as its highly regarded online campus. The programs offered at National American University provide flexible schedule options both on campus and online. The degree completion programs provide an option designed specifically to facilitate the successful completion of the program at an accelerated pace which permits students to complete major specific courses prior to the general education curriculum. The degree programs are regularly reviewed and assessed by an advisory board to ensure students receive the most current training. The courses are taught by committed faculty members with industry experience. National American University is accredited by the Higher Learning commission and is a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and schools.
The school of Nursing at national American University offers an online RN to Bachelor of Science in nursing and a Master of Science in nursing program. The nursing degree programs are currently being processed for full accreditation through the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. The School of Nursing at National American University endeavors to produce graduates prepared to provide holistic health care for a diverse population. The program instills a sound and responsive work ethic within the students and the curriculum ensures students are prepared with the knowledge and proficiencies to provide competent care. The theory based course work provides students with the advanced knowledge and skills necessary to evaluate and apply research, to manage patients effectively and to effectively utilize knowledge acquired from the arts and science fields. The School of Nursing emphasizes the need to adapt to a rapidly changing environment, the need for effective clinical judgments and promotes lifelong learning.
6. Liberty University
Liberty University, founded in 1971, is a private Christian institution which offers quality, flexible degree programs. Liberty University has developed into a well regarded institution, serving a student body of more than 11,000 residential and more than 45,000 distance learning students. Students are offered the opportunity to attend classes on campus or to complete entire degree programs online. The degree programs are tailored to produce graduates prepared to positively impact the profession in which they plan to enter. The faculty members teaching the courses are dedicated instructors committed to instilling the importance of life long learning and promoting leadership skills. Liberty University is accredited by the Commission on colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and their nursing program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.
The Department of Nursing at Liberty University offers an RN to Bachelor of Science in nursing for students already possessing at least an associate and Master of Science in nursing program. The programs center on theoretical study and incorporate fundamental studies in the arts and sciences. Students learn goal development, delivery of care, to provide high quality patient care, monitoring and diagnostics and patient management. The 120 credit Bachelor of Science in nursing completion program requires students to complete 40 general education credits with 15 credits in foundational areas such as English composition, math and philosophy. The curriculum also requires 57 credits to be completed in major specific courses. Courses offered within this program include medical terminology, fundamentals in nursing, health assessment, research in nursing, strategies for adult health care, pharmacology and crisis nursing.
7. Grantham University
Grantham University is regarded as a leading provider of affordable, distance learning programs with high quality curriculum. The degree programs are industry relevant and incorporate essential studies for a global society. Grantham University is a student centered institution committed to the academic and professional success of their students. Grantham University offers two delivery formats for their online degree programs; permitting students to select the method suited to their needs. The standard cohort format is an interactive collaborative program which permits students to work together with peers and faculty members. The courses are structured and provide networking opportunities. The accelerated format permits students to complete courses at an accelerated pace while completing the course requirements. Interaction with the faculty instructor and peers are at the discretion of the student. Grantham University is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of the Distance Education and training council.
Grantham University offers an undergraduate and graduate degree program in nursing; the Bachelor of Science RN to BSN degree and the Master of Science RN to MSN option. The 124 credit RN to BSN program is offered to students already possessing a diploma or associate degree in nursing. The curriculum was developed based on the requirements of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing; providing training in the standard competencies required of nurses within a variety of health care roles and settings. The program develops students’ skills in patient care, communication, problem solving, collaboration, leadership and research. Studies include the current trends and practices in nursing and incorporate diversity and cultural aspects. Courses offered within the program includes health assessment for RNs, theories and research in nursing, nursing leadership and management, community and public health nursing, professional nursing issues and case management concepts.
8. American Sentinel University
American Sentinel University was established in 2006 through the merger of three nationally accredited institutions of higher learning and is striving to become a global leader in distance learning. Currently, the institution offers more than 20 online degree programs to their student body of over 1100 individuals. The degree programs offered at American Sentinel University are highly regarded by employers and industry professionals and provide skills and knowledge immediately applicable in the professional fields. The programs are consistently and regularly reviewed and updated to ensure the most current content is provided. The challenging curriculum is designed to prepare students to become leaders in their fields of study. The faculty members are responsive to the needs of their students and are committed to their success. American Sentinel University offers nursing degree programs accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.
The nursing degree programs offered at American Sentinel University provide a challenging curriculum and flexible scheduling options. Students enrolled in the RN to BSN program are awarded 30 credits based on their previous education and experience required for their RN license. The program develops student’s skills and abilities in leadership, collaboration, problem solving and patient care. Studies within the degree curriculum include designing, implementing and evaluating care programs for individuals and/or groups. The online program also includes an experiential learning segment; students are required to complete a community health and a leadership and management practica which must be completed following three related theory courses. The practicum hours for the community health aspect are required to be completed at a population based nursing facility and the leadership and management practicum can be completed at the health care agency chosen by the student.
9. Chamberlain College of Nursing
Chamberlain College of nursing, established in 1889, originated as a nursing diploma school and has evolved into a progressive college offering a range of undergraduate and graduate degree opportunities. Chamberlain College of Nursing endeavors to train graduates to become knowledgeable leaders in the nursing field capable of providing competent and compassionate holistic care to a culturally diverse population. The degree programs were designed by educators in collaboration with health care providers familiar with the most effective and proven nursing practices in the health care field. The theoretical foundation of the curriculum ensures students are prepared for positions in a range of health care environments and are capable of responding to the rapidly changing needs and conditions that occur in the health care profession. Chamberlain College of nursing offers traditional on campus programs taught in the classroom and degree programs through their online campus. Chamberlain College of Nursing is accredited by the Higher Learning commission of the North Central association of Colleges and schools.
Chamberlain College of Nursing offers students to pursue multiple online degree options; Associate Degree in Nursing, fast track RN to Bachelor of Science in nursing (BSN) degree completion program and the Master of Science in nursing Degree program. The 72 credit associate program can be completed in six semesters and provides a foundational general education in the field of nursing. Students learn the basic competencies and skills required of registered nurses. The RN to BSN online degree completion program permits students to complete their bachelor degree in as little as 3 semesters. Both undergraduate programs provide general education courses as well as clinical and non-clinical nursing education courses. Students enrolled in the baccalaureate program study the concepts of person, health environment and nursing as well as therapeutic interventions and roles. The skills developed in the program include critical thinking, collaboration, professionalism and communication. The Master of Science in nursing provides two specializations; the executive track or the educator track.