Online Nursing Continuing Education Courses and Certification

Online nursing courses and programs have many advantages over campus-based programs. With flexible schedules and ongoing start times, online education caters to busy people who have jobs and family or other responsibilities.

As an online student you can study whenever you want and get the same quality education as classroom students while enjoying the comfort and convenience of your home or office. Online nursing programs that have clinical requirements even allow students to satisfy those requirements in their own communities. Program may even give you credit for prior coursework, military service, or work experience.

In quality online nursing continuing education courses the faculty not only teach the courses, they also provide one-to-one mentoring of the students. Online chat rooms give students the opportunity to discuss course content. Online resource boards and online healthcare-related resource centers facilitate research and study. Online study affords students as rich a learning experience as does classroom study.

Choosing a Program

When choosing a school for nursing continuing education courses look for schools that provide the education you need for the career you want. Give preference to programs that prepare you for certification and/or licensing as needed for your work. Make sure your school of choice is accredited. Ask potential employers if they will accept training from that program.

You may qualify for financial aid (loans, grants, and/or scholarships). Schools may offer financial aid themselves, or you may apply for aid from external sources. Ask the schools you are considering if they know of any financial aid for their courses. Go to government agencies, professional associations, and nurses' or healthcare workers' unions to ask about financial aid options.

Nursing Specialties

Once you have your bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) you can continue your studies to earn national certification in nursing specialties. These specialties include holistic healthcare practice, legal nurse consultant, forensic nursing, nurse practitioner, nurse anesthetist, nursing case management, stress management, and many others.

Nursing Salaries

The shortage of nurses in the United States means that nurses, especially registered nurses, are in very high demand. Your salary will depend on your education and experience, your area of nursing, the employer, and the location of the employer.

Registered nurses average about ,000 more per year than licensed practical nurses. Even among registered nurses salaries vary. Critical care and operating room nurses, for example, usually earn more than medicine/surgery or emergency room nurseries.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), in 2007 California had the highest median salary for registered nurses (,550), followed Massachusetts (,940), Hawaii (,220), New Jersey (,900), and Maryland (,480). If you become certified in a nursing specialty your salary will average nearly ,000 more per year than a nurse who is not certified in a nursing specialty. BLS expects that the need for nurses will continue to grow over the next five years, at least.

Nursing continuing education can help you reach your professional goals by preparing and certifying you for higher level nursing work.