Associate RN Degree Online: Course and Program Descriptions
Some individuals interested in becoming a Registered Nurse (RN) complete bachelor's programs. Earning a bachelor's degree, however, is not the only route to becoming an RN. Many students instead opt to earn an associate's degree, including through online education. These programs often feature greater flexibility that give individuals the freedom to complete classes while attending to work and personal responsibilities.
Associate of Science in Nursing
Earning an associate's degree in nursing typically requires two years of study. Degree programs are offered at community colleges and 4-year institutions, including through online education. Pursuing a degree online can allow students to work toward becoming an RN while gaining work experience or performing other responsibilities. While students can view lectures and complete much of their work on the Internet, online associate's programs still require individuals to perform hands-on labs and complete clinical externships. To meet these requirements, students must spend time on a college campus or a healthcare facility associated with the degree-granting institution. Apart from these exceptions, students receive all instruction online. Some schools do not offer an Associate of Science in Nursing program. Instead, these institutions have online RN programs that award students an Associate of Applied Science degree. This course of study features similar nursing curriculum as an Associate of Science degree program, but it differs in the general education courses it offers.
Coursework in online associate's programs for nursing varies between education institutions. Typically, though, students must take a number of core nursing classes as well as technical electives. These latter courses are designed to give students knowledge in specialized areas of nursing such as trauma, gerontology, neonatal nursing and healthcare technology. In addition, online nursing students are usually required to take general courses in communications, mathematics, English and the sciences. Specific classes in an online RN associate's degree program may include:
- Human Anatomy
- Nursing Health Assessment
- Pharmacology I
- Human Growth and Development
- Introduction to Microbiology
- Nursing Management Concepts
- Pharmacology II
- Business Communications
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