Associate RN Degree Online: Course and Program Descriptions

Many colleges and universities offer online registered nurse (RN) programs on the associate's degree level. Read the description of these programs and learn what types of topics are covered in them.

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Essential Information

Individuals interested in becoming registered nurses (RNs) may complete bachelor's degree programs; however, that is not the only route to becoming an RN. Many students instead opt to earn an associate's degree in nursing, which can be achieved through online programs in the field. These programs are commonly known as hybrid programs, meaning they combine online coursework with in-person experiences.

Online Associate's Degree Programs in Nursing

Online associate's degree programs in nursing typically take about two years of full-time study to complete. While students can view lectures and complete much of their work on the Internet, online nursing programs also 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.

Common Courses

Coursework can vary between institutions. Typically, 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 may include:

  • Human Anatomy
  • Nursing Health Assessment
  • Pharmacology I
  • Human Growth and Development
  • Introduction to Microbiology
  • Nursing Management Concepts
  • Pharmacology II
  • Business Communications

Career Information

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of RNs was expected to increase roughly 19% from 2012-2022. This job growth was expected to be the result of a number of things, including an increasing population of aging individuals and a higher number of people with health insurance coverage.

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  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • A minimum 2.0 GPA
    • Submit high school transcript(s)
    • Submit college transcript(s) (if applicable)

    Online Programs

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    • Currently not accepting applications from Texas residents

    Online Programs

    • Associate
        • AS in Medical Assisting

    Which subject are you interested in?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED

    Online Programs

    What is your highest level of education completed?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED

    Online Programs

    Do you prefer online or campus based learning?

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  • Areas of study you may find at Louisiana Tech University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Clinical Laboratory Science Professions
      • Communication Disorders Sciences
      • Health and Fitness
      • Medical Administrative Services
      • Nursing Professions
        • Registered Nurse
      • Nutrition Services
  • Areas of study you may find at Boise State University include:
      • Graduate: Master
      • Non-Degree: Certificate, Coursework, Diploma
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Dental
      • Health and Fitness
      • Medical Administrative Services
      • Medical and Health Preparatory Sciences
      • Medical Diagnostic and Treatment Professions
      • Mental Health Services
      • Nursing Professions
        • Licensed Vocational Nurse Training
        • Registered Nurse
      • Public Health and Safety
  • Areas of study you may find at Northern Kentucky University include:
      • Graduate: First Professional Degree, Master
      • Non-Degree: Coursework
      • Post Degree Certificate: Post Master's Certificate, Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Health and Fitness
      • Medical Diagnostic and Treatment Professions
      • Mental Health Services
      • Nursing Professions
        • Mental Health Nursing
        • Nurse Practitioner or Family Nurse Practitioner
        • Nursing for Adults and Seniors
        • Pediatric Nursing
        • Registered Nurse
  • Areas of study you may find at Eastern Kentucky University include:
      • Graduate: Master
      • Non-Degree: Coursework
      • Post Degree Certificate: Post Master's Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Clinical Laboratory Science Professions
      • Communication Disorders Sciences
      • Medical Administrative Services
      • Medical Assisting
      • Medical Diagnostic and Treatment Professions
      • Mental Health Services
      • Nursing Professions
        • Registered Nurse
      • Nutrition Services
      • Public Health and Safety
      • Therapeutic and Rehabilitation Professions
  • Areas of study you may find at Troy University include:
      • Graduate: Master
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Health and Fitness
      • Medical Diagnostic and Treatment Professions
      • Nursing Professions
        • Registered Nurse
      • Therapeutic and Rehabilitation Professions
  • Areas of study you may find at Southwestern College include:
      • Non-Degree: Certificate, Coursework
      • Undergraduate: Associate
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Dental
      • Health and Fitness
      • Medical Administrative Services
      • Medical and Health Preparatory Sciences
      • Medical Assisting
      • Medical Diagnostic and Treatment Professions
      • Nursing Professions
        • Licensed Vocational Nurse Training
        • Nurse Assistant or Patient Care Assistant
        • Registered Nurse

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Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

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