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Online Nursing Degrees For Non Nurses

Nursing is all about helping families and individuals receive health care services. Ranked among the noblest professions worldwide, nurses touch the lives of many and make a long lasting  impact. According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, the demand for nurses is expected to grow in the coming years due to an expected shortage. This can be a suitable career choice for individuals who want to help others, earn a decent income, and play an important role in the healthcare industry.

Kaplan University Online

  • RN to MS in Nursing
  • M.S. in Nursing - Nurse Educator
  • B.S. in Nursing - RN to BSN

Walden University Online

Grand Canyon University

  • MS in Nursing - Nursing Leadership in Health Care Systems
  • B.S. in Nursing (Registered Nurse - R.N. to B.S.N)

Nurse Practitioner Programs for Non Nurses

To become a nurse, individuals will need to get formal education in nursing, including extensive training, and a professional license. Nursing degree programs are offered by many accredited institutions, which are designed to prepare students for various nursing careers.
There is no single academic route to becoming a nurse. One can opt for a basic nursing degree such as the Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) and become a nurse, or go for a more advanced program such as the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). Not necessarily does one need to have a background in nursing education to qualify for nursing degrees. A number of colleges are offering on-campus and online nursing degrees for non nurses.   Online nursing programs for non nurses can be pursued at bachelors and masters level.

Bachelor of Science in Nursing

This is a four year undergraduate nursing program that prepares students for the NCLEX exam and a career as a registered nurse. The program will emphasize on nursing knowledge, comprising of biological sciences, behavioral sciences, and nursing theories. Students will spend a great deal of time learning about the basics of nursing in modern day healthcare organizations. The first one or two years of the program are solely dedicated to theoretical development. The last two years typically focus on clinical nursing skills and practical training. Some schools may cover the clinical experience at the institute while other schools may require students to gain hands on experience at healthcare facilities such as nearby clinics.
The curriculum will include a wide range of nursing courses that are mandatory to pass. A few have been described below:

  • Structure and function of the human body

In this course, students will learn about the basic organ systems and structures. The course will cover topics such as skeletal systems, palatinated body parts, chemical principles, homeostasis, and more.

  • Pathophysiology

This course will explore the mechanisms and theories related to diseases. Students will learn how body functions are affected by various diseases. Topics such as disease transmission, immunological responses, and health patterns are covered.

  • Community health nursing

In this course, students will learn about health promotion and disease prevention. The course aims to provide students with an overview of ecological contexts, populations, and public health sciences.

  • Nursing care for patients with complex needs

Students in this course will learn how to assess patients, promote health, and administer treatment. The course will emphasize on research skill development and critical reasoning skills.

Study Accelerated BSN Programs Online

Online BSN programs for non nurses are offered as well. Students can study from any location and complete the degree online. The coursework is covered via videos and tutorials. Online accelerated BSN programs for non nurses are designed for individuals who wish to join the industry sooner. The popularity of accelerated nursing programs for non nurses has increased due to a positive employment outlook and high demand for nursing professionals. It is important that you check with the school offering the online program to find out what kind of curriculum they are offering since many BSN programs follow a hybrid format; practical coursework is done on-campus.

Master of Science in Nursing

The MSN degree is an advanced nursing program that is designed to provide students with theoretical knowledge, a professional skill set, and a thorough understanding of the scope of advanced nursing practice.
Many schools are offering master’s degree in nursing for non majors. Masters nursing programs for non nurses are designed particularly for students who have earned a bachelor’s degree in a field other than nursing.
The coursework of graduate nursing programs for non-nursing majors will focus on key nursing concepts and practices. Students will learn how healthcare delivery systems function, and how healthcare goals are met by organizations. Students will be required to complete clinical courses that help build nursing skills and provide exposure to clinical practice. The curriculum will typically include courses such as the following:

  • Biostatistics

In this course, students will focus on inferential statistics and quantitative research methods. Students will learn how to solve practical problems using experimental design models, and interpret healthcare research.

  • Epidemiology and population health

Students will explore the foundation of clinical prevention in healthcare and disease management. Topics such as behavior change, screening, cultural competency, and self-care are covered.

  • Nursing science for clinical practice

In this course, students will learn about the scientific principles and philosophical basis of nursing practices. Students will learn how to apply theories in real clinical care settings.

  • Healthcare policy

This course is mainly theoretical in nature. Students will analyze public health environments and gain an in-depth understanding of health policy making.

Objectives of Nursing Programs for Non Nursing Majors

By the end of a nursing degree, students would be able to:

  • Provide care, administer medication, and help patients
  • Provide nursing care within the professional and ethical standards of the practice
  • Conduct evidence based nursing research and contribute to the field of nursing
  • Understand how different groups of a community affect healthcare policy making
  • Manage and collaborate resources to provide effective nursing care
  • Promote health and address key issues in the healthcare delivery system
  • Help patients by providing appropriate nursing care
  • Use different methods to assess patients and diagnose medical conditions

Enrolling in Nursing Programs

Applicants, with non-nursing academic background, will be required to complete a few nursing prerequisites. These prerequisites include courses in anatomy and physiology.
Apart from that, students must provide proof of high school or undergraduate education, meet a minimum CGPA requirement, and submit letters of recommendation. Some schools may conduct admission tests. Please remember that the admission requirements will vary slightly from college to college.


All nursing graduates are required to take the NCLEX licensing exam in their state if they wish to practice. The exam is designed to test the readiness of an applicant and is conducted by the state’s nursing board.

Career Prospects

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for licensed practical nurses (LPNs) is expected to grow by 25% and the demand for registered nurses is expected to grow by 19% from 2012-2022. Nurses are hired by all kinds of healthcare institutions including hospitals, nursing homes, clinics, laboratories, and community health centers.
The income level will vary from place to place and will also depend upon the area of specialization. Here is the 2012 median annual income of RNs and LPNs:

  • Registered nurses: $65,470
  • Licensed practical nurses: $41,540

As the demand for nurses is expected to grow, the employment outlook will become more positive. One key feature of joining the nursing field is that nurses can excel and seek promotion. With the availability of certifications and continuing education programs, nurses can move up the ladder and grow professionally.


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