7 Online Certificates Available in Nursing

Career Paths With Online Nursing Certificate Programs

Cast as the role of choice for nurturing, selfless professionals who have a knack for technical problem-solving, nursing continues to be a fixture in all kinds of healthcare environments. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of registered nurses (RNs) is expected to grow 22 percent through 2018, much... faster than the average for all occupations.*

A forceful combination of healthcare technology advances, preventative care, and an aging population have all led to this nursing boom. Generally, a bachelor degree is required to practice as a nurse. But because of rapid advances in healthcare, technology and medicine, even current, high-performing nurses may want to consider continual training in order to stay up-to-date with the industry. One way to do so without compromising a nurse's unpredictable schedule is to consider enrolling in online nursing certificate programs,

Online nursing certificate programs are available for students with diverse backgrounds and levels of degree completion. For example, a pre-nursing health science certificate is designed so that you could complete nursing degree prequisites — such as science and laboratory courses — from the comfort of home.

If you are currently employed as a nurse and would like become a nurse educator or a nursing manager, certification could be a good first step. For those interesting in teaching, the nurse educator certificate is designed for current nurse practitioners, administrators, and clinical specialists who already possess (or are in the process of earning) a master degree. Additionally, earning a certificate could prepare you to take the Certified Nurse Educator (CNE) exam without needing to fulfill the teaching experience requirement.

For the latter specialization, a post-master certificate in nursing informatics could be ideal for nurses who wish to incorporate IT (Information Technology) into their career. Students could expect to learn nursing science as well as information science and project management as it relates to data integration.

Lastly, a concentration in nursing leadership and management could be another option for a post-master certificate. Nurses who complete this program receive education that could help them prepare for, or enhance, their current leadership positions in, complex healthcare systems. They could subsequently use their newfound knowledge to make a difference in work-force development, resource management, integration of technology, and the maintenance and improvement of quality care.

If you have a compassionate personality and a willingness to reach out to all kinds of patients — from those with temporal injuries to those with terminal cancers — nursing could be a good career for you. Because of the wide variety of nursing specialities, there is almost no limit to where you may end up working. For example, career growth for nurses is strongest at physicians' offices (48 percent), compared to hospitals (17 percent).*

* The preceding information was obtained from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' (BLS) online resource, "Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010-11 Edition," available at: http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos083.htm

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