Nursing Education In America

Written by Norene Anderson
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Nursing education in America goes on record beginning in the late 1800s as having four schools. Today, there are more than two million registered nurses in the United States. This means that at least half of these live in states requiring continuing nursing education units for license renewal. Fortunately, many of those credit hours can be obtained online. It is no longer necessary to take time away from work and family to attend seminars for the required number of CEUs.

Each state has specific requirements about the number of contact hours and the accrediting organization. Some states will only accept contact hours accredited by the state's department of nursing. Others will accept any contact hours accredited by the ANCC. Most states will accept credits earned by online or home study courses. If you are new to nursing or if you are transferring to another state, contact the state board of nursing or go online to find out the requirements.

Avenues of Nursing Education in America

Many of the registered nurses have started their careers with an Associate Degree in Nursing or a nursing diploma from an accredited hospital school of nursing. For these nurses, advancing to a Bachelor of Science in Nursing Degree or a Master of Science in Nursing Degree will provide the opportunity to complete the courses online, which is a great convenience. Many top-paying jobs in nursing require at least a BSN. The higher the degree, the better the opportunity is for top-level positions.

Finding the right time to enroll in nursing education is sometimes difficult. Virtual classrooms and online curriculum provide the opportunity to earn a higher degree while continuing with your usual home and work obligations. Study and classroom time can be planned around the irregular work hours that many nurses are accustomed to.


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