Can I Get an Online Nursing Degree Part Time?

If you love the idea of working as a nurse but have limited time in your schedule, you might look into a part time nursing degree program in your area. These programs are great for those who work full or part time and those who take care of their kids or have other commitments that reduce the amount of time they have available.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of available nursing jobs will increase by 16% by 2024, making now a good time to get a degree in nursing.

Traditional Programs

Before you sign up for a degree program, you may need to choose between a traditional program and a program designed for busy professionals. A traditional nursing degree program consists of classes in general education, healthcare and nursing. You’ll also need to do your clinical rotations at a local hospital or office. Some of these more traditional programs now give students the option of taking some of their classes online too. You can usually take your prerequisite nursing classes, gen ed courses and some required nursing classes online.

Evening and Weekend Programs

Depending on the amount of time that you have available and the commitments/obligations in your life, you may enroll in an evening and weekend program instead of a traditional program. Traditional programs require that you take courses at a set time every day, which may not work around your schedule. With an evening and weekend program, you can take a single class at night or on a weekend afternoon. Instead of requiring that you spend an hour in the classroom three times a day, you’ll spend three hours or more in that class on a single day. Some nursing programs even arrange for students to do their clinical rotations one day a week.

How Long Will it Take?

The amount of time it takes to complete a part time nursing degree depends on the type of program you enroll in and the number of classes you can take. Most traditional programs feature a layout that lets students finish their studies in around two years. With a part time program, you can look forward to taking classes for at least three years. If you take just one class a semester, it may take you up to four or even five years to finish your degree.

Getting Your License

Whether you choose a traditional or part time nursing program, you must have your license before you start applying for jobs. When you apply for your license, you’ll need to list where you earned your degree and verify that you completed the necessary number of fieldwork or clinical rotation hours. You will also need to submit to a criminal background check, which usually requires that you register your fingerprints at the police station and authorize the station to do the check. All nurses must also take the NCLEX examination and receive a high score before obtaining a license.

Attending a nursing program as a part time student lets you take your time to complete your degree. Some programs even offer classes on weekends and at night to better accommodate the schedules of students. Finishing a part time nursing degree program may take three years or more depending on the number of classes you take every semester.

Related Reading: Top 10 Best Online RN to BSN Degree Programs