Best Online Associate in Nursing

Timelines, Programs and Resources for Nursing Students

Registered nurses are in high demand, and earning an associate degree in nursing online can set students up for career opportunities at the local or national level, across many different medical fields. A nursing associate degree program can take under two years to complete online and prepares students to take the National Council Licensure Examination, or NCLEX-RN. Navigate through school and program options while expanding on what an online associate degree in nursing teaches here.

Best Online Associate Nursing Degrees for 2017

One way to get a step ahead in planning for school is knowing more about which schools offer the best online programs. This list ranks the best places to earn an online associate degree in nursing for 2017. These results can help students narrow down the choices, and determine what factors are most important when choosing an online nursing program.

RankSchool Title Net Price Financial Aid Total Programs Student-Teacher ratioGrad RateRanking ScoreSchool DescriptionAdditional Benefits: Placement Services Counseling Services Credit for Experience
1Barton County Community College Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
71%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
36
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
30%
Ranking SCORE 99.82
Read more

Barton County Community College was founded in July 15, 1965 to create a post-secondary institution giving county residents an education at “a low cost within commuting distance.” Beginning nursing students can complete a Certificate in Practical Nursing (PN), an Applied Science Associate in Degree in Nursing (ADN), or both. The strategy at BCCC is for students to complete their certificate after two successful semesters and sit for the state licensing exam for LPNs. Then, if they choose, they can go on to complete the two-year associate to qualify for the NCLEX-RN® exam to earn a Registered Nurse designation.

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
2Sinclair College Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
28%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
36
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
17%
Ranking SCORE 99.15
Read more

From its beginnings in 1887, Sinclair College has grown to offer 30,000 students more than 220 certificate and degree programs. Courses are offered online and through campus locations in Dayton, Englewood, Eaton, Mason, and Huber Heights. Full-time students enrolled in Sinclair’s Associate of Science degree in Nursing may complete the 65 credits for their degree in five consecutive semesters. Students applying with an LPN or Military training, or nursing transfer students may be admitted with advanced standing. As part of the admissions process, applicants must complete the Test of Essential Academic Skills (TEAS).

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
3St Philip's College Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
15%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
44
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
4%
Ranking SCORE 98.96
Read more

In 1898, St. Philip’s Episcopal Church of the West Texas Diocese founded the school that was to become today’s St Philip's College. Nearly half of enrolled students focus on Applied Science and Technology majors and more than half enroll in online courses. The college’s Vocational Nursing Program and LVN to RN Mobility programs combine web-enhanced, wholly online, and hybrid learning to combine technical studies with practical clinical and laboratory experience. LVN-RN programs include pre-requisites in anatomy/physiology, microbiology, lifespan growth and development, and ethics. The LVN-RN program begins every fall semester.

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
4Tulsa Community College Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
39%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
33
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
14%
Ranking SCORE 98.77
Read more

Tulsa Community College, founded in 1970, is now Oklahoma’s largest community college, with multiple campuses serving 27,000 students in the greater Tulsa area. Since it was launched in 1971, the TCC nursing education program has graduated 4,000 nurses. The program offers students a choice in a Nursing Career Mobility (LPN/Paramedic to RN) track or Traditional Nursing (RN) track. To prepare for RN licensing and complete their associate in applied science (AAS) degree, students must undertake 35 hours of studies in the nursing discipline and 38 general education credits. Coursework is offered at the Metro, Owasso, Southeast campuses.

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
5Cincinnati State Technical and Community College Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
11%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
34
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
16%
Ranking SCORE 98.60
Read more

Established as Cincinnati Cooperative School of Technology (CCST) in 1966, today’s Cincinnati State Technical and Community College gained its name in 1975, reflecting its expansion to more than 100 distinct degree and certificate programs across four campuses in the city. Qualified graduates can transfer to over 20 four-year degree institutions. The Cincinnati State Bethesda School of Nursing’s 65-credit RN degree program includes required internships with six Cincinnati-area hospitals and medical centers. Graduates have transferred to four-year nursing programs through articulation agreements with Mount St. Joseph University, Northern Kentucky University, Ohio University, University of Cincinnati, and Wright State University.

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
6Columbus State Community College Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
20%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
35
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
8%
Ranking SCORE 97.88
Read more

The distance learning program at Columbus State Community College gives students an alternative to traditional college courses. Students use interactive and video technologies to learn completely online or in a hybrid capacity. There are nearly 20 different fields that offer online degree programs as well as a host of individual classes that students can take. A readiness assessment ensures that students are prepared for online coursework. Columbus State has both short-term training and continuing education opportunities for students at all degree and career levels and serves students at its main campus, six Regional Learning Centers and online.

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
7Northwest Mississippi Community College Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
26%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
27
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
18%
Ranking SCORE 96.88
Read more

More than 24,000 students at Columbus State Community College pursue programs leading to an associate degree in arts and sciences, associate in applied science, or associate of technical studies. The nursing department offers studies culminating in an AAS degree or LPN certificate. The associate degree may be completed in five semesters on a full-time basis and prepares graduates to take the NCLEX-RN licensing examination. Students may take the 62-hour RN program on campus or through a hybrid option combining online classes with in-person clinical and laboratory requirements. Interested students must complete an online nursing information session prior to applying.

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
8Pitt Community College Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
11%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
30
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
13%
Ranking SCORE 96.51
Read more

Distance learning programs at PITT Community College allow both working adults and high school graduates to move forward on their careers. Students receive a step-by-step guide for success when starting a program, helping them to get started on the right foot. A mandatory orientation is available both on campus and online so students know what to expect. Online students also have access to UpSwing, a free online tutoring service, and an online library so they can get the help they need and complete their coursework entirely online, on their own time. The college serves about 23,000 total students every year.

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
9East Mississippi Community College Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
78%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
15
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
27%
Ranking SCORE 96.49
Read more

The eLearning program at East Mississippi Community College offers flexible learning opportunities for those who have personal and professional responsibilities that make it difficult to attend classes on campus. Online courses are not self-paced and while students can access their coursework when it’s convenient for them, they do still need to complete assignments on time and log in during the week for online discussions. An online self-assessment is available for students to determine if online learning is right for them. Programs are available through the Mississippi Virtual Community College.

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
10Cuyahoga Community College Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
2%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
31
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
4%
Ranking SCORE 96.48
Read more

A number of online learning programs are available at Cuyahoga Community College, including business management, court reporting, accounting and nutrition. While some of these programs are fully online, others require some in-person classes or experiential learning. Students are encouraged to visit with an advisor to learn more about online coursework and must attend an orientation session to familiarize themselves with the program. Online students have access to all the same resources as traditional students, including the library and tutoring. They access classes through the Blackboard online learning system, where they watch lectures, download reading materials and submit assignments.

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
11Western Nebraska Community College Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
60%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
16
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
23%
Ranking SCORE 96.24
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
12GateWay Community College Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
32%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
28
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
13%
Ranking SCORE 96.11
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesNo Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
13Forsyth Technical Community College Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
N/A
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
31
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
14%
Ranking SCORE 96.04
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
14Hutchinson Community College Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
59%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
17
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
29%
Ranking SCORE 95.72
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
15Rochester Community and Technical College Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
7%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
28
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
19%
Ranking SCORE 95.33
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
16Odessa College Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
32%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
21
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
20%
Ranking SCORE 95.31
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
17Roane State Community College Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
7%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
13
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
17%
Ranking SCORE 95.28
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
18Columbus Technical College Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
N/A
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
26
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
16%
Ranking SCORE 95.26
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
19Southern University Shreveport Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
2%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
13
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
16%
Ranking SCORE 95.23
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
20Wallace State Community College - Hanceville Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
21%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
19
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
20%
Ranking SCORE 95.23
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
21Tyler Junior College Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
17%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
22
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
15%
Ranking SCORE 95.10
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
22Holmes Community College Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
37%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
19
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
25%
Ranking SCORE 95.05
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
23Jefferson Community and Technical College Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
1%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
25
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
11%
Ranking SCORE 95.01
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
24Spokane Community College Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
14%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
21
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
26%
Ranking SCORE 94.94
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
25Renton Technical College Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
15%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
22
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
61%
Ranking SCORE 94.81
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
26Kilgore College Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
21%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
18
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
17%
Ranking SCORE 94.79
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
27Harrisburg Area Community College - Harrisburg Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
5%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
25
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
11%
Ranking SCORE 94.78
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
28West Kentucky Community and Technical College Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
1%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
21
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
38%
Ranking SCORE 94.68
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
29Allen County Community College Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
68%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
22
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
23%
Ranking SCORE 94.64
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesNo Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
30San Juan College Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
28%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
21
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
13%
Ranking SCORE 94.55
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
31Western Wyoming Community College Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
39%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
14
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
53%
Ranking SCORE 94.46
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
32Southwestern Community College Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
15%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
19
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
32%
Ranking SCORE 94.36
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
33Chattanooga State Community College Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
9%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
15
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
8%
Ranking SCORE 94.29
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
34Seward County Community College and Area Technical School Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
76%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
10
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
32%
Ranking SCORE 94.21
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
35Maysville Community and Technical College Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
9%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
14
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
30%
Ranking SCORE 94.21
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
36Shawnee Community College Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
44%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
14
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
28%
Ranking SCORE 94.20
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
37Washtenaw Community College Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
14%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
17
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
16%
Ranking SCORE 94.17
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
38Lakeshore Technical College Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
19%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
16
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
39%
Ranking SCORE 94.15
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
39Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
9%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
18
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
18%
Ranking SCORE 94.10
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
40Lanier Technical College Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
N/A
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
23
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
28%
Ranking SCORE 94.04
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
41Madisonville Community College Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
22%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
19
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
30%
Ranking SCORE 94.04
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
42Colby Community College Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
62%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
15
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
55%
Ranking SCORE 93.99
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesNo Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
43Metropolitan Community College Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
20%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
16
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
12%
Ranking SCORE 93.97
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
44Bluegrass Community and Technical College Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
2%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
18
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
18%
Ranking SCORE 93.96
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
45Harcum College Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
94%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
11
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
25%
Ranking SCORE 93.94
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
46Indian Hills Community College Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
7%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
17
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
21%
Ranking SCORE 93.88
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
47Kansas City Kansas Community College Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
22%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
11
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
20%
Ranking SCORE 93.85
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
48Fayetteville Technical Community College Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
1%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
21
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
7%
Ranking SCORE 93.84
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
49New Mexico State University - Dona Ana Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
7%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
20
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
12%
Ranking SCORE 93.75
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
50Somerset Community College Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
8%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
17
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
25%
Ranking SCORE 93.70
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes

Search Online Nursing Programs: Associate Level

An online associate degree in nursing program offers schedule flexibility, allowing students to study while working, caring for a family or living away from school. Clinical requirements are fulfilled on campus or at approved locations, with students traveling to clinical sites on evenings or weekends to perform hands-on components under the supervision of trained nurses. Use the search tool below to narrow down the options in your area.

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An Online Nursing Associate Degree Timeline

Choosing the right online nursing program can be difficult, but students should also understand what it will take to actually earn their associate degree. This step by step guide directs students through an associate program in nursing specifically, from the application process all the way through to graduation. Students should keep these goals in mind to successfully navigate their way through school.

Application Process

The application process is fairly simple for online associate degree programs in nursing. Students will need to have their high school diploma or equivalent, and some schools may also require extra pre-requisites as detailed below. Most schools will let students start their program without this information for a semester or two, but it is best to check with the school before delaying these important application requirements.

Have a High School Diploma or Equivalent

Students applying for an online associate in nursing program will need to have a high school diploma or equivalent ready for submission. Students can call their former school for copies of their records, transcripts and other information requested in the application process.

Check Deadlines and Application Differences

Thought the process is fairly simple, every school is different. One online associate program in nursing may have different requirements than another, so be sure to make an application plan that details different deadlines, pre-requisites and forms to submit.

Pinpoint Pre-Requisite Coursework

Most schools want the applicant to fulfill pre-requisite courses in math and biology as well as a background check to be accepted into an associate in nursing program. Avoid stalling the application process by checking this coursework has been completed to the school’s standards ahead of time.

Take the HESI-A2 Exam

Many online associate in nursing programs require students to take the HESI-A2, or Health Education Systems Incorporated Admission Assessment Exam. Check each school’s requirements on this test as part of the application process.

Year 1 Milestones

The first year is when students will to become familiar with their program. These milestones are no different for students earning an associate in nursing online or those learning in a traditional classroom setting. Students can expect to do work in basic human anatomy, biology and nursing care.

Nursing Roles and Responsibilities

A student enrolled in an online associate in nursing program will learn about the roles and responsibilities of nurses, what it means to be a practicing nurse and how to assess, teach and communicate about health and wellness.

Familiarize with Human Anatomy

Learning about the structure and function of a human body is important for associate nursing students as they move on from strictly online coursework to more hands-on, practical studies. Courses will help explain how different systems, such as the respiratory and immune systems, work with one other and why they are important.

Year 2 Milestones

During the second year of an online associate in nursing program students will focus on classes dedicated to professional behaviors and how to better communicate healing methods to clients across different settings.

Environmental & Situational Study

Online associate in nursing students will learn how a nurse fits within different environments across the medical field. Understanding what is expected of a nurse, including behaviors, ethics, and values are important concepts, and clinical assignments will start to help students hone their skills.

Overall Care & Health Management

Students will learn what it means to care and manage patients, both while in pain and in a standard care setting. An online associate nursing program prepares students to use different methods of care to help patients cope with stress, grief and loss.

Prep for the NCLEX-RN exam

Whether students plan to graduate their associate in nursing program in two years or three, preparation for the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nursing, or NCLEX-RN should be a priority. This is the certification nurses need for licensure to begin working in a medical setting.

Year 3 Milestones (if applicable)

While some students are able to complete their associate in nursing coursework online in two years or less, there are many factors may extend the timeline for busy students. The final year in an associate in nursing program includes elective classes and preparing to take National Council Licensure Examination, or NCLEX-RN.

Capstone Coursework

Capstone classes will focus on overall care during an online associate in nursing program. These specialized classes will help students learn how to refine decision making skills in a medical environment, and often include hands-on components.

Final Electives

As coursework wraps up, online associate nursing students may need to take final elective based classes in subjects like humanities and fine arts, depending on program requirements.

Study for the NCLEX-RN

Students will continue to prepare for the National Council Licensure Examination, or NCLEX-RN. At this point, students will take the rest of elective classes in humanities and fine arts.

Graduation Requirements

Students will receive their associate degree in nursing once all online and practical class requirements have been met. At this point, students are eligible to take National Council Licensure Examination, which will allow students to practice nursing in corresponding state.

Complete Coursework and Maintain GPA

All online associate in nursing programs require students to complete their curriculum while maintaining a minimum grade point average, usually equivalent of a C or better, in each class that is part of the nursing degree program. Students who do not meet these minimums will need to re-take failed courses.

Sign up for the NCLEX-RN exam

After students earn their associate in nursing, they can sign up to take the National Council Licensure Examination. Offered at various locations in each state, school advisors can help direct grads to local test sites, and the National Council of State Boards of Nursing testing location page offers an online lookup tool.

After Graduation: What to do with an Associate in Nursing

Graduates with an associate degree in nursing can work in many different healthcare settings, such as hospitals, assisted living facilities, government agencies, schools and private medical practices. They typically help patients assess health issues and needs as well as providing them with overall care plans. Learn more about some of the fast-growing career options those with an associate degree in nursing can do after graduation below.

Browse Associate in Nursing Careers
Nursing Assistant

Nursing assistants work in many different medical settings providing basic patient care, including lifting and moving patients who are unable. From long-term care facilities for the elderly to hospitals and private practice doctor’s offices, nursing assistants can work in many different areas across the medical field.

Job Growth (2014-2024)

17.6%

Median Annual Salary (May 2015)

$25,710 per year

Physical Therapist Assistant

Often working in private practice, physical therapist assistants work directly with and under the direction of a licensed physical therapist. Recovery and rehabilitation are the primary focus of patient treatment, as well as pain management practices. Physical therapist assistants are typically in charge of setting up equipment and supporting treatment procedures.

Job Growth (2014-2024)

40.7%

Median Annual Salary (May 2015)

$42,980 per year

Health Information Technician

From managing healthcare information to organizing patient records, health information technicians maintain the quality, accuracy, accessibility and security of patient information. They must work with a variety of classification systems, both electronic and paper, to sort and file medical and treatment records, sometimes across multiple databases and facility locations.

Job Growth (2014-2024)

15.4%

Median Annual Salary (May 2015)

$37,110 per year

Home Health Aide

A home health aide assists in the care of patients outside a formal medical facility or hospital. Some states allow home health aides to administering medication and help with direct treatments if formally trained as a nurse. Many home health aides work with the elderly or mentally challenged, in group homes or as part of day service programs.

Job Growth (2014-2024)

38.1%

Median Annual Salary (May 2015)

$21,920 per year

Skills Learned in an Online Nursing Associate Program

Associate in Nursing

  • Human Anatomy & Biology

    Students in an online associate in nursing program will learn overall biology and anatomy concepts. This information will be essential when students are asked to make critical medical decisions, often in high stress situations. Hands-on experiences may come in the form of experiments and lab work.

  • Professional Behavior

    In order to properly make health care decisions, students in an online associate in nursing program must learn what professional behaviors are expected of them as far as ethics and accountability, as well as expectations of etiquette, better known as “bedside manner” in the medical field.

  • Adult & Family Wellness

    An associate degree in nursing will prepare students to care for patients of all ages, with a variety of ailments and health problems tied to nutrition, fluid and electrolyte balance, oxygenation, elimination, cardiac function and surgical procedures. Students learn processes to promote and maintain health, prevent relapses and restore overall wellness.

Leaderboard: The Best Online Associate in Nursing Degrees

Score Tuition & Fees Financial Aid % Total Programs Student-teacher Ratio Grad Rate
Score Tuition & Fees Financial Aid % Total Programs Student-teacher Ratio Grad Rate
1 East Mississippi Community College 99.78 79% 27 12:1 27%

East Mississippi Community College associate's degree in nursing allows students to study to become registered nurses upon graduation. Students gain the necessary skills to function as professional members of health care organizations like hospitals, long-term care facilities and clinics. Students will also be prepared to provide top-notch care to individuals, communities and families. Upon completion of the program, students are ready to sit for the NCLEX licensing exam. The program lists a 94 percent employment rate of graduates, as well as a 94 percent first write pass rate on the NCLEX.

  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
  • Program Breadth16
  • # Online Programs21
  • Acceptance RateN/A
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2 Pitt Community College 99.04 73% 27 17:1 13%

Pitt Community College's associate degree in nursing prepares students with the skills and knowledge needed to give quality nursing care. Students are prepared for dynamic health care environments, while meeting the individual needs of patients so that they may have the highest quality of life. The program covers the foundations of nursing practice and the holistic individual. Graduates will be prepared to work as part of an interdisciplinary team of health care professionals. Upon completion of the program, students will be prepared to sit for the NCLEX registered nurse licensing exam.

  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
  • Program Breadth20
  • # Online Programs6
  • Acceptance RateN/A
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3 Columbus Technical College 98.78 85% 34 18:1 16%

Columbus Technical College's two-year nursing program requires 70 semester hours and offers an option for licensed practical nurses to become registered nurses. Students will be groomed into competent, caring professionals who provide the highest-level quality of care. The program focuses on teaching students how to provide compassionate care, along with instilling up-to-date technical and scientific skills. It also focuses on the holistic nature of nursing to provide for psychosocial needs. Students also learn the problem solving, critical thinking and other rational skills they need to provide adequate care. Students are prepared to sit for the NCLEX RN licensing exam after graduation.

  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
  • Program Breadth22
  • # Online Programs3
  • Acceptance RateN/A
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4 Northwest Mississippi Community College 98.31 77% 45 23:1 18%

This small southern school-with roughly 6,600 students spread over several campuses-offers an associate's in nursing at their main campus in Senatobia. Though Senatobia itself is small, it's located only 40 minutes outside of Memphis's large job market. The program offers flexible scheduling: students can enroll in either Fall or Spring term and can also take their required general education classes online in order to ensure flexibility for nontraditional students. NWMCC also offers an LPN-to-RN 8-week program for diploma-holding LPNs to transition to the Associate's program. All students are also assigned advisors upon acceptance, which they can lean on for guidance during their tenure at the school.

  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
  • Program Breadth26
  • # Online Programs4
  • Acceptance RateN/A
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5 Kansas City Kansas Community College 98.25 63% 11 13:1 20%

Located in a large metropolitan area, Kansas City Kansas Community College's Associate's in nursing boasts high retention and post-graduation hire rates, thanks in part to a number of programs designed to help their students graduate. KCKCC has on-campus TRIO programs available to help students with everything from developing study skills to career advice. Nursing students can also work while they attend the program. Flexible schedules are easy to create due to the availability of on-campus daycare for students with children and online classes-so they can complete general education requirements without having to come to campus.

  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
  • Program Breadth11
  • # Online Programs5
  • Acceptance RateN/A
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6 Maysville Community and Technical College 98.11 75% 8 11:1 30%

Maysville Community and Technical College's Associate's in nursing is available on two of their campuses: the Maysville campus and the Licking Valley Campus in Cynthiana. Admittance to the program is competitive: students are required to take a pre-admittance exam. The program itself is rigorous, but not for nothing: it has an incredibly high pass rate for the NCLEX-he exam required to become an RN. The post-graduation hire rate is also incredibly high and is anticipated to stay high in the coming years: nursing jobs in Kentucky are expected to increase 25 percent by 2020.

  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
  • Program Breadth10
  • # Online Programs4
  • Acceptance RateN/A
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7 State Fair Community College 98.06 77% 24 17:1 21%

This two-year program based in Missouri is designed so if, after a year, students don't wish to continue on to receive their Associate's, they can still receive their Licensed Practical Nursing certificate. Conversely, for LPN students who decide to further their education, they can integrate seamlessly into the second-year RN program. State Fair's nursing program has a high NCLEX pass rate and is considered exemplary" by the Missouri State Board of Nursing. They also offer flexible scheduling options: students can either enroll in the day-time program or in a program that takes place on weekends and limited weekday classes after 3 p.m."

  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
  • Program Breadth9
  • # Online Programs16
  • Acceptance RateN/A
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8 Tulsa Community College 97.91 67% 47 17:1 14%

Tulsa Community College's 45-year-old Associate's in nursing program offers classes at three campuses: Metro, Owasso, and Southeast. They also offer two tracks in nursing. The Nursing Career Mobility track, which is their LPN/Paramedic to RN track, allows students to enter the workforce before continuing on to become an RN. The Traditional Nursing track allows students to pursue their Associate's directly. Students can start either in the Spring or the Fall and, according to the school, spend more time learning practical skills than an average Associate's program in nursing.

  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
  • Program Breadth27
  • # Online Programs1
  • Acceptance RateN/A
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9 Goodwin College 97.75 91% 15 10:1 N/A

This Connecticut institution is within reach of many major metropolitan areas, so finding a job after graduation is quite easy. Students can complete the associate's program either part-time or full-time; the part-time program is designed so students can complete the nursing coursework in as little as 18 months. The accelerated part-time program means that working students do not have to drag out their time in the classroom and can spend more time in the workforce as an RN. Associate's students also have access to all student services provided by the fully-accredited four-year institution.

  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
  • Program Breadth14
  • # Online Programs15
  • Acceptance RateN/A
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10 Hopkinsville Community College 97.65 83% 10 19:1 19%

Hopkinsville Community College is part of the Kentucky Community and Technical College System, which is the same system under which Maysville Community and Technical College falls. While the programs are similar, Hopkinsville's program is admittedly more limited in its options due to the smaller campus size. The RN program at Hopkinsville is four semesters of coursework, though the school is flexible, and students can complete the program part-time. The pre-requisites for the program are enough to earn students certificates in either phlebotomy or as a Certified Nursing Assistant, allowing students to start working in healthcare before they become RNs-hich will help in the post-graduation job search.

  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
  • Program Breadth8
  • # Online Programs6
  • Acceptance RateN/A
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11 Great Falls College Montana State University 97.65 6% 23 18:1 17%

  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
  • Program Breadth15
  • # Online Programs6
  • Acceptance RateN/A
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12 Western Nebraska Community College 97.63 58% 28 15:1 23%

  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
  • Program Breadth16
  • # Online Programs2
  • Acceptance RateN/A
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13 Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College 97.61 6% 25 18:1 18%

  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
  • Program Breadth15
  • # Online Programs2
  • Acceptance RateN/A
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14 Stanly Community College 97.60 73% 12 15:1 25%

  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
  • Program Breadth7
  • # Online Programs2
  • Acceptance RateN/A
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15 Guilford Technical Community College 97.60 7% 25 20:1 10%

  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
  • Program Breadth14
  • # Online Programs2
  • Acceptance RateN/A
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16 Owensboro Community and Technical College 97.56 71% 26 13:1 30%

  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
  • Program Breadth11
  • # Online Programs6
  • Acceptance RateN/A
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17 Keiser University-Ft Lauderdale 97.54 85% 47 12:1 N/A

  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
  • Program Breadth19
  • # Online Programs10
  • Acceptance Rate48%
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18 Ashland Community and Technical College 97.52 76% 19 14:1 20%

  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
  • Program Breadth8
  • # Online Programs6
  • Acceptance RateN/A
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19 Beaufort County Community College 97.49 61% 8 13:1 18%

  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
  • Program Breadth6
  • # Online Programs2
  • Acceptance RateN/A
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20 Gaston College 97.43 54% 19 20:1 24%

  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
  • Program Breadth15
  • # Online Programs4
  • Acceptance RateN/A
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21 Somerset Community College 97.39 77% 16 18:1 25%

  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
  • Program Breadth11
  • # Online Programs4
  • Acceptance RateN/A
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22 Sinclair College 97.39 57% 33 15:1 17%

  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
  • Program Breadth30
  • # Online Programs2
  • Acceptance RateN/A
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23 Fayetteville Technical Community College 97.38 59% 21 20:1 7%

  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
  • Program Breadth15
  • # Online Programs2
  • Acceptance RateN/A
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24 Jefferson Community and Technical College 97.37 63% 40 16:1 11%

  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
  • Program Breadth16
  • # Online Programs6
  • Acceptance RateN/A
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25 Olney Central College 97.29 91% 6 14:1 37%

  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
  • Program Breadth10
  • # Online Programs4
  • Acceptance RateN/A
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26 Bluegrass Community and Technical College 97.16 65% 16 16:1 18%

  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
  • Program Breadth12
  • # Online Programs4
  • Acceptance RateN/A
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27 Cowley County Community College 97.16 68% 6 23:1 29%

  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
  • Program Breadth5
  • # Online Programs4
  • Acceptance RateN/A
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28 National Park College 97.11 71% 20 26:1 20%

  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
  • Program Breadth14
  • # Online Programs3
  • Acceptance RateN/A
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29 Spokane Community College 97.10 55% 27 17:1 26%

  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
  • Program Breadth19
  • # Online Programs3
  • Acceptance RateN/A
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30 Hutchinson Community College 97.09 47% 16 15:1 29%

  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
  • Program Breadth17
  • # Online Programs2
  • Acceptance RateN/A
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31 Metropolitan Community College 97.08 43% 31 14:1 12%

  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
  • Program Breadth11
  • # Online Programs9
  • Acceptance RateN/A
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32 San Juan College 97.04 37% 21 20:1 13%

  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
  • Program Breadth14
  • # Online Programs6
  • Acceptance RateN/A
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33 Southcentral Kentucky Community and Technical College 97.01 6% 12 15:1 20%

  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
  • Program Breadth10
  • # Online Programs4
  • Acceptance RateN/A
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34 Indian Hills Community College 97.00 54% 15 17:1 21%

  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
  • Program Breadth15
  • # Online Programs4
  • Acceptance RateN/A
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35 Cleveland State Community College 97.00 79% 3 21:1 13%

  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
  • Program Breadth3
  • # Online Programs3
  • Acceptance Rate1%
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36 Miami Dade College 96.89 59% 47 23:1 N/A

  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
  • Program Breadth20
  • # Online Programs3
  • Acceptance RateN/A
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37 East Arkansas Community College 96.89 61% 15 16:1 12%

  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
  • Program Breadth7
  • # Online Programs3
  • Acceptance RateN/A
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38 Florida State College at Jacksonville 96.85 48% 25 22:1 N/A

  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
  • Program Breadth20
  • # Online Programs2
  • Acceptance RateN/A
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39 Volunteer State Community College 96.81 65% 27 21:1 16%

  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
  • Program Breadth13
  • # Online Programs6
  • Acceptance RateN/A
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40 Cossatot Community College of the University of Arkansas 96.78 52% 9 16:1 22%

  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
  • Program Breadth7
  • # Online Programs3
  • Acceptance RateN/A
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Additional Resources

Students looking for more help making the decision about whether or not to enroll in an online associate program for nursing can use the following list of resources to guide them. These organizations and groups can help answer questions and provide additional information about the field of nursing, licensure and peer support.

American Assembly for Men in Nursing

Offering educational partnerships, scholarships and more, the AAMN has a collection of information for males interested in the nursing profession.

American Association of Critical-Care Nurses

This education page created by the AACCN details certification and other continuing education opportunities for students exploring the critical care field.

American Association of Colleges of Nursing

For more information on higher education and goals for advancing the field of nursing, visit the AACN. The site also provides career links and educational webinars that may be helpful for students.

American Holistic Nurses Association, For Students

Nursing students interested in taking a holistic approach to medicine may benefit from the resources this membership group offers.

American Nurses Association Career Center

From certification information to career boards, the ANA’s career resources page provides helpful tools for past, present and future nursing students.

Emergency Nurses Association

This education oriented page provides more information on certificates needed for work in emergency-related medical care.

National Black Nurses Association

As a membership organization supporting African American nurses, the NBNA hosts leadership, policy and public health programs and conferences around the country.

National Coalition of Ethnic Minority Nurses

From scholarship opportunities to educational conferences and events, the NCEMN provides resources for ethnic minority nurses.

National Council of State Boards of Nursing

Find out how to prepare to take the National Council Licensure Examination, or NCLEX-RN, and see what happens after the test.

National Gerontological Nursing Association

With a focus in clinical care for older adults, members work within the growing field of long-term-care. This page provides information on the NGNA’s purpose and goals.

National Student Nurses Association

The NSNA provides a student-based perspective on the overall field of nursing. Their website provides student forums, activism, leadership and career information.