If you are thinking about a career in nursing, here are some of the questions you might want answering. What is involved in studying online nursing? What jobs are there for nurses? What are the education requirements, and how much can you expect to earn after completion? These and other questions are tackled below.

As anybody who has been in the hospital knows, nurses are the first point of contact as regards treatment and diagnostic tests, and as such, they are incredibly important in the healthcare profession. They are the human face of so much health care – providing direct patient care.

What is studied in a Nursing Program? Nursing education usually includes courses in anatomy, physiology, biological sciences, microbiology, chemistry, nutrition, psychology, sociology, nursing, pharmacology, statistics, environmental and occupational health, and the liberal arts. But you can’t learn everything about being a nurse online. Programs also include supervised clinical experience in hospitals and other healthcare facilities.

What Nursing jobs are there? Nursing professionals are always in demand all over the world. Nurses are found in several major settings, including Hospitals – where they provide bedside nursing care and administer medical care plans; Clinics/Centers/Healthcare Offices – caring for outpatients in doctor’s’ offices, clinics, and emergency medical centers, where they assist with examinations, administer injections and medications, etc; Nursing Homes – caring for residents; Schools; Home Care/Hospice – providing nursing services to patients at home; Prevention/Education Programs; Public Health; And there are many other opportunities for nurses.

Rapid growth is expected in nurses for hospital outpatient facilities due to the growing trend in discharging patients earlier and performing more procedures as outpatients. Hospital jobs for nurses will not grow as rapidly. The aging population of the country will also lead to the need for more nurses over the next seven years. The U.S. Department of Labor reports that employment of registered nurses is expected to grow over 20% up to 2016.

To be a Registered Nurse (RN) in the United States, you must pass the relevant National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) or in Canada, you must pass the Canadian Registered Nurse Examination (CRNE). This exam tests that you have the knowledge and problem-solving skills needed to provide adequate health care to patients and is needed in order to work in any healthcare facility. The NCLEX-RN is taken by both Associate Degree (ADN) and Bachelor’s Degree (BSN) prepared nurses and the pass rates are about the same for both ADN and BSN prepared nurses. Make sure that your chosen program prepares you for the NCLEX Nurse Registration exam.

Further training or education online for nursing can qualify you to work in specialty areas, and help advance your career. Many existing licensed registered nurses (RNs) with an Associate degree or diploma take online nursing programs at Bachelor’s level, to enable them to assume positions of responsibility in a variety of health care settings. These can be administrative positions in nursing, but could also be other positions in home health, nursing education, or health care case management.

Your salary will obviously depend on which role you pursue, your qualifications and experience. The median expected salary for a typical Staff Nurse is over $61,000