Can I earn RN online?


I earned a BS in Computer Science in 1980 and have enjoyed a great career in Information Systems. I do have some healthcare experience...I now work for a national healthcare company in their Information Systems department. I have also been a certified childbirth educator and doula since 1988 so I've had some experience with labor support in a hospital. I've also been on some medical mission trips with my church. Now I realize it's time I earned my nursing degree.

Are there any online programs where I can earn my RN? I need to continue to work full-time while I do this. I see a lot of LPN to RN and RN to BSN online degree programs. But is there one for someone who is starting from scratch?


675 Posts

If there are, I wouldn't think it would be a very good idea to do it.... I mean the bulk of your schooling is clinicals... You can't really learn how to insert a catheter or an IV online... KWIM? I think the whole purpose of nursing school is to get you involved in patient care and that would be really hard to do without actually doing it....

Just my 2 cents though... I guess I really don't know for sure....

Good luck with your future career!


3 Posts

I realize I will need those skills too. I've spent plenty of time in hospitals watching both IVs and catheters being inserted. I know I could do it. I would have to take vacation or time off without pay though and would like to keep the classroom time to a minimum.


24 Posts


I'm in the same boat I have a BA I know I will have to take some of the sciences so I think the best bet would be to start out with LPN I hear to watch out for cnet college and rue college they really are not schools they are publisher companies and cost a bundle

until great minds meet again


192 Posts

Many schools offer some/all prereq courses online. That could take a year or more, depending on what you have to take and the succession of courses. I don't know any way around traditional clinicals.


1,383 Posts

Has 17 years experience.

I understand where the OP is coming from.

I recently mingled with a group with business/office types who were bewildered by nursing and were wondering how we as nurses stood apart from one another, as we all had similar credentials with respect to the job which we were applying.

As my SO was applying for various jobs recenty, I've noticed a disturbing number of them wanting a bachelors degree, period. The bachelors could have nothing to do with the job, but they wanted it nonetheless.

This is where nursing and business differs.

In the corporate world, anyone with a degree in anything can be trained in a few short weeks or otherwise to take on a particular job.

I just don't understand how someone with a fine arts degree can be superior to someone with actual experience in business, but that's how it works.

Anyway, as far as nursing goes, I can see where someone from that culture can get confused.

You could have an MBA or whatever, it doesn't mean that you could learn an ADN RN's skills and knowhow in a matter of days or weeks.

Nursing is different in that you can't interchange people with various degrees, training, and skills and replace people according to their degrees.

It doesen't work that way and hopefully, no one would want it to work that way.


125 Posts

You might want to consider a night/weekend program. There's a CC by me that offers the program where the classes start at 5pm M-F and your clinicals are done on the weekend. You would go two days during the week and one weekend day. Maybe there is something like that near you? I think there are many people who need to work fulltime while attending nursing school. I haven't been able to find, nor do I think it's a good idea, to do clinicals online.


727 Posts

Aren't Chamberlin and Deaconess the same thing???


443 Posts

Specializes in ER. Has 3 years experience.
Aren't Chamberlin and Deaconess the same thing???

Yes they are. I have heard that it is difficult to set up your own clinicals but I am sure that this varies by location.


Specializes in ED, ICU, MS/MT, PCU, CM, House Sup, Frontline mgr. Has 15 years experience.

Try the Distance Learning/Independent Study Forum. I think you must be an EMS/EMT to do online programs from scratch, but I am not sure.


2,450 Posts

Aren't Chamberlin and Deaconess the same thing???

Yes they are. I have heard that it is difficult to set up your own clinicals but I am sure that this varies by location.


Yes, they are. I provided both link so everyone could ge the full background info.

Clincials do take some work to get set up locally. The school has a clinical liason that will help you secure spots with a hospital in your area, but you must do the leg work and be proactive. They will provide a lengthy and detailed contract both you and the facility must agree to.

You contract with the facility for a preceptorship, where you rotate through different nursing departments in the hospital, using nurses and the hospital's head nurse educator to provide you with an extensive clinical training.

You can try to make the clinical situation work to your advantage. Contact that local hospital with all you documents about the school. Try to work out a situation with hospital were you agree to consider them for employment after graduation if they provide you with a nurse preceptor for clinicals during the progam.

Since the OP says he/she worked for a "national healthcare company" if that company is a hosptial/hospital chain, they might have an "in" with regards to clinical.

Look for posts by opalm, monab or cbarrnett here on allnurses about Deconness/Chamberlain. The program has it's pros and cons.