Explore Online Nursing Programs to Advance Your Education
Find a rewarding career in the field of nursing by enrolling in one of the online nursing programs at Grand Canyon University (GCU). Offered through the College of Nursing and Health Care Professions, our online nursing degrees are designed to help you foster best practices and patient care success.
Prepare to serve others as future leaders within the healthcare field by choosing from a variety of undergraduate and graduate nursing programs. By choosing one of our online nursing programs, you can prepare for an exciting healthcare career while enjoying the flexibility offered by GCU's online degree programs.
Military & Military Spouses
GCU offers programs in online nursing for military spouses, military members and veterans. Explore our nursing programs for military spouses and servicemembers.
Become a leader in the nursing profession and strengthen your knowledge of patient care. GCU’s accredited RN to BSN helps you gain knowledge in community health, healthcare management, and professional nursing practice, while GCU’s MSN bridge programs offer you the ability to specialize in areas relevant to your desired field.
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Online Graduate Nursing Programs
Continue your education and enhance your skills through a graduate nursing degree online. Our MSN and DNP degrees as well as our post-graduate certificates create opportunity for vocational growth and enjoyment. Experience the feeling of accomplishment as you become equipped to grow and serve at higher levels in the field of nursing.
Online Master’s in Nursing
Develop expertise in a key area of nursing by choosing one of GCU's masters in nursing programs (MSN). Like the RN to BSN, the MSN online is accredited by Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) and aligned with American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) Essentials for Nursing Practice. These online nursing programs can help prepare you to compete for top leadership positions, such as Chief Nursing Officer or prepare you for advanced practice as a Nurse Practitioner.
MSN Fast Track
The MSN Fast Track Option simulates an RN to MSN program in duration. Complete two graduate-level courses from your chosen MSN emphasis as electives toward meeting the BSN requirements. Students completing this fast track option will graduate with an MSN.
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The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) is designed for practice-focused leaders who are interested in translating current research into innovative solutions that help achieve positive outcomes. The DNP online helps you meet your personal and professional goals while preparing for a career as a nurse executive or educator.
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If you have already completed your Master of Science in Nursing, but wish to further your education by earning a specialized certificate, then consider one of GCU's Post-Master of Science in Nursing programs. Our programs focus on applicable skills to help you prepare to work with diverse populations across the lifespan or mentor and teach the next generation of nurses. Find out more about these Post-MSN programs to see if one is right for you.
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What is the difference between a DNP and a PhD? What jobs do these degrees prepare me for?
Both the DNP and the PhD are considered the highest forms of education available for nurses, and both prepare students to generate new knowledge. While equally recognized, there are differences. The Doctor of Nursing Practice is aimed at translating evidence-based research into clinical practice and impacting clinical settings through quality improvement processes. Whereas, the Doctor of Philosophy is more aimed at original research and is generalizable.
Graduates of both research- and practice-focused doctoral programs are prepared to generate new knowledge. However, research-focused graduates (PhD) are prepared to generate knowledge through rigorous research and statistical methodologies that may be broadly applicable or generalizable. Practice-focused graduates (DNP) are prepared to generate new knowledge through innovation of practice change, the translation of evidence, and the implementation of quality improvement processes in specific practice settings, systems, or with specific populations to improve health or health outcomes. New knowledge generated through DNP practice innovation, for example, could be of value to other practice settings. This new knowledge is considered transferrable but not considered generalizable.
GCU’s DNP helps prepare graduates to work as highly skilled nurses, step into healthcare management roles, or assume a role in academia within practice-based nursing programs. PhD graduates are equipped to become a nursing researcher, hold various health policy positions, or assume full-time teaching and administrative positions in academia.*
What is the fastest route to obtaining a nursing degree online?
The length of time it takes to earn one of our online nursing degrees will depend on your previous education and individual schedule. RN to BSN candidates who want to earn an MSN can accelerate their nursing education by choosing the BSN to MSN Fast Track Option. Speak with an enrollment representative by calling 855-GCU-LOPE to learn more about your opportunities.
Can I complete a nursing degree completely online without clinicals?
Online nursing programs complete classwork 100 percent online, with the practicum capstone hours accomplished in your local area. Clinicals are an essential part of most nursing programs, as they allow you to apply your knowledge and gain hands-on skills. Many of GCU's online nursing programs contain a clinical practicum and an evidence-based capstone course, which are designed to help put your knowledge into practice. At GCU, the Office of Field Experience can help you set up your clinical/practicum experience.
Does the program make me eligible to sit for specialty certification in community and public health roles?
Students enrolled in the RN-BSN Program at GCU receive exposure to community and public health content in their Concepts in Community and Public Health course and have an opportunity to apply their learning by way of a community teaching project however, the program does not prepare graduates for specialty certification in community or public health which is regulated by individual state boards of nursing. Students are encouraged to contact their individual boards of nursing to obtain specific information regarding additional content and clinical requirements to obtain community/public health certification in their state.
What if my bachelor's degree is not in nursing?
If you are a registered nurse and hold a bachelor’s degree that is not in nursing, you may be eligible to enroll in one of our bridge to MSN programs. At GCU, students may enroll in bridge programs that accelerate the completion of a graduate degree in nursing. Students completing a bridge program do not receive a BSN degree upon completion but rather finish their program with an MSN. The nursing bridge programs include six “bridge” courses designed to help you gain the knowledge needed to successfully complete an MSN program. Each program can be taken online. Contact an enrollment representative for more information on our nursing bridge programs.
Does the RN to BSN degree also prepare me for nursing positions beyond direct patient care in the clinical setting?
This degree can prepare students for a variety of career paths in nursing. Graduates will be equipped to take their knowledge and skills beyond the bedside. Graduates can become clinical nurse educators, unit supervisors, care coordinators, nurse navigators, and clinical instructors. Graduates may also transition into leadership positions within the healthcare system. The critical thinking skills, knowledge of evidence-based practices, and exposure to research principles gained in this program are valuable and applicable in many nursing roles.
Can I complete the nursing degree fully online?
All nursing degrees accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) require some form of direct clinical experience or practicum that allow students to demonstrate achievement of clinical competency at the baccalaureate or master’s levels. Therefore, both ground and online nursing programs at GCU require clinical or practicum experience. For many online nursing programs, students complete their clinical requirements in their local community. Many students find that these experiences not only enhance their knowledge of leadership and public health but also lead to meaningful change in their local health organization or community. Contact the Office of Field Experience to learn more about the specialized support offered to GCU students completing their nursing clinical experiences.
*Retrieved from American Association of Colleges of Nursing