In one word: Accreditation.
The process of accreditation is not mandatory for online nursing programs but is desirable in most scenarios. Accreditation is usually used by schools to measure up their courses with others across the country.
Most schools offer accreditation and as such serve as a basis for enrolling for an online nursing program.
Another reason to choose schools that offer accreditation is schools that offer accreditation wouldn’t take transfer students from schools that don’t.
This is very important to know in order not to get yourself stuck if you would like to transfer between schools.
Generally, there are two groups that accredit online nursing programs in the united states.
- National League for Nursing Accreditation Commission (NLNAC).
- Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).
It is best to watch out for schools that can grant you either of these seals as that would better position you in pursuing a career as a professional nurse.
On confirming that your school meets the national standard, the next step you should take is considering what learning style works best for you.
Online learning (E-learning) has been making waves for some time now so if that your preference you shouldn’t worry much. Online courses normally cost the same as regular courses, however, there is no need to be in a classroom or among pairs which is excellent for individuals who don’t want the stress of having to.
Taking online courses also comes with its baggage in the sense of having no one to turn to when you have any misunderstanding. Collaborative learning is also sealed off as you learn based on you and not based on the input of others in the same course.
Some classes offer online groups to assist in this issue, but not in all cases.
The most important factor you need to look at in choosing an online nursing program is the availability of your tutor. You need to be able to reach out in terms of need and also get back your grades quickly which can be detrimental to your success in the course.
In the nursing profession, it is important to get hands-on training on how to go about things you need to have technical classes for this to be attained with the time assigned for this varying depending on the institution.
It is worth taking note that students studying for the registered nurse (RN) degree will spend much time doing clinical work as opposed to those completing their Bachelor of Science in Nursing that already is an RN and has worked as a nurse will require.
Getting answers to your questions
An online nursing program like most online courses is only as good as the people running it as it can be a little difficult grading the standard of teaching in it. But with careful research done, you might be able to come about a solution.
You need to take note of some things like;
- How you were treated when you contacted the school.
- How quickly are your calls and emails responded to.
- How clear are the answers to your questions.
These are some of the questions you need to ask and not that, need to observe and take note of the manner to which they are answered.
Are the staff members available, willing and conveniently able to answer to your questions or needs is another factor you need to look into. Things such as financial aid, credit transfers, are some factors you should look at before committing to any school.
The bottom line when shopping for an online nursing program is simple.
Ensure the program is accredited, ensure there is provision for you to receive your clinical hours and consider how staffs treat students before enrolling