Getting Your Nursing Degree Online
The Bureau of Labor Statistics has indicated that nursing is growing considerably faster than the average career path. With the advent of the internet taking over distance education as a whole, online nursing degrees are becoming more and more prevalent within the busy lives of all levels of nursing.
Online nursing degrees are quickly gaining acceptance as the norm, as many regular class-based programs of well-recognized schools are adding online components.
Online Nursing Courses
Prior to beginning any online class, it’s important to recognize the internet requirements needed for a class. Reliable broadband internet is recommended due to the administration of tests online, and a loss of connection during a testing period could be disastrous.
Typically, the program involves instruction via DVDs or proctored tests. The benefits for the self-starting are clear: flexible hours, less crowded classrooms, and convenience of mobility. Gasoline costs are increasingly cost prohibitive for the non-traditional student who must commute.
Computer literacy is imperative for online students. If a student does not know how to troubleshoot the most basic of problems, the course can become more of a challenge than is truly required. Blackboard (a computer program) is a common method of didactic instruction for online education. The method of didactic instruction varies, but usually notes are given to the students. It’s also possible for instructors to prerecord their lectures and make them available for streaming video.
Nursing Clinicals and Rotations
A nursing degree online for associate’s and bachelor’s requires a practicum, which is a face to face curriculum where the nurse learns such clinical skill like intravenous administration, sterility, and charting. An advanced program like Masters and Doctorates may not require any clinical practicum. Other specialized programs include certifications in certain sub-specialties like geriatrics (study of aging populations) or psychiatric certifications. Online emergency medical technician to RN is another viable option. An RN to MSN program or RN to BS program are common educational paths for getting a nursing degree online.
Most online nursing programs that need a clinical requirement outsource their rotations to a teaching hospital. Keep in mind, online RN students may be responsible for finding their own rotations, proctors, and rotation supervisors. Ascension throughout nursing management is contingent both on experience and level of education attained.
Is an Online Nursing Program Right for You?
An online nursing degree is equivalent to a brick and mortar degree, providing the college is accredited by a regional body. What online nursing degree program is correct largely depends on the state in which certification is required. The type of certification needed is critical here, as colleges may only offer one program. Entrance requirements may vary considerably as well.
Popular online nursing programs include University of Cincinnati, Indiana Wesleyan University, and University of San Francisco. When looking for a program, you should ensure that the program is accredited and not a for-profit institution.