Are you a nurse considering returning to school for a higher degree or are you finishing high school and are looking into nursing school? Have you considered completing your degree online? Online programs are a great way to fit in that all important education in your busy lives.
Online degree programs in nursing allow you to further you education from the comfort of your own home, but do not think you can avoid participation in clinicals. Clinicals are a key component in any nursing program. They allow for that hands-on experience in a real-life medical facility. For the non-clinical part of your courses, most will be taken entirely online. Different online course approach your educational experience slightly different. At some point you will need to take part in clinicals, but some programs also may require you to spend some time on campus such as for certain exams.
Online nursing courses cover the same required topics as traditional courses, but are hosted on a website. Course material and assignments are posted by a professor for easy access. Students can communicate with instructors by posting questions or comments on the sites bulletin board, in discussion forums, emails or designated online chat sessions (online form of office hours). Course work can usually be done on the student’s own time and email assignments by their due dates to the professor.
If you are thinking that accredited online nursing programs are “easier” than in a traditional program, think again. Online nursing programs are just as rigorous as any accredited, “traditional” program. Both are accredited in the same way meeting the criteria set by independent accrediting bodies to receive recognition by that body.
Some online university programs are affiliated directly with a traditional one meaning you may not be able to work at your own pace. You must start and finish at the same pace as an on-campus student. This allows for larger groups of students going through the program together. Communication with your classmates can be very helpful even if it is through email or chat forums.
In many programs online students have academic advisors to help guide them through the process. They can map out the courses you will need to take each semester to graduate. In other programs, students can tailor their won curriculum and plan class and study time to fit their particular needs.
Online programs may not be for everyone, but it is a great option to have in the busy schedules that seem to be abundant in many of our personal lives. Do your research before choosing a program. You want one that will fit your schedule and personal needs for your best educational outcome.