With the proliferation of digital life, it’s no surprise that online schools have become one of the most popular ways to expand your knowledge and earn a degree. This is especially true for those seeking to earn a nursing degree. Even though online schools offer a myriad of benefits, such as convenience and cheaper coursework, when it comes to finding the best online nursing program, you shouldn’t simply look for the best, but rather, the best program for YOU.
Even though choosing to compete your nursing degree online is a highly personal decision, there are several elements you should keep in mind. Ultimately, you’re the only one capable of making this choice. However, you should use the following information as a way to help guide you to the best option for your unique situation.
Online Nursing Program Layout – 100% Online or Hybrid?
When you’re searching for an online nursing program, it’s important to determine whether the program is 100% online or if you’re required to go to campus for specific classes or examinations. As many students have experienced, hybrid programs offer the best of both worlds.
Not only do you receive the convenience of online schooling, but also the availability to help and professors that’s common for traditional on-campus learning. The biggest consideration you must make is the location of the campus. While some students choose an online program as they aren’t close to a desirable university, if the program requires campus visits, then you may not be able to successfully complete the coursework.
Make sure to fully review the requirements of an online nursing program, especially if you’re attending an out-of-state university.
Program Flexibility – Training Duration
Another major benefit of online nursing programs is its flexibility. Unlike traditional on-campus training, which is dictated by a strict schedule, many online programs allow you to complete coursework at your pace as long as you meet assignment and test deadlines.
In general, a nursing program can take anywhere from 24-48 months to complete. While this can vary based upon your previous experience (as a CNA or other medical professional), or if you’re undergoing a bridge program, you should inquire the average (or expected) training duration. If you’re serious about completing your degree as swiftly as possible, see if the school offers an accelerated online program.
Your Personal Learning Style – Convenience or Competence?
There comes a time when every student must determine his or her ideal learning style. For some, they can fully absorb information and retain data from reading and working through textbooks without assistance. However, for many others, they require the structure and in-person instruction offered by a traditional classroom setting.
Unfortunately, far too many students were swayed by the promise of convenience, accelerated learning and cost-effectiveness of online nursing degrees. This results in students who either failed to complete the program or were under trained due to their own inability to absorb information delivered digitally.
The most important question you must ask yourself when considering an online degree program is whether this learning format works for your unique brain. You should never choose convenience over your competence. This is especially important when training for such a highly regulated and licensed career as nursing.