Tips for Choosing Online Nursing Programs

October 18, 2011 Category: Distance Education

Whether you’re looking for a career change or have always dreamed of becoming a nurse, the path towards obtaining this goal involves some important decision making. Choosing the right nursing school to receive your education and training from is perhaps the most essential one of all. This is especially true if you are interested in online nursing programs. However, going virtual doesn’t mean the factors involved in which program to choose should be taken any less seriously.

Tip #1: Choose Online Nursing Programs By Location

You might be wondering why location would matter if you’re looking at online nursing programs. Because the requirements that need to be met to become employed as a licensed nurse differ from state to state, it is still important to enroll in an online program that offers the courses and training that will qualify you to work in your state of residence. Remember, when it comes to taking your exam (the NCLEX) to earn your license, you’ll have to follow your respective state’s rules and regulations, as they are set by the NCSBN (The National Council of State Boards of Nursing).

Tip #2: Check for Nursing Program Accreditation

Before working with a new business and paying for their services, you’d do research to make sure the company has a good track record by checking sites like the Better Business Bureau, right? The same consideration should be made when it comes to online nursing programs. In the case of online nursing schools, you’ll want to make sure the educational institution you’re interested in has been accredited by the NLNAC (National League for Nursing Accreditation Commission). Being accredited, while not mandatory, is a great asset to have because it shows that a particular school has met the requirements that show it is committed to promoting the highest level of education and teaching standards.

Tip #3: Strength of the Online Nursing Program

Just because there is a wide of online nursing programs to choose from, that doesn’t mean all of them are the right fit for you. It is best to seriously consider those known for the strength and quality of the specific nursing program you want to take. To narrow down your choices, limit your online search to schools with programs in the nursing specialty field you want to pursue professionally. In order to be an ideal candidate for employment, you’ll want to learn your skills and training from the best.

Tip #4: NCLEX Success Rates

One way to find out if online nursing programs are doing a good job is by knowing what percentage of a school’s students have passed the NCLEX examination. The higher the percentage, the more obvious it is that the school is properly preparing its students. Request this information from the schools you’re considering and use those results to further aid in your final decision.

Tip #5: Clinical Portion of the Online Nursing Program

Like traditional schools, online nursing programs must offer a clinical portion of the training. Find out what local options are available to you through the schools on your list and whether they offer the hands-on experience you need.

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