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5 things you must know about online nursing programs

The country has been facing a rising shortage of nurses lately. Naturally, the demand for qualified, well-trained nurses in nearly every nursing specialty has significantly increased. Thanks to the growth of online nursing programs, getting a degree or advancing your career has never been more convenient. If you’re looking for key information on online nursing programs or courses, you’re in the right place. Here, we’ve discussed the advantages of online programs, types of degrees, enrollment process, and more in detail.

Benefits of online nursing programs
Here are a few reasons why you should consider enrolling in an online program:

  • Flexibility and convenience
    Perhaps the biggest advantage of online nursing programs is that you can schedule classes when it is most convenient for you in the day. This way, you can manage work and household chores while focusing on your studies.
  • Career growth
    Registered nurses with lower degrees can benefit the most from online programs. They can pursue a bachelor’s or master’s degree to take their career to new heights.
  • Lower costs
    Since you’ll be home and not using any college space or facilities, many universities offer the same, top-quality education for lower costs. This is another common reason why many people prefer online programs over in-person lectures.
  • Better learning environment
    Traditional classroom settings with too many students can be a distraction for many. Online programs give you the freedom to create your own learning space at home, boosting your productivity.
  • Greater participation opportunities
    Some students in a classroom, especially those at the back, avoid participating in lectures. Whereas others feel shy or uncomfortable speaking in front of their peers. Since online classes offer multiple modes of communication, such as video conferencing, audio, texting, and others, students are more comfortable at expressing themselves and sharing their inputs.

Types of nursing degrees online
You can get nearly all levels of nursing education online. Below, we’ve listed nursing degrees that are popular online.

  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)
    Nurses with a BSN degree have bigger responsibilities than those with an associate degree (ADN). That also means those with BSN degrees also have more earning potential. They can also practice in various healthcare fields, including long-term care, complex and critical care, school nursing, and more. It takes three to four years to complete a BSN degree.
  • RN-to-BSN Program
    This program is designed for Registered Nurses (RN) with associate degrees. It allows students to take their careers to the next level in one to two years.
  • Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)
    Both registered nurses with BSN degrees and learners with a non-nursing bachelor’s degree can apply for the MSN degrees. Depending on the existing degrees, it can take 18 months to three years to get a master’s in nursing.

Are online nursing programs accredited and respected?
Yes, online programs are accredited as well as highly respected. Thanks to advancements in technology, teachers can now provide higher-quality education in virtual form. In other words, your job prospects will look similar whether you attend in-person or online programs. Regarding accreditation, although many only programs are accredited, you must still confirm before signing up. To check the accreditation of any nursing program, visit the official website of the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

How to enroll in an online nursing program?
The requirements for enrollment varies from one nursing program to another at different universities. In general, all online programs will set up a virtual career planning session and admission interview. You will also need to submit documentation of previous education, give entrance assessment tests, and make all the financial arrangements.

Top universities for nursing programs
If you feel you’re ready to earn a nursing degree online, the next step is to look for the best programs. The good news is that many universities in the United States offer top-tier nursing programs entirely online. Below, we’ve listed the top ten universities, in no particular order, that you must consider:

  1. Duke University
  2. Rush University
  3. University of Central Florida
  4. University of South Carolina
  5. The Ohio State University
  6. Georgetown University
  7. Drexel University
  8. Texas A&M International University
  9. John Hopkins University
  10. Northeastern University

Keep in mind that poor nursing education can affect your entire career in the long run. So, it’s vital to choose a program and university after consideration. Reading reviews online and speaking to people who have attended a program you’re interested in can help you make better decisions.

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