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Taking online nursing courses can be helpful if traditional classes do not fit into your current schedule. Several schools offer online nursing classes, which means you should perform some research to make sure you choose the best one for you. One of the first steps to take is to find out if the online nursing school you are considering requires that you take certain beginner's classes before you enroll in the courses you want. You also should make sure the online nursing courses you take will lead to the degree you want. In addition, find out about the clinical aspect of the college, because you should choose a school that allows you to get hands-on experience at a clinic near you.
Before you start planning which online nursing courses to take, you should find out the prerequisites. Many classes for beginners require just a high school diploma, while classes that teach more advanced concepts often require you to have first taken basic courses such as biology or medical terminology. If the school you are interested in requires that you first take classes that teach skills you already know, you may be able to transfer credits or override this prerequisite by passing an equivalency exam.
You also may want to consider your reasons for taking online nursing classes, because those reasons can help you narrow down your choices. For example, if you just want to learn a few basic nursing skills, perhaps out of sheer interest or to help you in a different career, you can simply choose the courses in which you are most interested. If you wish to make nursing your career, then you need to choose courses that will result in a degree so you can get a job when you graduate. Many online nursing courses result in an associate's degree, which is usually the minimum level of education required for a nursing job. If you want more options in the nursing industry, you can get a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing (BSN), which is often possible after several online nursing courses.
Though an online nursing degree can be completed mostly via the Internet, the majority of programs require you to leave the house at some point. This is because you need some clinical experience to graduate, which means you will need hands-on learning in the medical field. Before you choose the best online nursing courses for you, it is recommended that you find out whether any doctor's offices or hospitals near you qualify for the clinical portion of the degree. If the school you choose only allows you to get hands-on experience at a location that is far from you, the convenience of the online nursing degree is greatly reduced, if not entirely wasted.