How do I get an Online Nursing Education?

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  • Written By: wiseGEEK Writer
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 25 February 2018
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There is plenty of online nursing education, but not all studies are available, especially to the person who is not currently in possession of an RN. It’s extremely difficult to find an accredited school that has a fully online curriculum, and starts with initial college studies and ends with ability to become a registered nurse. The hands on nature of nursing requires practical studies and plenty of in classroom or hospital time, and therefore any school suggesting that a person can earn an RN online should be treated with some suspicion and students should thoroughly investigate the credentials of the school.

While it may not be possible to start online nursing education and get an RN, there are definitely many education options for those who already possess an RN. For instance many RNs don’t have bachelor’s degrees. One common program offering at online schools is the RN to BSN (Bachelor of Science in Nursing). Since education tends to influence rate of pay, these programs could be great to pursue and they may not require any practical studies. Alternately those who have a BSN already could pursue an MSN and become specialists in a particular area of nursing practice. Some programs may even be available to the person who wants to become a nurse practitioner.

For those interested in pursuing online nursing education, there are several ways to go about selecting programs. Lots of sites offer a collection of schools and people can easily order information on each school and evaluate prices, requirements for admission, credentials of those operating the program, and time it will take to finish a degree. It’s also highly recommended that people independently verify the accreditation of the school.

Online schools may or may not be legitimate, though many of them are. One quick way to make certain that credentials are in order is to check with the state nursing board, but in case people want to continue their education they should also evaluate the school’s standing from another perspective. In the US accreditation can be verified with either the US Department of Education or the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. Any school that is not accredited or listed by one of these agencies, or not approved of by a state nursing board should be discarded as a possible choice.

One of the things many people find with online nursing education is that prices can be expensive. It is possible to get some financial aid, but any prospective student should weigh the amount of loans needed against possible income after education is complete. There can certainly be a big jump for nurses who go from a BSN to MSN, but what’s the standard increase for an RN to BSN? People should definitely evaluate if the increase is enough to justify large loans. Comparing prices becomes very valuable, since it’s quite easy to leave after two years or more of training owing several tens of thousands of dollars. Some people may be eligible for grants, but these usually won’t match the amount needed to attend school, and the rest must be taken out in loans.

However, once people have found accredited programs, compared and analyzed prices, and selected the best program, they can begin their online nursing education. They will need to possess a computer and a reliable Internet connection, and they’ll have to gain acceptance from the school to which they apply. Many people continue to work in the field of nursing while being in school, and a number of programs only take two years to complete. This is fast becoming a very desired alternative to standard offline schooling, because most people find flexibility of scheduling to be so convenient.



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