A number of people still hesitate from taking online nursing degrees mostly due to fears borne out of misconception.
Thanks to the advances in technology, and in particular, the Internet, online learning has risen in popularity. One of the most sought after online degrees is nursing – it offers flexibility and convenience that are of great importance to individuals who are juggling current responsibilities with their studies. However, there is still a great deal of misconception surrounding online nursing programs that keep prospective nursing students from taking advantage of the benefits they provide.
It is important to identify these myths concerning earning nursing degrees online so as not to hinder would-be nurses from obtaining the education that they need, especially if their circumstances are keeping them from attending traditional nursing schools.
Debunking the Myths
- A nursing degree earned online will not be recognized.
This is the number one myth going around, not just for nursing degrees in particular, but all online degrees in general. It doesn’t help matters that there are, in fact, a few fake online nursing programs out there that have negatively impacted the reputation of online degrees in nursing. The key is to seek out accredited online nursing programs by agencies that are recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. Proper accreditation means that the education you obtain is valid and high quality and is provided by a respected institution.
- You will not qualify for financial aid.
Enrolling in properly accredited online nursing programs will make financial aid available for a nursing student, just as it would be for students of a traditional nursing school. Several online universities also offer their own scholarships, grants and financial aid for qualified students. In fact, when considering which online nursing college to enter, it is recommended that you research on the available scholarships and grants they offer by visiting their websites. Additionally, you should fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid or FAFSA so you can determine what federal student aid loans are available to you. Information concerning scholarships and financial aid for students is also available through the website of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing or AACN.
- You will not be allowed to complete clinical experience.
Similar to brick-and-mortar nursing schools, nursing online programs include a requirement for clinical experience. This is usually arranged at a local affiliate hospital or health care facility under the guidance of a licensed professional. This ensures that online nursing students are well-trained, getting quality education and will be fully qualified to work following graduation and licensing.
- Employers do not recognize online learning and will prefer candidates who earned traditional nursing degrees.
This may have been true during the early days of online learning; however, the quality and reputation of online degrees in general have improved significantly over the years. First of all, your future employers will know that you have the initiative and discipline that it takes to complete an online degree in nursing, qualities that they are looking for in an employee. The academic demands of nursing, as well as the need for qualified nurses, have increased; thus, employers place confidence in the accreditation of the online school of nursing and the nursing candidate’s qualifications.
Once you determine the truth about online nursing degrees, you will be able to appreciate its benefits. It is a great and valid alternative to obtaining traditional nursing education especially if your circumstance requires flexibility and convenience.