What to Expect from Online Nursing Programs

The best option for busy professionals, parents raising kids and even working students who want to become nurses is earn nursing degrees online.

Online nursing programs allow students to take up a least part of their nursing classes online, whether from their home or workplace. This distance learning format has been gaining popularity as it provides prospective nursing students with the opportunity to study at their convenience and pace, not to mention it gives them access to great nursing schools and educators wherever in the country they may be.

This means you can continue working or caring for your family while taking a large amount of core classes for nursing to earn your nursing degree online or complete your entire graduate nursing degree program to add to your existing nursing degree or license.

Features of an Online Nursing Program

Online nursing programs basically have the requirements as traditional schools, including regular tests, daily homework and written assignments, among others. It would be a mistake to think that you will be given a lighter load of homework. In fact, in some ways, taking classes online will be more difficult than the conventional classes. This may or may not be the ideal learning method for you depending on how well you are able to motivate yourself and your learning style.

First of all, you will need a reliable computer and stable Internet connection in order to participate in online nursing classes. More often than not, the university will host its online nursing classes through their website, or a website specific to the program. You will be using this as an interactive space to see the posted assignments, join discussions and chat sessions with fellow classmates and faculty.

Second, you will only be able to communicate with your peers and teachers via email or online discussion boards. This may seem strange and will take some getting used to if you are accustomed to being able to talk to and see your classmates and instructors on a daily basis, face-to-face. However, consider the benefits: e.g., you post a question on the discussion board when you wake up early in the morning, you leave for work or tend to your family during the day, and late at night when you get home from work, or when the children are finally in bed, you check and discover that your question has been answered.

Third, as opposed to a traditional classroom setting where you will receive instruction through a blend of lectures and textbook reading, the online nursing classes will be composed almost purely of textbook and independent reading. However, there are some nursing online programs that incorporate virtual classrooms where you will be able to see and hear your instructor.

Fourth, contrary to popular belief, online nursing students will still be required to complete clinical experience, regardless of which online nurse school you attend. These online universities are usually affiliated with local medical facilities where you can get your hands-on training, and if not, then you will be required to commute to the school’s facilities a few days every week.

Finally, you will be given assignments, papers and homework with regular due dates, and in addition, you will be required to undergo tests that can take place either at your own time or during a pre-appointed time.