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Is an Online Nursing Program Right for Me?

There are many training options to choose from to become a nurse: RN versus LPN, associate versus bachelor’s degree programs, and in-person versus online programs. There are many options to consider when planning your education and choosing a nursing school. The school’s success rate in preparing nurses to pass the NCLEX-RN exam is a very important factor. I am going to focus on online training today.

Computer Requirements and Skills for Online Nursing Programs

When you are considering enrolling in an online nursing program, you should contact the program to learn what computer specifics are required. This will allow you to plan in advance and be sure that you will be ready to start on the first day. Many schools offer simple tutorials on navigating through an online course and they may also have a technical department that can assist you with any difficulties and initial set up.


online nursing program

Photo by poll Fernandez

One of the major advantages of online nursing programs is flexibility. Most of the time you are able to complete the coursework at a time that works best for you. The instructor often assigns weekly assignments and you can complete them at any point during the week. Occasionally, you will have to log on at a specific time each week for a lecture, but again this can be done from home and requires no travel on your part, which can save you money and time. Some programs allow you to start at any time while others will require that you start at a specific time and proceed at the same pace as your fellow students. For those that are working and have multiple other responsibilities, an online program can offer a feasible alternative, especially for nurses who want to further their education and earn their bachelor’s or master’s degrees.

Clinical Component

online nursing program

Always learn as much as you can when researching nursing programs. One area you should ask questions about is the clinical training required. For example, how many hours are required, where will this occur, who arranges this training, and if you are currently practicing as a nurse, do those hours count towards your total requirement. Knowing these answers will help you plan in advance and be prepared as the time to complete this portion of your training approaches.


online nursing program
Image from 126 nurse interview questions and answers pdf

One hesitation many students have is the fear that they will not have the opportunity to interact with their professors and fellow students. Most courses have ongoing discussion boards where students can share their thoughts and questions in an open forum which allows for the opportunity to connect and learn from each other. You also have to be aware of your own personal learning style and needs. For example, if you learn better with direct observation and repetition, then an in-person program might better suit your needs. If you are an independent learner who can stay focused and meet the required deadlines, then an online nursing program is a potential option for you.

There are many choices, so take your time and consider all of your options. Deciding to become a nurse is a huge and rewarding step. Now you must decide which path to follow. Stay focused and you will succeed and enter the field of nursing before you know it.

About Michelle

Michelle Besmer is dedicated to preparing the next generation of nurses for successful careers. She completed her Bachelors of Nursing and her Masters as a Certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner at Rutgers University. She has practiced and trained nurses in pediatrics for over 15 years. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family, baking and playing trumpet.

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