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Are you looking to become a nurse? If so, then congratulations—nursing can be an incredibly rewarding career choice, with lots of options and opportunities available depending on what you’re interested in and where you see your career path heading.
Sounds great, right? Sure, but if you’re at the very beginning of your journey to become a nurse, you likely have a more immediate question—how do I choose a nursing degree program that’s right for me?
The good news is that it’s easier than ever to incorporate continuing your education and pursuing a degree with everything else you have going on in your life—the number of high quality online nursing degree programs—which typically offer more convenience and flexibility than traditional nursing degree programs—has exploded in recent years and continues to grow. For some, the hardest part in the face of so many choices is to make the right decision. Fear not—use the following information to choose an online nursing degree program that’s perfect for you.
U.S. News & World Report recently published an article on how to choose an online nursing bachelor’s program, which features helpful questions you can ask yourself in order to arrive at the right decision. The following key categories will help you arrive at a choice that makes the most sense for you.
Before you make a decision regarding an online nursing degree program, you should know what the basic requirements are for admission—and if you meet them. When you’re considering a program, make sure you meet the education and accreditation requirements, including relevant completed coursework, experience, testing, and licensure. Programs may vary, so don’t blindly assume that what works for one program will suffice for all. Bottom line—when you’re choosing an online nursing degree program, you’re going to have to do your homework.
For most people, this is a key consideration—how much does the program cost to complete? Often, you can find this information online, but sometimes you may have to contact a school/program directly in order to get complete and accurate information. When contacting the school directly you can also learn about what financial aid options might be available to you. It’s important that you have the full story regarding what a program will cost for you to finish in order to avoid any surprises later on.
Another important issue is location, which might sound strange considering that we’re discussing online degree programs. That said, many programs are hybrid (or blended) programs, which consist of both online and classroom-based coursework. This stands to reason, as nursing is a hands-on profession and some topics and skills are best covered in face-to-face classes. When deciding which program you should pursue, make sure that the online vs. in-class aspects of the program make sense for you.
Time—it’s a precious commodity that often comes in a too-limited supply in our busy lives. Therefore, you need to make sure that the program you choose to pursue includes options for a complete timeline that makes sense, given your schedule. Some programs are rigid regarding the amount of time you can take to complete all of the required coursework; other programs are more flexible. Make sure that the program you ultimately choose allows you to complete coursework at a pace that works for you.
Pursuing an online nursing degree program can be a great career move, but be sure to choose wisely. Use the information provided here to choose a program that meets all of your specific needs.