Online Nursing DegreeWhy take time out of your busy schedule to attend college when you can get an online nursing degree? Online programs are a great choice for those with a lot of time commitments and obligations. With a traditional college program, you must go to your classes at set times throughout the week, which might leave you with little time to work or spend time with your family. An online program lets you do all the things you would do in a traditional program but on your own time.

Finding Accredited Schools

Finding an accredited school is the most important step you need to take. Accredited schools receive accreditation from a governing body, which keeps an eye on that school and ensures that it students leave the program with a good understanding of the coursework. In an article in US News and World Report, Kelsey Sheehy recommends that you look at the school’s website for proof of its accreditation and then research that governing body to ensure it is valid. If you still aren’t sure if your online school has the right accreditation, you can also check with the U.S. Department of Education.

Apply for Admission

A good online nursing program is a program that is selective when it comes to its admissions policy. It won’t accept every student who applies, but it will keep a wait list for students who might receive admissions later. The admissions process varies from school to school, but you typically need to submit a completed application with a transcript from your high school and any other colleges that you attended. Many nursing schools also ask for letters of recommendation and your response to an essay prompt. You might write an essay on the worst day in your life, why nursing interests you or what you want to do with your degree.

Courses and Clinical Experiences

When you go to a traditional college, you take courses in nursing and also spend time doing clinical experiences. When you get an online nursing degree, you still need to complete your clinical experiences. Students spend time working in doctors’ offices, hospitals and other medical settings working under the care of doctors and nurses. They take patient histories, review medical charts, take vital statistics and do other tasks that nurses do. When you work on your degree online, your program should work out a way for you to complete the clinical portion at a local hospital. If you choose an online program associated with a local college, the college will tell you when your clinical rotations take place.

Related Resource: Average Salary For a Nurse

Passing Your Boards

After you get an online nursing degree, you need to take your nursing boards. This intensive test is available through testing centers across the country. It tests your knowledge on prescription medications, different types of diseases, medical conditions and ethics. If you pass your boards, you receive your license to work as a nurse in your state, and many states share licenses, which means that you can work in several states after passing the test.

Nurses are the lifeblood of the medical field. They handle complaints from patients, make those patients feel more comfortable, run simple tests, draw blood and take vitals. If you want to work as a nurse, you can study at a traditional college or you can get an online nursing degree.