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3 Common Misconceptions About Online Nursing Programs

Online Nursing Programs

 

If you're interested in advancing your nursing career by leveling up your certification, you've probably thought about taking classes online.

Great idea! Online classes, such as LPN to RN or RN to BSN bridge programs, might be perfect for you.

They're easier to fit into your schedule than traditional classes, they're more affordable, and you can learn at your own pace.

You can even attend class while lounging on your couch in your pajamas and sipping cocoa, if that's your thing

But online classes aren't right for everyone. Moreover, there are a lot of misconceptions about online classes floating around out there. In this article, we'll set the record straight and help you decide if online classes are the best option for you.

 

3 Myths About Online Nursing Schools 


1. It's easier.

2. You don't need a live instructor.

3. All online schools are the same.

 

Let's examine each one. 

  1. It's easier

There's a persistent belief that replacing regular classroom attendance with an online course's study materials and books makes learning easier. This isn't always the case.

Many online programs lack the structure—the pattern of scheduled lectures, assignments, and tests—of a traditional classroom. Instead, they provide a heap of self-study materials and expect the student to take it from there. Some students do find success with this arrangement.

But many others feel aimless and unmotivated when left to their own devices, and make no progress for weeks, months, or even years at a time.

 2. You don't need a live instructor

Many online programs completely discard traditional, face-to-face (or browser-to-browser) interactions with a human instructor. This usually works fine—after all, you can learn a lot from reading documents and watching videos—right up until the moment you have a question and there's no one to answer it. You shouldn't have to track down external teachers to finish the job your nursing program started.

 3. All online schools are the same

Many online nursing schools are legitimate institutions with an absolutely professional focus on helping their students learn, pass certification exams, and get better jobs.

But online school is big business, which means there are also many lower-quality and/or less scrupulous outfits competing for your dollars. If you put your faith in the wrong school, somebody will profit from your decision—but it might not be you.

In the next section, we'll build upon that last point and teach you how to separate the diamonds from the coal when searching for an online nursing program.  

 

Questions to Compare Online Nursing Programs: 


1. Does the program's format match your learning style?

2. Does the program offer enough individualized support for you?

3. Is the program affordable?


While most online learning programs have similar features, research can uncover some major differences between one school and another. Plus, what works for one student may not work for another. Here are some questions that'll help you select the educational organization that is right for you.

  1. Does the program's format match your learning style?

As mentioned above, many online programs will test your discipline and self-motivation. If you have no deadlines, will you study and progress through the material?

Or will you put it off in favor of day-to-day distractions like household chores, hanging with your family, or—let's be real, can we?—binge-watching your latest TV obsession? Would the structure of attending classes and completing assignments help keep you moving forward?

On a related note, will you be able to learn independently and glean the knowledge from self-paced tutorials on your own? Or do you thrive on interaction with instructors and fellow students?

Note that there are no right or wrong answers to these questions. Preferring a more traditional approach doesn't mean you can't still choose an online program. It just helps you narrow your choices.

2. Does the program offer enough individualized support for you?

You're going to have questions about a lesson at some point. Everyone does. You may even find yourself struggling to pass an exam. How will the program help you in those situations? Are instructors available to work with you one-on one? Are there any free remediation programs to help you in the event that you fail an exam? How far is the organization willing to go to help you successfully complete the program?

Get answers to these questions early—so you can get answers to other questions later. 

3. Is the program affordable?

Online programs are typically less expensive than traditional nursing schools, but it can still be a real shot to your pocketbook when an online program racks up extra fees (book charges, for example) that you didn't expect. Make sure you find out all fees up front, so you aren't blindsided by unanticipated expenses you didn't work into your budget.

Don't let these questions spook you. Online LPN to RN bridges (or other programs) are still a wonderful way to earn a more advanced nursing certification. You just want to be sure you understand how each program is structured, so you have accurate and realistic expectations. That way, you can select the program that's best for you.

Finally, if your research tells you that you might like a hybrid system that blends the structure and interaction of a traditional system with the flexibility and convenience that learning online enables, we'd humbly suggest you consider partnering with Achieve. Students love our programs, our sky-high pass rate—93% of our students pass their exams on the first try—speaks for itself, and we offer free assistance to help that remaining 7% get there as well. We won't let you down.

 

Attend a free online nursing class

*This blog has been updated and republished.

Topics: Nursing Programs, Online Programs, Online Nursing Programs

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