Is an Online Nursing Degree Program Right for You?

In the world of today’s higher education, nearly all nursing programs offer some online classes. Distance-learning is increasingly being included in traditional brick-and mortar institutions’ curriculum. There are many schools that offer their degrees online. This is for very good reason. There are many reasons for this. From the lack of teachers to deal with the increasing number of students, to the effort to use modern technology in the classroom to improve healthcare outcomes. Nursing programs are available to prospective nurses in rural areas, and a worldwide collaboration has led to a wealth of information.

Mary A. Bemker is an academic coordinator and professor of nursing at Sullivan University. She said that online programs attract students across the country and the globe. Nurses who attend these classes can benefit from the insights provided by peers and faculty, which expand the discussion and understanding beyond what’s found within a particular healthcare organization. It is an advantage to nurses that they can exchange ideas and information with other professionals around the world, as the “world is shrinking” in many ways.

Nurses now have to decide whether they want to earn their nursing degree online or in person. It is important to make a well-informed decision about your career. You should familiarize yourself beforehand with all the advantages and disadvantages of an online degree in nursing. You can overcome all of the negative aspects, but only if you are ambitious.

Dr. Susan Aldridge is the senior vice president of Drexel University Online. She recently carried out research on how employers view online degrees.

Aldridge stated that “Academics, employers, and recruiters agree on the fact that the program chosen must satisfy three criteria in order to maximize one’s credential through online learning.” The learning institution should be accredited and have a campus. It must also represent a strong academic brand.

It’s Good

Emily Walker, an registered nurse who holds a bachelor’s in nursing degree said: “I chose to earn my degree online because I felt it was the logical and most efficient way for me to achieve my career goal.” “I wanted a program which would give me the flexibility to continue working while I studied.”

Flexible Payments

Nurses who are looking to advance their can benefit from online programs. The nurses can log in from anywhere and at any time, allowing them to maintain their family, professional, or personal commitments. It is for this reason that many who wanted to study nursing careers could not do so in the past. Life must continue. Nurses have a wide range of options to continue their education with the advent of new technology.

Anita Pool said, “I was able to do my work during the night, my free days, and my lunch break if necessary.” She has a Master’s Degree in Nursing. I found that the scheduling was very suitable for my learning style. “I could finish the whole project over the weekend, and be finished with the remainder of the work week.”


There are many online schools for nursing that can be found in your locality. The ability to study at a distance makes nursing degrees more accessible for many. Nurses can study at home, even if they are required to visit campus occasionally.

The cost of the product

Cost-effectiveness is a major advantage of online nursing programs. Students receive the curriculum modules online, rather than a lecture from a professor. This allows for a dramatic reduction in price because the classroom fees aren’t included. The students are also not charged any fees for the use of electricity, libraries, or other resources. This means semester credits will be much cheaper.

Learn Pace

Online learning offers the flexibility to study at your own pace. Some schools deliver their curriculum according to a set schedule, but the majority allow you to finish your degree as quickly or as slowly at the pace that suits you. No one is under any pressure to complete their degree within a set time frame. Students can earn their degrees faster if they need to.

The Technology

Online degree programs are based on modern technology. You cannot complete the course without some computer knowledge. By the time students graduate, they have an excellent understanding of computers. It is a positive thing to have, and it gives you a competitive edge over others.


The distance-accessible programs don’t offer preceptors. Students must find their own clinical sites, which requires skills such as research, application and out-of the-box thinking. Students must have the motivation and ability to find their own preceptors in order to get the required clinical experience during online coursework. It demonstrates the nurses’ dedication to communication and friendship with each other. These are attributes highly valued in the industry.

My online degree has taught me how to manage my time well and I am very independent. “I learned how to balance work and study, which has helped me in my career,” Walker said. My transition from college to the workplace was smooth, and I learned how to be productive in many ways.

Bemker said that, “having managed and hired nursing faculty in the past, I found that those faculty members who had graduated from online programs demonstrated the same level of professionalism and preparation academically as those that graduated from a campus-based program.”

The Bad


Many online nursing programs are not accredited. They are also in their early development stages and are therefore unreliable. A number of online degree programs have also only applied for regional accreditation. This is something that students should be very careful of and research before hand. Your degree must be from an accredited institution that is a reputable. Online nursing programs are not exempt from the accreditation process.

National accrediting organizations use the same standards for assessing and evaluating the quality of online nursing programs as they do those on campus. Bemker stated that, having been through several accreditations and being familiar with the quality and rigor of those who review nursing programs both on-site and online. The quality and reliability of online degrees are evident in the fact that so many accredited nursing programs use a hybrid format or totally online.

You can help

The lack of support when needed is one of the biggest disadvantages to obtaining a degree online. These programs are always eager to help students, but you may have to wait several days to receive a response. Many students are afraid to reach out because the other cohort members tend to be strangers. Many schools combat this problem by requiring students to attend a mandatory orientation on campus. You should find someone who can help guide you through these times.

If I wanted to send a message, I would have to use the phone or email. Rarely did I receive an immediate response. Anita Pool explained that she found ways to complement the course, such as by finding YouTube lectures on similar topics. I learned to use the online hospital library to find information and how to browse their database. Also, I searched University websites. As I adjust, this becomes a minor nuisance.”


Students gain an enormous advantage in that they don’t have to go to traditional classrooms, but still must travel to get hands-on training. The clinical hours are required to be completed at hospitals and other sites. You may have to travel for a couple of hours if you are in rural areas. Many rural students choose brick-and mortar programs with residency options because of this.

I had just recently married and relocated to a small village. Pool explained that the closest university, a traditional one, was an hour’s drive away. I was also working full time as a nurse and it was impossible to attend scheduled classes in an unconvenient place.

Enjoy the Experience

The ability to interact with patients, a crucial component of nursing, should begin at the undergraduate level through face-to-face interactions with students, faculty and other patients. The hands-on training required to interact with patients is not available in online nursing programs. Graduates of such programs often are unprepared for hospital settings. You can counteract this problem by complementing your nursing degree with an internship in a hospital. Nursing schools must have proper assessment procedures that test students’ ability to use their skills in the professional setting.


Many question the validity of online nursing programs due to their high failure rate, lack of clinical experience or accreditation. Some of this discrimination has been curbed by the growing reputation of online education. If you have successfully completed an online nursing program with all the clinical hours required, you will no longer be discriminated against.

The Procrastination of Tasks

The inability to complete the required work is one of the major reasons that so many online nursing programs fail. Many procrastinate because of the flexibility. After a long day of work, taking care of the family and cleaning up the home, they are too tired to study. The online nursing program is a tremendous challenge that requires dedication and motivation. Procrastination is not an option.

Time Alone

Concentration and “alone” time are essential for studying. You must be able set aside a time when you can study without being distracted. Many nurses are faced with this problem due to long working hours, family obligations, and other commitments. Some students choose to study after the children have gone to bed, while others take their family on fishing trips every weekend. While it is necessary to isolate yourself from your family to make time to study, there are many creative ways that you can do this.


Some nursing programs are taught online with a workload that is nearly double the traditional program. Written papers and shorter delivery times are common in online programs. The workload is increased, but another factor should be considered. The students are not able to benefit from audiovisual lectures, and there is no immediate assistance available. To combat this, they use other online resources, such as YouTube videos, webinars and online databases.

Bemker stated that the success of nurses as faculty is more about their professionalism, their ability to work with students and the dedication they have to their job than the institution where they received their degree. I would hire an online graduate nurse if she had the required degree and skills.

Many nurses who cannot attend traditional programs prefer to earn their nursing degrees online. Distance-learning can be dangerous, and many people fail because of it. You will not be forced to use course material and there won’t be any phone calls reminding you of deadlines. If you want to complete your online nursing degree, it is essential that you have the following qualities: dedication, willpower and motivation.

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