Online RN to MSN
Clinical Systems Leadership

Getting Your Nursing Degree Online

How Do Online Nursing Degree Programs Work?

If you earned your RN degree in a traditional college environment, you may be uncertain about entering into an online MSN program. Most working nurses find that there are many advantages to choosing the online option, once you know what to expect.

Program Structure

Online nursing programs are hosted on a dedicated website that will house your syllabus, assignments, instructor lectures, case studies, and other class materials. You will also have access to student community pages where you can post comments and questions. Of course, you can always contact your instructor directly.

Most of your learning will be self-paced, based on your schedule. However, you may have a few pre-scheduled video chat sessions or group project meetings to attend at a specified date and time. Some online nursing programs will also require that you take your exams offsite at a testing location in your area.

Course Schedules

One big draw of online nursing programs is the convenience of being able to learn from anywhere, at any time. Most schools have shortened terms, during which you can take courses that last about two months each. This helps you to focus your learning and plan your assignments several weeks at a time.

Online RN to MSN programs can be especially desirable as they tend to offer an accelerated curriculum. Not only will you build on your current knowledge, you’ll also be able to apply your lessons to the workplace as you gain new skills.

As an online nursing student, you will be assigned to an academic advisor who will help you arrange your course schedule based on personal and professional obligations. Most schools also offer several start dates each year, so that you can begin advancing your education as soon as possible.

Technology Requirements

You will receive a list of technology requirements upon your request for information about the online nursing program of your choice. At the very least, you will need a reasonably modern desktop or laptop computer, Internet access, and an e-mail account. You may also need a web cam if your computer doesn’t have one already built in.

If you are not used to working on a computer, it may be a bit intimidating at first. There is no need to worry. While every school is a little bit different, all offer telephone-based technical support to help with your computer questions and problems.

Financing & Other Logistics

Online nursing programs typically offer the same type of financial aid and scholarship opportunities as a traditional campus program. Your Enrollment Advisor will help you work out payment options, along with any pre-requisites or admission testing that may be required.

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