If you would like to study for a nursing degree online, it is important to learn how to know if an online Master of Science in Nursing Program is accredited before you choose a specific online school. Accreditation is key in a profession that requires a license before you can practice or work in a state. Since licensing agencies and future schools place a lot of importance on accreditation, you typically cannot apply to sit for an exam unless it has been proven that the program that you have completed meets specific standards. Read about nursing accreditation and how to sift through programs so that you can feel at ease with your choice of online program.
What is the Danger of Trusting a Nursing School’s Website?
Not all accreditation credentials are created equal. One of the specific things that prospective online nursing students need to look for is a school that claims accreditation but does not have a reputable credential. These schools are referred to as diploma mills and they take the time to develop their own accreditation bodies that issue ‘accreditation’ that really holds no weight, according to the Federal Trade Commission. The ‘diplomas’ that are issued may mean something to you, but they do not mean anything when it comes to employers or government bodies.
Schools that develop agencies for accrediting are not approved by the U.S. Department of Education or other nursing licensing boards. You cannot use these diplomas to land a job, transfer for a graduate degree, or become registered. Never rely on the information provided on a school website and take the time to look into accreditation status through official sites rather than the school’s site.
Where to Look to Check and See if a School is Accredited
If you want to study online, you can begin your search for accredited programs by going directly through a specialized accredited body like the American Association of Colleges of Nursing. This specialized agency overseas the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education and has set the standards in nursing education for years and currently offers baccalaureate and graduate nursing program accreditation. Use the accredited programs search tool and narrow down the programs that you can choose from.
How to Find Programs Recognized by the Government
Another method to search for legitimate accrediting organizations is by using government search tools. You can either start your search through the Database of Accredited Postsecondary Institutions and Programs or through the Council for Higher Education database. These search tools are not limited to just searching for accreditation through the CCNE and include online schools that might hold another type of credential. If you use this tool, you can avoid schools that have been labeled diploma mills all together.
Earning an online nursing degree can help you eventually become licensed without having to report to a classroom everyday. You need to be sure that you are a good fit for online study before you choose this option over a traditional option. Once you are sure that you are equipped for the independent nature of the program, you need to find the right online program by focusing on accreditation first. With this information on how to know if an online Master of Science in Nursing program is accredited, you are armed with the tools that you need to make a smart decision.