Many students who already have a Bachelor of Science in Nursing want to know what to look for in an online Master of Science in Nursing online program. These students want to work at a hospital or in another medical setting and complete a master’s degree in their spare time. They know that the right program can help them quickly earn an advanced degree and make more money later. While looking at online nursing programs, there are a few questions you can ask to ensure you choose a great program that will help you meet your career goals.
Is the Program Accredited?
When looking at online programs, make sure that each one has accreditation. The Campaign for Nursing’s Future from Johnson & Johnson found that the two largest organizations responsible for the accreditation of nursing programs is the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) and the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC). Attending an accredited nursing program lets you seek financial aid and obtain scholarships that are only available to nursing students.
What Percentage of Students Pass the NCLEX?
Those wondering what to look for in an online Master of Science in Nursing online program may not think about the examinations that nurses must take before working. The NCLEX is the largest and most important of all those examinations. This test is a professional exam that all nurses must take and pass to obtain a license to practice in their states. Most nurses take this test immediately after earning a bachelor’s degree. You will also want to look at the pass rate among students who sat for other examinations, including those designed for critical care nurses, oncology nurses and those working in other specialized fields.
Is Online Support Available?
You should ask about online support as well. What would you do if you found that you used a different operating system and your computer wasn’t compatible with the system used by the school? You might find that your professor cannot view the papers and assignments you submitted because of errors as well. A good college will offer support for online students, including an introduction class you take that shows you how to use the system. You should also have access to email and technical support as well.
What are the Requirements of the Program?
If you want to know what to look for in an online Master of Science in Nursing online program, make sure that you look at the requirements necessary for graduation too. Most of these programs take 18 to 24 months to finish and include either a fieldwork component or a thesis component. A thesis refers to a large research paper that you write. You will generally need to submit the topic you want to write on, receive approval from the university and complete the paper within your last year. Some colleges may let you do approved fieldwork at a hospital or another medical facility instead of writing a thesis.
Related Resource: Top 10 Best MSN Online Programs 2015
Earning an advanced nursing degree can significantly increase your earnings and put you in contention for better jobs. You can earn your degree online while you work. Students concerned about what to look for in an online Master of Science in Nursing online program should look at the requirements of the program, whether it offers online support, its accreditation and how many students pass professional examinations.