What to Look for in Online Nursing Schools

When students are applying to online nursing schools, certain red flags or problems can go unseen. Similar to some traditional schools, there are some online schools that do not provide the best environment or education to students. To avoid any future waste of money, time, or degree, students should examine several aspects of potential online nursing schools to ensure they find the school best suited for their education.

Certified Accreditation

When a school or university has recognized accreditation status, the government is saying the school meets the academic and physical standards of an excellent university and education. Students who graduate from a university with valid accreditation are more likely to be hired in the workforce, as employers have a guarantee that the student received the necessary information to master their degree’s skills. There are various levels of recognized accreditation, but students should select a regionally accredited university for maximum security.

Most colleges will have their accreditation status and information on their school’s website. When you are examining potential colleges, look at the school’s accrediting agency as well as date the accreditation status expires. Some universities falsify their accreditation information, either using accrediting organizations that don’t exist or hiding the fact the government does not recognize their institute as accredited. One of the easiest ways to check the legitimacy of a school’s accreditation is through the U.S. Department of Education’s website; they have a search tool that allows students to determine whether or not their school is recognized as accredited, as well as view graduation, retention, and student loans rates of a college.

Program Outlines

Before beginning the application process, students should be aware of the curriculum for the program. Schools often have an outline of different courses and programs to give students an idea of the degree path. In addition, potential students should see if the college’s credits are able to transfer to other university programs. While many universities with national accreditation have easily transferrable credits, some schools require students to retake all past credits that do not meet their standards.

Student Services

While online nursing schools provide many self-help tools for students, there are still several resources to receive advice. As programs evolve, the tools and methods of programs should change to fit student’s needs. When you are looking for online nursing schools, investigate how much support your potential university offers, as well as how easily accessible that support is. If you have a hard time contacting student services or advisors, you may want to rethink your decision to study at the university.

School Statistics

Similar to program outlines, the school statistics can give students an idea of what kind of environment they will experience. The U.S. Department of Education website has a tool that shows students any accredited university’s statistics: graduation rates, retention rates, or student loan rates. If a school has a low program completion rate, most likely there is not enough faculty support for students. In addition, a low employment rate for graduates can show a school that does not focus on the quality of degrees, but rather the number of graduates they produce. All of these signs indicate a school that is not focused on providing an excellent education for students.

As more students and universities take to online courses, there are more unknown college choices that can result in an invalid degree, debt, or lost money. Students applying to online nursing schools should always take the time to investigate aspects of potential schools, in order to find the school best prepared to teach nursing skills and knowledge.

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