Your first step in determining if online education is right for you is to conduct a thorough self-assessment to determine which instructional format is most conducive to learning.

Some students learn better in the traditional classroom setting and through face-to-face student-teacher exchanges. Others are more comfortable with technology-facilitated interactions, and prefer to spend more time focused on individual learning. The online learning environment may not be optimal for everyone, so you have to know what works best for you.

Taking it online

Students considering an online program should use the same criteria for selecting a program that they would use in choosing a traditional program, including choosing an accredited program, locating programs that will help you reach your professional goals and finding schools that specializes in your primary area of interest.

"Nurses are choosing online programs to advance their education to remain competitive and meet the expectations of today’s employers."

Those taking classes remotely should fully invest in their education by leveraging the many learning resources and opportunities offered by the school of nursing. These may include extensive online libraries, learning labs, skill-building webinars, networking platforms and forums for student engagement.

Bucking misconception

The biggest mistake a student can make is assuming that online courses are less rigorous than in-person classes. Online courses take discipline, strong writing skills and keen organizational abilities. Students in online courses are expected to answer all questions, provide regular feedback through discussion forums and complete just as many assignments. There’s no hiding in the back of the class in an online program!

In increasing numbers, nurses are choosing online programs to advance their education to remain competitive and meet the expectations of today’s employers. Those considering a distance education program are encouraged to speak with program administrators at their local school of nursing to find out more about what specific skill sets and strategies are most useful to student success in an online environment.