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Could Earning an Advanced Nursing Degree Online be the Solution to your Woes?



Could Earning an Advanced Nursing Degree Online be the Solution to your Woes?

At one point in time, earning an associate degree in nursing is all one needed to be able to have a successful, long lasting career in the healthcare industry. However, with the continuous changes in healthcare and technological advancements, bachelor degree holders are now favored at most hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare facilities. In fact, the number of registered nurses with bachelor degrees is expected to increase from 50% to 80% by 2020, according to the latest finding from the Institute of Medicine’s Future of Nursing Report.

Most practicing nurses are already aware that to ensure job security, an advanced degree may be needed. However, with grueling and unusual hours, especially for night shift nurses, dropping everything to return to school may be a lot easier said than done. Thankfully, there are RN to BSN and BSN to MSN programs available online. Online programs provide the flexibility most registered nurses need as well as gives them the opportunity to earn a steady paycheck while attending school.  However, not all online nursing programs are the same. To make sure that you don’t get duped by a fraudulent school, make sure to follow some of the tips listed below.

Needs to be Accredited

First and foremost, any school that you’re interested in enrolling in must be accredited by a proper accrediting agency. Accreditation means the school you’re interested in meets a certain standard of education in your state. Currently there are only two nationally recognized accrediting agencies: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) and The National League of Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC). The accrediting agency should be found somewhere on the school’s webpage. If you cannot locate the information or would like to validate that the information is legitimate, type in the school’s name in the search box found on College Navigator, a free service offered by the National Center for Education Statistics.

Offers Federal Financial Aid

Another way to tell that a nursing school is legitimate is to investigate whether federal financial aid is offered to nursing students who qualify. Legally, only legitimates schools are allowed to offer federal financial aid such as grants and federal government loans to its students. Because you can’t apply for financial assistance through the school directly—only through the official Financial Aid website –the service should be able to alert you whether federal financial aid is awarded at that specific institution or not.

Enroll through a Brick and Mortar University

Last but not least, if you just aren’t comfortable enrolling in an online nursing program offered through an exclusively online school because you just aren’t sure if you’ll get the kind of nursing education you deserve or you’re skeptical that employers will not take your degree seriously (which I’m sure they will nonetheless), then it will be your best bet to enroll in an online program offered through a well-known brick-and-mortar university. This way, you can feel comfortable knowing that you aren’t getting duped and will receive the education you deserve.

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This is a guest post by freelance writer and blogger Nadia Jones. Nadia enjoys sharing her knowledge on topics of education and higher learning. She offers online college advice and guidance to readers throughout the blogosphere. Reach her at nadia.jones5@gmail.com.

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