The Challenges of an Online Nursing Degree

Gerri Stone

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Several schools offer an online nursing degree. You can obtain your registered nurse (RN) degree online with partial work experience offline as a requirement to complete the course. You can earn your associate’s degree in nursing, and apply for your initial RN license online . Then you are directed to the completion section for actual experience testing. This takes place offline at a school or nursing location that offers practical nursing experience. The online nursing degree program can be very challenging but it is also very rewarding.

When you enrol in an online nursing degree program, you complete the majority of your course work online, at a time that fits your schedule. This constitutes the non-clinical portion of your online course work. For the clinical portions, you arrange time in a medical facility near your home to complete this portion of your degree. Your grade is awarded in combination of your work online and the clinical practice you experienced.

How the Classes Work

The online nursing degree program varies from school to school in terms of the basic details. Most of them operate under the same fundamental principles. The classes are usually hosted on the web site of the school itself. The teacher or instructor will post lecture materials and assignments on the site, usually using a bulletin board format, on which the students may post comments or questions. There may be a designated chat time when you may log in and post real time comments and questions to your teacher. For the most part, you are on your own time and can use the bulletin board to complete your work and discuss the topic at all hours of the day.

Assignments in the online nursing degree programs are generally emailed to the instructor on the proposed due dates. For the majority of online classes, written coursework takes the place of the exams because exams become problematic. Some schools may require some students to spend some time in classroom discussion at the campus, but this is generally not the case. Many online nursing degree programs require the students to complete a certain hour of the day designation to demonstrate that they are completing the right amount of course hours.

In addition to completing your online nursing degree at an associate level, many nurses are upgrading their skills to bachelors’ and masters level online. These online nursing degree programs fit easily into the busy lifestyles of today's nurses, and provide the opportunity to prepare for career advancement, as well as higher salaries.

Gerri Stone publishes information and resources to help you find the online course that will work for you at


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