In today’s world where everything is going online, it is no wonder that education is going the same way. Thousands of institutes offer millions of online courses. But nursing? Are online nursing courses any good, especially if you want to become a family nursing practitioner (FNP)? Here are five things to know before choosing an online nursing program.
This is probably the first thing you should do. Check thoroughly if your nursing institute and program is accredited by the competent authority or not. A degree from an institute that is not reputable and not accredited will do little to further your career.
Flexibility and Workload
Many people opt for online programs because of the flexibility they offer. They want to take it slow and complete the program at their own pace because they already have a full-time job. However, you also need to consider the workload because some online nursing programs, especially online FNP ones, can really overburden you, and the time you are able to spare after your day job just may not be enough.
While online nursing courses cost a lot less than traditional classroom ones and you can do most of it from the comfort of your home, it does require a certain amount of hospital visits. The student must accumulate clinical hours by working at a hospital or some other medical facility. If you live far away from such a facility, you will have to travel a lot to accumulate your clinical hours. Consider this at the time of enrolling for the online program.
Support Services and Help
Choose programs where the university offers support services both during and after the program in the form of orientation and counseling. If there is no mention of such services, ask. Also, try to get a clear idea of the kind of help and guidance you will get during the program. In some cases, the faculty may take several days to answer your query. Unlike a traditional classroom where students can seek help from each other, in online programs, students hardly know each other, if at all, and rarely consult each other only matters of the program. Many students are forced to look up lectures on the Internet to clear their doubts.
Know What You’re Signing Up For
A nursing program is tough, even if it is an online one. You are probably choosing the online course because of the flexibility it offers. But do you have a clear idea of how you are going to make time to study after working a full shift, feeding the family, and shopping for groceries? A good idea is to decide beforehand the time you are going to take to finish the program and to work accordingly. Keep a certain time of the day for studying, and if you are dedicated enough, there is no reason you would not come out with flying colors.
Remember these points before signing up for an online nursing program and there’s no reason you can’t become a nurse, even an FNP.