How Can I Tell if an Online MSN is a Good Fit for Me?

Choosing to earn a degree online is an easy decision that gives you the opportunity to keep your job, stay at home and work at your own pace. Finding a good fit for your MSN is more complicated, but you can narrow your search by using five evaluation measures. You need to eliminate any school that is not accredited, and that step cuts down on the number of institutions that you need to research. By using your computer to search the Internet, you can find the online MSN that is the right one for you.

Understanding the Importance of Accreditation

Nursing schools are eligible for accreditation, and the U.S. Department of Education lists two accreditation agencies on its site: the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing, Inc. and the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. State nursing boards have specific requirements for licensing, and you need to check with the one in your state to make sure that your chosen school meets their quality standards.

Finding Out How to Enroll

The next step is to find out if you need to take an admissions test. If you earned your undergraduate degree several years ago, your school may require you to take courses that you have already completed. However, if you used intervening years in practice, you may meet requirements for experience in health care. Schools usually expect you to inquire about the admissions process and whether it has a wait list. Check the school calendar to see if classes are available when you have time to attend.

Evaluating the Faculty

As a customer, you have a right to know about the quality of instruction that you intend to purchase. A faculty that has more full time instructors than part time may offer a better curriculum, and it is fair to check on faculty credentials. Professors who have a background in a specialty that interests you can teach from experience. The number of professors who have a doctoral degree, especially one in nursing, can indicate the quality of a faculty.

Inquiring about Test Results

To get an indication of how well a school prepares students for the National Council Licensing Exam, you may request statistics that show the percentage of graduates who passed the test. Schools may have historical files that cover as much as five or ten years. Your state’s board of nursing probably has similar records, and the results are likely to help you form a decision that is based on facts.

Checking the Clinical Rotation Options

Health care facilities near your home may partner with your school to provide opportunities for you to accumulate hours in clinical rotations. As you narrow your search for an online nursing school, make sure to inquire about the schedule and the distance you may have to drive. Experiencing patient care in a health care facility is an essential component of earning a degree, and the opportunities that a school provides can influence your decision.

Your search for a school that suits you requires extensive research on the Internet. With investigation and evaluation of key descriptors, you can find one that fits you perfectly.