Finding the Best Online Associate Degree Nursing Program

Finding the best online associate degree nursing program requires that you determine your educational and career goals first, and conduct thorough research second. An associate’s degree in nursing (ADN), or an Associate of Science in Nursing degree (ASN), is a two-year program (sometimes less) that will allow you to sit for the NCLEX to become an RN without having to complete a bachelor’s degree. Should you later determine that you want an undergraduate degree, you can easily continue your education online. Some schools offer an RN to BSN program specifically catered to these students.

What to Look For

When finding the best online associate degree nursing program, bear in mind that becoming an RN requires that you complete the NCLEX examination, which will allow you to earn licensure through your state. As such, finding the best online associate degree nursing programs requires that you find a program that is approved by your state. Additionally, when researching programs, find out how many graduates go on to become RNs. Schools try to track this information as accurately as possible, because a high rate of graduates becoming RNs reflects well on the school. A school that is accredited is much more likely to be approved by your state, so investigate any school’s accreditation as well.

Finding the best online associate degree nursing program also means finding a program that works well for you and that is affordable (although cost should not be the determining factor if possible). This means that the faculty are experienced in the field of nursing and that classes are offered in a way that works with your schedule. Some schools offer courses in “real time,” which means that you must be at your computer during certain times. Real time coursework could include live lectures via video streaming or online chats, or class discussion that take place through a real time format. Others offer coursework that you study on your own time, but often with assignments due by a specific time. Many schools also offer a combination of learning opportunities that encompass both methods of delivery.

Comparing Schools

Once you have chosen the top schools, consider all factors when making your decision. This includes state requirements, tuition, financing options, and student support. Technical support and student advisory programs are important aspects in your decision due to the unique nature of online learning. Finding the best online associate degree nursing program requires careful consideration of all these factors.

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