Comparing the Top Online Colleges for Nursing

When comparing the top online colleges for nursing, consider a number of factors. For example, the University of Phoenix offers a great online nursing program, but it is a graduate degree program; therefore, what may be one of the top online colleges for one student may not be for another. Comparing the top online colleges for nursing requires a thorough investigation into your personal needs.


The one element to look for when comparing the top online colleges for nursing is accreditation. The school you choose should be accredited by one of the two primary professional nursing associations. These are the National League of Nursing Accreditation Commission and the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

Delivery Methods

Aside from the program you need, one of the primary considerations when comparing the top online colleges for nursing is how the school delivers courses. There are two types of online learning — synchronous, which is “real time” learning, and asynchronous, which is learning on your own time. Some schools offer live video, for example, which means you must be available during the delivery time. Other schools combine learning styles by offering asynchronous coursework supported by synchronous options such as live chats.

Before you choose a program, you need to find one that fits your scheduling needs. Synchronous learning is enjoyable, particularly for those who like the idea of learning that is as close to a live classroom as possible. However, if you are working fulltime or if the learning options are not offered at a convenient time, this method will not work for you. On the other hand, while asynchronous learning is desirable in that you can log on and do coursework on your own time; however, it requires a high level of motivation on the part of the student.

Cost and Financing

Tuition options range considerably from one institution to another. Additionally, many schools offer in-state and out-of-state tuition rates. Depending on your geographic location, you may have a number of in-state options, which can be an advantage as far as tuition costs. Regardless, check into the school’s financing options.

Support Systems

Online nursing programs also differ in the support options available. This includes technical support, faculty availability, career services, and assistance with finding internships and rotations, to name a few. Your needs in these areas will be a factor when comparing the top online colleges for nursing.

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