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Online Schools vs. Campus Schools: Where Should You Earn Your Nursing Degree?

Breaking Down Campus and Online University Options

As the enrollments at for-profit schools have grown at four times the rate of traditional colleges, potential students wonder how online colleges compare to their public and private university counterparts. Online schools offer educational programs where students can earn an online high school diploma to trade certificates to Philosophy PhDs, with promises of stress-free home study. More specifically, when it comes to earning your online nursing degree, many people are interested in becoming a nurse of some kind have no idea that online learning is available as a vehicle to get them there--especially if you already work in the health care field.

If You Already Work in the Health Care Field, Consider a Hybrid Program

What is a "hybrid program?"  A hybrid program is a mixture of online as well as on-campus learning.  If you already work in the health care industry and want to become an RN, many schools offer hybrid programs that ask for 1 day per week of on-site learning, followed by supplemental online instruction.  This is ideal for those with full-time jobs in the health care industry because you can still keep your main source of income, while simultaneously setting yourself up for career advancement.

Online and Campus Formats Demand Different Learning Styles

Students tend to excel in educational environments that suit their learning styles, and traditional public and private universities offer a much different experience from online schools. Students should consider their own learning preferences when choosing their ideal educational experience.

Online School Student Profile

  • Highly self-motivated. Successful online students rarely procrastinate when it comes to completing assignments and meeting deadlines.
  • Written communicator. Students learn best from written examples, explanations, and diagrams, and can communicate effectively in writing.
  • Busy life/work schedule. Online students are typically married with families, in their mid-thirties, and busy with a job in addition to school.

Traditional College Student Profile

  • Verbal communicator. Campus-based programs often attract students who communicate best by asking questions out loud, and interacting with peers and professors.
  • Aural learner. Students learn best from listening, or from a combination of verbal, aural, and written information.
  • Networking ability. Campus-based students benefit from the ability to form bonds with peers and professors, a skill that pays off in the form of career recommendation letters.

For students with a combination of the above profiles, a hybrid program of online and campus-based courses may be ideal. Many traditional schools offer online courses designed for non-traditional students.

Campus and Online Aid Options

For-profit schools are often the best option for the poorest students, who must keep a full-time job while they attend school. However, financial aid options for students are beginning to favor public and private campus universities. States like Ohio are considering legislation to allow students to seek financial aid only for schools approved by the Ohio Board of Regents. Only three of Ohio's 53 for-profit schools would meet this qualification.

As a general rule, students should research fully the educational options they pursue. Students who fit the online schools student profile should be sure their school has a good academic history, proof of transferable credits, and valuable degrees.






Online Nursing Schools