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How do I Pursue Distance Education in Nursing?

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  • Written By: M.C. Huguelet
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 31 October 2016
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Distance education in nursing can allow those who have busy schedules or who live a significant distance from their chosen educational institution to study nursing at their own convenience. Some nursing programs offer only a limited number of distance learning opportunities, while other programs are offered wholly on a distance learning basis. Figuring out how you can pursue distance education in nursing depends on your current level of nursing education, as well as whether you wish to take some or all of your nursing courses on a distance learning basis.

Opportunities for distance education in nursing vary by educational institution. Some nursing programs offer only a selection of online classes which can be taken as an alternative to traditional, on-campus classes. Other programs are completed wholly on a distance learning basis. Some educational institutions offer only graduate-level distance education in nursing, while others offer distance education opportunities at both undergraduate and graduate levels.

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Further, the number of campus visits required by a distance nursing course or program can vary. Some classes are primarily taken online, but require students to report to campus for exams or lab sessions. Many programs do not require class-related campus visits, but stipulate that students must complete their clinical hours at that institution’s medical center. Conversely, programs which are completed wholly on a distance learning basis often require no campus visits. In this type of program, classes are taken online, and clinical hours are completed at an approved medical center near the student’s home.

Figuring out how you can pursue distance education in nursing depends partly on your current level of nursing education, as well as whether you wish to take some or all of your nursing courses on a distance learning basis. If you are currently enrolled in a nursing program, your distance education opportunities will generally be dictated by your educational institution. You may wish to speak to an adviser to determine whether your institution offers distance education opportunities. Transferring to another college or university may be an option if your institution does not offer distance education.

If you have not yet begun your nursing studies, try to decide how much of your education you wish to complete on a distance learning basis. Should you plan to work full time in addition to studying, or if you do not live at a convenient distance from a college or university, you may find it easiest to select a program that requires few or no campus visits. If you want the convenience of distance learning opportunities combined with a more traditional college experience, you may wish to enroll in a program that offers both on-campus and distance classes.

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