Master of Science in Nursing: Excel by Choosing the Right Program

NursingMay 21, 2018

If you are considering pursuing your Master of Science in Nursing, you may discover that you do not have many fellow nurses to turn to for recommendations about nursing programs. Relatively few nurses obtain an MSN degree, so it can be challenging to find someone to turn to for advice. Common sense suggests that choosing the right program is the most important decision you can make when it comes to going after this advanced nursing degree.

RNs who wish to further their knowledge and careers (not to mention earning potential) are typically already working nurses with responsibilities—and expenses. They need to continue working in most instances. So finding time and money to attend nursing school again can be challenging. Fortunately, these days professionals have the option of choosing an online nursing program. The online learning model offers several distinct advantages over the old attend-in-person, bricks-and-mortar model.

The Convenience of the Online Model

Not least of these is the ability to continue working—and earning—while simultaneously working toward your masters degree. No additional driving, parking, running to make class on time, or fitting mandatory classes into an already tight personal and professional schedule. Rather, by enrolling in an online nursing program, you gain the precious flexibility to fit course work into your schedule in a manner that works best for you.

Of course, you could choose an in-person school, provided you are independently wealthy and do not need to work during the many months it will take to obtain your new degree. Most students opt for online learning. The distance education model offers many of the advantages enjoyed by on-site students, such as dedicated, experienced staff, online academic advisors, tutoring and writing assistance daily, and the ability to network with peers. It also provides enhanced scheduling flexibility and the convenience of working toward your degree when it’s most convenient for you.

Choose Wisely

The right online nursing program will also provide opportunities such as the ability to participate in service learning programs, such as the Global Health Perspectives (GHP) initiative. Online students also enjoy access to a virtual library and Blackboard Support Center, 24/7; 365 days a year. Even textbooks are typically convenient digital e-books. No more lugging heavy medical textbooks in a sagging book bag everywhere you go.

Best of all, you will not sacrifice that hallmark of in-person learning: the ability to interact with and collaborate with fellow students and staff. The right program is also typically characterized by an appropriate pace of learning. Choose a program that does not overwhelm you with coursework. Programs that take up to 18 months to complete typically offer manageable course loads and pacing, allowing you the flexibility to devote time to career, family, etc. Nurses who wish to accelerate this pace may be able to earn their advanced degree within 15 months, however.

Denver College of Nursing offers a fully online master of science in nursing (MSN) program.