A History Of Online Schools

Nursing students, when you’re pursuing that online LPN to RN degree or taking some online continuing education classes,

have you ever stopped to think how far education has come since the development of the world wide web?

Online degree programs are everywhere. We’ve started to take them for granted, and it feels as if they’ve been here forever.

However, the fact is, online degree programs have only been in existence for about a decade and a half.

And one of the earliest innovators in the online education field is a Cambridge-educated professor turned entrepreneur named Dr. John Sperling. Sperling, now a billionaire, founded the University of Phoenix in 1976. It was a private for-profit college developed to serve the needs of non-traditional students. Sperling saw that regular colleges were already serving the needs of all those students who just graduated from high school and were going to college with the help of their parents – but who was addressing the needs of working professionals who might already have a degree but wanted a career change, or who had day jobs and needed a career-oriented education with classes at times they could actually attend?

The University of Phoenix offered night classes and other educational solutions for working adults. And as the internet began to grow in popularity and sophistication, Sperling saw another way for education to be made achievable and convenient for people who were already working for a living but wanted something more.

And in 1989 one of the very first online campuses in the world was created through the University of Phoenix; in 1991, the Online Campus graduated its first class.

Now, there are literally hundreds of thousands of students attending the University of Phoenix online, and they have programs for Licensed Vocational (or Practical) Nurse to Registered Nurse, LPN to BSN, RN to BSN, and many other healthcare classes.

And there are, of course, dozens of other online schools that offer many of these online nursing programs these days. But they owe a lot of their current success – and so do all online students – to the innovative vision of Dr. John Sperling.

Tips to Select Top Nursing Schools

World Report and US News remain the ideal standards when it comes to checking out rankings of top nursing schools within the US. These two sources base their rankings and reports by asking administrators, deans as well as faculty members of various nursing programs to assess other schools based on the educational quality and the preparedness of students who want to pursue a nursing career. The employers hiring new nursing graduates are also surveyed to keep a tab on the best schools for nursing.

Two Nursing Levels

There are two common levels when it comes to nursing. One is the associate level and is called the ADN or Associate Degree Nurse, which is a two year course and the other is the bachelor level called BSN or Bachelor of Science Nurses, which has duration of four years. You can easily get access to accelerated programs for both the levels if you have a degree in another segment or have credits in your college. If you have a bachelor degree, you can certainly expect to earn much more income. On an average, a BSN gets around 52000 USD while also being able to get promotions to managerial or supervisory posts quicker compared to an ADN.

Reputation And Rankings

One way to ascertain if a school is one of the top nursing schools is to check the reputation of the institution. You can check online for various customer opinions as well as reviews of students who have already studied at this institution. You should also check with students who have passed out from the school about the placement success and how well the course prepared them for the workplace. These factors are crucial because you do not want to invest in a school, which does not offer you quality education as that would be a waste of time, money and resources on your part.

Accreditation

One other aspect you need to consider is if the school is accredited to any state nursing authority or not. Accreditation is important because it assures you that the certification received will be recognized by the state nursing bodies. In addition, if a school has accreditation, it will also ensure that at a later stage if you want to pursue continuing education in the same niche, you can do so.

Online And Offline

The third and perhaps most important way to assess if the school is one of the top nursing schools is to check if they provide a combination of online and offline classroom modes. While offline modes of study can help students pick up practical lessons, most universities these days provide online education to help students manage hectic work schedules and study time. With online courses, students can choose a suitable time for study, schedule clinical experience sessions as well as balance out their work schedule, family commitments and academic pursuits thus leading to a faster and easier way to become a nurse.