Online Nursing Degrees? Why Not?

In reading three Michael Perry books in succession, I was struck more than once by the fact that he attended – and completed – nursing school. While I’m fairly certain he went to a physical school in Eau Claire, WI, I like the notion of such a person attending an online university.

One such school is Western Governors University, which has a program allowing you to study nursing (rn to bsn online) via distance learning. What’s more they’ve designed their program so that motivated learners can work at an accelerated pace, writing papers and meeting challenges to prove their knowledge, and not suffering through a traditional educational environment.

In a way, it reminds me of the “College of Professional Studies” my mother went through when earning her Organizational Behavior degree via the University of San Francisco. She wrote papers to earn either upper or lower division credits, and only had to meet with a live person once a week, though she made it very clear that earning her degree was her primary job during that time. Western Governors University says it expects distance learners to put in a solid 20 hours a week of work, and I know my mother did at least that much – and that was in 1987, before internet learning was even possible.

Distance learning isn’t for everyone, but if I were going back to school, I’d look for something similar to Western Governors University’s program. It separates coursework into six-month chunks, during which each person works at her own pace, completing “…as much of your degree as possible…” with the assistance of a mentor, who guides you through the process and the required information.

I have to confess, when I was asked to give an opinion of this program, I thought, “you can’t learn nursing online,” but I was wrong. After reading the information, and scanning the website, I’m confident that WGU has created a comprehensive nursing program for nontraditional learners.

Don’t you just love it when technology is used to make the world a better place?