“Buyer beware” never applies more than when your education is at stake. A degree from a non-accredited institution or degree mill may cost you thousands and take your career nowhere. But what about online degrees? Are they good value?
Before saying aye or nay, it’s worth doing an apples-to-apples comparison. Cost, convenience, and quality are the three elements most LPNs look at when shopping around for an RN degree program. With these factors in mind, here’s how online LPN-to-RN programs stack up against traditional on-campus programs.
Do you remember the last time you shopped for a digital camera or new TV? You probably went to a few stores, tested out several models, asked some questions, and jotted down prices.
Then, if you’re a savvy shopper, you headed home, hopped on your laptop, and bought the product from a reputable online dealer for about half the price.
Online stores require fewer resources to maintain, so it’s not surprising they can afford to pass the savings onto consumers. Online degree programs are cheaper for exactly the same reason. With no classrooms to heat or electricity bills to pay, online institutions are able to slash tuition fees. Moreover, nursing professors report that they can handle far larger class sizes when teaching online, which means fewer paychecks for the institution to cut.
So how much will an online LPN-to-RN degree program cost? In general, about half the cost of a traditional program.
Newsflash: most LPNs are already stressed out. The last thing you need is a long line at the registrar’s office, car trouble when you’re late for class, or a missing textbook.
Online courses eliminate these and other hassles. Send an email when you have a question instead of waiting in line. Log onto your course website when it suits your schedule instead of trying to be five places at once. Access course materials online from anywhere instead of keeping track of a dozen heavy books.
In addition to offering more day-to-day convenience, online LPN-to-RN programs offer more flexibility in the long run. For example, you can earn your degree in as little as twelve months, or spread out your courses over a longer period. When it comes to convenience, there’s no argument: online programs take the blue ribbon.
If you’re enrolling in an LPN-to-RN program, you’re probably not doing it for the “piece of paper.” You know that while the degree itself certainly counts, it’s the experience and understanding that you acquire that will really make the difference to your nursing career. So when you’re comparing degree programs, quality should be one of the biggest factors in your decision.
Can online degree programs measure up to traditional ones? Not only do they measure up, but they may even outstrip traditional programs in certain regards, according to the US Office of Planning, Evaluation and Policy Development. OPEPD conducted a systematic analysis of over a thousand empirical studies of online learning. The analysis showed that students who completed all or part of their coursework online actually performed better than those studying identical material through face-to-face instruction. Plus, learning outcomes for the online students surpassed those of the traditional students.
Accredited online degree programs must adhere to the same quality standards as brick-and-mortar institutions. Your comprehension is rigorously tested throughout the semester, and you are expected to fulfill a certain number of hours of hands-on clinical training.
Bottom line: today, the quality of online programs is at least as good as their traditional counterparts.
Conclusion: Online LPN-to-RN Degree Programs Are Worthwhile
When it comes to cost, convenience, and quality, online programs are on par with or better than traditional programs. If you’re ready to pursue your RN degree, you’d be smart to include accredited online institutions in your search for the right program.
Keep in mind, however, that not all online programs are the same. Before choosing an LPN-to-RN program, do your research and talk to former grads. The better the quality of your online education, the more prepared you’ll be when you’re applying to jobs.
Invest In Your Future By Earning An Advanced Nursing Degree Online
Life can be complicated, but your ongoing professional development doesn’t have to be. Prepare yourself for advancement through earning an advanced nursing degree online. Go to our online nursing programs page and simply click on the degree you want to pursue. Then click the “FIND SCHOOLS” link and complete the brief information request form to receive additional details about requirements, tuition, financial aid, and start dates directly from nursing schools offering online nursing programs that best match your interests: Online Nursing Programs