Pros and Cons of Online Nursing Programs

Elaine is planning on taking up a nursing course, however, she has a problem – she doesn’t have much time. But with some research and a few clicks here and there, she has found the perfect solution to her problem, which is taking up an online nursing program. But wait, is this really worth it? Is an online nursing program as good as the on-campus ones? What are the pros and cons of enrolling in one?

Nursing, specifically nursing education really have evolved and is coping with modernization, she says to herself as she reads on about the program.

Pros of Online learning

If you have a restricted schedule which may be because of work, family obligations, or travel considerations, online courses can be the perfect way to get your core curriculum out of the way. Many of these classes are textbook and lecture-based, so if you learn well on your own, you can save both time and money by skipping those trips to campus.

Aside from a flexible time, another pro of this program is that it’s cheap. People are offered the chance to achieve specialized knowledge at affordable costs.

Another positive side of enrolling in online nursing courses is that they do not take too long for one to complete since the courses offered do not take long. Rather, they equip people with the essential skills and knowledge within a very short time.

However, many nursing programs are highly competitive, and there aren’t enough instructors to meet the current nursing demand. Online courses permit more students to access the program at one time, and since everyone’s working at their own pace, the instructor should be available whenever you need him or her.

Cons of online nursing courses

Online nursing school only works as hard as you do that is why if you enroll yourself in this course, you have to have in you a high level of self-discipline and drive. Also, one should remember that though the course is more flexible than that of an on-campus one, there are still deadlines to meet and tests to take.

Students may also have a hard time getting to do the practical part. And while students are allowed to choose a medical center where they can do the practical part of the program, there are those institutions that have been interrogated over their ability to provide practical.

Also, interactions with others, which is considered essential in learning, is limited since students do not get the chance to learn from their peers and if they do, it may not be as much as they would if there was one on one interaction.

Furthermore, online school is very textbook-based. So, if you learn best by listening to others speak, asking questions, and seeing demonstrations first-hand, you might not benefit from taking courses this way. Everyone learns differently, and online courses aren’t for everyone.

Another of the cons of online nursing courses is that you have to do extra homework before you even start classes. One should also be careful when choosing an online nursing program since the nature of online learning means that it’s all too easy for scam artists and non-accredited schools to make promises they fail to keep. It’s also important that you take courses from a school that will make you eligible to sit for the NCLEX exam, since you can’t be a nurse in the United States without a passing score.


Though online nursing programs sound promising, it is important for one to weigh the available options first before settling on the best online nursing programs to their convenience. It should also be noted that the advantages and disadvantages may vary in degree depending on the institution which one chooses.



Liane Clores, RN MAN

Currently an Intensive Care Unit nurse, pursuing a degree in Master of Arts in Nursing Major in Nursing Service Administration. Has been a contributor of Student Nurses Quarterly, Vox Populi, The Hillside Echo and the Voice of Nightingale publications. Other experience include: Medical-Surgical, Pediatric, Obstetric, Emergency and Recovery Room Nursing.

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