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Experts say that to be accredited, online nursing programs must have an in-person practicum clinical work at a hospital. People explore different online graduate nursing programs before finding the one that is recognized because it plays a crucial part in any degree. Any program that ensures that an unbiased organization is recognized by the Department of Education validates its quality and objectivity.
When applying for a job the first question they ask is if you graduated from a recognized program.
Of two main nursing accrediting associations recognized by the Department of Education includes CCNE and ACEN. Its status also confirms if students are eligible for federal financial aid. For any hybrid nurse practitioner master's program, authenticating its accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) is necessary. At the time of choosing an online nursing degree program, experts suggest that future students should verify if the institute is accredited by either the CCNE or the ACEN.
Accreditation for a particular nursing degree is separate from accreditation for the university. Students can easily determine the status of the school on its website. The ACEN and CCNE have a catalog for the nurse practitioner programs they accredit online.
Before enrolling in online nursing programs, you should know these points about accreditation.
1. Employers need to know now online nursing programs are accredited. Employers frequently verify the validity of online nursing programs. The Department of Education defines such bodies as the CCNE, and ACEN is a reliable authority for validating programs. Employers verify that both an applicant's online nursing program degree and the overall institution are a part of accreditation.
2. The accreditation process for online programs has an extra layer of review specifically focused on distance education. For example, in general, ACEN reviews whether faculty are competent to teach online and the ways of interaction between learners and professors virtually. Students shouldn't presume online learning is easier than traditional.
3. Accrediting associations require online nursing programs to have clinical work or practicum parts in person. Accredited programs classified as online even require students to attend sessions in a healthcare facility like a hospital or clinic. And you need to have access to professors who can teach you how a certain procedure can be done. Almost every online nursing program has a clinical or practicum mixing virtual labs and in-person experiences these days. Online learners need to determine the time commitment and location details because many students hold full-time jobs and can't travel far.
4. Online degree programs often undergo re-accreditation and review. New online nursing degree programs are continuously springing up at universities, and students should keep in mind that each one gets accredited in its entirety, even if it has multiple tracks. A review can take place if there is a major change in delivery, like a blended program changing from 20% online to a full-time online, to make sure it complies with accreditation standards. The CCNE and ACEN require degrees like nursing programs to go through re-accreditation every several years. So, students need to look at the history of program accreditation.