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Online education has been around since the late 1980s, but it only started to take off recently.
In fact, recent data shows that the number of online learners increased from 300,000 to 220 million between 2011 and 2021.
Now, you may ask how we got here. Obviously, technology and the necessity of online education due to the pandemic have significantly contributed to it.
But perhaps the most significant reason for the increasing acceptance of online learning is the accreditation these virtual degrees receive.
Importance of Accreditation in Online Nursing Courses
Outlined in this article are reasons why verifying accreditations is essential when choosing an online course in nursing.
It ensures quality education
Nursing students need an education that is competency-based and concentrates on clinical judgment, interdisciplinary collaboration and critical thinking.
This way, they can be prepared to meet unique patient needs, function as leaders and deliver safe patient care.
A hybrid ABSN program at the University of Indianapolis accredited by a governing body, has undergone an external quality assurance process that ensures that the applicable standards are met.
Among the most popular accreditation organizations for nursing education that are recognized by the US Secretary of Education is the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).
The CCNE establishes specific metrics to identify the quality of nursing education provided by an online program.
It also ensures that the academic institution adheres to a set of quality standards in their baccalaureate, graduate, residency and fellowship programs in nursing.
It promotes legitimacy of degrees
For far too long, the stigma around online nursing course has been their legitimacy.
The common misconception is that online degrees are not respected by hospitals and healthcare institutions.
Although that is far from the truth and there are numerous research studies that back the legitimacy of online degrees, it is not uncommon for some people to still have their doubts.
Thanks to accreditation though, academic institutions have all the backing they need to prove that their nursing degrees are legitimate.
Usually, when a nursing degree is accredited, it means that it has gone through a costly and rigorous process of assessment ensuring that your chosen academic institution has the right faculty and expertise to offer the program.
It provides more job opportunities
The importance of academic accreditation goes beyond the four walls of wherever you are taking your online nursing course.
According to a CNN report, 83% of employers believe that an online degree is as credible as the one earned through an on-campus program, but factors such as accreditation and the name of the university were among the things considered to make the degree more credible.
Financial aid can also be affected based on whether the US Department of Education recognizes your school under an accepted accredited body.
While a school without accreditation has lower tuition fees, the lack of national and federal financial support means that cost must come out of the student’s pocket.
On the flip side, if your chosen nursing school is accredited, you will most likely qualify for federal, institutional and state funding that will further reduce your educational costs.