If you want to know how to find the top online nursing program, the answer can best be summed up in one word: research. Why is this? There is not one top nursing program for everyone. Some people are interested in obtaining entry-level designations, such as Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN). Others are looking for masters programs in nursing or doctorates, both of which are available online. However, no matter what type of degree you are seeking, the following information can help you determine how to find the top online nursing program for you.
Ratings and Rankings
If you are interested in a preliminary search, one option is to use the school ranking information provided by companies who provide this information. One of these is U.S. News and World Report, which conducts school research and provides much of this information free on its website at http://www.usnews.com/usnews/rankguide/rghome.htm. Another option for ranking information is provided by the National Institutes of Health at http://www.nih.gov/.
Any program you choose should be accredited. The two organizations that accredit nursing programs are The National League of Nursing Accreditation Commission (http://www.nlnac.org/) and The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).
Another issue to consider in how to find the top online nursing program is whether or not, and how well, the program prepares you for the NCLEX exam. State boards to determine how well a person is prepared for nursing practice use the NCLEX exam, or the National Council Licensure Examination. This exam is taken on computer, and if you pass a certain number of questions correctly during the first part of the exam, you will pass. If not, you have an opportunity to continue testing to demonstrate your knowledge. If you fail the exam, you can retake it after a certain amount of time. However, how to find the top online nursing program, which includes ample research into a program, will lead you to a program that will prepare you for this exam.