Online Nursing Degree Scams
Unfortunately, online nursing degree scams continue to blight the healthcare profession because of the growing popularity of studying via the Internet.
It’s a shame because studying for your nursing degree online has a lot of advantages. Online nursing degree schedules are very flexible. This means you can study in your own time and fit your studies around work and your home life.
This is particularly useful for nurses with families. Or those who want to continue working while studying for their nursing degree. But before you rush in and sign-up to an online nursing program and hand over your hard-earned money, take the time to check that the online nursing degreeadvertised is everything it’s supposed to be.
Only Get An Online Nursing Degree From An Accredited Nursing School
The very first thing you should do is make sure that the nursing school running the online course is fully accredited. If it doesn’t have accreditation, walk away. And definitely do not hand over any money. There are many fake nursing schools and colleges purporting to offer online nursing degrees and diplomas. The fact is, many of these degrees are not worth the paper that they are printed on.
Coursework undertaken and completed at an unapproved nursing school does not count towards becoming a registered nurse. A student who has graduated from an unaccredited school is not allowed to sit the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX).
You must sit and pass the NCLEX to receive your nursing license. Without a nursing license to become a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN), Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN), or a Registered Nurse (RN) you wont get a job. The National Council Licensure Examination is administered by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing and is conducted by each State individually. Only students who have undertaken training through an accredited nursing school– either online or on campus – can sit the NCLEX.
How Do You Know If Your Online Nursing Degree Is Legitimate?
So how do you know whether an online nursing degree program is being run by an accredited school or not? The first thing that a fake or counterfeit online nursing school will try and do is get your money.
Fake online courses want you to pay in one-flat fee, while legitimate nursing schools will detail the various costs for each part of the course. This includes tuition fees, cost per credit hour and any additional outlay. Scam online nursing sites want you to sign-up fast online using your credit card so they can deduct the money from your account as quickly as possible. Do not handle over any of your personal information or pay by credit card unless you are 100% certain that the online degree is legitimate.
Other red flags to watch out for are the lack of a detailed course syllabus and any statements that claim you can get your diploma or online nursing degree in a matter of weeks or months. This is simply impossible. Some online nursing degree programs claim that you will not have to undertake clinical work in a hospital or medical clinic because you are getting your degree online. Again, this is untrue because clinical nursing practice is always a part of accredited online nursing courses. If the course talks about doing your clinicals abroad, you don’t want to know about it.
A legitimate online nursing college will arrange for you to complete your practical nursing classes and lab work in a hospital close to where you live, if you are not already working in one. A certain number of hours of practical clinical work is required in order for you to get proper nursing training. A scam online course will not organize this lab and hospital work. So if they do not offer it you can be certain they are just trying to take your money.
If the nursing course that you are looking at states that your degree will be issued by an international body you should not join. Your online studies must be recognized within the United States so that you can sit the NCLEX exam. You wont be able to sit the exam if you receive credits from a nursing school overseas. Accelerated online nursing degree courses are another popular choice for people who want to complete their nursing education quickly. But if the course you are considering takes half the time of a normal nursing degree, it’s a sure sign that’s it is a fake or a scam.
Accredited nursing schools don’t offer accelerated nursing courses. Of course, accredited nursing school do offer credits for any previous nursing training that you have undertaken and this can reduce your study time significantly. But that is completely different to offering an online degree from scratch in half the time it would normally take.
Nursing students are being warned that some online nursing school are representing themselves as being accredited even if that are not. So it is very important that you fully check the credentials of any online nursing degree program that you are interested in joining. If your online program is not run by an accredited nursing school or college you are wasting your money.
Despite all the scan merchants, it is worth remembering that an online nursing degree is 100% fine as long as it has been obtained through an accredited nursing program. Accreditation is key. Once you have completed your course and sat the NYCLEX examination, you will have as much chance of getting a job as a person who obtained their nursing degree on-campus.
Hospitals and medical centers today recognize degrees acquired online as being as good as any other nursing degrees. In fact, the best fully accredited nursing schools and colleges are structuring their online nursing programs to match exactly what they offer in the classroom. An online degree is fine as long as it as been obtained through a legitimate nursing program. You can also apply for funding and scholarships for anonline nursing degree just as you would if you were going to attend nursing school in person.