Complete List of Accredited Online Nursing Colleges and Universities
The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) is officially recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education as a national accreditation agency for nursing programs. It is an arm of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), which represents almost 700 schools of nursing with a mix of baccalaureate, graduate and post-graduate programs.
CCNE serves as the nation’s most established accrediting agency for nursing programs up to the doctoral level. It was created to ensure the integrity and quality of the programs. The majority of masters programs are accredited by CCNE, though many doctoral programs are not.
CCNE confers accreditation based on a number of factors:
- Eligibility: The institution must fully support the program’s missions, goals and expected outcomes in order to be recognized as a CCNE accredited online nursing program.
- Teacher/Student Participation: The school’s faculty and students must be involved in the implementation of the program as well as its continuing goals.
- Periodic Reviews: The program’s missions, goals and expected student and faculty outcomes must be reviewed periodically to uphold professional nursing standards and guidelines.
- Accuracy: All documents related to the program, such as the academic calendar, recruitment and admission policies, grading policies and tuition information, should be accurate and up-to-date.
- Academic Support Services: Educational tools such as the library, research support and technology should be contemporary enough for students and faculty to meet the program’s goals for on-site classes as well as accredited online nursing courses.
- Faculty and Staff: The chief nurse administrator must be a registered nurse (RN) and hold a graduate degree in nursing; faculty members should be prepared to teach in their designated subjects.
Those interested in pursuing an accredited online nursing program will find several hundred established institutions of higher education offering complete programs online. These include a large number of online programs for advanced degrees such as the Master of Science in Nursing and Doctor of Nursing Practice.
While studying at a top accredited online nursing school, students should expect to take a number of diverse classes designed to round out their academic experience. An online bachelors degree in nursing typically consists of 16 semester hours of general collegiate courses and about 30 hours of in-depth nursing classes.
- Biology: Students enrolled in the best accredited online nursing university programs study life at the microscopic level. This discipline teaches students how organisms interact with each other and the environment.
- Mathematics: Basic arithmetic as well as algebra, calculus and statistics are important foundations for all health-related fields and especially for management and administrative positions. The discipline also helps students develop effective critical thinking skills.
- Sociology: These courses help students understand group behavior, social trends, ethnicities and cultures. They learn about the major theoretical models used by sociologists and anthropologists in examining society’s institutions as well as the everyday lives of individuals.
In addition, the best accredited online nursing universities help students develop the following skills:
- Communication: Students learn how to discuss technical aspects of the industry so they can effectively communicate with patients and colleagues alike.
- Critical Thinking: An accredited online nursing college teaches students how to use logic and reasoning to solve problems under pressure.
- Patience: Students enrolled in accredited online nursing classes develop this critical skill in order to care for patients during stressful situations.
Nursing colleges help prepare students for jobs ranging from entry-level positions at hospitals to highly influential managerial roles in the public sector. Those who train to be a licensed practical nurse (LPN) or registered nurse (RN) need only to obtain an online associates degree in nursing, while more advanced careers require at least an online bachelors degree in nursing. Most such programs are CCNE accredited online nursing programs.
More specialized positions such as clinical nurse specialists, health administrators, nurse practitioners, nurse anesthetists and post-secondary nursing instructors require additional training and education. An online masters degree in nursing or online doctoral degree in nursing are highly recommended for those interested in these types of positions.