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Online Nursing Certification: A Quick Guide

Updated on January 23, 2011


 A career in the field of nursing can be a satisfying way to earn a living and directly help people. If you want to become a nurse, you must first attend classes, work directly with patients and then pass a state licensing examination. You may also wish to study nursing in depth by earning an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in the subject. Once you have entered the nursing profession you may decide that you would like earn certification in a specific field such as renal nursing. Many nursing certifications may be earned via online coursework.

Determine what type of credential you want to earn. Someone who wants to enter the field as possible can choose to earn an LPN certificate. An LPN is a licensed practical nurse. LPN’s study nursing in a classroom for nine to eighteen months and then work with patients in a hospital setting. Working with patients must be in done in a physical setting but classes can be taken online. Look for programs affiliated with a hospital or community college nursing program. If you are already a nurse you may want to complete ongoing state educational requirements for licensure. A nurse may also want to earn an additional certification in a specific field. Many such classes can be taken online at your own home.

Sign up for a program. Nursing certification programs vary in length. Find out when classes start. The program may be ongoing and accept students year round. Programs may also adhere to the traditional semester and trimester organization one finds in a brick and mortar institution. Verify the exact date that classes start as well as who will be teaching the online nursing certification classes.

Attend classes. Online teachers will typically give you a syllabus to complete. Sessions online may be held via webcam. Find out in advance how classes are conducted. Communication for online nursing instruction will often be via email. You should be able to touch base with the instructor if you are having trouble with the material or find points that are unfamiliar. Purchase textbooks if necessary. Basic nursing terms may be unfamiliar to you if you are just starting out so you may need to email your teacher to make sure that you have the proper educational foundation. Advanced nursing students may be able to work independently on their own with the material with only a bit of help from the instructor.

Pass examinations. If you have no prior nursing academic credentials you may not be able to continue with your coursework unless you demonstrate an understanding of fundamental foundational material. More advanced students can expect exams to be based around material that will be found on formal credentialing exams. If you are taking classes that are designed to fill continuing nursing state licensing requirements passage of exams should fulfill the necessary requirements. Make sure the program notifies state officials that you have completed such requirements.


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