Master of Nursing Distance Education: What You Need to Know

Thanks to the Internet, you can answer any question you may have with a few strokes of the keyboard and a click. You no longer have to visit a library, consult hard-copy journals, or pick up the phone to get the information you need. You can discover the world’s knowledge at your fingertips from the comfort of your home. So, naturally, the Internet has had a substantial effect on higher education!

Besides using online portals as a tool for on-campus classes — such as to turn in papers, or chat with classmates about projects – there are now master’s degree programs that are hosted completely online. Can you really earn a quality, advanced education without ever setting foot in a classroom? How does it work, and what does it mean for highly specialized professions like Nursing? Most importantly: could distance learning be right for you? You’re asking all the right questions.

If you are interesting in advancing your nursing education, but would like the flexibility of online coursework, you are in the right place. Goodwin College offers a general, 30-credit, fully-online MSN degree for RNs looking to further their careers. Below we detail everything that you need to know about pursuing your Master of Nursing through a distance education program like Goodwin’s.

  1. What exactly is distance learning?
  2. A) Distance learning is online education, organized and accredited by a university, college, or other institution. The curriculum consists of either synchronous or asynchronous learning, or a mixture of the two; meaning that either students are “present” at their computers simultaneously, or they are free to visit pre-recorded materials and complete coursework as it fits within their schedules.
  3. Q) Where will you find distance learning?
  4. A) Currently, distance learning programs exist at all levels of education, from pre-K-12 to higher and continuing education, to military, government and corporate training. Certain regulating entities guarantee consistent standards for online learning, such as the The National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements. Known as SARA, this organization ensures higher education quality. Most states have opted into SARA and support distance education; check this map to find yours!

Goodwin College is a member of SARA and therefore can offer our online, Master of Science distance education program to residents of other SARA states.

  1. What do online MSN programs entail?
  2. A) Online MSN programs offer graduate-level nursing courses, with all the lessons and information organized online so that they can be completed on your own time. Online MSN coursework varies by school, but the general topics that you can expect to cover will be biomedical skill-building, and social and cultural awareness. MSN students also study nursing across the patient lifespan, clinical decision-making, pharmacology, and advanced pathophysiology.

Students may choose a specific MSN program for its focus, or discover their passions along the way. For example, a school like Goodwin College offers coursework in population health, such as “Theoretical Foundations of Population Health,” exploring prevention and policy, and, “Clinical Applications in Population Health,” which delves into case and disease management. Online learning is often partnered with relevant clinical hours, so you can rest assured that even in a Master of Nursing distance education program, nurses are still required to log hands-on, clinical experience.

  1. What are the reasons I should consider distance learning?
  2. A) There are many reasons why distance learning is a great choice for RNs who are looking to advance their careers. One reason is cost-efficiency. Online programs like Goodwin College’s MSN degree offer affordable tuition rates and financing opportunities, as compared to many traditional MSN programs.

Another reason is time. If you don’t have two years to spend on-campus, and can’t put a pause on your working life, online learning is definitely the way to go. Location is another consideration. If you are a nurse caring for a rural population, distance education could be the best way for you to access advancement opportunities. On the other hand, living a close distance from campus while learning online could allow you to take advantage of university benefits. Either way, distance learning programs seek to offer all of their communications and support  systems in an easy-to-access way, online.

  1. What other benefits are offered with Master of Nursing distance education?
  2. A) Flexibility is a key benefit of online MSN programs such as the one at Goodwin College. The convenience of completely asynchronous learning — being able to access coursework, materials, and lessons whenever you can, from wherever you are — is unbeatable. It means that you can continue working full-time and making a livelihood. It also means that if you are disciplined, you can open the door to all the MSN career opportunities in as few as 20-months when studying part-time.
  3. Do I qualify for Goodwin’s Master of Nursing distance education program?
  4. A) The requirements to enroll in Goodwin’s online MSN program are straightforward. Nurses must be registered RNs and possess a bachelor’s degree with a GPA of at least 3.0 from a regionally accredited institution, with a grade C or higher in a college-level statistics and research course. Our Admissions team also asks for an application, resume, personal statement, and prefers two years of working experience as an RN. Beyond your proof of immunizations and a $50 application fee, all that is necessary to qualify for our Master of Science distance education program is to be a resident of a SARA state.
  5. How do I enroll in the MSN distance education program at Goodwin?
  6. A) After considering the requirements and collecting the necessary documents, you can begin your application for graduate nursing studies at Goodwin College here. If you have questions, please call our team at 800-889-3282. You may also visit us online to learn more about our MSN nursing program.