A nursing leadership program is offered as a certificate program, an associate degree or in its most advanced form, a Master’s Degree. It usually involves a one year training period where students are taught skills to enhance their ability to guide nursing care for patients. Students of this program should have already completed an internship while in school. A certification exam is also offered upon graduation from the program. The courses normally cover coursework such as assessment, critical thinking, leadership, communication, policy, and organization.
Online courses are available from many schools. Students can complete the program at their own pace, often on their own schedule, with no pressure from a classroom instructor. Some of the coursework that is normally required for this type of course may be challenging, due to the nature of the content. However, there are online courses available that offer certification in these skills, and also other courses such as communications and leadership. The online certificate courses are generally less expensive than the full on-campus programs.
In order to be accepted into a nursing course completion program, students need to meet minimum educational requirements. They will be expected to have taken courses such as English Composition, biology, chemistry, math, and psychology. Prerequisites for most courses vary by school, but they will all typically include some study of the social sciences, basic nursing skills, ethics, and legal issues. Most schools require that the student pass a background check. This will include a drug screening and verification of a clean criminal record. If the student passes the initial screening and the background check, they will be sent an application to proceed with the course completion.
Once accepted into an online course, the student will need to successfully complete the course in order to earn the certificate. Students should be able to complete the course in three to five credits per week. There are usually orientation sessions that provide information on the course content, study strategies, study time, and feedback for students.
To be successful at an online nursing leadership program, the student must be self-motivated. This means the individual must be able to self-motivate themselves to complete the program. The student must be motivated because the rewards of earning this certification are great. Once the program is completed successfully, the individual will gain valuable hands on experience in the field of nursing leadership.
For those who already have experience in the nursing field, it may be difficult to enter an online nursing leadership program. Some courses do allow for experience-based credit, but others require actual grades from the student. It is best to get information on each course prior to enrolling. Then, the individual can decide if the course is right for them. For those individuals who already have experience in the field, taking a nursing leadership program makes sense.