Ask the expert: Collaborating with an online education company

Nurse Leader Insider, November 8, 2010

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This week, Adrianne Avillion, DEd, RN, explains what questions to ask before working with an online education company to ensure they provide quality services.

Q: My facility is considering an online education company to gain access to programs that offer contact hours. How do I ensure I’m choosing a company that will successfully suit my facility’s needs?

A: The Internet is filled with sites offering information about continuing education for nurses. Just type the phrase “continuing education for nurses” in your Web search engine, and you’ll come up with literally millions of hits. If you are looking for an online partner, carefully evaluate the services and quality of education that the sites offer. Ask the following questions:


  • Are the programs approved by acceptable accrediting bodies? Make sure that the company offers contact hours that are approved and accepted by your state licensing boards and accrediting agencies as appropriate.
  • What is the fee per contact hour? Some sites offer a flat fee for unlimited hours within a specific period of time. Others require payment per program. Still others offer a fee for a certain number of programs. If you partner with an online company, you may be able to negotiate for a better rate for your organization’s nurses.

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