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Online Education

What you need to knowPhoto of student using a laptop

Online education allows you to take nursing courses regardless of your schedule or where you live. The Internet is a powerful tool, connecting students and faculty in a wide variety of geographic locations, including rural and underserved communities. Although the way we accomplish online learning has changed dramatically since we started offering it more than a decade ago, we retain our strong dedication to making distance education possible for motivated students who want to expand their knowledge in a challenging way.

Online students and faculty agree that online courses are rigorous. The classes are structured like those with a live classroom environment, and they start and finish according to the University's academic calendar. Online classes have readings, assignments and regular deadlines, and students receive ongoing feedback from faculty. Students work together online to achieve learning goals and solve problems, and the online format allows us to create-in collaboration with our students-a dynamic and engaging virtual community of scholars and clinicians.

Educational technology for online learning is changing every day, and the Duquesne University School of Nursing is a leader in this area. We are committed to using educational technology effectively in order to enrich student learning and enhance teaching.

Through state-of-the-art technology, students in the forensic nursing program are able to communicate with their peers and faculty in a variety of unique ways. Using virtual classroom and conferencing tools, they can see each other and speak to one another. The Web-based platform used at Duquesne is called Blackboard, through which we communicate with students, distribute information, and facilitate the exchange of ideas and resources.

To be successful in online coursework, you must have basic computer skills, including the ability to:

  • send and receive e-mail;
  • attach, send and open documents from e-mail or Internet sites;
  • participate in online chats;
  • research topics using Web resources;
  • use Internet library databases.

In addition, the online graduate nursing programs demand good communication skills, so we offer online writing tutorial modules that will help you gain the skills you need to succeed professionally.

Technical Requirements

Having the appropriate ISP (Internet connection) and computer requirements are important considerations for students as the two items influence students’ experience with their online course. Preferably, students should consider having a DSL or Cable Internet connection.

Students taking online courses should have a computer that meets the Suggested System Capabilities, which will enhance the student’s ability to access and use online course materials.

Suggested System Capabilities

Hardware and Peripherals

  • Intel Core i5 processor or higher
  • 4GB memory (8GB recommended)
  • Cable/DSL broadband connection or better
  • Headphones or speakers
  • DVD/CD-RW drive
  • Inkjet or laser printer
  • Webcam for video conferencing


One of the following Operating Systems:

  • Windows® 7 or 8
  • Mac OS X 10.9 or greater


  • PC - Microsoft Office 2010 or later
  • Mac - Microsoft Office 2011 or later
  • Java version 8 or greater
  • Adobe® Reader DC or later

One of the following Internet browsers:

  • Microsoft® Internet Explorer 11.0 or later
  • Mozilla Firefox - Automatically Updated Browser
  • Google Chrome - Automatically Updated Browser
  • Apple Safari 7.0 or later
NOTE:  Clinical courses in the MSN Family Nurse Practitioner program require students to have hand held devices (ie smart phone, iPad, etc.) to access learning resources materials at point of care.