Before the proliferation of online education, nursing programs were available only in a traditional classroom setting. Since then, online curriculums have become a mainstay, offering a variety of benefits for the modern nurse. Not only is it much more convenient for students to learn online, the flexibility is a tremendous benefit for many learners. Four of the most prevalent reasons many nursing students choose to enroll in an online program include:
Traditional nursing programs follow a rigid schedule and can be very demanding on a student’s agenda. Online nursing programs offer a level of flexibility that helps students enjoy a well-rounded life while still receiving the best possible education.
Since classes aren’t held at specific times, students have the ability to learn when it fits into their schedule. This format is especially helpful for nurses, as balancing shift work with a demanding on-campus course load can be extremely difficult.
Additionally, online nursing programs can greatly increase educational options, as students can essentially attend classes anywhere there is an Internet connection. If a particular geographic area doesn’t offer an accredited program, or the preferred school is not within commuting distance, students can earn their degree from the institution without having to physically relocate.
Taking the initiative to earn a degree online can propel a nursing career to new heights. Many employers are impressed by ambitious professionals who value their career enough to return to school and earn additional credentials.
The knowledge and skills gained can help prepare nurses for more advanced roles at their current organization or make them a more competitive candidate elsewhere. Even if a nurse is not ready for a higher level position at this point in their career, attending an online nursing programs now can help pave a path toward a brighter future.
Procedural skills aren’t the only things learned in an online nursing degree program. The program can also serve as a great opportunity to become more tech-savvy, as students are taught to find their way around the school’s learning management system, create and share documents and spreadsheets, complete online training sessions, participate in group discussions and so much more. Students can then transition these skills back to their job to become even more valuable to the organization.
Online nursing students will typically need to find their own clinical sites for practical training, and might have to get a little creative conducting research to do so. Additionally, one of the biggest differences between in-class and online learning is that there is no instructor standing in the front of the room to push students to complete assignments. Students will need to develop and employ strong time management and self-discipline skills to successfully complete the program.
When earning a nursing degree online, the coursework is always accessible. Students can enjoy the ability to attend class 24/7, as materials are always readily available as long as an Internet connection is available. Online nursing programs can allow students to learn from instructors anywhere around the world, potentially gaining an entirely new prospective on the profession.
Taking the traditional route to earn a nursing degree is not an option for many people, but online programs are making it possible. Depending on the program, occasional campus visits may be required, but for the most part, students will be able to learn on their own schedule.
If you’re looking for a non-traditional way to earn nursing credentials, consider taking the online route, allowing you to balance personal obligations with your chosen curriculum.