Traditionally, those looking to enter the workforce as a nurse would have needed to attend on-campus classes at a bricks-and-mortar nursing school to gain the qualifications that they needed to do so. However, online nursing degrees, and online learning in general, is becoming increasingly more popular today. Online nursing degree programs are now available at every level of nursing study, and they hold a lot of benefits for both aspiring and current nurses at every point of the profession.
Online learning has seen a lot of traction and growth in popularity over the past year as a result of the COVID19 pandemic, which has led to more students realizing the many benefits that studying online can have for their lives. Online nursing degrees are popular with students from all backgrounds, but they can be particularly useful for aspiring nurses or current nurses who are looking to advance their careers while working full-time and upholding other commitments in their life like looking after a family.
If you have decided that you want to become a nurse or are currently working as a nurse and want to take advantage of the various further career progression opportunities and more that is available from taking your career further with an advanced nursing degree, here are some of the main benefits of choosing an online option.
It is difficult to deny that flexibility is one of the biggest benefits of studying for a nursing degree online. Whether you are looking to qualify as a nurse with a BSN or want to advance your nursing career further with a master’s degree or family nurse practitioner qualification, studying online gives you the option to fit the education around your schedule rather than the other way around. For many aspiring nurses who are career changers or need to continue working while studying to support themselves financially, this can be one of the best parts of the option to study online.
It’s especially important for learning options to be flexible for nurses who are already working full-time as a nurse, which can often involve working long shifts and unsociable hours that would make it impossible to study for a full-time traditional program without giving up work for the duration or significantly reducing their hours. The Texas Womans University’s Master of Science in Nursing – Family Nurse Practitioner online program, for example, is an ideal choice for full-time nurses who need to continue working while earning the qualifications that they need to move up into this advanced nurse practitioner role.
Another reason why more and more people are considering getting their nursing qualifications online is the reduced cost. While this is not normally related to tuition fees since most online nursing programs will charge around the same amount as a traditional nursing school – although some are cheaper – it’s the associated costs of studying where aspiring nurses or advanced nurses can save a lot. One of the main ways that nurses can save when studying online is on the opportunity cost of getting their degree. Due to the additional flexibility that these degree programs can provide, nurses and aspiring nurses can often continue working more and earning money while they study, significantly lowering the overall cost of the investment in their future career. And being able to complete the majority of the work from home or another location of the student’s choice means that they can save a lot of money on the various associated costs of studying such as commuting to campus or relocating to the school.
Many online nursing degree programs are accessible to anybody in the country who meet the entry requirements, and there is not typically the need to relocate to be closer to the campus. However, since BSN degree programs and advanced nursing programs will require you to take part in clinical experience placements, it’s a wise idea to make sure that the nursing school that you are considering studying at will allow you to get your work experience at a local hospital or another healthcare setting that you can easily get to, since otherwise, you might find yourself in a position where you need to travel further than you anticipated in order to get your degree. For the most part, however, studying online will allow you to get your nursing degree from schools and colleges that would otherwise be out of your reach if you are unable to relocate to a different state or area for any reason. Because of this, online students will often have more options available to them when it comes to attending reputable nursing schools from around the US.
Career changers are the main group of people that can seriously benefit from studying for an online nursing degree. Facilitating a career change, often later in life, can be quite challenging since you will often need to continue working in your current career until you are qualified to work in your new choice of career. Online study makes it much easier for anybody who is looking to change from their current career to nursing with a range of online degree programs that you can fit around your current commitments and make sure that you achieve your goals with minimal disruption to your life. The ABSN, for example, is an ideal online degree program that might be considered by career changers who already hold a bachelor’s degree in a different subject. The ABSN is designed to allow those who want to get into nursing from a different professional qualification to achieve their degree in around half the time that it would take to get the traditional BSN, allowing you to build on your current knowledge, qualifications, and skills to change your career in two years rather than four.
Employers may be more willing to support nurses who are looking to get a BSN online or advance their nursing career with an MSN or FNP degree online. Due to the nursing shortage, most employers do not want their best nurses to take years out of the workforce while studying on-campus. Many employers today are requiring nurses to gain a BSN as more and more studies prove that this qualification leads to better standards of patient care and helps to improve healthcare across the board. In addition, advanced nursing degrees lead to a higher number of advanced nurses such as family nurse practitioners in the workforce; another role for which there is often high demand. As a result, employers often encourage online degree programs for nurses since it can be a win-win situation for all parties. Some employers will even endorse some online degree programs and may offer tuition assistance or even complete tuition forgiveness programs while working alongside nurses to ensure that their work commitments are scheduled in a way that makes it easier for them to get their degree.
If you are currently working as a registered nurse with an associate’s degree in nursing, there are many reasons to consider getting your BSN online. This may depend on where you are currently licensed to work as a nurse since the state of New York now has a law in place that requires all nurses to gain a BSN within ten years of starting their career if they do not already possess this qualification. In addition to potentially being a legal requirement for your career, since many other states are now considering passing similar laws in order to improve patient care, getting your BSN online while working as a nurse can significantly improve your career. Not only do registered nurses with a BSN tend to earn more, but there is also a higher demand for BSN-educated nurses in the workforce, with over 40% of healthcare employers now listing this as a minimum requirement for their nurses. As a result, getting an online BSN could be your ticket to better employment opportunities.
Another reason to consider getting an online nursing degree is the various opportunities that are available for nurses who want to specialize in a certain area of the career. There are several advanced degrees that nurses can take with a specific focus on a certain area of this profession, allowing them to move their career in the direction that they would like it to take while continuing to work and gain experience in the field, which can ultimately improve their employability and make it easier to tie research and theory in with clinical practice. Today there is a wide range of specialist online degrees available for nurses whether you are looking to get a BSN that focuses on a certain type of nursing such as pediatric or psychiatric nursing, or if you are currently an RN and looking for a master’s program that focuses on nurse-midwifery, research, preventative care, management and more.
Build Your Transferable Skills:
Studying to be a nurse online doesn’t just take you through a curriculum that is designed to improve the professional skills that you will need to succeed in this career. Through the very act of studying for your nursing degree online, you can also develop a range of transferable skills that may be beneficial to your nursing career in the future. Studying online often requires a large degree of self-motivation, commitment, critical thinking, dedication, and communication skills -all of which are required for a successful nursing career. And as the healthcare industry moves towards offering more remote healthcare services such as online patient consultations due to the COVID19 pandemic, nurses who study online are often better prepared for a career where they might be communicating with and working with patients both remotely and in-person.
Getting a university degree can be stressful, but it can be particularly overwhelming if you are working in a full-time career while getting the qualifications you need to improve or change your professional outlook. Working in a fast-paced career such as nursing can often make it impossible for nurses to juggle studying alongside their work without a high level of stress without the flexibility offered by an online degree. Studying online can often seriously lower the stress levels of student nurses at any professional level due to the freedom it provides and the option to choose study times and other key factors based on the student’s individual needs rather than what’s been put in place by the school.
In the past, online degree programs were often met with a lot of skepticism and criticism, with some believing that they were worth less than a traditional campus-based degree program. However, this view has seriously changed in the past few decades as online degree programs have gone from strength to strength over time. Today, there is a lot more recognition and respect for professionals who have studied for their degree online, and they are just as accepted as campus-based degree programs in the majority of cases. In fact, some employers might even have more respect for professionals who have gained their degree qualification online since they know just how much dedication and work it can take to work alone and make the necessary adjustments to your schedule to ensure that you can fit studying and achieving your educational goals around them.
Find a Program to Suit You:
Online nursing programs are not only very flexible; they are also quite diverse and it’s easy to find a program that is suitable for you. Whether you want to get the traditional BSN, are looking to move up in your career and become a family nurse practitioner, or are currently working as a licensed practical nurse and want to become a registered nurse, there will be an online degree program to suit you. You can find fully flexible online programs that allow you to decide when you’d like to study, structured programs with set class times, and even blended programs that allow you to take advantage of both online and campus learning. Whether you want a career in nursing or already have one that you want to improve, there are many reasons to choose online learning to meet your career goals.