Right now, the demand for good nurses has never been higher, which has led to a significant increase in the number of nursing education programs that are now available for people who want to get into this career. Whether you are about to graduate high school and want a career option that allows you to be there for others and make a difference in the world or are tired of your current career and want a chance to do something more meaningful and rewarding, there are more options available now than ever before when it comes to getting started in a nursing career path.
Over the past eighteen months, we’ve seen a massive increase in the number of students taking online programs as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Throughout the pandemic, online learning has provided students with a safer option for getting their degree during the crisis, along with several other distance learning benefits. Online nursing degrees might be more popular than ever before as online learning becomes more mainstream, but they have been around for quite some time, with many benefits for students to consider, including:
While nursing is hardly a career where you expect to be safe from pandemics, studying nursing online might be a better option for aspiring nurses right now who would rather be as safe as possible while getting their degree. While you’ll still need to take part in clinical placements and get on-the-job experience as part of your nursing degree program, online learning means that you can stay at home for the classroom side of things and social distance as much as possible now. After you have completed your degree program, we’re all hoping that COVID-19 will be over or at least very much under control, which is ideal for people who want to be a nurse but don’t want to start their career during a pandemic.
Another top reason why more and more students are deciding to get their nursing degree online is that it’s an ideal way to save more money on the overall cost of getting your degree. There are several ways that an online nursing degree can work out much cheaper overall compared to getting a nursing degree on-campus. For example, since you can easily study for your degree from home, there is no need to worry about any relocation expenses, even if the college you decide to attend is physically located hundreds of miles away. Savings on the cost of commuting, too, can also add up significantly over four years for online nursing students, who do not need to cover the usual expenses of getting to classes by car or public transport. You might also find that more e-materials are available including e-textbooks when you study online, which can also be a lot cheaper in comparison with studying at a campus.
The opportunity cost of studying to become a nurse can often be off-putting for some, especially people who would struggle to quit their current job while studying. One of the biggest benefits of studying for a nursing degree online is the additional flexibility that it provides, which ultimately means that those who need to continue working full-time while completing a BSN or other nursing degree from Wilkes University will have more freedom to do so, with the option to work their education around their current commitments rather than vice versa, which is often the case with a campus-based degree program. In addition to being easier to manage and allowing students the option to work on a schedule that’s best for them and stay in control, online nursing degrees can also make studying more affordable since even though the tuition cost is likely to be around the same, the fact that you can continue working much more easily while you study ultimately means that you will not lose as much income.
Attending nursing school can be quite stressful. This is especially true if you have other commitments in your life that you will not be able to simply put on hold while you get a nursing degree, such as working full-time or looking after your children and other family members. Since online nursing degrees are designed to put you in charge with the option to decide when, where, and how you’d like to study based on what works best for you and the programs are very flexible, allowing you to access the online learning platform at times that suit you best based on everything else that you have to do, it can often be a much less stressful experience. Maintaining your grades and making sure that you get everything done will often be much easier when you are in full control of how you do that, rather than having to rearrange your life and other commitments to fit in with a set campus schedule that isn’t designed with you in mind.
The online nursing school could also be able to help you graduate faster and get your degree in a shorter time, allowing you to get started in your new career sooner. On the other hand, if you have a very busy life and might need some more time to get your degree finished so that you can qualify as a nurse without burning yourself out and experiencing high amounts of stress, some online nursing degree programs will allow you to take a little bit longer and will be more flexible when it comes to the length of time you take to complete the program. If you want to get into a new nursing career as quickly as possible, online ABSN programs might be ideal for you. These programs are designed for people who want to get a second degree to get into nursing and allow you to get your BSN in half the time.
Develop Important Career Skills:
Whether you study for your nursing degree online or on-campus, you will learn a wide range of important nursing skills throughout the process. However, when you are studying online, there will also be the option to develop even more important transferable skills that will make a huge difference to how successful you can be as a nurse in the future. Studying online will often force you to use and improve a range of transferable skills that are hugely important in nursing including communication skills to keep up to date with your professors and peers when studying remotely, organizational skills to make sure that you’re able to get everything done when managing your own schedule, and time management skills since you will be in charge of putting together your own study schedule and making sure that you stay on track without a set timetable to stick to.
Build Your Professional Network:
When you think about studying online, you might imagine that it is quite isolating. And while it’s true that online students don’t always get the same opportunities to socialize in person as you would expect while studying on-campus, that doesn’t stop them from making new friends and getting to know their fellow students.
Most online nursing programs have lots of options that you can choose from when it comes to getting to know the other people who are also studying online alongside you. From online chat rooms to social media groups, group chats, and regular meet-ups for students to live close by to one another, there are more options available than you might realize when it comes to getting to know your peers as an online student. Because of this, along with making friends, getting an online nursing degree will make it easy for you to build your professional network. Since online study makes it easier for people from various locations to study at the college of their choosing, you may even find that studying online gives you more options compared to studying on-campus when it comes to meeting people from different locations.
Employer Support Options:
If you are currently working in the healthcare industry and are considering improving your career by training to become a nurse, your employer might be more supportive if you are getting your nursing degree online. This is because the online degree is less likely to disrupt your employment right now and will be easier to work around. If you are hoping to ask your employer for help with funding or more practical support in the workplace as you study to become a nurse, then choosing to study for an online degree might be the wiser option. Healthcare employers are becoming increasingly willing to offer financial support and other types of support to employees looking to become nurses in the future, since qualifying as a nurse and getting your license might benefit your employer too. However, bear in mind that to qualify for employer support you might need to commit to continue working there for a certain amount of time after you have graduated.
Improve Your Current Nursing Career By Studying Online:
Online nursing degree programs are not just designed for people who want to start a career in nursing. There are also many options available for current nurses, who can use online study programs to improve their own career progression and open up more opportunities for themselves when it comes to working in advanced roles or finding better employment opportunities. Some of the main ways that current nurses can use online learning for this include:
Bridge programs are designed to help nurses build on the knowledge that they already have to advance their careers and earn better qualifications. One of the most popular is the ADN-BSN bridge program, which is designed for registered nurses who hold an associate degree in nursing, allowing them to build on what they know to achieve a BSN. This type of bridge program is likely to become more and more popular in the future as an increasing number of healthcare employers are looking to hire more BSN-educated nurses due to studies that have highlighted the positive impact that it can have on patient outcomes. In addition, New York State has already begun requiring all registered nurses to get a BSN with the new BSN-in-10 legislation that means nurses with an ADN need to get a BSN in no more than ten years from getting their license, and other states are expected to follow suit.
Advanced Nursing Degree Programs:
For nurses who have already earned a BSN, there are many advanced study options available online to consider. Online options for advanced nursing programs include master’s degree in nursing programs, nurse practitioner advanced degree and postgraduate certificate programs, Doctor of Nursing practice programs, and even Ph.D. nursing degrees. If you are already working as a nurse or are starting out in your nursing career and are considering your advancement and progression opportunities for the future, there are several options online to consider when it comes to achieving these goals.
Specialty Area Training Programs:
Along with the degree programs that are available online for current nurses who want to advance in their careers, there are also several remote training program options for nurses who want to get into certain specialty areas. Whether you have a BSN or a master’s degree, you can find both pre-and post-graduate training programs that are designed to help you gain a better understanding of a certain area of nursing including working with patients that have certain diseases or conditions, working in the ICU, working with mental health patients, neonatal nursing, nursing in non-hospital settings like prisons or schools, and more.
Whether you’re going to graduate high school soon and know that nursing is the right career for you, want to change to become a nurse from your current career, or are currently working as a nurse and want to take your career to the next level, online learning can be the best way to achieve your career goals. With added flexibility, more cost-effectiveness, and many options to choose from, it’s no surprise that online nursing degrees are becoming more popular.