If you’ve ever considered a career in nursing you’re probably familiar with the rewarding but challenging process of training and studying to obtain your degree. The years of dedication required both in classrooms and professional work environments can feel daunting and the prospect of committing to such a prolonged period of study stops many people from pursuing their desire to enter the field. But thanks to the internet’s worldwide accessibility and many channels of communication, it’s now easier than ever to find a nursing degree that fits around your life and responsibilities. Not only is nursing a diverse and fulfilling vocation, but with good pay and many opportunities for career advancement, it is an investment in your future as a professional.
However, for those who are turning to a career in nursing later in life or have many everyday commitments, such as employment or childcare keeping them busy, the time and dedication required during a nursing degree may feel like too much of an undertaking. This is where the benefits of an online nursing degree come in. A nursing degree is a combination of practical training in work environments and academic study, both of which are included in an online nursing degree, just as in the degrees at traditional colleges. This saves you the stress and inconvenience of uprooting the routines of you and your family to organise life around your education.
Online learning is equally suitable for those just leaving high school and wanting to pursue a career in nursing without accruing mountains of debt. Through an online nursing degree, students can work part-time and study, saving costs and gaining experience as they go.
If you want to learn more about the benefits of an online nursing degree, how it can work for you and where it can lead you, continue reading.
Flexibility and Convenience
The main attraction of online study is its flexibility; the bulk of studying required can be completed online, in virtual classrooms and through resources you can access via your computer! There will, of course, still be a practical element involved in which you spend time in medical environments, but these sessions can be adapted to work around you. Many online nursing degrees will also offer virtual simulations during your studies to imitate the real-life working conditions of a practicing nurse and enrich online learning. Depending on the course, this can be done in partnership with physical training on-site. Through online study, you obtain a legitimate degree in nursing, without any of the often straining demands. This is perfect for those unable to leave their job or reduce their working hours to fit around studying. Through an online nursing degree, you can still work towards a career in nursing without sacrificing your financial security. Unlike physical colleges, you can study first thing in the morning, late at night or on your commute to work – whatever works for you!
An online nursing degree is a perfect alternative for students who prefer self-paced learning, in which you can organise your workload, assignments and deadlines in a way that fits around your other commitments. You have the freedom to spend time on materials you find challenging and skip over areas you are already familiar with. In this way, online learning is a much more effective way of absorbing information based on what works for the individual student, rather than a class of dozens.
Online learning is also widely accessible. No matter where or when you decide to study, it is available to you, as long as you can the internet. This has opened the field of nursing to many who would otherwise have missed out on their dream career due to their circumstances or location. Since you are not committed to any strict, pre-determined times or dates to learn, your schedule is in your hands. The online arena also gives you access to perhaps more programs, modules and options than you would have available at a physical college, as you are not bound to any specific institutions.
Online studying also allows for the participation of all students, even those who are more reserved. Unlike in a classroom setting, where you are competing with a room of others to get your tutor’s attention and share your ideas, the diverse range of communication available for online students allows everyone to get involved. Through video conferences, audio calls, group messaging and online discussion boards, all students can find a way of interacting with the material.
Intimate and Personal Working
An online nursing degree is excellent for those who find they work more effectively outside of the traditional learning environment. Some students enjoy the atmosphere of the classroom, in large halls filled with people. Others can feel overwhelmed or struggle to focus in crowds of students, becoming disconnected from the teaching. If this sounds like you, online learning is the perfect alternative. It provides a personal element to your studies, making contact between you and your tutors easier through messages, emails, and video calls, allowing you the opportunity to ask questions, raise concerns and discuss your work at the click of a button. Online lectures also allow you to learn and listen without the distraction of fellow students. You can choose where to study depending on where you feel most productive and can create an environment that caters to your individual needs.
Online learning is also an excellent choice for those who feel traditional colleges lack the one-to-one interaction they need to optimize their learning. Through online meetings, it is easier than ever to speak with your tutors and instructors quickly, without having to schedule a time and location where you are both available.
However, don’t think that online learning stops you from interacting with your fellow students, having insightful discussions or making friends. Through student group chats, live lectures, and seminars you will have plenty of opportunities to connect with the other people on your course, who may be speaking to you from the other side of the world!
However, if your preference is to prioritise your studies over socialising, that is also an option for online students, who are removed from the pressures of social activities which often come with traditional colleges.
One of the main challenges of studying from home is the discipline required to complete work without the pressure of a classroom environment. However, this challenge is also a great opportunity to advance your self-motivation skills. It is your responsibility as a student to manage your time efficiently, set and stick to work schedules and complete assignments within time constraints. Developing this skill and learning how to avoid procrastination will be a strength you carry into the workplace and will be invaluable in a nursing environment.
Advancing your career
An online nursing degree is also a great option for those with prior nursing experience or qualifications who want to advance their careers through further study. Through online learning, those already in the field can continue their current employment whilst simultaneously working towards their next step, thanks to part-time study. Nursing is a career with many opportunities for progression and promotion, resulting in higher positions, higher responsibilities and higher pay. For those searching for this kind of advancement, an online study is an option which requires no time off work as you can simply study in your free time.
If you are eager to propel your career forward and catch the eye of your managers, online learning is perfect for learning without having to press pause on your life.
Another advantage to attending an online nursing school is the frequent use of technology. Through your online studies, you will improve your computer literacy skills and learn how to manage your time productively when online. In today’s work culture, the ability to use and understand technology is a crucial transferable skill that will give you an upper hand when faced with quickly upgrading technology in the workplace. For nursing these skills are invaluable if you intend to work as a nurse with administrative duties.
As an online student, you will become familiar with many different programs that enable you to effectively work such as Zoom, Microsoft Office, Dropbox, Microsoft Teams, Skype etc. Remote communications have become invaluable to many professional fields, especially since the Covid-19 pandemic.
Although documentation may not sound important, online learning allows you to keep track of your lessons, assignments, resources, notes and grades by storing them digitally making them accessible 24/7. Through using online databases, the days of forgetting your textbooks or sifting through piles of paperwork are over. This makes your studies far easier to navigate, no matter where you may be.
An online nursing degree is extremely cost-effective. Traditional colleges charge eye-watering fees for nursing degrees, plunging their students into long-term debt as they take out large loans to cover expenses. Many feel they cannot justify these payments, or simply are not in the financial position to meet these costs. In the past, these individuals would have been blocked off from a career in nursing, but since the introduction of online studying, learning has become more inclusive for people with diverse and varied backgrounds.
Online nursing degrees and qualifications are designed to be much more economical than other education alternatives. There is usually the option to pay in instalments or even pay per module/semester. This gives you the flexibility to choose what works for you and your financial situation, instead of jumping in with your fingers crossed. Through online learning, you will also save money on commuting, childcare and, other everyday expenses that add up during your studies.
You may have heard before from those who are uninformed that online learning has the reputation of being inferior to traditional, classroom-based education. When online colleges were first introduced, there was a stigma attached to the idea of getting an online degree and anxiety around how this would look to future employers.
However, this image of online learning is massively outdated and obtaining an online degree is recognised as being as legitimate and hard-earned as any degree from a traditional college. So don’t worry that an online degree will impact your job prospects or future ambitions.
Of course, it is important to remember that just as with traditional colleges, there are good online schools and poor ones, and you should avoid choosing the latter. It is the student’s responsibility to do their research before applying. Many online schools have detailed course briefs on their websites, giving you a helpful overview of what the school has to offer. Online colleges such as Carson-Newman University offer various online nursing programs which can be viewed in detail if you click here.
During the Covid-19 pandemic which confined us to our homes, most physical colleges began teaching portions of their courses online when possible, and continue to do so now, recognising the many benefits of learning in this way. Therefore through an online degree, you are working flexibly and paying less for a similar form and style of education that traditional colleges may be offering.
To become a nurse is to combine compassion for people with sophisticated healthcare and through online learning, it is easier than ever to pursue your desire in nursing. With a flexible, self-paced approach to learning and a more cost-efficient way of accessing higher education, an online nursing degree is suitable for everyone. Whether you need a study schedule that works around your family life, or can only dedicate certain days due to work commitments, online learning is designed to make nursing an accessible career for everybody, no matter their circumstance.