Today the demand for nurses is higher than ever, which has led to an increase in nursing education programs available. Whether you have recently graduated high school and have decided to pursue nursing as your future career or are looking for a career change into this highly rewarding profession, studying online has become increasingly popular with student nurses over the past few years. While clinical placements are still a huge part of studying to become a nurse online, the rest of the work can be done in a much more flexible and self-led manner compared to a traditional classroom setting, providing students with a greater degree of freedom and the ability to tailor their studies to suit their lifestyle. Here are just some of the main reasons why online nursing degrees are growing in popularity.
Range of Programs Available
The range of nursing programs available to study online is second-to-none. As an online student, you can enjoy a much wider choice of not only programs available, but schools to attend. Since you’re studying online, it may be possible for you to study at a nursing school that you might not have been able to access otherwise as long as they offer clinical placements in your location. Online nursing programs range from accelerated BSN programs to advanced nurse practitioner and doctor of nursing practice programs, with something for everybody whether you are looking to change your career to nursing quickly or are already a nurse looking to progress.
Enjoy More Flexibility
The online nursing degree is the perfect option for anybody with a busy lifestyle. Whether you’re currently working and want to continue earning your salary while you study to become a nurse, are already working as a nurse and want to boost your qualifications, or are juggling study with being a full-time mom or dad, studying online allows you to fit your studies around your lifestyle and commitments rather than the other way around. Although with nursing you will need to be available for clinical placements, your lectures and classes will be delivered online, allowing you to access them from home at times that are the most convenient to you.
Although there is little difference in tuition fees these days between online and traditional degree programs, studying online is certainly one of the best ways to get the most cost-effective experience and make the most out of your tuition. If you want to save money on all the extra costs of attending a nursing school that you would usually expect from traditional learning settings, studying online makes this a reality. Since you can access lectures and classes at home, you don’t need to worry about the cost of relocating to a different city for nursing school or the cost of gas or public transport tickets to make it to your lectures. And, since the learning is more flexible, online nursing students are typically able to keep up their normal working hours while studying or at least work more hours than they would typically be able to when studying for a traditional classroom-based degree program.
Make Friends from Different Places
When you attend a traditional nursing school, you’ll typically meet people who are also from that area. On the other hand, online schools are attended by people from all around the country and even other places in the world, giving you the chance to build your network even further and make friends from everywhere. Contrary to popular belief, the online learning environment can be a very social one and there will be several opportunities for you to speak with your peers. Students often set up informal chat groups or social media groups that you can be a part of and online students from the same area will often arrange study groups and meetups that you can attend.
Being able to work at your own pace for the majority of the degree and take charge of when and where you would like to study when you’re not on a clinical placement results in less stress for nursing students. Juggling a nursing degree with various other commitments can be highly stressful when you need to make it into lectures for a certain time of the day or cut back your working hours to ensure that you’ve got time for classes. An online degree takes a huge amount of this stress away by allowing you to decide the best way for you to do things. While there will always be deadlines and dates that you’ll need to be available for, you have much more control over your own studies compared to a traditional setting, which can leave you feeling much calmer and more relaxed.
In the past, online degrees were often seen as inferior to the traditional classroom setting but today, that’s definitely no longer the case. In fact, many employers will have a newfound respect for you when they find out that you got your nursing degree online because of the amount of self-discipline and self-motivation that it takes to succeed in this setting. Studying online means taking control of your own situation and the responsibility for your own success is even higher.
Learn New Skills
While you’ll learn new skills regardless of where you decide to go to nursing school, an online nursing degree can help you develop skills that you might not get as much of a chance to build in the classroom setting. Being in charge of your own studies and working independently is a massive opportunity to build your self-learning, research, time management, organization, self-motivation, communication skills, and more. Studying online means that you have to be even more organized and take responsibility for your own work since you are trusted to decide how you learn best. You’ll need to become self-aware enough to figure out what works best for you and put a plan in place to help you succeed.
Today, the online study has been booming thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, but nurses have been getting their degrees online for quite a while. If you’re considering getting your BSN, there are many reasons to consider taking this route.