The rise in popularity of online learning over the last decade has transformed it from a trend to a mainstream education method. Moreover, COVID-19 met our need for education by bringing it into the comfort of our homes. And since then, online learning has become a norm for millions of students and teachers around the globe.
While online learning initially proved challenging, many came to prefer it over traditional classrooms as the advantages became evident over time. The same is the case in the nursing field. Online education soon became a popular method that aided students in their journey to becoming registered nurses and a convenient method for students who wanted to advance in their careers as a nurse.
This article explains how online nursing programs work and some of the benefits of completing one.
How Do Online Nursing Programs Work?
The practical and in-person demands of nursing may leave some wondering if they can complete a full associate’s, bachelor’s, or master’s degree online. Yes, they can. While most core courses are available online, students will have to complete the clinical hours in a hospital setting.
Online programs are becoming more effective and successful in delivering course content thanks to new teaching and visualization methodologies. Moreover, if you pursue a reputable university, such as the University of Texas at Arlington, you can even pick a program that offers scholarships and discounts. The UTA online nursing programs include certificates, doctoral degrees, bachelor’s degrees, and master’s degrees.
Benefits of an Online Nursing Degree
Many students have become interested in online nursing programs because of the variety of options that colleges now offer. Whether your goal is to complete your master’s in nursing, accelerated RN to BSN degree, or simply an RN course, you can continue to study further and keep up with your other responsibilities with ease.
Individuals may have different reasons for switching from traditional colleges to online learning. However, going online for a nursing degree has benefits for everyone.
Here are some benefits of e-learning for aspiring nurses:
- Career Advancement
There is no doubt that career advancement is one of the biggest benefits of online degrees. Once you are a licensed practical nurse, you can start your practice and enroll yourself in an RN degree online for career growth.
Many people study for a degree while working or pursuing a professional opportunity. Registered nurses can also pursue a bachelor’s or master’s degree program to advance their education and careers. Having the option to study online allows them to balance work and studies without having to sacrifice one for the other.
- Lower Costs
A student’s choice of school and degree is often influenced by their financial situation. The financial benefit of online education is that both — the student and the university — save money through this method of teaching and learning.
Moreover, many reputable universities today offer accelerated nursing programs where you can speed up the years and save money.
Online learning platforms can automate administrative tasks such as grading papers and quizzes, so schools will have fewer expenses for renting physical spaces.
By reducing school expenses, nursing students can earn the same degree for less money. The tuition costs for online learning programs are typically lower than those for on-campus programs.
Since you can learn from the comfort of your own home, you won’t have to worry about on-campus living expenses. As a result, you can reduce your commuting expenses to campus classes.
PDF books tend to be cheaper than physical books you would have to bring to class, so you can also save money on learning materials. Hence, we can safely say that online education appears to be more cost-effective than traditional learning in general.
- More Flexibility
One of the biggest advantages of online education is its flexibility in terms of time and space. A student can arrange their classes to their liking and create a schedule based on other commitments.
As a nursing student, you can arrange your study in the hours you don’t have to work shift hours. Because classes are not limited to a certain time, you can choose to study based on what works best for you. And with no long commutes to college, you can also spend more time studying.
- Easier To Track Documents
When assignments, papers, books, and learning materials are in paper format, grouping and storing them can be a hassle. In contrast, you can easily store and categorize materials in online databases so that you have quick access to them. It will also save you time, help you stay organized, and make learning easier.
- Self-Paced Learning
Online nursing degree programs offer the flexibility of scheduling your assignments and working at your own pace.
Sometimes instructors spend too much time on a topic you already know or don’t elaborate enough on difficult topics. With online learning, you can easily skip over materials you already know and focus on more challenging topics and materials. This optimizes learning and relieves time pressure associated with in-person learning.
- Technology Skills
Nursing is no exception when it comes to technological proficiency. During your online studies, you will develop technical competency and skills, become more computer literate, and learn how to productively manage your time online. Nurses who are responsible for administrative tasks and accessing electronic health records will find this especially useful.
- Comfortable Learning Environment
You can also create your own learning environment wherever you feel most comfortable when you learn online. Many students are unable to fully concentrate in traditional classroom settings due to disruptions and crowds. When you enroll in an online program, you have the flexibility of having a designated study area and attending lectures wherever you feel most comfortable.
- More Opportunities For Participation
Seating arrangements in traditional classrooms often create a hierarchy of participation, with interactive students seated at the front and non-interactive students seated at the back. In contrast, online learning eliminates this problem and provides ample opportunity for all students to participate.
Additionally, online courses offer various communication methods, such as video conferencing, audio, text messaging, discussion boards, etc. This helps students with more reserved personalities to participate in class by expressing themselves and sharing their ideas.
Every individual perceives teaching and learning differently now because of online education. It offers self-paced learning, greater flexibility, and greater accessibility.
Nursing is an ever-growing field that can reap the benefits of online learning the most. Many nursing students thrive in independent study, depending on their learning style. And with online learning, they can easily get around this challenge and stay flexible in terms of when and how they study. This will benefit them in finding many opportunities both academically and professionally.