The COVID-19 pandemic brought a lot of changes in our lives. With stay-at-home orders, we experienced a different way to attend school and earn degrees. During the pandemic, universities and colleges around the world had to find a ‘new normal’ and introduce ways to continue educating students while complying with social distancing guidelines. A lot of degree programs moved online, and many students still prefer to study online.
The pandemic created a strain on the medical community, which was already struggling because of nursing shortages. If you have been thinking about a career change, there is no better time to become a nurse. Online degree programs are very popular and an incredibly convenient way for training the next generation of nurses. Nursing can be a lucrative, fulfilling and exciting career for those who are passionate about healthcare, and online programs make it easier than ever to earn your degree.
Online nursing degrees
Healthcare roles are some of the highest-paying jobs in the country, and nursing is no exception. To qualify as a new nurse, you will first have to graduate from a nursing program and then pass the NCLEX-RN national licensing exam. You can earn your degree in a traditional setting or through an online program. If you are already working as a nurse, there are several advanced degrees you can enroll in to advance your career and pursue leadership and management roles. Some of the most popular nursing degrees available online are:
- BSN degree – A BSN degree can help graduates pursue higher-paying nursing jobs with bigger responsibilities when compared with associate degrees. Nurses with a BSN degree can practice in different settings such as community health, home health, schools, critical care and long-term care. Typically, BSN degrees are three to four-year degrees.
- RN to BSN degree – For registered nurses, an online RN to BSN program such as the one offered by Spring Arbor University can help them advance their career to find better-paying jobs. The program trains nurses in advanced professional development, analytical skills and clinical skills.
- Master’s in nursing – A master’s in nursing program is ideal for students who have non-nursing bachelor’s degrees. This program takes advantage of the skills already learned in the bachelor’s degree and allows students to earn an advanced degree in a shorter time.
Benefits of pursuing an online degree
If you are thinking about advancing your career by upgrading your education, there are many things to consider. An online degree provides a lot of advantages that make it a popular option for a lot of nursing professionals. Some of these benefits are discussed below.
Nursing programs require a lot of hard work and commitment. It is crucial to find a program that is suitable for your current lifestyle. Online degrees are very convenient for nurses because you can pursue your studies around your family and work commitments. With online degrees, you can study from home or anywhere else you prefer. You can study at a schedule that is suitable for you and at your own pace. Having this convenience and flexibility is one of the major benefits of choosing an online degree program.
Choice in programs
With the increase in the popularity of online degrees, there is now a variety of nursing programs available. Online nursing degrees are gaining popularity because they are well-respected, convenient and highly regarded in the industry. Whether you are thinking of a career change, are interested in becoming a new nurse, or want to advance your current nursing career, you can find an online program that works for you.
Most online programs cost less compared to traditional degrees. With an online degree, you will be able to save not just on tuition, but also on many other things such as transportation and parking costs, vehicle wear and tear, and childcare expenses. As digital materials are provided in online programs, you will also be saving money that you would have otherwise spent on costly textbooks.
Learning at your pace
Everyone has a different learning style. With traditional nursing programs, the lectures may be a little overwhelming as you will have to listen to the tutor and jot down notes at the same time. You may also miss classes in case of work commitments or illness. With online programs, you can learn at your own pace and view lectures when it is convenient for you. Depending on your learning style, you can speed up learning when it’s suitable and slow down when you are particularly busy.
Learn from anywhere
One of the major benefits of an online degree is that you can pursue it from anywhere. In the past, if you did not live close to a university, it would be very difficult to graduate. With online degrees, nurses can enroll in degrees through remote programs from anywhere. Online education removes the obstacle of lack of accessibility for everyone.
Fun learning environment
Because of advanced technology, online programs are fun and enjoyable compared to traditional lectures. Most universities today use the latest technology to provide access to virtual lectures and simulated scenarios. This allows nurses to obtain clinical knowledge and even practice clinical skills and patient situations from the comfort of their homes.
Better time management
With online learning, there is no commute and no interruptions. You have the flexibility of doing coursework whenever it is convenient for you. This allows you to manage your time better so that you can enjoy your life and have more time for family and for a full-time job. When you are juggling between work, family and school, every spare minute counts. Online education offers you this opportunity, and you can spend time on things that are truly important to you.
Supports various learning styles
Everyone prefers to learn in a different way. Some students prefer writing and reading, while others may be visual or auditory learners. With online programs, you can learn in a way that is suitable for you. Online learning programs support different learning styles, making it easier for you to complete your degree and deepen your understanding.
No need for a leave of absence
With a traditional degree program, many nurses take leave from their careers because they cannot manage a full-time job with a degree program. A major advantage of an online program is that you can continue to work while you study. Traditional universities have class and attendance requirements, making it harder to work while studying. With the convenience and flexibility of online learning, you can choose to study when you have time.
Online degrees offer flexibility and convenience that cannot be matched by traditional programs. This reduces pressure on nurses who are already working high-pressure jobs. For many, attending a class with a lot of people can fuel anxiety and stress. With online classes, you will be able to study in isolation, without distraction from others. This makes learning more productive and enjoyable.
Tips to make the most of your online degree
If you are planning to enroll in an online degree program, there are several tips that can help you succeed, as discussed below:
Have a planned schedule
When you are juggling between a full-time job, studies and family, it is important to follow a set schedule. To succeed in your degree program, you will have to follow a rigorous schedule and prioritize. Create a schedule in advance so that you can dedicate enough time to keep up with your studies and coursework. You will also have to learn to say no to other events and things that may not be important until you graduate.
Support your learning style
If you want to make the most of your degree program, know your learning style and support it. Online programs can provide you with the resources you need to learn in any way you like. If you prefer writing and taking notes, keep a notebook handy while you watch virtual lectures. If you prefer working with others, group study might be a good option for you. Instructors are always available in case you have any questions or concerns.
Just like traditional degree programs, online degrees are a major commitment. Even though the coursework is flexible, you will need to be dedicated and committed if you want to succeed. Find a quiet place where you can study without any distractions. Having a designated place and a set schedule for completing your coursework can make things much easier. Your coursework requires as much drive as your career, so it is important to treat it with the same commitment. You can also ask your family for support as you dedicate more time to your studies.
Online degrees offer busy nurses the flexibility and convenience they require to complete the coursework while maintaining a high-stress job. It provides them with the opportunity to advance in their career and pursue high-paying roles and opportunities.