Studying online is something that has been growing in popularity for the last two decades or so and is something that most people now consider to be an option for attaining the qualifications they want for a new career. With the pandemic situation in 2020, studying from home using online approaches is also something a lot of students who would normally be attending colleges in person have been experiencing, too. What you may not have known, however, is that one of the fields with the biggest uptake of online learning, even prior to the pandemic, is actually nursing.
Here we look at some of the reasons why more and more students of nursing are using the opportunities available through online training programs, and why more experienced nursing professionals are also using online courses to gain advanced qualifications or specialist skills to further their careers in the field:
Online Study Can be Done Anywhere
One of the best reasons why people often choose to study online is that they don’t need to relocate or commute. This can be a big help in getting a course done no matter what your circumstances, but for people who are already working as nurses and want to do more advanced qualifications, who may also be older than typical college students, being able to study from home without having to ‘go back to school’ can be a very appealing idea.
It Can Mean Less Student Debt
The costs associated with providing online courses are far lower for colleges than the costs of having on-site courses that people have to attend physically. This in itself means tuition costs can be lower for nursing students who do their courses online. However, when you also take into account that online students have none of the other expenses associated with attending a school and will also have an easier time if they want to work while they’re studying, then it is clear that online study can lead to far less student debt.
Easier to Advance Your Career Once You’ve Started Working
It is not just general nursing degrees that can be obtained online, and people who want to continue their education after they have begun working as a nurse can find a lot of courses available to allow them to do that, such as online FNP programs that can allow them to qualify as a family nurse practitioner. Naturally, many people who want to do this want to study part-time rather than step away from their existing job as a nurse to go back to college, and this is something that studying online makes very easy.
Fitting Learning Around Your Lifestyle
For some people, going to college just isn’t an option, even if it is a local community college, due to the schedule conflicting with things like their childcare needs or their jobs. People who travel a lot also can’t generally commit to attending courses, and there are countless other lifestyle reasons that would deter someone from wanting to go to college, even if they knew they could really benefit from gaining new qualifications that could open up new opportunities for them in their nursing careers. With online study, it is possible to study on the go or to watch lectures at a time of day that suits you, and of course, parents can do some of their studies while their children are at home, keeping childcare issues out of the equation.
Online Learning is Becoming the Norm in Many Fields After 2020
Online learning became a necessity for a lot of students in 2020, and as a result, a lot of people who may not have considered trying it in the past have realized just how good the facilities for online students can be, and that it can be possible to get just as good of an education from home. This has led to a general shift in mindset from a lot of people and is likely to mean that online degrees will become even more popular in future academic years.
Flexible Options Mean Fewer Nurses Put off Starting Specialist or Advanced Training
The flexibility of online learning makes it something that people are able to pick up at any time they want to, rather than doing things like waiting for what seems like the right time lifestyle wise. People who may otherwise have put off getting advanced nursing qualifications may now choose to do them at times that wouldn’t have been possible for them to attend a college, such as when taking a career break to stay at home with young children. The ability to start advancing your qualifications in your free time without having to make drastic changes in your lifestyle is definitely helpful for people who want to take the next step in their careers in the near future, but don’t want it to create issues in their current lives.
Access to Courses from All Over the Country
Another great thing about online courses is that students can study with the college of their choice regardless of their physical location. If somebody wants to do a very specialist course that isn’t offered in many places, then this can be a real boon, and it is also very helpful to people who live in rural areas.
These are just some of the many reasons why the nursing field has seen a huge uptake in online learning over the past few years. It is likely that with the general shift towards online study that has happened as a result of the circumstances around the pandemic, in 2021, even more people will be considering this option over attending a conventional nursing school in person.
Whether you are just starting a career in nursing or are already a nursing professional and are looking to begin an advanced qualification or specialism route, then looking at the many options available to you for online study can definitely be a smart move.