Online learning has seen a surge in popularity in recent years, partly due to restrictions imposed during the COVID-19 pandemic, but also because many people are choosing online education due to its flexibility and convenience.
Studying online offers a range of benefits, and with so many online programs available to choose from, developed by some of the leading universities in the US, there is no need to compromise on the quality of education or the school’s qualifications when you opt for an online degree program.
Here are some of the major reasons why online learning is becoming increasingly popular with nurses, who are seeking career progression:
Continue your career
When you are at the stage in your career when you are considering studying for a Master of Science in Nursing, you may well be reluctant to put your career on hold while you undertake your studies. You may be worried that taking time out for studying will mean you could fall behind in your career progression. With flexible online studying, you can continue to work, and you won’t miss opportunities for development or promotion.
Manage other commitments
One of the advantages of online learning is that it allows you to fit your studies in around other commitments, such as childcare or voluntary activities. It will inevitably be hard work, but with a flexible online nursing degree, you can juggle parenting with studying successfully. Resources will be available for you to use in your own time and at your own pace, so there is less pressure than with a classroom-based program.
The cost of relocating to another city to study for a degree is considerable and, for some people, is simply not practical. Living costs, including accommodations, have risen sharply in recent years. For example, household rent rose by a nationwide average of 10% from pre-pandemic levels. If you are close enough to commute to a classroom-based program, this may still not be the ideal option. Commuting is expensive, it uses up more hours of your day and may not fit with other commitments.
Another benefit of studying online is not needing to pay for as many materials, as so many resources are available in digital format. Having the option to keep working, rather than giving up work while you study, also has a significant positive impact on your finances.
Excellent educational standards
There are many excellent online programs to choose from for a nursing degree. Whether you are looking to study for an undergraduate or postgraduate degree, there are numerous courses available for remote study. With so many programs to choose from, it can be hard to know which programs to apply for. One way to identify the best quality programs is to look for accreditation. Schools and programs accredited by organizations, such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), give you the assurance that you are enrolling on a high-quality program, which meets a set of rigorous educational standards.
Innovative learning platforms
With more and more people turning to online learning, many educational establishments are exploring creative new ways to deliver training remotely. This can include interactive sessions, as well as recorded lessons and podcasts. Platforms are more customizable than ever before, offering a range of formats so you can make the most of the learning delivery methods that suit you best.
Since online learning has evolved, schools have made sure that they provide the same standard of support resources to students learning remotely as you would expect if you were studying on campus. Research libraries are available online, and nursing journals can be accessed digitally. Academic tutor support will be provided remotely, and you can expect to get access to counseling and other student support services, such as advice on student finances and tuition costs.
Online learning today offers at least as many opportunities for networking and socializing as on-campus programs. Students often have a chance to get to know people from many different places and can interact in virtual social gatherings and on forums, as well as in the more structured environment of educational sessions. Networking can support your learning, with opportunities to ask questions and seek the advice of peers as well as tutors, rather than just looking up answers in a textbook. You might stay in contact with some of these people beyond the end of your studies. Maybe you’ll have an opportunity to work with some of them in the future, or maybe you’ll want to call on them for a reference.
Develop other skills
Studying online requires such skills as time management and independent learning. This is an opportunity to build on skills you already have or to develop new ones, which you will be able to put into use in the future. Employers value these skills, as well as the hard work, self-discipline, and commitment that you demonstrate when you study online, particularly while continuing to work.
The University of Indianapolis MSN-AGPCNP program gives you the flexibility to study when you want and without the cost and upheaval of relocating to complete your studies. It is a part-time course, designed to fit around your work life. A placement is a core component of the course, and a dedicated clinical placement department will support you in securing the work experience you need. The Master of Science in Nursing degree course can be completed in eight semesters or 32 months.
Once you have completed your Master’s of Science in Nursing degree, you will have developed a wealth of new knowledge and skills. Expected program outcomes include:
- Demonstrating the ability to work in expanded nursing roles.
- Enhanced leadership skills, which include supporting collaborative working for the delivery of the healthcare requirement in a complex and constantly changing environment.
- Using knowledge of social, economic, ethical, political, and legal theories to inform decision-making.
- Commitment to the advancement of nursing as a profession.
These skills, among others, will ensure you are in a strong position to apply for promotions or move into a specialist role in nursing as part of your career progression.