The recognition and demand for nurses and their profession continue to grow as time goes on. This is because the rapid advancements and innovations in the healthcare industry have increased life expectancy. With more people living up to an older age, there is a growing need for professionals specializing in age-related medical issues.
Besides old age, the recent COVID-19 pandemic also highlighted the critical role of nurses in healthcare. They sacrificed their safety, health, and even lives to ensure the public could survive the pandemic and return to their families. These unprecedented circumstances also brought several changes in how we live our lives. With everything shifting towards the “new normal,” people had to adapt to newer platforms—ones they never thought were possible. One such paradigm was online education to help students continue their schooling while following the social distancing guidelines. And although online education existed long before that, it wasn’t until this pandemic that teachers and students fully realized its potential.
But while other online degrees might make sense, how can online nursing work? Can you really become a nurse online? Is it possible to have a career at the end of it? Is all that effort even worth it?
If you have these concerns, keep reading to learn the top seven reasons why an online nursing degree can be worthwhile.
1. Opportunities for career advancement
It’s typical for nursing students to pursue their education while working to keep up with changing healthcare trends. If you’re a registered nurse, look through an RN to BSN curriculum and see how you can accelerate your career by earning a bachelor’s in nursing.
Online programs don’t restrict you from attending classes at fixed times, allowing you to balance work and studies simultaneously. They also facilitate students in earning work experience while still studying. This keeps them from making a name for themselves in the industry when they enter the professional world. More importantly, potential employers and healthcare managers look to hire nurses with plenty of experience and without any considerable gaps in their resumes.
2. More choices for nursing programs
Traditional schools and colleges are limited in the programs they can offer their students. Finding instructors for each discipline isn’t easy, and so they offer degrees that are often most popular. However, with online learning, your professor could be anywhere in the world and conduct your classes from there. Therefore, you can pick any program and earn a degree.
Additionally, you can earn every level of degree, from undergraduate to postgraduate, with your chosen specialization. So, whether you’re thinking of pursuing a nursing career or looking for ways to advance your current one, online degrees may be your best bet yet.
3. Greater earning potential
Regarding salaries, several factors like years of experience, specialization, and location have a huge impact. But nurses with advanced degrees have the most potential to earn lucrative salaries as employers understand the benefits of hiring them. According to PayScale, a bachelor of science in nursing degree has a solid career outlook, with nurses earning $89,000 on average annually. This salary could mount even higher if you polish your resume and develop skills that make you more qualified for the job.
Besides working in the medical field, nurses now enjoy opportunities to work in leadership and managerial positions. These jobs pay excellent salaries and are perfect for individuals looking to bring big changes to the healthcare sector.
4. Learn at your pace
One of the greatest benefits of online education is that it allows you to learn courses at your own pace. No two students are the same, and everyone grasps concepts differently. Every student’s progress is independent of one another, giving you ample time to focus however much, or minor, you want to spend on one topic.
In a traditional classroom setting, you must keep up with everyone else or risk falling behind. Online classes can help mitigate this by letting you go to the next lesson only when you feel ready. On the contrary, if you feel prepared to move on to the next level, you don’t have to wait for others to catch up and can advance on your own.
5. Develop technical skills
The world is becoming more digitalized and technically advanced by the day. And so, by the time you graduate, you’ll be surrounded by even more technology and automated tools than you are today. Therefore, students of the 21st century must be technically adept and understand how to operate different programs and software in the industry. During your online degree program, you’ll learn to develop computer literacy and polish skills that can help you master your time and resources effectively.
Computer proficiency is starting to become an essential requirement in every workforce. And since nurses rely on continuously entering and tracking patient health data, these skills can be incredibly convenient.
6. Lower costs
Finances are often the biggest deciding factors for students when picking the right college. While most degree programs are costly, those related to the medical field can get very expensive, resulting in mounting student loans and debts. Fortunately, online degree programs are much more affordable than traditional college degrees.
With no need to rent physical spaces, classrooms, and offices, online colleges don’t need to hire extra personnel or supporting staff. This can significantly bring down overhead costs, reducing the annual tuition fee and making it easier for students to finance their education.
You can also lower your own expenses on commuting, buying hardcopy textbooks, or on-campus living when earning your degree online.
7. Diverse classrooms
In a traditional classroom setting, it’s common for native students to make up most of the class population. But online learning promotes diversity and cultural inclusivity, allowing students worldwide to enroll in the same program. Students from varying backgrounds and experiences collaborate and study together, which enriches their learning environment and makes them better professionals. By sharing each other’s skills and practical knowledge, you can become more learned and tolerant of working in the healthcare sector.
Diverse classroom settings are also excellent for examining your preconceptions or prejudices against specific individuals. Being more accepting of your classmate’s views and lives makes you more likely to succeed as a healthcare worker.
The nursing profession is one of the fastest-growing professions of this century. The shift in online learning has given rise to more opportunities for career advancement, high-paying salaries, and more flexible hours. If you want to pursue your career as a nurse, you’re making an excellent choice, and hopefully, the benefits mentioned above can help you make an informed decision.
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