Online classes for nursing degrees are a highly-profitable investment, given that the more you study, the more you will earn in your medical career. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports, there are more than 3 million nurses in the workforce right now, and the field is expected to grow by 12% between 2018-2028.
If you’re currently working, short on time, or interested in pursuing or advancing your nursing career, then remote learning might be the best option for you. Here’s everything you need to know about online colleges for nursing degrees and what it’s all about.
Many people are interested in either advancing their nursing careers or switching professions to the medical field. However, the thought of going back to school is daunting at best and simply impossible at worst. Attending an online school for nursing degree can be the ideal solution to this conundrum for many reasons, but it’s not for everyone. Here are a few things you should know about online schools for nursing degrees before signing up:
Whether you’re looking for online nursing Bachelor programs, a Master’s degree, or a Doctoral degree, online learning is a more convenient alternative to a traditional university. To begin with, you don’t have to stop working or dedicate a chunk of your life towards schooling. In fact, you can continue your schooling while you work. This is not only helpful for those who can’t afford to take a break from employment, but it is also helpful if you are planning on advancing your career. When you work and learn at the same time, you get the degree and the hands-on experience that helps accelerate your career.
What’s more, online nursing degrees give you the flexibility to work according to your own timeline. Depending on the program and school, you may be able to take the classes whenever you want, hand in papers and assignments at your leisure, and take final exams according to your own schedule. Additionally, most online colleges with nursing degrees offer rolling admissions. That means you can sign up for a course whenever you want, you don’t have to wait for a new semester to begin.
Finally, nursing degree online programs, including a bachelor’s of science in nursing online and other accredited online nursing degrees, provide the convenience of non-location based learning. There’s no commuting, dorming, or relocating to worry about and you have a wider range of degree availability to choose from to earn nursing degree online.
Of course, convenience doesn’t equate with ease. If you are enrolled in an accredited online nursing degree program, there shouldn’t be a whole lot of difference between the mainstream colleges with nursing degrees and their online counterparts. The quality of education, level of skills, and experience provided should be the same across all academic platforms regardless of the learning format. The differences are mostly in the way you consume the information and course material. In-class degrees are more hands-on, with an instructor in front of a class teaching in person. Conversely, online schools for nursing degrees require you to be in control of your education, pushing you to take responsibility for classwork, papers, assignments, and studying to be completed in a timely fashion. Online colleges for nursing degrees require you to have a basic level of technical know-how, discipline to attend classes, and time-management skills to get your workload completed properly.
There are different types of nursing degrees online and in-person, and you should understand the differences before you begin. In order to become a registered nurse, you’ll need to earn your nursing degree and then pass the national licensing exam called the NCLEX-RN. There are plenty of job opportunities for all levels of nursing licenses. So if RN is not your goal, that’s fine. Just be clear about where you’re going so you don’t end up somewhere you weren’t expecting.
As mentioned, the best online nursing degree programs will offer the same level of quality education as the in-person schools. And according to the polls, there is no difference between the level of professionalism, so it just becomes a matter of which learning style works best for you. If you are tight on time, currently employed, or looking to advance your nursing career on a budget, then online nursing degree programs will provide you the flexibility, convenience, and affordability you are looking for.
- A faith-based education system with a strong focus on education
- Strong distance learning structure, support, resources
- Transfer as many as 90 credits to complete your BA
- No associate degrees
- Scholarship opportunities are mainly for freshman
Benedictine University is a faith-based school that carries its devotion to religion over to its die-hard commitment to higher education as well. The modest online degree program offerings are well-backed by tremendous faculty and technological support. Benedictine University makes online learning easy with resources like virtual chat rooms and meet-ups, live chat support with teachers, and a crash-course in how to succeed with distance learning. Benedictine University also has several scholarship opportunities for freshmen.
- Helpful advisors and student resources
- Affordable tuition & financial aid packages/scholarships
- Easy to transfer credits
- Can be difficult to follow tech-focused programs online
- Not a lot of break time between sessions
Online degrees are not for everyone, but it does provide you with a more flexible, more convenient, and more affordable option than traditional universities. So if a digital degree sounds like a good idea to you, SNHU is one of your best bets. With the advantage and experience of an on-campus college, SNHU’s online programs deliver a high quality of education with all the benefits previously mentioned. The tuition is lower than most schools out there, and the university excels at helping its students through every step of their educational journey.
- FlexPath & GuidedPath learning options
- Highly-recognized, accredited university
- Lots of support and guidance
- Not all courses available in fast-track
Capella is a well-reputed online degree university with accreditation. The school offers a dizzying number of courses and degrees that you can take from home or while you’re working. Capella also provides loads of guidance and assistance for students during their learning journey, and helps with career advice after graduation. The FlexPath allows you to finish a large amount of course material in a shorter, more cost-effective way.
Congratulations! You are on the path to getting a nursing degree online. If you’re overwhelmed by all the options, you’re not alone. With so many choices, it can be hard to make a decision. It helps to narrow down the selection by honing in on the most important features in a Master’s, Associates, or Bachelor’s of science in the nursing online degree. Must-haves may differ slightly from one student to the next, but things that you’ll definitely want to put at the top of your list of priorities include:
You only want to get a nursing degree online from an institution that is accredited. This is basically the stamp of approval that this college is legitimate, covers all the requirements, conforms with the proper regulations, and holds to the proper standard of educational level for a respected degree. Check that the school you are looking at is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education or Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing to confirm legitimacy. Also look into regional and national accreditation for your best future career opportunities.
Another important feature to insist upon is good accessibility to the teacher and/or school faculty. Since you are not meeting regularly face-to-face, you want to know that there is someone you can reach out to for questions, clarifications, or guidance. The best online nursing degrees come with advisors, careers and degrees, online communities, and open lines of communication with teachers and staff to help you out when the need arises.
Finally, look for an online school for nursing degrees with the type of degree you are interested in (more on that below).
All types of degrees for nursing are available online - including an entry-level Associates degree, an online Bachelor's degree in nursing, and all the way up to a nursing degree RN status - and which one is right for you depends on what your career goals are. Some online nursing degrees you can obtain include:
- ADN: Associates Degree in nursing
- BSN: Bachelor of Science in nursing
- MSN: Master of Science in nursing
- DNSc, PhD, DNP, EdD: Doctor of Nursing Practice
Different nursing degree programs will vary the curriculum slightly, but all colleges with nursing degrees will include homework assignments, projects, required reading, and clinical hours to earn your degree. Courses may include the following classes:
- Health care ethics
- Nursing fundamentals
- Nursing theory
- Health promotion
- Disease prevention
- Critical care
Ready to earn your online registered nurse degree? Before you surge forward ready to take on the world, let’s make sure you are all set to make the most out of your learning process and ready to succeed:
Before going into any learning endeavor, there are a few basics to cover:
- Have a dedicated workspace, remove distractions like TVs and social gatherings
- Get yourself a good pair of headphones
- Work in natural light
- Have a clean, clear surface to work on and a comfortable chair
- Have the right supplies handy (notebook, pencils, laptop, etc.)
Remote learning is not the same as in-person learning. The technology of it all can be overwhelming if you are not used to it. So make sure you are set up for success from the outset.
- Make sure you can download the platform or software
- Have a good WIFI or internet connection
- Have clear speakers that work and are properly connected
- Have your computer, notepad, and webcam in working order
- Take time before the course/class starts to familiarize yourself with the technology, the platform
Like technology, you don’t want to come to the first day without knowing what to expect. Look over the course syllabus before the start of the class. This way you aren’t left trying to figure things out when you’re supposed to be learning your first few lessons.
Have a notepad to take notes or write down questions you can ask your instructor afterward.
Buy a daily calendar.