Online learning has become one of the fastest-growing trends in the world today. Although digital education has been a trend for some time now, its popularity grew during the COVID-19 pandemic. This was a time when educational institutions were forced to adopt completely online learning models. The framework became successful, and there has been no turning back ever since. Not only established schools, colleges, and universities but a plethora of other platforms have sprung up in the last few years to offer more than just degrees.
The field of healthcare is no stranger to online learning, and the nursing domain is allowing a fresh breadth of opportunities for young professionals through this channel. Considering that there is a 17% to 25% outlook of job growth in various nursing fields, online courses and degree programs allow various healthcare institutions to fill a significant nurse shortage. From health diagnosing practitioners to registered and licensed practical or vocational nurses, many departments currently need trained professionals.
Here are some of the benefits of online nursing education:
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1. Flexible schedules
One of the biggest advantages of online nursing programs is that they offer considerable flexibility both in terms of time and also with respect to how you attend the class. The La Salle University nursing programs, for instance, offer durations that range between 12 and 36 months. Students can complete the requirements for any degree at their own convenience. Other online programs offer similar options where people can enjoy learning in a hassle-free manner from anywhere in the world.
The benefit of flexibility is that you can customize the timetable to your liking so that it doesn’t interfere with other commitments that you may have. It’s not like you have a morning program where you need to attend the class in a certain time period, or you can’t attend it at all. Online programs also eliminate the need to commute to a physical campus. This time saving can allow you to work on other aspects like working freelance or learning other things that can allow you to excel in your field.
Since the university is incurring a considerably lower cost in providing online education, the course fee reflects that. Online nursing programs are relatively affordable, especially when compared to a traditional on-campus program. There are no associated costs for rent, utilities, additional staff, and other administrative expenses to provide an online course. This evidently transfers to the students as they end up paying much less for the same level of education.
Moreover, there are cost savings for students in other areas as well. They don’t have to bear accommodation expenses on campus, nor do they need to pay to commute to and from the institution. Then, there is also the matter of buying books or copying notes which are in turn offered in the form of Word, Excel, or PDF documents. Altogether, these savings make for a substantial saving for you as a student making it much less of a financial burden.
3. More convenient access to documents and notes
If you have been a student at a physical campus, you know that handling hardcopy books and notes can be a hassle. Often, you tend to lose important notes, and it becomes a nightmare to get copies for them since every student jots down important points of a lecture differently. With online learning, the entire process is streamlined. You get access to softcopies, submit assignments directly through the portal, and have recorded lectures as well as presentation slides to assist you in exam preparation. All in all, the handling and storing of documents through online learning is much simpler.
4. Increased opportunities for class participation
In a physical class, participation can be a challenge, especially if you are a shy person. On top of that, the seating arrangements introduce bias, particularly in terms of class participation. Interactive students typically sit at the front because they want to capitalize on the opportunity to answer questions and actively participate in discussions. Introverted students sit at the back because they typically want to take notes in silence and leave when the timer ends.
Through online learning, there is an equal playing field for everyone to participate in the discussion. It can be hard for shy students to participate even then, but being alone, in their comfort zone, is a confidence booster in itself. Moreover, in an online class, participation can also occur through text messaging or discussion boards where writing your thoughts and answers counts as well. Therefore, everyone gets an equal chance to voice their opinions.
5. Ability to embrace technological advancements
The ability to use technology effectively is a valuable skill for any job, and nurses are no different. You will gain knowledge and insights with respect to the latest technologies, computer literacy skills, and an overall understanding of effectively managing your online time during your online courses. This is particularly helpful if you want to work as a nurse, whose job entails handling paperwork and getting data from patients’ electronic health records.
Through online learning, you are introduced to a completely new world of digital advancements. There are chances that many of the tools, resources, and software you learn to use, are unheard of, particularly for you. As a nurse, this is crucial because later on, this knowledge can come in handy when you have to interact with peers and patients through the same platforms. Your proficiency with these tools can give you an edge and a better prospect of growth.
6. Comfortable career progression
This point ties into the element of flexibility. With the field of nursing and healthcare constantly evolving, some nurses who already hold licenses are considering switching their expertise. In order to do this, they need to meet certain educational requirements. Since they are already working at the moment, online programs offer them the ability to advance their career without having to forego their current job.
This means you can work and expand your qualification at the same time, thanks to online learning. Career progression has never been this simple. Whether you are at work, at home, commuting between your residence and place of occupation, or anywhere else, you can easily study without any interruptions. It is an amazing prospect that no one thought was imaginable until this revolution of online programs came along.
Online nursing education is a comprehensive package that is full of benefits. From cost-savings to the flexibility of schedules, and the ability to enhance your qualifications on the go and perform better during classes, you get a host of opportunities to absorb new knowledge in a considerably modern way. It is a great way to progress both your academic and professional careers.