How to Start a New Career from the Safety of Your Home
In today’s busy world, there are several ideal nursing programs for career changers and working adults.
In fact, given the current pandemic crisis, an online education in nursing can be a great way to advance your career while a making positive difference in the world.
How Does an Online Nursing Program Work?
Online nursing programs are typically based on virtual platforms that allow you to attend classes when it’s convenient for your schedule. In most cases, the only equipment you’ll require is a computer with internet access.
That’s not to say there aren’t differences between traditional learning and distance education. Each method has its pros and cons, but online classes offer quite a few benefits, particularly in these trying times. Most importantly, online education can lead to greater job opportunities for more people.
If you’re considering online nursing education but need more information, then continue reading!
Online Nursing Programs
Can You Get a Nursing Degree Online?
Yes – you can start your nursing journey online. Under normal circumstances, pre-licensure nursing programs can have virtual components. Some post-licensure nursing programs are entirely online.
However, online nursing programs can vary greatly from school to school. They typically include many of the same elements you’d expect from a traditional classroom, including assignments, quizzes, regular attendance, and group discussions.
Many online nursing classes allow you to video conference with your instructors or program directors. Most instructors also publish their contact information so that students can reach them during standard office hours.
Frequently Asked Questions About Online Nursing Programs
1. Can You Get an RN Degree Online?
You can complete a hybrid program to obtain various nursing degrees, such as an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN), a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), or a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN).
Most online or hybrid nursing programs are typically offered through universities and vocational schools.
Of course, upon earning your degree, you must pass the NCLEX-RN licensing exam to become a Registered Nurse (RN).
2. Are Online Nursing Programs Accredited?
Yes. Many online nursing programs are accredited, but you should still do your research before enrolling in one.
It’s important that you examine potential nursing schools and check their accreditation. One of the most common accrediting bodies is the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Officially recognized as a national accreditation agency, the CCNE is an autonomous agency that contributes to the improvement of public health. You can also contact your state’s board of registered nursing.
3. How Do You Enroll in an Online Nursing Program?
Enrollment requirements will vary between programs at different nursing schools. Generally speaking, many online schools will require you to complete the following admissions requirements in a virtual environment:
- Career planning session and admissions interview
- Submit proof of high school education or equivalent
- Entrance assessment test
- Financial arrangements
4. Is Online Nursing School Hard?
Online nursing school is not any more (or less) difficult than a traditional program. Everyone has a preferred learning style and you should reflect on your study habits to determine if online education is right for you.
Some people prefer to go at their own pace or learn outside of a classroom. Others require a more structured learning environment, and some people favor a balance between the two.
5. How Long Does It Take to Become a Nurse Online?
The time it takes to become a nurse online can range anywhere from two to four years. This time can vary based on your chosen degree and career path.
For example, an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) can be completed in one to two years, while a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree may require three to four years.
To earn a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN), you will need up to two years of additional study after earning your bachelor’s degree.
Besides the nursing degree itself, you must also pass the NCLEX-RN exam to become a licensed Registered Nurse (RN).
The time requirements can also change based on transfer credits, accelerated programs, and part or full-time schedules.
6. How Much Is Online Nursing School?
The cost of online nursing school will vary depending on the program you attend. However, most schools offer financial aid or scholarships, and some even offer tuition forgiveness programs for prerequisite courses.
Once you have a list of prospects, be sure to contact each school and ask about financial aid options.
7. Are Online Nursing Degrees Respected?
Yes. Not only are online courses highly respected, they are convenient and allow for greater career advancement.
Developments in technology have also allowed instructors to provide higher-quality education in virtual form. As a result, online learning has experienced a surge in popularity.
Your future employer will likely care more about your qualifications than your classroom setting. What matters most is that you earned your degree and passed the licensing exam.
8. Can You Get a Job with an Online Nursing Degree?
Yes, you can! Online nursing programs and degrees with accreditation are just as valuable as traditional ones.
In fact, online nursing programs can make things easier when searching for employment. Their inherent flexibility and convenience allow you to virtually network in multiple locations.
Across the nation, millions of people are in quarantine and, as a result, the job market has drastically shifted. Online nursing education can give you a head start to advance your career during these trying times.
Online vs. Traditional Nursing Education
The Advantages of Online Nursing Programs vs. Classroom
Advantages of Traditional Nursing Programs:
- Face-to-face time with instructors
- Structured environment
- Familiar process
Advantages of Online Nursing Programs:
- Convenient schedule and location
- More active role in learning
- Grants more people access to education
Why You Should Pursue Online Education
Benefits of a Virtual Learning Environment in Nursing
1. Convenience and Flexibility
This is one of the more obvious benefits of e-learning for nurses. Time and distance are no longer be an impediment to receiving a quality education. You can follow your dreams while working remotely or taking care of your family.
You can virtually attend classes outside of work hours from the safety and convenience of your own home. You can participate in discussion boards when your children are asleep or doing their homework. You can even video chat with your professor after dinner.
The possibilities are endless when you can work and study at your own pace.
2. Greater Reach
Online classes provide more people access to education. Greater access to education can result in happier, healthier, and safer communities.
In addition, online education can lead to better jobs, more money, and other benefits, including health insurance. It can also lead to a greater sense of personal fulfillment.
It’s important to consider the nursing shortage in the United States. As more nurses reach retirement age, a greater need will be created for the next generation of nurses.
Because of the current pandemic, we are witnessing a huge surge in demand for qualified nurses.
Nurses are our protectors, the very pillars of our community. Whether it’s a regular day or during an outbreak, they are critical to our survival.
Since online education has the potential to reach more people, it can help fill the gap for this noble profession.
3. Fosters an Active Learning Environment
If you enroll in an online nursing program, you play a more active role in your learning journey. Technology allows you to be in the driver’s seat. Teachers will still guide you, but as an online student, you have greater control and responsibility for learning the curriculum. With online nursing, you (not the instructor) can shape your learning experience.
According to EveryNurse, students who are more active in their education are likely to become more emotionally invested in the outcome, and retain more of the information they learn.
4. Greater Potential for Participation
Another benefit to online nursing classes is the lack of a “back row.” In many traditional classrooms, it’s easy to sit in the back of the classroom and avoid participation.
In a traditional setting, some students may avoid classroom interaction because they feel shy or uncomfortable speaking in front of their peers.
A virtual platform, however, offers a unique opportunity for students to organize their thoughts and engage with their instructors and classmates from the privacy of their homes.
Online Education at Unitek College
At Unitek College, we offer various online nursing programs for career changers and aspiring healthcare workers. They range in length from about one to three years. With our supportive team and career-driven curriculums, you’ll gain the skills, experience, and knowledge needed to excel in your chosen field.
Online coursework is often divided into weekly modules so you can clearly see when tasks are due. Throughout the week, our discussion boards give students and instructors an opportunity to interact with one another. The courses are also instructor-led and engage students through forums, online office hours, assignments, team projects, and exams.
Take the first step, and the future is yours!