Monday, January 30, 2012

What are the advantages of a Nursing Degree Online?

            With more and more classrooms moving to the Worldwide Web, it may be tempting to sign up for an online class to get a nursing degree from your house. Online classes offer many advantages, such as freedom for scheduling, being able to work from home, and being able to work at your own pace. Online classes also come with disadvantages, as well. Since they are virtual, you have no physical school or physical teacher. If you need help with something, nobody is there to help guide you in person. In addition to not being able to receive help, you don’t receive hands-on instruction either.
online nursing degree
Is an online nursing degree right for you?

            Nursing is a hands-on skill, which means you need to be able to use the dummies in the class, use nursing props, practice scenarios, and have physical interactions to learn how to become a nurse. At the University of Phoenix, the online nursing program will cost you $21,000 per year, which is comparable to any university with in-school classes.

            I personally do not recommend getting a nursing degree online. Taking several online classes myself (mostly math, English, and some other hands-off classes), I do not recommend virtual learning. I feel that you put forth more effort to learn less. After my online classes, I retained none of the information because I was learning in my living room. I recommend (especially for nursing) taking the classes at an actual college, in person, with a professor.
           Of course, I understand that oitside of the course work, all nursing students will be required to complete a certain number of clinical hours, during which they must work at a health care facility in a situation similar to an internship. This experience helps nursing students gain firsthand knowledge of what it is like to interact with patients and other health care professionals. Distance higher education combined with some traditional learning (blended or hybrid learning) is the most effective, better than only online and pure classroom.
Thier is no doubt that the demand for registered nurses is stronger than ever as the health care industry expands rapidly to meet the needs of an aging baby boomer population.
If you are a working RN, you do not have energy to travel to school, complete assignments and still provide quality care to your patients. For some, thought of having to cut back, or even stop working to attend school is frightening. Not working means deferring old loans, taking on new ones and letting the debt pile up until you finish school, without earning in the process. Scheduling for nurses can fluctuate and an online degree means you can be flexible with your work, home and school life so you keep your job and your sanity!

The top 3 programs are from the following three  online colleges:
  •  Kaplan College
  • American Sentinel University
  • University of Phoenix Online
The outlook for nursing continues to be optimistic per the Bureau of Labor Statistics-

Registered nurses (RNs) constitute the largest healthcare occupation, with 2.6 million jobs.

About 60 percent of RN jobs are in hospitals.

The three typical educational paths to registered nursing are a bachelor's degree, an associate degree, and a diploma from an approved nursing program; advanced practice nurses—clinical nurse specialists, nurse anesthetists, nurse-midwives, and nurse practitioners—need a master’s degree.

Overall job opportunities are expected to be excellent, but may vary by employment and geographic setting; some employers report difficulty in attracting and retaining an adequate number of RNs.

What are your views on getting an online degree in Nursing?  What were the procs and cons for you?


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