Online learning has grown in popularity over the last ten years, and this has ensured that this mode of education has become mainstream. Additionally, COVID-19 confined us to our homes, which further increased the popularity of online learning as it ended up becoming the standard learning method during that time. A lot of people initially found it hard to adjust, but after some time, the numerous benefits of learning online started to show. Now, many people now actually prefer it to learning in a traditional classroom. 

Online nursing tutorials have become an effective and convenient way for students to train as registered nurses. They are also suitable for nurses who want to advance their careers. This article elaborates on online programs, how they work and how they can benefit nurses and trainee nurses.


How online nursing programs work

Computer courses are usually modeled by virtual platforms, which allow people to attend lectures at their own convenience. Most of the time, all you’ll need, is a computer and internet access.

This doesn’t mean that online learning and traditional learning aren’t distinguishable. Each of these methods comes with their pros and cons, but there’s no denying that online programs have a lot of benefits.

Online nursing programs will likely differ from one school to another. These programs normally incorporate a lot of the elements you experience in a traditional classroom, such as assignments, group discussions, quizzes and regular attendance.

Numerous online nursing programs will allow you to engage in video conferences with program directors and instructors. Instructors typically give out their contacts so students can make contact during office hours.


The benefits of online nursing programs

Here are some advantages of studying a nursing program online:


  1. Cost

Finance is often the major factor in a lot of students’ minds when they’re choosing degrees and schools. This is where online learning absolutely shines, as both schools and students will spend less with this teaching and learning method.

Schools don’t have to bother about providing actual venues for classes. Neither do they need to employ a large team of support staff, as administrative tasks, like grading quizzes and papers, will become automated on the online platforms.  

Students are able to receive the same nursing degrees online, as they would have by attending traditional classes. However, they will spend less money this way. This is because the cost of tuition for online programs is significantly lower than on-campus programs. 

Pupils will also not have to pay for expenses on-campus, since they can study from the comfort of their own homes. And studying online will cut out the commuting costs of traveling to lectures held on campus. 

Additionally, students can save money on learning materials, since PDF materials and books will be cheaper to purchase than conventional books, and they won’t have the hassle of carrying schoolbooks to classes. In terms of cost and convenience, online learning is considerably cheaper and more relaxed than traditional learning.


  1. Flexibility

One of the biggest advantages of online programs is the flexibility it offers – both in terms of time and space. With this method of learning, students are able to coordinate their lectures as they wish. They’re in control of scheduling their classes based on the commitments they have. Classes are not scheduled for a particular time, meaning you can set up your study or lecture time in a period that suits you best. This flexibility cuts out the time and effort of having to commute to a college venue. The time saved, can then be used for more study or other activities.

A regular nurse practitioner program can take 2 to 3 years to finish. That’s why it is important to do your research on nurse practitioner programs, to fit in with your lifestyle and schedule. Online learning is typically more convenient for nurses, as they can mold their studies around work, family and their free time.

Since there’s no set time for classes, you will be able to study from home or anywhere else. Nurses can even continue their programs during quiet hours of their shifts. This flexibility is a godsend, as it ensures that nurses can continue to advance their careers while working.


  1. Greater access

Online learning ensures that more people will have access to education. With this, communities can transform their lives; online programs often result in useful connections and better jobs. It can also lead to a feeling of personal fulfillment once a course is completed.

It is also important to factor in the shortage of nurses almost everywhere these days. With more nurses leaving the profession for personal reasons, and others retiring, there are positions that need to be filled constantly. Online learning can reach more people, more of the time, which can help to redress the balance.


  1. Easier documentation

When books, assignments and other learning materials are produced in paper format, they can be cumbersome to handle. Online databases will make it simpler to store and categorize materials. It’s easy to create virtual folders and quickly access your tuition whenever you’re ready. If you keep track of your documents, you’ll be more organized and save more time. This will ensure that you can remain focused throughout the learning process, while having breaks when you need them.

Online documentation doesn’t sound too thrilling! But the ease of having your assignments, lessons, transcripts, grades, notes and projects in digital storage, is a great advantage. At least you won’t have to worry about buying books – everything you need is just a few clicks away.


  1. Self-paced learning

With online learning, students can organize their workloads and assignments at their own pace. There are times when instructors will take more time on topics you already understand. There may be other times when these instructors won’t spend enough time on topics you find challenging. With online programs, you will be able to skip materials you already know, and focus on the more taxing ones. This way, you can optimize your learning experience at your own speed, without the pressure of time restraints.


  1. Career advancement

Many people decide to fit in an online degree around their work. It is a common occurrence for working nurses to study for their bachelor’s or even master’s degrees, in order to advance their careers. They can easily access accelerated DNP programs if they wish. In a nutshell, online courses provide greater flexibility, meaning they are convenient for anyone who wants to combine work and study, without one interrupting the other. 


  1. Technological skills

Proficiency in technology plays a vital role in any workforce, and the field of nursing is no different. In the course of online programs, students will very likely develop technological skills. They will learn the fundamentals of nursing as well as brushing up on their computer literacy skills. Also, they will master how to productively manage their time online. This technological ability is ideal for anyone planning to work in a nursing position that involves accessing patients’ information from their electronic records, and it can help with other administrative tasks too.


  1. Perfect learning environment

Another advantage of online learning is that students can create learning environments they’re most comfortable with. Traditional classroom settings can be overcrowded and distracting – some students aren’t able to concentrate this way. With online learning, you have the freedom to study wherever you like: at home, or in the shed, your favorite coffee shop, local pub or public transport.


  1. Opportunities to participate

Regular classroom settings often produce participation hierarchies, as interactive students will prefer to sit close to the front, while the more reserved students prefer to sit at the back. This discrepancy doesn’t happen online, where every student has an equal opportunity to participate in the way they feel most comfortable. This is due to the numerous communication mediums available i.e., audio, text messaging, video conferencing, discussion boards, etc. With this, even shy students can interact during classes without feeling self-conscious.


  1. Support resources

Just like traditional programs, online nursing programs offer students suitable support resources. Because the resource format is virtual, it makes it more accessible. Resources include research libraries, counseling and tutoring.

Some online programs provide their students access to cyber libraries, as well as writing centers. This ensures that they can communicate with writing advisors who will help them produce their best work.


  1. Self-discipline

When you learn from home, you will need to have enough self-discipline to complete your study and finish a program in its entirety. Since you won’t have the routine of having to go to a venue, you will need to create an environment conducive to study. Students should be able to manage their personal schedules and allocate sufficient time to access their lectures. It takes a lot of self-motivation to study online – it’s up you to make it work. Anyone studying from home, will develop self-discipline after a period of diligent study. This life skill is an important asset in nursing.

By Manali