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Nurses Can Use Online Programs to Earn In-Demand Degrees


Many people don’t associate nursing degrees with online learning. For some people, traditional degree programs are impossible to take on because of work schedules, childcare issues or other concerns. Online nursing degree programs may present the perfect answer for these people and many others who are considering a degree.

Why are nursing degrees in demand?

The population of the nurses is aging, and that means the need for nurses is increasing. The flood of older adults with chronic diseases will strain hospitals [and] nurses will play more of a role in educating patients and caregivers on how to manage and prevent chronic conditions.

In addition, a report by the Institute of Medicine in 2011 called for 80 percent of nurses to have at a minimum a bachelor’s degree by the year 2020. At the time of the report, only 50 percent of nurses had the degree, so that means nursing degrees may be in high demand for the next several years.

Overview of online degree programs

How does an online nursing degree program work? Each program is unique, but students generally complete the non-clinical portion of [the] nursing school course work online. [The] clinical requirements are usually arranged at a medical facility near [the student’s] home. Although some programs allow the student to sign on and do the work at any time, others require students to sign in and participate at a specified class time. Prospective students should examine these and other issues ahead of time to make sure they choose the program that best meets their availability.

Online nursing programs are not limited to RN (Registered Nurse) degrees. There are also programs for MSN (Master’s of Science in Nursing) and NP (Nurse Practitioner) degrees. As with the RN degrees, while much of the coursework can be completed online, the supervised clinical hours need to be completed at a healthcare service site.

Tips for online learning

In some ways, online learning is different from learning in a traditional classroom, but in other ways, it’s very much the same. For online learning, just as in a classroom, it’s important to be an active participant. In other words, it’s not enough to just log in and be passive; online learners have to keep up, participate and be aware of what’s going on. Many online learners make the mistake of thinking that an online class will be easier than a traditional one, but that’s a dangerous thought. In some cases, the online courses may be a little more challenging.

It’s important to be computer savvy, but that shouldn’t intimidate online learners. For most online courses, that translates to basic computer skills and a willingness to ask questions and request help when necessary. There are two other skills that are important for online learning – organizational skills and time management skills. If students are unorganized and don’t practice good time management techniques, they’ll find it very easy to fall behind and get overwhelmed.

Is there a nursing degree in your future?

At 365 Healthcare Staffing Services, we specialize in the recruitment and placement of healthcare professionals in per diem, travel, and permanent assignments in healthcare facilities across the country. If you are interested in taking the next step in your nursing career, give us a call at 310.436.3650 today.