To become a nurse, one has to spend years of education and training that needs both physical and mental endurance are a must and needless to say, a strong stomach. They have to juggle their personal and professional lives every single day. Another major concern is the huge amount of finances they have to secure to finish their education. Luckily for them, academic, and state scholarships are an option. Likewise, online courses are becoming a trend. In fact, nursing education has already become one of the most popular online courses.
Now, seriously? How can nursing even be considered an online course? Well, with so many academic institutions already up to the challenge, it may not be surprising.
The popularity of online courses
Anybody who’s got even the slightest inclination to using the internet has sure seen at least one online course. It is a clear manifestation that online courses have grown in popularity over the years, and as it shows, the number is expected to grow over time. In fact, just between 2012 and 2013, the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center demonstrates a 23% growth of institutions launching e-learning platforms. As expected, the number of online students are growing by at least 1% every year. Either partially or fully, students are choosing to study online rather than stay in traditional classrooms.
What is the reason for this shift? There is not a single reason, but rather a multitude of them. One major reason is affordability. Tuition fees online are relatively lower as compared to their traditional counterpart. It is easy to tell why. For one, there is that there is no need to pay for the amenities and facilities such as those in universities. Students from poor families then have a better chance to earn a degree or pursue higher learning. Another reason is the flexibility in schedule. Most, if not all, online platforms give their enrollees the freedom to choose their own schedule to finish a course or a part of it. This set-up seems more convenient for those who work while studying. Students may also learn better as they can control their own pace in learning and not just conform to the school’s strict timetable, forcing them to consume a large chunk of information every now and then. Finally, online learning takes away time for the commute. That means, no one gets stuck in traffic and gets late for classes.
But, why has nursing education become a top online course?
For nurses to complete a degree, they should not only practice the full extent of their education but also get trained, so the education system governing their academic endeavor should be seamless. Their institution should also have partners, like physicians and other professionals in the health care industry. Those in healthcare need to respond to the rapidly changing systems and settings despite any barrier. Nurses have to learn fast and be adaptable while remaining calm and professional. They play such a vital role, thus taking other extra external concerns could really help clear up their congested minds. The availability of online nursing courses is helpful to them for the abovementioned benefits online courses offer and more. Unsurprisingly, more and more nurses are turning into taking classes over the web for convenience and freedom.
So, how popular is online nursing education? The Online College Students Comprehensive Data on Demands and Preferences(2017) reports that Business Administration, Computer Science and Engineering, and Health and Medicine top the list of most popular online courses patronized by the college, graduate, and post-graduate students in the US. Years back, the availability of these courses were scarce, but nowadays more and more health and medicine institutions are offering online courses and programs. This inspired nursing aspirants, graduate, or post-graduate students to pursue education online in an attempt to advance their careers.
Online courses may not sound like a good way for nurses to educate themselves, but they actually are. Students exercise leverage on the amount of time they spend on a course, an assignment, or a requirement assigned by an online professor. Learning is still optimized through videos, blogs, discussion boards, instant messaging, and e-portfolios. Intensive lessons may be re-watched from online videos and quizzes may be retaken. Depending on the institutions offering the courses, online nursing students can occasionally report to school for whatever purpose it may serve. Some students believe it’s even a better way to study.
Considerations to take when availing nursing education services
There are hundreds of nursing courses on various platforms online. But there are certain considerations to take before registering for an online course. But most of all, schools offering them should be accredited, at the very least, on a regional level. More than just for comfort, this is a requirement of every country's’ Department of Education. Second, the school should have a high-quality indicator. Online schools should offer programs that deliver excellent and effective educational practices. Finally, they should offer additional student services, such as an online library or discussion board, which students can utilize for a more quality education.
CUNY School of Professional Studies provides nursing online education for aspiring nurses and advanced nursing practitioners. All necessary information is provided on their course site including the course syllabus, required textbooks, tasks, how to start the course, grading practices, and announcements. Upon checking, you will see that they also provide discussion boards for students to have sessions among themselves. The contact details of the school, professors, and classmates are also made available in case of need. Further checking will also tell you that the system is as sophisticated as it gets.
Drawback of online education
Online education is an authentic and promising channel to achieve quality learning. However, it is not all glitz and glory; it has its drawbacks too. For instance, students who are used to the traditional classrooms may struggle in the transition to new formats in learning. It takes some time to familiarize and master things on the web. Students who also lack regular, actual social interaction with classmates and professors. Contrary to popular belief, it’s not easier to study online. In fact, it can be more challenging as one has to be well-disciplined, responsible and independent in managing time. These are all in addition to the health risk that computer radiation and long hours of sedentariness may bring.
The goal of online nursing courses is to train nurses to be capable working professionals. But let us not forget that nurses are not the only ones responsible for improvement in the healthcare provision. The government, healthcare organizations, businesses, professional associations, and even the insurance industry all contribute to this endeavor. Healthcare systems should provide a seamless, quality, affordable, and accessible education for all to improve health outcomes.