Pursuing an Online Nursing Degree
With the demand for nurses rising and with the age of online education opening the door for students to pursue their degrees in a flexible, cost-effective manner, many individuals are considering this non-traditional online method of pursuing their nursing degrees. If you are thinking of going into nursing and are wondering whether pursuing an online nursing degree is the right path for you, rest assured that online nursing schools do offer a valued and rewarding education and future.
Is studying nursing for me?
The nursing profession is one of the most respected professions in the world. The ability and the desire to help others especially when it means sacrificing personal needs is a noble endeavor, which makes a difference. Students want to help others experience a life filled with good health and contentment. That’s not an easy task, but nurses do it day after day in hospitals and other healthcare facilities around the world.
The Department of Labor reports that there are over 100,000 vacant nursing positions in the U.S. and that number will increase to over 150,000 vacant nursing jobs in 2010. The report also claims that by 2015 the healthcare industry will have 350,000 more nursing jobs than nurses and by 2020, 800,000 positions will be vacant, due to industry expansion, aging baby boomer care and retiring nurses. Those incredible statistics have been the catalyst for hospitals to develop employment packages that are well above average. LPN jobs can pay $37,000 the first year of service without overtime and an RN can earn over $50,000. Nurses who earn a BSN or a MSN earn between $55,000 and $65,000 and a doctorate degree is worth over $75,000 depending on the city. This is a substantial increase compared to the average CNA salary in the U.S.
Nurses enjoy flexible hours and three day work weeks, plus the vacation, insurance and retirement benefits are excellent. Nurses who want to work and travel can fill travel nurse positions after the first year of service. The opportunities in nursing are endless. You can become a manager or a director of a hospital, or do research and discover new technologies. You can assist the elderly at home or in assisted living facilities or you can work on the front lines and help prevent disease and other health issues by teaching, training and administering proper health procedures.
Can I earn a BSN or a MSN through online nursing schools?
Classroom study has been the traditional way to earn nursing certification. Students assume that the material offered in the classroom is more detailed and the job opportunities are better if you graduate from a classroom environment. Some student’s feel the instructor has more time for one-on-one interaction, because the tuition is higher and the additional activity fees entitle them to personal attention, which is not necessarily the case. Classroom study does require students to be at a certain place and time to study, but most students have work and family responsibilities and are unable to adjust their schedule to do classroom work.
A nursing education online gives students flexibility and is less expensive. Students working toward an online nursing degree study the same material and are offered the same job opportunities as students who study in the classroom. Instructors for online nursing schools give students one-on-one attention through emails, video calls, chat rooms and forums, so there is a constant interaction in the cyberspace classroom. Most students continue their online studies and do earn a BSN or an MSN and some even complete online nursing doctorate programs.
How do I complete my clinical work if I pursue an online nursing degree?
Local hospitals host visiting instructors so students pursuing online nursing degrees can complete their clinical work. Some hospitals use staff nurses as instructors, which give students more time to complete the work. Video demonstrations are available so some of the clinical work can be done at home, and hospitals may assign mentors to online students when the procedures become more complicated. A student can discuss different techniques and options in real time with a mentor. The instructor is always available through emails, conference calls and forums, and chat rooms are set up to discuss different topics and to answer questions.
Pursuing an online nursing degree is the perfect solution if want you to design your own study schedule and save money while you do it.