Nursing careers: online vs conventional

Among the many changes brought about by the recent economic meltdown1, the only one which witnessed massive growth was the health coverage system2. This expansion led to the aggravation of the demand for qualified nurses, a shortage already been felt by the medical agencies for decades.

Fortunately, this pent-up shortage is now encouraging more and more students to take up a career in nursing, with the increase in popularity of online schools that offer nursing degrees over the last few years.

Before making a decision, prospective students, however, need to consider which program is best for them-traditional or online, depending on their needs and situation. To make matters simple, let us review both the options separately.

Advantages of online nursing education 

Convenience and flexibility are the two primary reasons that prospective nurses choose an online program.This allows students to balance their family commitments and other obligations better. 

Additionally, an online learning nursing program offers a larger variety of courses to pursue than the traditional university, and that too if you have the option to travel to a brick and mortar institution in some remote area. Otherwise, even going to a local university is not practical.

A nice learning environment makes a lot of difference when working to obtain an online nursing degree as those aspiring to become a qualified nurse can participate in classes at their own convenience, instead of having to go to a dedicated location each day at a fixed time.

While some nursing students have the apprehension of missing out on face-to-face interaction opportunities, in fact nurses will have an opportunity to connect with other professionals online. Moreover, this facility is available to them from anywhere in the world, which further gives them an insight of what is happening beyond their own country’s boundaries.

What about in-person learning?

Online learning may be beneficial for some, but it is not the case with everyone. There are students who consider that online online class sessions lack the cues that visual learners prefer. Many feel more comfortable with traditional teaching where there is physical interaction between teachers and students, rather than over the phone or via online discussion.

Again, the main job of a nurse, apart from healthcare, involves a lot of documentation which includes maintaining electronic records and checklists3. This system of intense writing cannot be learned online because all the communication takes place, either over the phone or online.

It is therefore imperative for aspiring students of nursing to keep their preferred communication style in mind when deciding which of the two programs to choose.

Finally, class participation is of a different kind online versus a traditional teaching program. When attending classes on the campus, student grades are based on lectures and exams and not just on class participation. On the other hand, in online learning, greater emphasis is laid on participation as everyone has to post their thoughts.

Above all else, regardless of the method of delivery, it is important that the students find the right kind of quality nursing program for themselves which is approved by an accredited institution.

  1. Sobotka, Tomáš, Vegard Skirbekk, and Dimiter Philipov. “Economic recession and fertility in the developed world.” Population and development review 37.2 (2011): 267-306. ↩︎
  2. Atun, Rifat, et al. “Health-system reform and universal health coverage in Latin America.” The Lancet 385.9974 (2015): 1230-1247. ↩︎
  3. Hales, Brigette, et al. “Development of medical checklists for improved quality of patient care.” International Journal for Quality in Health Care 20.1 (2008): 22-30. ↩︎

Last Updated on by ayeshayusuf


Icy Health Editorial Team

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