If you’re a nurse, you may already know how important continuing education is. But besides courses that are mandated for you to retain your licensure, many nurses may think that getting a more advanced degree is out of their reach. Working full-time as a nurse is tough enough, and going to classes after all of this can be close to impossible for some, especially if they have a family to look after. However, online courses could offer these nurses a glimmer of hope. Let’s take a look at why mom nurses should consider enrolling in an online program.
One of the biggest benefits of online programs for nurses is that they are the best option if you have a tough schedule. Some classes require you to sit down for work and lectures at specific times. Other programs allow you to watch material whenever you want within a certain time frame. These are referred to as asynchronous classes. This means that you could take classes after work, early in the morning before the kids go to school, or you could go for weekend classes only.
Also, you could decide to either stretch out your studies or work fewer hours to make the workload easier. Depending on your current situation, working on partial shifts could be enough to cover your living expenses, especially if you have a partner that’s contributing to the household.
Know, however, that asynchronous classes aren’t for everyone. While they may be great for some, you will lose some of the social aspect and you won’t be able to reach teaching staff in real-time, which can be a disadvantage. But if your schedule is too hectic, this could be the best and only way to get your credentials while still working.
Another reason why you should consider getting an online degree is that there will be so many more opportunities that will open up to you: you’ll be able to start looking for leadership roles; you may decide to specialize yourself and work in a field you’re passionate about; or you could choose something with a more stable schedule.
We also suggest that you stay aware of nursing trends. For instance, there are fields like endocrinology pediatric nursing and nurse-midwifery that are expected to see massive growth over the next few years. These are fields where you could benefit from your personal experience while getting paid handsomely.
On the other hand, maybe you’d like to branch off into research, or even become a nurse educator and help train the next generation of nurses. There is a great demand for faculty at the moment, and plenty of openings, not to mention the fact that you won’t have to worry about working double shifts. Maybe you’ve noticed a few spots opening where you’re working, or that there might be a need a few years from now. Getting an online degree would allow you to position yourself for these roles and transition seamlessly.
Another reason why you should consider going for online classes is because of how great and engaging they are. Forget the idea of online classes being impersonal. While the screen is a barrier, you’d be surprised at the level of interaction in these courses. You can ask questions to the instructor during classes and the format makes it much easier for them to answer. Also, many programs deliberately limit the number of students per class to make interaction easier. So, don’t expect that you won’t get the same experience.
One of the most pervasive myths and misconceptions about online classes in general is that there is a distinction between online degrees and traditional degrees. In reality, there is no way for an employer to know you’ve gotten your degree online unless you get it from an institution that only provides those.
At the end of the day, only three things will matter when it comes to how your degree will be regarded. One is the school, the second is the quality of the program, and the third is accreditation. In short, if the school and its program have a good reputation and it is accredited by the right body, then your degree will be respected as well.
When it comes to accreditation, you should look for ACEN and/or CCNE accreditation. Both these organizations are responsible for checking the quality of online programs to make sure that they’re up to standard. If you don’t get your degree or follow courses from accredited programs, not only will your degree be basically useless, but you won’t be able to transfer credits.
The Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing is the oldest of the two and covers a wider scope of programs. So, this is the most important one. The CCNE only accredits classes from bachelor to master’s but is still highly regarded and your credits and degree will be equally respected.
Online degrees make so much sense for mom nurses from an economic standpoint. You still get to earn an income, but you don’t have to deal with all the expenses that come with traditional courses. Chances are that the nearest offline school is pretty far from where you live and where you work, which can cause an issue, especially if you have to pick up children from school as well. Also, you might not have someone to take care of your kids if you’re a single parent, and you may not have the means or desire to hire a babysitter. With online classes, you’ll also be able to save on study materials, food, and tons of other things related to physically attending classes. So, this is a great option if budget is a concern for you.
As you can see, there are tons of reasons why nurses with children should consider going the online route. You’ll get a chance to earn better qualifications all from the comfort of your home and while keeping your job and staying closer to your family.