5 reasons to complete your MSN online
Online degrees are becoming more popular than ever before in the U.S. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in the fall of 2013 there were 5,522,194 students enrolled in remote learning programs across the country.
While these opportunities are appealing to a number of specializations including those within public health, nursing is one of the most common choices. For nurses, earning a higher degree can provide opportunities for advancement and specialized positions that may not otherwise be available, but it can be difficult to juggle a health care career while going back to school at a physical location. Consequently, when it comes to earning your Master of Science in Nursing, consider these reasons for completing your degree online:
1. Flexible schedule
As a busy nursing professional, you know that you cannot depend on having consistency in your schedule. Sometimes you may find yourself working weekends, while other times you may end up on the night shift. As a result, it may be challenging to pursue your degree at a physical location, unless you are able to take time off from your job.
An online degree also allows you to tailor your schedule around your professional commitments, as well as any family or personal obligations that you may have. If your daughter has a soccer game or your friend is getting married, you can attend those events without worrying about missing a lecture. And if your schedule changes at work, you can simply adjust the times that you do your online MSN coursework accordingly.
2. Convenient environment
A busy nursing schedule can also make a regular commute difficult. And that is assuming that there is a program that you are interested in within commuting distance. With an online degree program, you are able to be a part of any university across the nation that offers an online MSN degree without geographic limitations.
3. Improved online skills
In the digital age, learning to communicate and carry out tasks online is critical, not just in your personal life, but for your professional role as well. Remote learning allows you to not only earn your MSN, but also obtain valuable virtual skills in the process. You will gain experience that will translate well when you need to perform tasks such as communicating with patients online or using electronic health records.
According to U.S. News & World Report, the online nature of the program also gives you the opportunity to become familiar with the newest strategies for remote communication, which can give you an advantage when applying for a new job or promotion.
4. Decreased overall costs
A major advantage of online learning is that it typically decreases the overall cost of a degree. According to U.S. News & World Report, some online programs are more affordable than their on-location counterparts because the school does not have to pay for facility maintenance and other related expenses of a campus. But you also save money on costs related to commuting – or moving – that you avoid by learning remotely.
You also prevent the financial burden of lost wages that you would experience if you had to quit your job. By continuing to work – either full or part time – you will be able to offset the cost of your degree and possibly avoid or limit taking out loans, whether you are pursuing your BSN or MSN.
5. Professional advancement
Ultimately, by completing your online MSN, you have the option to pursue your education around work, or internship or volunteer opportunities that you may not otherwise have time for. This allows you to continue your professional development in the workplace while simultaneously advancing your education, something that can be especially beneficial if you are pursuing your MSN.
This is particularly important if you would have to move to pursue a degree at the institution of your choice. Relocating would force you to leave your current position and start fresh elsewhere, which could interrupt your career trajectory. If you are happy in your current workplace, there is no need to give that up to pursue your education when you can do both simultaneously through online learning.