Online or On-Campus? Your Guide to Getting a Masters in Nursing
Getting a college education is a prerequisite for a career in the nursing field. Whether you are considering becoming a nurse or already work as an RN, there are more opportunities now than ever before to further your education. Years ago earning your degree meant that you had to go to a physical college. Today there are countless reputable colleges and universities offering online programs that offer the same quality as on-campus ones. Here are a few differences between the two.
Online Nursing Degrees Allow for Flexibility
Earning a degree online makes it possible to continue to work full-time. You can do your schoolwork at your own pace and at times that are convenient for you. For the busy working adult this could be just what you need to earn your master’s degree. Especially since quitting your job to go back to school is rarely a practical option.
One of the best aspects of attending school online is that you can do it from anywhere in the world. Choose a school and nursing program in the specialty of your choice without regard to the geographical location. Even if it’s a thousand miles away you don’t have to quit your job, sell your house, and move half way across the country to get the degree you want.
Online Programs Require Self Discipline
Of course earning a degree online is not for everyone. They are for the self-motivated and disciplined students. If you are capable of setting goals and meeting them then you are a prime candidate for earning your degree online. For working professionals, these disciplines are most likely a daily occurrence already.
Online Programs Save You Money
Usually you will find online classes cost the same or less than those offered on-campus. The days of standing in line at the school bookstore and hoping they don’t sell out of the textbook you need are long gone. With online classes there are no physical restrictions that a classroom imposes. This means you avoid the stress of not getting into the class you need when you need it.
On-Campus Education is Required for Degrees Comprising Clinicals or Residencies
If you do not hold a nursing license then an on-campus program has its advantages. If you majored in business and are looking for a career change into nursing, you will need the hands-on experiences traditional on-campus programs offer. Those with a business degree, for example, would not have the necessary science classes or clinical experience for an online program.
You Also Develop Bedside Manner and Teamwork
The on-campus environment instills a skillset that cannot be taught online or from a textbook. Group activities enhance team building abilities that you will use for the rest of your life. If you’re working in a hospital setting already, then you might already have the soft skills required for nursing, but if not, on-campus might be a strong option for you.
Online RN to MSN programs are designed for working RNs who want to earn their master’s degree in nursing without disruption to work or family obligations. They afford a practical opportunity for nurses to advance their skills, learn the latest industry practices, and study alongside peers from across the nation. Most online degrees today are equally rigorous as on-campus programs, allowing working nurses to earn their graduate degree from a reputable, accredited academic institution while immediately applying new skills in the workplace.