Becoming a Registered Nurse (RN): Pursue Your Nursing Career Online
By Space Coast Daily // May 1, 2021
In today’s healthcare environment, the demand for RNs is huge and rapidly growing! There is an urgent need for compassionate individuals to become RNs in the US.
The employment outlook in this regard is also very promising. The high demand for RNs across the US has been attributed to several factors, including rising interest in preventive care, the government’s efforts to broaden healthcare access, the need to replace RNs about to retire, and expanded medical services to the aging population.
As it stands, nursing education and admissions have been drastically affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. As brick-and-mortar colleges have been closed to curb the spread of the coronavirus, the focus has shifted towards online programs.
Long before even the advent of COVID-19, online nursing programs existed. You could pursue a Bachelor of Nursing or a Master of Nursing degree and more online. Today, becoming an RN or even advancing your nursing education online is recommended. However, there is the challenge of getting safe and relevant clinical experiences. Schools across the US successfully provide these experiences practically online using virtual reality, telehealth and simulations.
Getting started with your online nursing career – considerations worth taking
Studying in a physical nursing college during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has posed several challenges. Fortunately, there are many opportunities available to pursue a nursing degree online – whether you want to become an RN or you want to advance your RN education by pursuing BSN to MSN programs, there are many options from which to choose.
To get started with an advanced online nursing course, ensure that you pay attention to how your chosen program works, especially if you are a student in pursuit of a nursing career and you need to first get your Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN). While much of the teaching takes place online, most online nursing programs require some in-person learning and time spent in clinical labs. Remember, good online nursing programs are actually hybrid – they are never fully online.
Why a successful online nursing program has to be hybrid
If you want to study an online nursing program, it’s recommended that you choose one that is hybrid. The reasoning behind this is that there are many skills that you can only learn through hands-on experience by caring for patients. Online nursing courses will deliver the essential concepts, but they lack the sounds, sights and immersive experiences that come with being in a physical hospital setting or any healthcare facility.
Before you embark on an online nursing program, endeavor to complete a few on-ground courses. Don’t jeopardize your chance to have a successful career with an inadequate program. In fact, most online nursing programs available are geared towards RNs and higher nursing professionals who already own a license. They have either graduated with a Nursing Diploma (ND) or an ADN, having passed the NCLEX-RN exam.
Lastly, another important aspect worth considering is the level of online learning experience of your target school. Most schools across the country have been pressured by the pandemic to readjust their programs and make them online-friendly. However, transitioning to virtual teaching from in-classroom teaching is not always easy. That being said, it is safer to enroll in an online RN program from a school that is experienced.