Thanks to technology, education has changed and nursing education has changed too! While online classes aren’t for everyone, there are some definite benefits of taking nursing classes online.
When it comes to the benefits of taking nursing classes online, nothing comes close to beating the flexibility provided by online learning. Having a virtual classroom means that you can log in and complete your work when it is convenient for you. That can mean completing your homework any time of the day or night.
Keep in mind, most classes aren’t completely self-paced. You will still have to participate on a weekly schedule and turn work in at the designated times even if you can do work at 2 A.M. All online classes are not created equal though. Some do have requirements such as online lectures or chats. Be sure to figure this in to your weekly schedule so that you get the most out of the course and meet the course requirements.
Even if you do have some required online times, the flexibility of online classes is still pretty good compared to their brick and mortar counterparts. It’s hard to beat working from anywhere in the world. That’s right — online classes are location independent. In my time as an online student and online instructor, I have completed classwork from many places: my home office, hotel rooms, cruise ships, coffee shops and everywhere in between. This makes flexibility one of the greatest benefits of taking nursing classes online.
Ever sat in a large lecture hall with 100 other students? Online education is not that! Most nursing schools limit enrollment in nursing school courses so classes are of manageable size. This allows the instructor to give students more individual attention. If you find yourself reading the textbook on a Tuesday night and you have a question, you can go online and post to your instructor right then. You don’t have to wait 3 days until your next class. While instructors will all have different guidelines for responding to students, in my experience, it is usually about 24 hours. This connection between teacher and student can mean that you spend more time focusing on the parts of the material that you need to instead of what the whole class needs.
But wait, I thought that in online classes I would be just a name on the screen? Once again, that is not typical of online nursing classes. Another aspect of individual attention is that because you are required to post and engage with your instructor and classmates, everyone in the class is sharing ideas and opinions. This can make for a fantastic learning environment. The individual attention you receive in the virtual classrooms is just another one of the benefits of taking nursing classes online.
The pace of courses online does tend to be faster than the typical location dependent courses. For example, many online nursing courses run from 4-8 weeks in length. This can provide students the opportunity to focus on only 1 or 2 classes at a time. Also, some schools offer continuous enrollment so you are not bound to the traditional academic calendar. You can take classes all year-round. For some students, this might not be a benefit but for others, being able to complete their degree in a shorter time is a big incentive for pursuing online education.
Online classes aren’t for everyone and students should carefully consider what type of nursing school structure works best for their goals of passing the NCLEX-RN and launching their career as a nurse. These are just a few of the benefits of taking nursing classes online. As you explore your education options, perhaps you can discover even more! Happy Studying!