5 Major Benefits of Online Learning

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Are you thinking of going back to school? Switching careers is easier with a program that features online learning. For nursing students, the benefits of online learning include more flexibility, lower tuition and personalized learning. Other advantages of online learning are a more extensive student network and better technical skills.

woman at desk using laptop

If you’re feeling stuck in your job and thinking about switching to a new field, continuing education can allow you to transition. More students than ever before are choosing to pursue continuing education online.

It’s even possible to study nursing concepts and theories with an online component. The accelerated Bachelor of Science in nursing program at Harding University merges online coursework with hands-on learning activities.

The benefits of online learning are clear; with greater flexibility and convenience, higher education online can be more accessible. Here’s a look at what you can expect and the benefits of online education.

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Want to get a head start? Get tips on what to study before nursing school here!

1. Advantages of Online Education Include Greater Flexibility

One of the most compelling and common reasons students take classes online is the convenience and flexibility. With online learning, you can log in and view lectures, complete learning activities and participate in discussion forums on a schedule that works best for you provided you meet deadlines. Since you won’t have to commute to campus for classes, you’ll also save time that you can use for studying.

Of course, you will still need to work through the material in a timely manner, meet deadlines and take proctored exams on campus when scheduled.

While greater flexibility is one of the top advantages of online learning, staying focused as an online student is even more crucial. You must hold yourself accountable for your deadlines and stay on track with your studying. Remembering why you want to become a nurse may help you maintain your motivation and drive.

2. Online Programs May Be Less Costly

harding nursing student portrait

Going back to school is an investment in your career and future. However, there is no question that education can be costly. Another top benefit of becoming an online student is that, in many cases, hybrid online education programs may cost less than programs that are 100% on campus.

Schools are often able to reduce costs for their online students because they don’t have the ongoing expense of maintaining on-campus classrooms. Along those lines, hybrid ABSN programs can be more cost-effective not only because of the online coursework but also because of the accelerated format.

You’ll be in school for four semesters, including the summer. This means you can take the NCLEX-RN licensure exam in just over 16 months and pursue your first nursing job sooner than if you were to enroll in a traditional four-year nursing program.

At Harding University, we’re pleased to offer comprehensive assistance in navigating financial aid options. You can reach out to our financial aid office for help at any time.

What do you learn in nursing school? Read more to learn what to expect.

nursing student working with sim manikin

3. Strengthens Useful Technical Skills

It isn’t enough for an aspiring nurse to know how to place an IV line, administer medications according to the physicians’ orders, and help patients understand their diagnoses and treatment options. Nurses also need strong technical skills alongside their clinical skills.

When you become a registered nurse, you must have the computer literacy skills to quickly learn how to use various software programs at your health care facility.

Health care facilities typically maintain electronic health records rather than paper files and charts. It’s helpful to adapt well to the ins and outs of various software programs health care providers use.

You can get a leg up in this area as an online student. When you take courses online, you’ll learn to navigate the e-learning platform and use technology to your advantage. Your technical skills can serve you well in the nursing workforce.

nursing simulation lab

4. More Expansive Student Network

Students who attend on-campus nursing classes can have in-person discussions with peers and instructors. This might seem like a significant benefit; however, the pool of people with whom they interact is relatively small. On-campus students will typically see the same people every day.

In contrast, online courses can serve more students, so you will interact with a highly diverse range of individuals daily. This is another one of the top benefits of online education. Online students can benefit from a broader, global perspective, which can help build cross-cultural competencies.

It’s important to note cultural awareness is imperative in the workforce, particularly in nursing. Nurses work with a diverse range of patients, and it’s essential to understand how to interact with them in ways that are respectful of their backgrounds, perspectives, values and beliefs.

5. Personalized Learning Approach

Did you know that one of the benefits of online learning is that it offers a more personalized approach than in-person learning? While this might not be true for every online education program, it’s certainly true at Harding University.

Our ABSN students have access to all course materials 24/7. You can watch video tutorials and listen to audio lectures as often as needed to master the material.

As an online student, you can engage with the material in a myriad of ways to enhance learning retention and comprehension. For example, you can:

  • Follow along with simulated case studies.
  • Interact with cohort members and instructors on the discussion boards.
  • Complete self-assessments to evaluate your understanding of the material.
  • Listen to podcasts and audio scenarios about conditions and patients.
  • Work through interactive simulations for an active learning experience.

How Does Online Learning Work in Nursing School?

Now that you have a clearer idea of the top five benefits of online learning, you may be wondering exactly how online courses work in nursing school.

Nursing student with mask opening up gauze

Nurses need a solid understanding of nursing concepts and theories. For example, they need to understand what to look for when assessing a patient and which symptoms could indicate various conditions. However, nurses also need to develop hands-on skills like providing wound care, starting IVs and operating medical equipment.

As a hybrid ABSN program student, you’ll learn the fundamentals of nursing theories and concepts in your online courses, but the program cannot be completed entirely online.

You must also commute to the ABSN program site for regularly scheduled nursing skills and simulation labs. In these labs, you’ll practice hands-on skills and work through patient case scenarios.

In addition to labs, you’ll complete a series of clinical rotations. During each clinical, you’ll be placed in a nearby health care facility to provide direct patient care under supervision. This will help you graduate as a confident, practice-ready nurse.

nurse holding patient chart

What are nursing school clinicals like? Read more to learn all about them.

Experience the Advantages of Online Learning at Harding

Are you ready to experience the advantages of online education for yourself as you work toward becoming a nurse? If you have at least 64 credit hours in liberal arts and nursing prerequisites, Harding University’s ABSN program could be the right choice for you.

With three start dates per year, you can begin right away and graduate with your nursing degree in as few as 16 months. Plus, our dedicated instructors will teach you everything you need to know to put nursing theory into practice.

Contact our admissions counselors today to take the next step toward a brighter future in health care.