Growth in Online Nursing Education

by in Health

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed our lives significantly. All that could be remote became remote. The healthcare system underwent serious transformations and developed many innovations during the crisis. But, it showed a critical lack of qualified personnel, though the shortage in nurses was seen even before the pandemic started.

Shortage of Nurses

Nurses were the first who took the blow when the pandemic started and gave all their strength to help patients. During this overwhelming period, a lot of them started asking themselves whether this was the type of work they desired to continue. As in the situation of constant stress and enormous overload, only a genuine desire to help people matters, and every other motivation fades.

During the pandemic, the shortage was especially seen, as the flow of patients was constant and massive. But after the pandemic, it can become even worse, as many nurses expressed the desire to change professions. Thus, after total moral distress during a pandemic, there will become more vacancies for nurses.

Increasing Demand

Actually, the demand for qualified nurses was always high, as they are an important part of the whole healthcare system in the state.  And now, when the healthcare situation in the world is unstable, it is likely that the state will make everything possible to increase the number of nurses. There is no confidence that the COVID-19 crisis was the last pandemic these years, so the state should be ready to bear similar challenges again.

Together with the lack in number, there is also a lack in qualifications of nurses. The time when you learned the basics of the nursing profession and worked your whole life has passed. The new challenging period demands nurses to gain new qualities and continue life-long education.

Now the nurse not only cares physically for the person but also is a mental stabilizer in a crisis situation. Nurses have to be stress stable and able to make decisions considering the pros and cons raising. High qualification is an essence now, as nurses have to be a part of a big team and responsible individuals at the same time. The situation shows that in the next years, there will remain big demand for qualified nurses.

Online Degree

Online courses for nurses started developing far before the pandemic started. The first of them appeared in 2010.  Distance learning through a dedicated learning management system played an important role in nursing education, as it created new possibilities to get a higher qualification, like an MSN in education, with less money paid. Also, these courses result in raised salaries for nurses.

Online education for nurses evolved a lot and now is usually interactive instead of traditional lectures. This results in deeper absorption of the material given and immersion in the details of the subject. Online education is also winning for teachers as they can apply new systems of presentation of information. Also, they can involve students more, making them focused during the whole lesson. 

Schools offering online courses for nurses should always be accredited to offer nursing degrees. The types of a degree a nurse can get online are LPN to RN, RN to BSN, Masters in Nursing, DNP, and Nursing practitioner. The duration and the type of information given vary depending on the course. So, don’t expect an online course to be easier than an offline one, as information is selected according to the degree.

On the internet, you can surely find a lot of courses satisfying your demands, but just before you pay and start studying, make sure the online school receives an accreditation. There are only two official accreditors of the nursing courses, The National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) and The Commission of Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

Potential Threat Behind

Online education has many advantages, but still, we want to be clear that it for sure has its disadvantage. The biggest one here is lack of practice, as online education tends toward theoretical teaching.  But for nurses, practice and nursing writing is the most important part of education.

Still, we are sure that the danger is overestimated, as, after an online course, nurses always have to pass practical lessons. Also, the problem can be solved if the nursing student has the desire to learn from others and visits a lot of practical seminars. 

This potential problem is actually taken into account, and most courses combine theoretical and practical parts. Also, the development of digital technologies affected the possibility to practice by means of virtual reality. Of course, the result may differ, but still, such a simulation helps to learn and practice better than presentations.