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Online Nursing Programs have Expanded Despite the Economic Outlook

January 12th, 2010


By Kitty Holman

Online education has been one of the lasting endeavors that has survived despite the pessimistic views of many economists.  Rather than collapsing, online education has grown to new heights that were not speculated and have expanded to include programs that were never previously developed in the online realm.  Online nursing programs are one type of example that has nearly ballooned overnight, as more and more nursing students are opting for the “learn from home” method for nursing school.

Online nursing schools have developed over the past few years and are now offered at most major online universities.  The tricky thing about any online college is that most educators feel that students lose the advantage of learning in a classroom setting, as well as the interaction with other students.  However, many studies have indicated that online education has encouraged students to become more independent and forced to concentrate more on their assignments than if they were in a traditional college setting.  Online nursing schools are no different; while the health care industry typically requires many classes to be completed within a clinic or hospital setting, online nursing programs have developed in such a way that this is not a required part of the courses.

However, it is typically helpful for most students to take part-time jobs at a nearby clinic to get some experience in nursing while they are completing their degree.  Online nursing degree programs offer students the enhanced flexibility of being able to work while still completing their education at their own leisure.  Many classes cater exclusively to the students’ schedule, while others only offer night or morning classes to match with working students’ schedules.  It is these reasons that have allowed the online nursing industry to thrive despite dire predictions because of the state of the economy. 

Online nursing schools offer students the ability to reach a goal in life in a way that was never anticipated by most educators.  Earning an education while still holding onto your life schedule (whether that be a career or family) is a unique advantage of modern society and a significant change in the education industry.  While many degree programs still remain better experienced in a traditional school setting, the nursing industry has begun to accept the increasing number of online programs and has welcomed them into the health care industry.