The last decade has seen an astounding rise in the popularity of online education, making it the new normal. In addition, since COVID-19 kept people indoors, many schools and educators around the world shifted to relying exclusively on online courses. Though many had trouble adjusting initially, they eventually saw the advantages of online learning and started to prefer it to traditional classroom settings. This is especially true for registered nurses (RNs) or advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) interested in acquiring an advanced degree to take on a leadership role. That is because their jobs are very demandin,g and getting an education while working as a nurse can be challenging.
What Are The Benefits Of An Online Nursing Program?
There’s no denying that the tuition fee of a typical nursing program is affected not just by the price of books/supplies, daily living expenses, and commuting fare. Suppose you’re new to working in primary care or general practice. In that case, the costs associated with RN nurse residency programs are also an important component of the equation when determining the total cost of nursing education.
According to Nurse Journal, the overall tuition fees of an on-campus Master’s degree in nursing or a related field can exceed $100,000, based on factors such as the type of institution, the chosen field of study, and the duration of the program. Online nursing schools do not pose such a heavy financial burden on students, as they receive all their course materials digitally. For instance, some of the country’s top online executive MHA programs require an investment of roughly $80,000, including residency training fees. From the looks of it, this seems hefty. But rest assured, the career’s high earning potential more than makes up for the high costs of nursing school. As per the data provided by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, an RN promoted to health services manager may expect to make a yearly salary of over $100,000.
Studying at your own pace and on your timetable is another advantage of an online nursing program. As a result, many full-time employed nurses can hold their jobs while they learn the ropes in a professional setting. For instance, a student enrolled in an online nursing degree might also work as a nursing assistant at a clinic.
This goes without saying that a Master’s degree in an academic discipline relevant to the job title is a minimum educational requirement for many leadership roles as well as for licensure and national certification. So, to help nurses figure out online nursing programs best suited to leadership roles, listed below are a few degrees you can choose from.
- MS in Nursing Education
An RN typically works in a clinical or medical environment, such as a hospital or doctor’s office. With inadequate staffing, many hospitals require nurses to multitask without taking adequate breaks. This person will spend a significant portion of each day on their feet. A Master of Science in Nursing, however, opens up more doors to administrative positions in the field. This means the person can perform most of their duties behind a desk. Resting the legs during shifts lessens tiredness/leg fatigue and, thus, extends a person’s working life well beyond the traditional retirement age. Additionally, when you move into a management role, you may take control of your schedule and work fewer hours per week than you would if you were providing direct patient care.
Also, an MSN graduate has options beyond becoming a nurse educator. For example, a certified nurse midwife is an excellent career choice for a person with this degree. This professional works alongside conventional doctors to give gynecological care to women and discuss family planning options.
- MS in Nursing Informatics
The field of healthcare informatics encompasses many subfields, one of which is nursing informatics. Typically, an online Nursing Informatics concentration combines elements of nursing science, cognitive science, computer science, and information science. Students glean insights from patient health data and observe, implement, and analyze processes related to nursing informatics during clinical rotations. They also get plenty of hands-on experience in developing, analyzing, and evaluating technology-enabled information systems that can significantly help maintain and improve patient outcomes.
However, one must already work in the healthcare industry to transition into nursing informatics. Informatics nurses can practice, teach, conduct research, manage administrative tasks, and consult clients in various contexts, including public, private, and corporate organizations. Simply put, there’s no shortage of well-paying, higher-level job prospects for graduates of the nurse informatics specialty.
- Master’s in Healthcare Administration
A master’s degree in health administration online is structured to educate students on improving healthcare quality while decreasing operational costs. Health policy and management are the principal foci of the course work, with an emphasis on teaching students how to manage their organization’s resources better so that they may positively impact both the bottom line and the health of their patients.
MHA programs teach aspiring healthcare administrators how to:
- foster collaboration amongst a wide range of specialists;
- run complicated health projects with minimal disruptions;
- take prompt decisions to ensure patients receive care in a reasonable length of time;
- uphold their ethical principles while directing their staff; and
- align data with the organization’s mission and goals.
If you’re a nurse aiming to land an advanced role in healthcare management, this degree is for you!
- MS in Psychiatric Mental Health
Recent years have seen a growth in the demand for nurse practitioners specializing in psychiatric mental health. It is anticipated that this growth will persist for the foreseeable future. If you want a secure career with room for advancement, consider becoming a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner (PMHNP).
A Master of Science degree in Psychiatric Mental Health educates nurse practitioners in the most recent psychopharmacology, counseling, and therapy approaches, increasing your marketability and giving you access to better professional opportunities.
To care for others is no small task. Enrolling in an online nursing program and obtaining an advanced degree is an excellent way of turning your passion for helping others into a fantastic career. Master’s prepared nurses are expected to take on managerial roles and are given more freedom to enhance healthcare trajectory and improve human life.