If you are planning to work as a nurse or are already working as nurse, you’d be surprised to know that registered nurses make up the largest workforce in the healthcare sector. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), in 2014, there were over 2.4 million employed registered nurses. The expected growth rate for this occupation from 2012-2022 is 19%, which is faster than average.
Here are some interesting facts about nursing:
According to the Institute of Medicine, in 2010, the demand for baccalaureate-prepared nurses fell short of the required number. With a demand of approximately 80%, only 55% of registered nurses had earned a bachelor’s degree in this field.
The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) indicated an upcoming shortage of registered nurses.
In 2008, the Council on Physician and Nurse Supply determined that at least 30,000 additional nurses should graduate annually to meet the required healthcare demand.
The field of nursing is evolving rapidly. Healthcare laws, an ageing population and technology are just a few of the factors that are shaping healthcare.
Why work as a nurse?
Nursing can be an exciting career where you can make a difference in someone’s life. Nothing feels better than knowing you helped someone during their suffering. Nurses are often the first healthcare professionals patients meet in a hospital/clinic.
Alongside monetary compensation, you may also qualify for accommodation, health insurance, paid leaves, etc. However, these benefits will vary and depend on the employer organization.
Nursing offers plenty of opportunities for growth. Since the field of nursing is constantly growing due to technological advancements, nurses are required to stay updated and enhance their skills to meet the changing demands. Many working nurses go back to college for higher education and prepare for specialized roles.
Nursing is a broad field that comprises of many branches. Nurses can specialize in areas such as the following: pediatric nursing, surgical nursing, mental health nursing, oncology nursing and neonatal nursing, etc.
Why online RN degrees are in demand?
Nursing degrees are now being offered online as well. Online education has become a popular mode of study in recent years. A number of nursing schools have added online nursing degrees to their program offerings to help more students prepare for this career. There are many nursing programs you can consider enrolling in.
You can choose from bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees to nursing bridge programs such as the RN to BSN degree. These programs are taught online with the help of videos, real-time conferencing, learning software and online lectures. You can check with prospective schools to find out what kind of online coursework they are offering. Some colleges may be offering a hybrid nursing degree, which entails both online and on-campus coursework. This means that students must take a few classes on campus for the purpose of hands-on training and experience.
Here are some major benefits of pursing nursing degrees online:
Many students are working full-time and do not have the time to attend on-campus classes. An online degree is comparatively easier to pursue. All that one requires is a computer and a reliable internet connection. Online learning has become popular among students who live in far-off areas and cannot commute to campus on a daily basis.
If you wish to study according to your own schedule, online learning can be a great option. You can study at any time of the day without having to travel. Whether you are sitting at home or on the move, all you have to do is log-in and gain instant access to lectures and notes.
If you are studying on-campus, you will be required to take classes regularly and keep up with the class. However, in an online program, you can study at your own pace. Online programs take away the pressure of having to keep up with the rest of the class. Many schools offer customized coursework plans to meet individualized needs.
Higher education is costly. For many, it is unaffordable without financial assistance. If you are looking for a cost effective way to study nursing, enroll online. Online education helps in saving costs on transportation, room and board.
Convenient for Working Professionals
If you are working as a nurse and wish to enhance your qualifications without sacrificing your career, studying online can be a suitable path to pursue. In fact, many working nurses are studying online to prepare for more challenging and specialized job positions in the field. A number of online nurse certificate programs are offered as well.
If you are skeptical about the market value of an online degree, you will be surprised to know that there is no significant difference between employers’ perceptions of online and on-campus degrees. According to a report published by NYU, hiring practices are less biased against online graduates.
With a degree in nursing, you can look forward to a challenging yet exciting career in the healthcare field. According to the BLS, in 2014, registered nurses made a median annual income of $66,640. Registered nurses work in diverse healthcare settings such as hospitals, nursing homes, rehabilitation centers, medical research centers, etc. So begin your pursuit of this in-demand career by enrolling in an online nursing degree.