Online nursing education offers several benefits for students, first of which is that it lets you graduate quickly. Online courses also provide increased flexibility regarding when and where you study, and they provide an interactive learning environment where you can tailor your studies to your learning style.
Are you wondering, “What is online nursing education, and how does it work?” Nursing students can’t learn fully online because there are numerous hands-on skills they need to develop. However, hybrid nursing programs that incorporate online learning alongside in-person experiences are becoming more and more common.
Students applying to the Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) program at Felician University can choose between a Hybrid ABSN and an On-Ground ABSN. The difference between these programs is that the Hybrid ABSN incorporates online learning. Read on for more information about online nursing education and its advantages.
What Is Online Nursing Education?
Online nursing education is one of three components of the Felician Hybrid ABSN program. During online courses, you’ll learn foundational knowledge on topics such as pharmacology, pathology, and preventative care. You will then apply that knowledge to clinical situations during nursing labs and clinical rotations. This three-pronged approach to nursing education ensures that you reap the benefits of online nursing programs as well as in-person nursing programs.
How Do Online Nursing Programs Work?
Traditional nursing programs hold in-person classes to teach core nursing concepts, whereas online nursing programs teach that knowledge via an e-learning platform. Online programs require a greater level of independence and accountability because you’ll need to keep yourself on track.
Learn more about the differences between online and traditional nursing education.
You’ll still receive instructor support and guidance along the way, and you’ll also need to meet assigned deadlines. However, online students have greater flexibility within those constraints. Many students thrive in this environment and enjoy the ability to work through the e-learning material in their own way.
In-Person Learning Experiences
Accompanying online coursework in the Hybrid ABSN program are in-person learning experiences, including nursing labs and clinical rotations. Labs are held at our ABSN learning site in New Jersey. They can be divided into skills labs and simulation labs. Skills labs teach you how to perform technical tasks, such as:
- Administering IV medications
- Checking vitals
- Performing patient interviews
- Caring for wounds
During simulation labs, you’ll apply the skills and knowledge you’ve learned from online classes and skills labs in a simulated patient scenario. You’ll work in a small group with peers under faculty guidance to care for high-fidelity patient manikins in a variety of situations, ranging from cardiac arrest to allergic reactions.
The final piece of in-person learning is clinical rotations. During clinicals, you’ll work with peers under the guidance of a registered nurse, learning how to care for patients in the real-world clinical environment. You’ll gradually start performing more tasks and taking on greater responsibility as you progress through the ABSN program. Clinicals take place in a variety of clinical settings, including:
- Outpatient clinics
- Inpatient hospital units
- Community health centers
- Mental health clinics
5 Advantages of Online Learning in Nursing School
Now that you know what online nursing education is and how it works, here are five reasons to choose an online nursing program.
1. Fast Nursing School Timeline
Traditional nursing programs generally use in-person, classroom-based learning for the nursing coursework. This model limits the number of students who can enroll in a program because of space in classrooms and constraints on faculty availability.
However, you’ll have a better chance of acceptance into nursing programs that incorporate online learning because these programs can accept more students. Without the space limitation during lectures, it’s possible to have a larger class of students. Additionally, online classes minimize faculty availability issues because students complete the nursing coursework primarily online. This frees the instructors to focus on teaching in-person lab and clinical experiences.
Looking to become a nurse in NYC? Here are the four steps to complete your degree and start your nursing career.
2. Accessibility and Flexibility
Another advantage of online nursing education is that it provides a less rigid, more flexible study schedule. During your online courses, you’ll have set deadlines and exam dates that you’ll need to adhere to, but within those timelines, you have a great deal of flexibility day to day. You can adjust your study schedule to what works for you, so you could study at 5 a.m. or at 9 p.m. You can also choose where you study, so your home, the library, and the local coffee shop are all up for grabs.
3. Interactive e-Learning
Another reason Felician Hybrid ABSN students enjoy online nursing coursework is that the e-learning platform is interactive and engaging. For students who prefer a variety of study modalities — such as reading, watching videos, creating flashcards, completing practice questions, and engaging in online discussions — online learning can be ideal.
Some students thrive in a lecture-based environment, and they gravitate toward our On-Ground ABSN program, where their nursing coursework comes through instructor-led presentations. However, many students prefer having more independence in their learning, and our Hybrid ABSN program makes that possible.
4. Adaptability with Study Methods
Do you know your learning style? Everyone learns differently, and that’s one reason why online nursing coursework can be an advantage for many students. With online learning, you’re not limited to a lecture-based format. Instead, you can tailor your study methods to what will help you learn in the most efficient way.
If you’re a visual learner, you can focus on creating color-coded outlines and watching video content, while kinesthetic learners can use flashcards, and auditory learners can listen to relevant nursing podcasts and discussions. If you aren’t sure of your learning style, complete this free VARK questionnaire.
Here are eight nursing school tips to help you succeed in the ABSN program.
5. Instructor and Peer Support
Even though the Hybrid ABSN program uses online nursing coursework, you’ll still have plenty of interaction with peers and instructors. Your instructors are dedicated to your success, and they are happy to help you whenever you need it. Whether you ask a question via email or set up a time to meet and discuss your questions in person, your instructors are easy to access.
Additionally, you will work closely with peers throughout the program. You’ll interact with classmates through online discussion boards as well as during nursing labs and clinical rotations. You can also choose to form a study group with your peers.
Are Online Nursing Programs Worth It?
Now that you know the advantages of online learning, you may be wondering, “Are hybrid programs worth it?” If you’re passionate about nursing and making an impact on patients’ lives, you’ll get to start a rewarding career once you finish your degree. That will make all the hard work of nursing school worth it. Plus, nurses make a good living, with an average yearly salary of $77,600, according to May 2021 data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
In addition, Felician University has been named among the best colleges for BSN programs in 2022–2023, according to the U.S. News & World Report. Rest assured that investing in a nursing education from Felician will pay off.
Still trying to decide whether nursing is right for you? See why nursing is a great career.
Start Your Nursing Journey at Felician!
Ready to learn more about online nursing education at Felician? If you have at least 60 non-nursing college credits or a non-nursing college degree, you may be eligible for the Hybrid or On-Ground ABSN.
Contact our ABSN admissions counselors to see how you can get started with your degree.