Pros and Cons of Flexible Nursing Courses

Are you interested in earning a BSN or MSN degree online? While you can’t earn the degree 100% online, there are many hybrid accelerated nursing programs out there that offer a flexible education. But, like anything in life, there are pros and cons that come with this type of program.

hands typing on laptop

Being flexible in life means understanding there’s more than one way to successfully accomplish something. At a time when nursing demand is high and school capacity is low, even the most rigid universities are finding ways to become more adaptable, which includes developing flexible nursing courses that students can complete online without compromising the quality of their education.

If you’re someone who’s interested in earning a BSN or MSN degree online, it’s worth checking out schools that offer hybrid accelerated nursing programs. These programs typically target students who have some form of undergraduate education outside of nursing. While some schools expect you to have a bachelor’s degree to apply, others only require a certain amount of college credits.

Bear in mind, it’s impossible to earn a BSN or MSN degree 100% online. Nurses must have the necessary skills to be able to deliver safe, effective patient care in all types of clinical situations, which cannot be acquired through online learning alone.

So, as you come across hybrid accelerated nursing programs, you’ll notice that while most of the curriculum is completed online, you’re still required to participate in hands-on nursing labs and in-person clinical rotations. But just like anything in life, there are pros and cons that come with this type of flexible education.

Pros of Online Nursing Courses

1. You can learn anytime, anywhere.

While deadlines still apply, online nursing coursework gives you the flexibility to study at any time, day or night. Not to mention, you can study anywhere that has an internet connection. Essentially, it doesn’t matter when or where you study — what matters is that you stick to a regular study routine.

nurse using laptop at desk

2. You can study at your own pace.

Learning core nursing concepts online allows you to go back and review content as many times as you want. For example, if you’re watching a video lecture, you can rewind or fast-forward the material as you see fit, which makes it easier to take notes and understand concepts.

3. You can better retain what you learn.

Technology advancements have enabled nursing schools to incorporate rich multimedia content into their online nursing coursework. This dynamic content, which includes discussion forums, podcasts, simulated learning activities and video lectures, not only accommodates different learning styles but also helps in retaining key concepts.

Cons of Online Nursing Courses

1. You need to be OK with independent study.

Online nursing coursework moves at a rigorous pace and involves significant independent study, which can be tough if you struggle with time management or require a high level of structure to stay on task.

2. You have limited face time with your professors.

While online nursing professors make themselves accessible through various forms of communication, there’s still a lack of face time, which can be tough for some. For example, when you’re face to face with a professor, you can see what content he or she is putting the most emphasis on, which doesn’t translate as well online. You also don’t get the classroom stories professors often tell to help make concepts click.

3. You must be up to the challenge.

There’s still a misconception that online nursing courses are easier than traditional classroom courses. To the contrary, online learning tends to be more difficult because you need to be self-reliant and highly motivated to succeed. Students who thrive in an online learning environment are those with a strong sense of personal accountability.

woman using laptop while sitting outside

As you can see, online learning has several positive and negative attributes. But if you’re committed to becoming a nurse, the pros of these flexible nursing courses far outweigh the cons. It all comes down to being dedicated to your goal but adaptable in your approach.

If you need help finding flexible nursing courses, simply complete our online form, and we’ll match you with the best accelerated nursing programs based on your criteria. Our services are free, and we only share your contact information with schools that match your qualifications.