Many nurses find that they want to advance their careers, but don’t know where to start as there can be many options. One such option would be going back to school. Today, there are many options for returning to school, the most popular of which is online.
Earning a degree online may be the simplest way to return to school, offering the flexibility for nurses to continue working while learning. This flexibility is important to many nurses, as it is rarely feasible for a nurse to stop working to return to school. A nurse could remain in their position and work toward a promotion or a department shift.
Some nurses may find their career limited by the role they are currently in. Achieving an advanced nursing degree would allow a registered nurse to transition to a nurse practitioner, offering more scope, and in many states, the ability to see and treat patients with little to no direct oversight from a physician. Many nurses feel that they are ready for this change already, but do not have the time to dedicate to full-time, in-person education opportunities. However, there are options such as online schools.
One such opportunity is the University of Indianapolis online MSN-FNP program. This program provides the flexibility of part-time education, allowing you to earn your Master of Science in Nursing, Family Nurse Practitioner in as little as two years and seven months (if attending consecutive semesters). This program is fully accredited through the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) and the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).
This program offers enrollment support to help nurses make sure that this path is correct for them and to help them with the enrollment process. Curriculum details are also available to assist nurses with making an informed decision about their future. No matter the learning path you choose, it is vital that you consider if the program can meet your needs and if you will be able to meet the requirements of the program overall.
Many nurses worry about attending school online because of clinical placements. With the University of Indianapolis, the clinical placement department will work with you to find local sites.
In addition to advancing your career, nurses can expect an increase in pay and demand after obtaining their advanced degree. The US Bureau of Labor and Statistics states that the average annual income for a nurse practitioner is $123,780, a significant increase over the pay for a registered nurse. The demand for nurse practitioners is also expected to increase by 40% through 2031 compared to just 9% for registered nurses.
Online degrees allow any nurse who already has a bachelor’s degree in nursing to expand their knowledge in their own time without interrupting their workday. This online opportunity also means that you have more ability to expand your knowledge, even when the program may not be available locally.
Gograd.org states that federal financial aid is available for students enrolled at an accredited online college who meet certain criteria and have submitted a FAFSA form. Private grants and scholarships are also available, and some employers will subsidize tuition. Ask your human resources department whether your company has a tuition reimbursement program.
If your current employer provides tuition assistance, this may be an added benefit of attending school online while remaining employed full-time. The cost of degrees varies but can add up, so any support from scholarships or tuition assistance can be very valuable.
Attending school online still provides the same education as an in-person format and will still require the same amount of hard work and dedication to your studies. It is important to plan your time to complete your work – a nurse going to school online will be responsible for making the time to join their classes and complete the work, even if it is a more flexible option.
However, a dedicated individual will be able to fit courses seamlessly into their schedule and meet deadlines. This may take some practice to get right, but anyone looking to make a career advancement should know that it does not come without your own hard work.
Overall, an advanced nursing degree through an online program may be the right fit for a wide variety of nurses looking to further their careers or transition to a new role.