The global health crisis has put the nursing profession back in the spotlight. Many people are starting to consider the position because of the great prospects it has for the future. Another reason why nursing is a great career choice at the moment is because of all the online degree options available. Online degrees are not only a convenient way for new people to get into the profession but for working nurses who may want to add feathers to their caps. Let’s take a look at why now is a great time to pursue an online nursing degree.
Online Courses are Better than Ever
One of the reasons why now is a great time to get an online nursing degree is because of how good they’ve become. Long gone are the days of diploma mills and students being stuck with degrees that are worth less than the paper they were printed on. Most prestigious schools in the country offer online options and the number and quality will only continue to increase as online nursing programs continue to get more attention.
Also, note that the fact that you got your degree online will make absolutely no difference in how it will be viewed in the marketplace. All recruiters care about is the quality of the school and their program, that’s it. So, you should focus on the school and program first instead of how the courses are dispensed.
However, you can’t count on the name only. Fresno State University, for instance, had to settle with 60 students after it admitted that one of their online mental health programs was not accredited. This means that those who enrolled in their programs lost two years of their life as their credits were not recognized.
So, if you’re going to pick a program, you must make sure that it’s accredited. When it comes to online classes, you have to look for accreditation from the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) and the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).
While both test schools for the quality of their programs, ACEN accreditation is considered more important. It’s the oldest of the two organizations and reviews all levels while the CCNE only reviews bachelor’s and master’s degree programs. If a program doesn’t have any of these certifications, look for one that does.
Demand is Going to be Through the Roof
There’s also the fact that demand for nursing professionals will be through the roof in the next few years. However, while the demand for nurses will be higher than average at all levels, some areas will see more than others, such as nurse practitioners, for instance.
Demand for nurse practitioners is expected to grow by a whopping 45% from 2019 to 2029 which makes it one of the positions that is expected to see the highest growth not only in healthcare but for all jobs.
The best thing is that there are tons of online degrees that allow you to get your nurse practitioner credentials. You have universities that offer online MSN – FNP programs that you can follow from the comfort of your home. This is the perfect option for nurses who are working and trying to position themselves to take advantage of all these openings.
Not to mention that the US was already seeing massive shortages before the pandemic. One particular study found that there might be a shortage of over 55,000 primary care physicians by the year 2032, which is largely due to the aging of the population. This will further boost the demand for family nurse practitioners.
You’ll Have the Chance to Make a Real Difference
The next few years are going to be a public health challenge and you’ll have the chance to make a real difference in the field. If you wanted to get into nursing out of a sense of purpose, now is a perfect time. Not only can being a nurse be fulfilling, but you’ll also be in one of the most respected careers now and in the future. All of this comes with a few additional perks that you may never realize until you start working.
Wages Are Set to Increase
With the pressing demand and needs in the healthcare system, we can expect institutions to start competing to attract top talent, and that means that we can expect salaries to start increasing over the next few years. As a matter of fact, the wages were already increasing at a higher rate than usual over the last decade or so. From 2008 to 2014, wages increased by about 1.3% per year. The average increase per year has doubled since then.
This is good news considering that registered nurses make about $73,000 per year at the moment. When we start looking at positions for nurse practitioners, they earn well over 100k per year. So, if you want to save the world and get paid handsomely while doing so, nursing is a great field to enter at the moment.
The Government Might Help You Foot the Bill
Healthcare will be a priority over the next few years, and you can expect the states and the federal government to start pumping money into it. We can also expect much of it to come in the form of aid for nurses who either want to specialize or simply enter the field. Also, as many people were laid off due to the pandemic, the government will start paying more attention to retaining them, which will benefit the nursing field as well.
These programs will have everything from help for people who want to become allied health professionals or get an entry-level certificate like a CNA. So, if money was one of the issues that were blocking you from getting into nursing schools, we suggest you start looking into these programs.
As you can see, there are tons of reasons why now could be the perfect time to enter the nursing profession. If you feel like you’re cut out for it, start doing your research on what it takes, and know what will be expected of you.