Online degrees have revolutionized the world of education, and while they were still marginal a few years ago, they’re now becoming fully accepted as a mainstream alternative to traditional schools. One area where online degrees have made the most strides is in nursing education. Nurses can now up their credentials and reach better roles without disrupting their careers. This allows registered nurses to move into positions like family nursing, which is one of the most prized in all of healthcare. Let’s take a look at a few reasons why you should consider getting a family nursing degree online.
It’s An Exciting Career
The first reason why you should consider going for an online family nursing degree is the great field you’ll get to enter. The family nurse practitioner scope of practice is very wide, making it one of the most interesting positions in healthcare. The family nurse practitioner scope of practice will vary from full practice to limited practice authority depending on the state, but most states in the country allow family nurses to manage their own clinics without having a physician present. In other states, family nurses will have to go through a transition period before they can have full practice authority, while others will require nurses to maintain a relationship with a physician.
Even if you don’t decide to open your clinic, you can still work as an employee and enjoy a full, fruitful, and lucrative career. The average family nurse practitioner earns about $112,670, which is one of the highest salaries in nursing. It’s also a career where you’ll get to enjoy steady hours and build a real relationship with the people you work with.
An FNP degree will also open many leadership opportunities for you. Today, FNPs can work on policy advocacy, patient education, and academia. FNPs can make a real and direct impact on the field by working on research or by developing education programs for patients. And, since they have more clinical training and a better knowledge of health policy, they are better able to engage with policymakers and affect change.
Get Your Degree While Working
One of the things that stop so many nurses from furthering their education is their hectic schedules. Trying to get an extensive and very demanding degree like an FNP while keeping a full-time job is virtually impossible for some nurses unless they go for an online program.
Going for an online degree will give you much more flexibility. If you have a regular day schedule, you could always go to class in the evenings or on the weekends. If you work on call, you could give asynchronous classes a look.
Asynchronous classes allow students to watch lectures whenever they want within a set time frame. This would allow you to work your studies around your schedule. Some nurses even use their breaks to catch up on lectures, but you could take them first thing in the morning before taking your children to school or at any time of the day that works better for you.
Higher Chances of Getting In
Online programs also give you a greater chance of getting accepted into nursing school. If you are thinking of going down the traditional route, you should know that there are faculty shortages all over the country, and depending on where you live, getting a spot at a nursing school might be tough. Even qualified nurses with years of experience are getting rejected in certain states and cities in the country.
Going for an online degree will give you a wider pool of schools to choose from. Since distance is less of an issue, you could go to a school in a neighboring state or one across the country. So, before you start applying to nursing schools where you are, look at the faculty situation first to see if going for an online degree would be more realistic.
You’ll Save Money
First of all, you shouldn’t expect to get huge savings on your tuition with online programs. Online schools are still an extension of physical schools and they have to maintain their facilities, so the tuition for online classes is roughly the same as traditional courses. With that being said, many fees will get waived and you won’t have to spend as much on study material. You’ll also be able to save on gas, lodging, and all the other expenses related to regular student life.
You Won’t Be Confined to One Field of Study
Family nursing is a perfect field for nurses who want to be well-rounded and not only specialize in one discipline. Someone with an FNP degree will be much more versatile than someone like a NICU nurse or a nurse radiologist, for instance, and can fill a much wider variety of roles.
FNPs can work with children, seniors, and everyone in between. They can get administrative roles in hospices, or run home care agencies. Having an FNP degree could also allow you to work as a school nurse or even urgent care if you want to stay close to the action. Having an FNP in your back pocket is a very valuable asset, and it’s virtually impossible for someone with this type of degree to not find a job.
You’ll Get the Same Formation as Everyone Else
Don’t assume that online degrees are less rigorous or respected than other nursing programs. If you go for a reputable accredited program, you will get a good mix of theory and clinical assignments and have the same skills as any other family nurse. This also means that you shouldn’t assume that these programs are easier. They demand great discipline and studying alone can be a challenge sometimes. But it’s well worth it when considering all the benefits that come with the degree and the opportunities you’ll open yourself up to.
These are all reasons why getting a family nursing degree online is a great idea. If you are thinking of getting your FNP, we suggest you consult with a counselor today and get a better idea of what the online learning experience is like.