Thu. Sep 28th, 2023

Online education has become quite popular in recent years. Many people are choosing to pursue advanced degrees online as it gives them the freedom to work at their own pace. It also allows them to study while working full-time or part-time at their job. Pursuing advanced degrees online can be beneficial for students, but it can be challenging to study practical professions like nursing, online. Pursuing an advanced degree in nursing requires a lot of clinical work and nurse-patient interaction. Online study can affect the practical learning aspects of an advanced nursing degree.

An advanced degree in nursing can open up various career pathways for you, and you can increase your earning potential as well. Moreover, an advanced degree increases your overall marketability and chances of getting hired. Therefore, pursuing higher education is highly recommended to advance your career. 

Nursing students can pursue their master’s degrees in various unique fields. However, it can be challenging to pursue a master’s on campus for students already working in the industry. Therefore, many students often choose to do an online nursing master’s to become a family nurse practitioner, nurse midwife, nurse educator, and more. However, pursuing an online nursing master’s has its own challenges. Luckily, there are several ways to make the most out of an online nursing degree. 

In this article, we will discuss the challenges of getting an online nursing masters and ways to overcome those challenges.  

  • Time Management Issues

Several students pursuing online degrees rank time management problems as their number one challenge. Online education is self-paced, so students should be disciplined enough to manage their time wisely. However, many students fail to balance their studies and work.

Many institutes provide pre-recorded videos as a replacement for lectures. These videos provide flexible learning options to the students. However, many students procrastinate and end up cramming a lot of their courses a night before the exams.

  • Lack of Accountability

Online courses significantly differ from physical classes in terms of accountability. In physical learning, students are tested on a regular basis, and their progress is recorded by teachers, which encourages students to study regularly. Supervisors can also help them identify their mistakes and help them study more clearly.

However, online education gives students the freedom to design their own schedules and learn at their own pace. It also means students have to regularly test their own knowledge to stay on top of their course. However, since no instructor or teacher is supervising their progress, it can be easy to procrastinate.

  • Feeling Isolated

Online education can make you feel isolated. Going to a classroom creates an educational atmosphere, where you meet and interact with various other students. You can also share your study-related struggles with your class fellows, who will be able to better understand and relate to you.

However, online education doesn’t provide that human connection. Students studying online at their homes can feel isolated with no one to share their struggles with. Therefore, the lack of relatable connections can create anxiousness, leading to mental health issues like depression, anxiety, and many more.  

  • Theory Focused Education

Online education is mostly focused on theoretical knowledge, and it can be challenging to share practice-based knowledge online for obvious reasons. Even though students are required to come to campus for the practical parts of the degree, a lack of human interaction while studying theory can affect the learning process.

Some students learn better alone, but some learn better through interactive sessions and discussions. Moreover, sometimes teachers may use practical ways to teach in the classroom, but it is not possible to impart knowledge that way in an online class.

  • Numerous Distractions

A classroom creates a conducive learning environment where students feel motivated and empowered to study. There are fewer distractions in a physical class, and students are more focused on their studies. However, online education requires a lot of effort from the students to avoid and ignore various distractions like Netflix, Youtube, and family members around them to focus on their studies.

It can be challenging to create a conducive learning atmosphere while attending an online class, which negatively impacts your learning experience.

Ways to Overcome the Challenges of an Online Nursing Masters

There are several ways to overcome the challenges students can face while pursuing an online nursing master’s. Some of them are as follows;

  • Students should follow a strict regular schedule to manage their time. They should assign a specific time of the day to their online degree. Moreover, try designing your study schedule based on your learning style, personality, and personal timetable.
  • Students should hold themselves accountable. They should regularly quiz themselves to keep track of their progress. Moreover, they can also go to the campus to take the help of their supervisors.
  • Students should make friends in their online classes. They can also join an online study group of students in similar situations to feel understood. Moreover, a human connection also creates a sense of belonging, which boosts the physical and mental health of the students. Furthermore, networking can also provide you with a career boost.
  • Regular campus visits and contacting your supervisor to understand things that are unclear can help you fully grasp theory-based knowledge.
  • Make sure to study in an isolated place and remove all possible distractions before starting, to ensure that you can easily focus on learning. Ensure that your chosen space of study has a stable internet connection and gather all your required books, stationery, headphones, and other required items to avoid distractions during your study time.

The Wrap Up

Online education is becoming common these days. Many students prefer to pursue advanced degrees online because of their various benefits. Online education provides students with the freedom to work and study at their own pace. However, pursuing practical degrees like nursing can be challenging when done online. 

Several challenges that nursing students enrolled in an advanced online degree face include a lack of accountability, isolation, poor time management, theory-focused knowledge, easy distractions, and more. Luckily, there are several ways students can overcome these challenges. For example, removing all distractions before studying can help minimize distractions. Moreover, following a schedule can help manage time properly. Hopefully, this article will help you understand the various challenges of getting an online nursing masters and ways to overcome them. 

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