We have a shortage of nurses that is just going to get worse, not just in North America but pretty well everywhere.
Learning styles are being discussed in the nursing field as the online universities grow and as more nursing courses are being offered online, reaching far beyond the traditional potential student bodies.
I’m a fan of online universities — ones that are properly accredited, of course – and I think that this is a great way to reach people who may not normally be able to go to school. Although, I do have to admit the thought of taking nursing courses on the computer did make me stop and think for a while and I wasn’t sure at first how I felt about it. Now, though, I think it’s great.
Obviously, the clinical work has to be done in person, but if you think about all the courses we took (or are taking), so many of them can be done online. You don’t need to be in a classroom to learn about the theory of nutrition or pharmacology. You can learn biochemistry and microbiology online too. Many courses are non-nursing related, such as the complementary ones, so why can’t most of those, if not all, be done online?
I know there are nurses who have the attitude that online universities and the online education are inferior to brick-and-mortar universities and real life classes. What many of them don’t understand is that online classes are *hard*. They’re demanding and they’re just as thorough as real-life classes. In some ways, they may be more difficult than in-person classes because you don’t have classmates to sit down with and discuss thing; you can’t blow off steam about the class or the prof at break time; the equivalent of a chatting with your classmates in the hallway is using MSN or some other instant messaging service. It’s still not the same thing though.
The reality is, we have a shortage of nurses that is just going to get worse, not just in North America but pretty well everywhere. The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) has developed a fact sheet to address this shortage, updated this month. Among the findings:
And we have people who would love to be nurses but are not in a position to physically attend a college or university for two or three years. To them, online universities are the answer. They may or may not enjoy taking the courses online, but the point is that they can do it if they choose to.
Who can benefit from online universities?
My list can go on, but I think that’s a good representation of people who would want to take online courses. Who’s to say that they wouldn’t make absolutely fabulous nurses — if they just had the chance to try.
For those of you who don’t think online universities are good enough to provide a good education for future nurses, what are your objections? If there is anyone reading this who has gone through many of their courses online, I’d love to hear about your experiences.
Personally, although I do enjoy taking online courses, I wouldn’t want to do a whole program that way. I would like to meet my fellow students at some point, even if it’s just to take one or two classes together. But, as someone who works from home every single day, I can also understand the use of online universities. What do you think?