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It's easy to understand why jobs within the health care industry are so coveted. In addition to generally paying well and offering plentiful employment opportunities, these careers also provide constant interaction with the public and endless opportunities to exercise compassion. If you're a compassionate, detail-oriented people person seeking a field with excellent employment opportunities, great wages, and rewarding work, you may want to consider getting into a nursing profession. Yet like most careers with such multifaceted payoffs, nursing jobs require years of intensive training: a daunting prospect for those of us who can't afford to work anything less than full-time, or who have young families or any number of other extracurricular responsibilities. Fortunately, distance learning nursing programs help students bridge the once virtually irreconcilable demands of school and life.

Unlike traditional classes that require you to be in a specific place at a regularly scheduled, predetermined time--often occupying time slots that preclude holding a regular job--online courses offer the ultimate in freedom and convenience. As long as you have an internet connection, you can study whenever, wherever, and however you choose. Supplement your coursework with web-based discussion groups, and you've got a well-rounded educational program that works around your schedule rather than dictating it.

Online Nursing Degrees: The Pay-Offs

Because online education is a relatively new phenomenon, many prospective students may still wonder if its quality can match the basic standard found in brick-and-mortar universities. A recent study conducted by the US Department of Education answers this question with a resounding yes. Analyzing over 1,000 studies about online education, researchers took notice of a surprising finding: that students enrolled in online education courses actually outperformed their peers who took only face-to-face classes.

Nursing programs offered online account for all three of the major educational paths associated with this field: associate's degrees, bachelor of science degrees, and RN-to-BSN programs, which provide an accelerated course of study for individuals who already hold an unrelated degree and want to become registered nurses.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics doesn't endorse one particular program of study, but notes that bachelor's degree holders typically enjoy a greater variety of career options, including those in administration, consulting, research, and teaching.

So if you've been searching for a way to balance work, life, and school while you prepare for a career in the nursing industry, give some thought to obtaining your education through a distance learning nursing program. With its supreme convenience and documented efficacy, why wouldn't you?

Karin Hansen

Karin Hansen holds a degree in English from San Francisco State University.


Evaluation of Evidence-Based Practices in Online Learning http://www2.ed.gov http://www2.ed.gov/rschstat/eval/tech/evidence-based-practices/finalreport.pdf

Registered Nurses http://www.bls.gov http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos083.htm

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