Online Learning

What Are the Benefits of an Online Nursing Education?

The Pros and Cons of Online-based ABSN Programs

The University of St. Thomas Houston Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (2nd Degree) program takes a hybrid approach to delivering students a quality nursing education. That starts with the coursework students complete online and continues with hands-on labs and clinical rotations in the Houston metropolitan area. While you will have to be within driving distance to your labs and clinicals, you can learn from anywhere you would like.

The benefits of online nursing education also include our ability to deliver curriculum in a way that stimulates all different types of learners and your ability to go at your own pace within deadlines set by your instructor. Below, we’ll go into more detail about these and other benefits of online-based learning and how it works with the rest of our ABSN program.

Online Learning Benefits Every Type of Learner

The online portion of ABSN@UST takes into account the fact that everyone absorbs information differently. In light of that, we incorporate videos and PowerPoints to cater to visual learners, pre-recorded lectures to help aural learners, discussion boards and video conferences for verbal learners, and interactive simulation and case studies for those who learn best by doing.

Although the majority of your coursework may be virtual, social learners won’t miss out on face-to-face interaction as many online-based nursing programs combine immersive computer-based lessons that students can complete from home with in-person skills labs and clinical rotations. This way, hybrid ABSN programs provide the best of both worlds, allowing you to study safely from the comfort of your house without sacrificing the social element in-person learning with a cohort provides.

The University of St. Thomas Houston Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (2nd Degree) program gives students the opportunity to study and complete nursing theory coursework via an intuitive e-Learning platform in as few as 12 months.

University of St. Thomas nursing student using computer

With this learning model, you can also listen to lectures, complete interactive exercises, participate in class discussions and communicate with instructors all without stepping foot in a physical classroom. While you’ll still have to attend in-person labs and clinicals regularly and adhere to instructors’ deadlines, this online-based ABSN program option brings a level of accessibility and autonomy to the nursing theory learning process.

The Pros of Online Nursing Classes

Like we talked about earlier, there are many online learning benefits. If you’re thinking of enrolling in an online-based nursing program, consider the following:

  1. Online learning is socially distant! Forget 6 feet away, when you’re completing your ABSN curriculum from home, you’re greatly reducing the time you’re around other people. Rather than sitting in a classroom with other students, you receive the same top-notch curriculum through our intuitive e-Learning platform and engage with the class via discussions boards and interactive learning modules.
  2. Online learning puts you in control. As long as you stick to the due dates set by your instructor, you can complete your work at your own pace. This means you have plenty of time to review as needed, but you won’t be held back, either. If there’s a concept you’re comfortable with, you can work ahead to get a jump-start on your upcoming lessons, too.
  3. Online learning provides a high-quality education. Our online accelerated nursing program comprises the same nursing education you’d receive in a traditional classroom-based program, just on an expedient timeline. The online-based ABSN program offered through University of St. Thomas Houston provides the nursing knowledge and skills that will prepare you to sit for the NCLEX-RN licensure exam and practice the profession in a variety of healthcare settings.

The Cons of Online Classes

While online learning adds a level of flexibility to earning your BSN, it isn’t for everyone.

  1. Some students thrive on-campus. While our online program does have face-to-face features and in-person labs, if you’re a student who really enjoys being on-campus, loves meeting in a classroom and prefers in-person conversations, then a traditional on-campus accelerated BSN program may be more in line with your learning preferences.
  2. Don’t get too cozy! It can be hard to study and work in one place, especially if it’s somewhere comfy like your couch. Therefore, sometimes learning from home can present a challenge. Our advice is to create a separate learning space to keep you focused. A home office or even just a chair at the kitchen table rather than a spot on the couch can help you stay focused.
  3. Stay connected. Let’s face it, sometimes home internet can act up. It can be frustrating to deal with connection issues when you don’t have an IT person in the building ready to help.

You Can’t Become a Nurse 100% Online

University of St. Thomas Houston nursing student working with simulation manikin

Although ABSN@UST is based online, you still must complete hands-on work in both skills and simulation labs and you’ll need to go to the ABSN Learning Center for testing, meaning that you’ll be on-site often. As an ABSN@UST student, you’ll attend your labs at the ABSN Learning Center North in The Woodlands.

In these lab spaces, you’ll put all your classroom or online work into real-world practice in safe settings. During skills lab, you and your fellow classmates will meet to learn how to apply safely core nursing skills like caring for wounds, checking vital signs and inserting catheters and IVs.

The labs include tools such as:

  • Advanced hospital equipment
  • Medical supplies
  • Manikins (patient simulators)
  • Break rooms
  • Testing rooms
  • Classrooms
  • Lockers
  • Simulation rooms

During simulation labs, ABSN@UST students will apply these foundational skills to a mock clinical scenario, making this portion of lab the most realistic in comparison to what they’ll experience as nurses in a real hospital setting. Simulation lab scenarios are designed to give you this practice so you can grow your problem-solving skills, one of the most important characteristics a great nurse needs to have.

Clinical Rotations

Clinical rotations are where ABSN@UST students put all they learned in other parts of their nursing education into real-world practice at top healthcare facilities in the Houston area.

During clinicals, students experience firsthand how to deliver holistic patient care to diverse patient populations. Students partner with some of the best nurses and doctors in Texas under the guidance of experienced clinical instructors.

Students can complete clinicals across a variety of specialties, including:

  • Adult health
  • Community health
  • Mental health
  • Obstetrics
  • Pediatrics
ABSN student in lab

Clinical placements ensure you’ll be comfortable with patients and competent to begin practicing once you graduate and pass the NCLEX® licensure exam.

Are You Ready to Start Your Accelerated Nursing Education?

There are pros and cons to online nursing classes, most of which depend on your preferred learning style and environment. The University of St. Thomas Accelerated BSN program in Houston provides a clear pathway for you to become the best nurse you can be.

If you’re ready to take a bold step forward in your nursing journey, reach out to one of our admissions counselors. All are on hand to walk you through the ABSN@UST admissions process and help you decide if online learning is the right move for you. You won’t know until you contact us.

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