Online Learning vs. Traditional Learning: Which One Is Best for You?


medium_3681831618Congratulations! You’ve finally decided to take up Nursing as the next step to your education, and your parental units couldn’t be any prouder. ‘A nurse in the family! Imagine that!’ Today, Nursing promises much more than just donning pristine white uniforms, pinning caps perched on well-coiffed hair, and being the proverbial angel of mercy. Nursing now can also serve as a foot in the door into a medical career, and to some, a chance to travel, work, and continue their education overseas. (Hats off to OFWs and other overseas workers!)

There are now many options you can take to get you started on a bonafide, registered Nursing education. The two most popular options now are either taking an online course, or attending a traditional classroom-style learning experience. A plethora of trustworthy institutions now offer online courses (such as Online RN to MSN) with the promise of a license at the completion of the course. Likewise, many brick-and-mortar schools present a different approach to Nursing, and some even offer rock-bottom prices and pain-free payment installment plans for working students and the like.

So, which one? Let’s look at some of the defining traits of both types of learning.



Online Courses

For the more traditionally-inclined folk, the idea of taking a course online may seem new and strange, but here’s the deal: if you know how to use a computer, you can definitely do an online course. Know how to go online? Check your e-mail? Attach files to e-mails? Play videos and online presentations! Great! You have all the basic skills you need to start learning.

With an online course, you have absolute control over your time and learning pace. This is perhaps one of the most appealing aspects of online learning to people who need to juggle family life, work, and other activities. There is no worry whether you’re keeping up with the rest of the class, because as the song Sunscreen goes, ‘Sometimes you’re ahead, sometimes you’re behind. The race is long, and in the end, it’s only with yourself.’

With online courses, archiving your lessons, reading, test materials, etc. is now very easy. All your material will be sent to you via e-mail. If your e-mail provider includes a Search function and different ways to tag or file your e-mails, organization is a breeze. Never worry about losing or misplacing important papers in your room again! Just be careful not to delete any important files.

Group discussions? No problem! There are now programs that allow for such discussions. Some of them will be provided by the Institute you enrolled in, and some may only need a simple Skype service to join the conversation.


Do all these sound good, but are somehow missing the human touch for you? Perhaps you may want to consider taking a traditional method to taking up Nursing.



Traditional Classroom Setting 


If getting into the right setting puts you in the right frame of mind, then taking a seat in a classroom setting might be exactly what you need. Some people feel more comfortable and receptive learning in a classroom set-up. Hey, we understand – the Internet can offer just too many distractions, and that’s one thing you don’t need studying, right?

A traditional learning setting can give you hands-on experience. In certain cases, doing can be a better vehicle to learning than simple listening and reading. This is a good place to put theory into practice – reading about how to do a CBC or attach dextrose to a patient’s arm is one thing, but actually doing it with your own hands is another.

If you have a tendency to slack off on lessons and assignments, (we know, we know, they can just be so difficult, hush now) being in a classroom setting can give you the boost you need to get going. You’ll need to progress as quickly as your peers, so no dawdling! This is also great for people who prefer to create a set schedule to adhere to for their day-to-day lives, and focus on one thing at a time.

Lastly, you’ll have an opportunity to meet different people and make new friends! Meeting someone face-to-face can be quite different to simply meeting someone online. You now have a living face, a voice, and a personality to attach to the name rather than just an online handle and a status message. Plus, you can have get-togethers, study groups, and perhaps the occasional Pizza/ Gaming/ Karaoke Night to look forward to with your course-mates.

No matter what style of education you take, remember that the success of your Nursing course depends on how much work you put into it. Good luck!

photo credits: Aleera*, Ed Yourdon, and plastique via photopin cc

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