How Do Employers View a Nursing Degree Online?

The challenge for modern-day nurses hoping to achieve a higher degree to move into new, more challenging positions with higher earning potential is how to find the time. If you are time strapped between your 12-hour shifts and familial obligations, online Nursing degrees can be a great option.

The increased government focus on healthcare plus the aging baby boomer population has bred the need for nurses to obtain degrees beyond the typical associate’s degree. As a response, online schools have expanded their offerings to include programs like RN to BSN online degrees and the BSN to MSN to prepare nurses for management roles. If you are committed to moving up the ranks and an online degree is your only option, you should know how your employer or future employers view your somewhat non-traditional degree.

All About Online

Brick-and-mortar colleges have been the go-to college option for centuries up until the last decade, however; distance learning programs have been around for just as long. Distance education has been around since the early1800s where teachers would send assignments to college students through the mail. A placed advertisement in the Boston Globe for students looking to learn shorthand through weekly lessons sent to their homes can confirm the inception of this learning modality.

Then with the advancement of the computer and the Internet, distance learning has reached prolific levels. Today upwards of 10 million postsecondary students in America take online college courses, and that number is set to exponentially rise through the next decade. Upwards of a quarter of all postsecondary students are reported to take at least one online class.

And although initially viewed with a certain amount of skepticism due to unfamiliarity and a handful of “bad seed” colleges, today online Nursing degree programs are widely accepted – employers included.

Is the Trust There?

Unlike brick-and-mortar colleges, online programs are relatively new, and some hiring managers are less familiar with them. But, employers are getting there. In fact, in a survey done by Excelsior College and Zogby International, 61 percent of CEOs and small business owners nationwide said they were familiar with online or distance learning programs.

Not only are online degrees becoming more mainstream, they are looked upon highly by hiring managers. CNN reported that 83 percent of executives agreed that an online degree is as credible as one earned through a traditional campus-based program. College accreditation and college reputation were also cited as important factors in an employer’s view on online degrees.

The Online Advantage

For nurses who can’t make it to a campus class each day but want to pursue a higher degree, online education offers the perfect harmony. Forget being tied down to class times or having to commute to class. Online nursing degrees offer flexibility, convenience, and often times the same curriculum as its traditional counterpart.

About the Author: Allie Gray Freeland is the Director of Marketing Communications at College Online. In this role, she serves as Editor-in-Chief for a network of online health and nursing degrees.

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