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What to Consider When Studying a Nursing Certification Online



What to Consider When Studying a Nursing Certification Online

When you want to become a nurse, there are plenty of things you will need to consider and plan for. There is a lot of training and education involved, and you will need to develop your knowledge and skills in order to succeed. Planning ahead can help you set out your career pathways and allow you to focus your journey to help achieve your end goal.

If you are considering a career in nursing, or are already working in that industry and want to boost your career, a nursing certification online may be the perfect course for you. Here are just a couple of things to consider when thinking about studying for a nursing certification online.

What is a nursing certification online?

When pursuing a career in nursing, there are many qualifications and degrees you will need, and nursing certifications online are just a few of the courses you can take to help boost your career. Nursing certifications online are post-master’s courses and are not degrees in themselves. They can give you the knowledge and skills required to pursue a specific area of nursing and help prepare you for further qualifications or licenses.

A nursing certification online combines distance learning with clinical hours that are completed in the area you are licensed in. There are several prerequisites for the different nursing certifications online, and the duration of the course does not include these. The nursing certifications online are offered in a range of sought-after fields of nursing:

  • Nurse educator
  • Family nurse practitioner
  • Adult gerontology

There are also two different tracks you can choose: clinical and educational. The clinical track prepares you to practice and work with patients in medical and clinical settings. The educational track also includes this, as well as working in educational settings as an educator, such as colleges and universities.

Is it for you?

Nursing certifications online are for those who already hold an MSN or are an APRN, which makes them post-master’s courses. An MSN is a master’s of science in nursing, and an APRN is an advanced practice registered nurse. There are many courses and qualifications you need in order to become a nurse.

Typically, you will choose to specialize in a certain area or field and continue your training in that area. When starting out your education journey towards becoming a nurse, you do not have to know exactly what area you would like to work in, but it can help to have an idea as it allows you to plan and prepare for the required degrees, certificates, and licenses.

There are many skills that a nurse needs in any field they choose to work in. These include:

  • Communication – as a nurse, you will be communicating with a wide range of people, from medical professionals to the general public. You need to make sure you can adapt your approaches to different people in order to communicate effectively and accurately. Being emotionally intelligent and knowing how to talk to different people will help you provide a high level of care and make your patients feel more comfortable and at ease.
  • Empathy– this is the ability to put yourself in the shoes of another person in order to feel their emotions and understand them. As a nurse, you will not have personal experience of every situation that your patients are in, so you will have to use empathy to understand them and provide a personal service.
  • Stamina – you will need both physical and emotional stamina when working as a nurse. You will be moving and lifting a lot and will be on your feet for many hours. In a 12-hour shift, it is thought that nurses walk around 4 miles. Emotional stamina is essential to ensure that you remain healthy and do not get overly involved with the situations of your patients, and can continue to provide the same level of care to each patient you treat.
  • Patient advocacy- this is at the heart of the Hippocratic oath. You are an advocate for your patients and should be concerned with keeping them safe and providing the highest level of care.

Nursing certifications online are also aimed at those who have pre-existing commitments, such as work or family, and want to study around these things. In-person study may not be feasible for a number of reasons, one of these being the fact that it often involves dropping everything else in your life in order to be able to be a student. Nursing certifications online are designed to be studied alongside the rest of your life.

What are the career outcomes?

Nursing certifications online can help prepare you to work in a range of specialized, sought-after nursing roles. You will gain new experiences and skills, as well as further in-depth knowledge of your chosen area. You will already have plenty of knowledge and skills when it comes to nursing, but as the industry is always changing, there is always room for constant improvement and learning. Nursing certifications online can help boost your career and knowledge and prepare you to work in more specialized areas of nursing. The career outcomes can include:

Nurse educator

You will be working in clinical and educational settings, helping to teach and educate the next generation of nurses. You could be in teaching hospitals, nursing schools, universities or colleges, and will be not only teaching but also performing a wide range of other duties and tasks.

Nurse educators create, develop, implement and update educational programs, act as mentors and assess students, as well as many other tasks. As technology and treatments are always developing, many nurse educators continue to work in clinical settings in order to be at the forefront of new technologies and practices.

As well as the medical knowledge you will need in order to educate, there are many great skills and personality traits that a good teacher needs. You will need to have excellent communication skills in order to deliver information effectively and engagingly. Patience, discipline, classroom management, and leadership are also very important and are useful skills to gain and develop.

Family nurse practitioner

A family nurse practitioner is an incredibly varied role, as you will be providing healthcare to family members of all ages. A family nurse practitioner provides healthcare services in a variety of settings, including hospitals, clinics, private practice, and ambulatory clinics. Tasks may include prescribing medications, assessing and diagnosing, promoting healthy choices and lifestyles, and maintaining health, and many FNPs choose to work in underserved communities.


Gerontology is the study of aging, and an adult-gerontology nurse will work with patients whose ages range from adolescence to old age. There are two types of adult-gerontology nurses: one specializes in primary care and the other in acute care.

The latter involves treating patients who are unwell and in hospital, and the former involves treating those who are not usually ill. The course focuses on the former. You will work in a variety of settings, such as clinics, hospitals, and long-term care facilities. Daily tasks can include educating patients and their caregivers, assessing caregiver competence, and managing the transitions between care settings.

Why study online?

Nursing certifications online are hugely beneficial for a number of reasons, as they can help you learn more about your career and more about yourself. When you study online, you will be developing incredibly useful skills that are transferrable, as well as saving money and understanding how best you learn. If you want to continue studying but cannot attend classes in person for whatever reason, online learning can be a great solution that makes studying more achievable and accessible.

Flexibility and pace

The ability to study online gives you more control over your education, from when you study to your location. This can have a positive impact on your learning experience, as you can tailor it to suit you. Being able to work at your own pace gives you more time to take in information and go over it again without feeling rushed or pressured. Being able to work from home means that you can study alongside your other commitments and make the course work for you.

There are many different types of learners, and studying online can help you understand what kind of learner you are. This is very useful as you can apply it to any future education situations to ensure that you are an efficient learner. As the nursing industry is always changing and developing, it is important to have a willingness to learn, regardless of where you are in your career. You will need to keep up to date with new developments and be willing to learn new ones. Understanding how your brain works best can help you to do this.


There are many costs associated with being a student, and the financial side of education can often put people off pursuing further education or courses. However, when you study online, you can reduce or remove many of these cost Tuition fees, living costs, accommodation, and travel are all common areas in which students spend a lot of money.

With nursing certifications online, you can study mostly from home, which removes the need for travel or finding accommodation near a campus. Furthermore, many online courses are often cheaper than in-person ones. You can also fit nursing certifications online around your existing job, which allows you to continue to work and earn money while you are studying. Further education can be a great investment for your future, as often with the most qualifications, certifications, and training you have, the jobs you are eligible and qualified for are higher paying.

Soft skills

Nursing certifications online can provide you with plenty of specialist knowledge and skills that you will need in order to succeed in your chosen field. Online study can also help develop your soft skills, which are non-technical, transferable skills that help you excel in the workplace. They are looked upon favorably by employers, and you may already have many of them. Soft skills that are particularly useful for nurses include communication, teamwork, problem-solving, critical thinking, and adaptability.

Completing nursing certifications online can also help you develop important skills, such as time management and organization, and provide you with real-life examples to give to potential employers. You will often have more than one patient at the same time and will need to treat each one with the same level of professionalism and accuracy. Practicing your multitasking skills is vital in order to be able to do this, and you need to be organized and plan your time well to make sure you complete your studies to as high a level as possible.


Another benefit to nursing certifications online is the ability to work from home so that your location matters much less. Your local institutions may not offer the type of degree, course, or certifications that you wish to study. This can mean you have to travel a lot to complete them or not complete them at all. When you work online, you can do so from your chosen location, and the clinical hours that you need to complete can be done in the area you are already licensed in.

Nursing certifications online can be a great investment in your career and help lead you in the direction that you want to work in. It can be very rigorous and demanding, but nursing is a rewarding career that can help many different people. If you are looking to boost your career, or are planning your educational moves, nursing certifications online can help you to do this.

The medical industry is always changing and developing, and you could work towards a career that puts you right at the forefront of this. Being a nurse allows you to help others and even teach and train other nurses and students. If you want to develop your career, are willing to constantly learn, and want to help shape the future of nursing, these certifications could help you on your way to achieving that.

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