Universal Mentors Association

Why eLearning Is Crucial To Combating The Growing Nurse Shortage


How Nursing Education Can Address A Growing Problem

As the population of the United States ages, we’re facing a growing nurse shortage that is impacting care for patients all over the country. It’s getting harder and harder for hospitals to attract and hire qualified nurses, even as their patient numbers continue to increase. That’s putting a lot of stress on healthcare providers and compromising the quality of care that patients are getting. To ease the burden on nurses everywhere and to ensure that everyone who needs care can receive it, we need to increase the number of nurses being trained, and right away. It takes at least a few years for nursing students to learn the specialized skills they need to provide safe, excellent care and be successful in the field.

eLearning is a critical part of the solution to our growing healthcare crisis. By encouraging online learning in the field of nursing we can make the profession more accessible and attractive to prospective students all over the United States.

About The Nurse Shortage

The nursing shortage is an ongoing problem, with about 100,000 nurses leaving the profession over the past two years, and many more planning to leave in the near future. Nurses leave their jobs for many reasons, including stress, burnout, and retirement. Many nurses who worked in the field during the COVID-19 pandemic have left healthcare behind due to burnout, and those who have stayed are facing the constant stress of overwhelming workloads and challenging work environments. Additionally, many older, experienced nurses are simply taking their well-deserved retirement.

This problem affects nurses, patients, and healthcare organizations in several ways. It makes it much more difficult for nurses to provide proper care to their patients since they are overwhelmed by responsibilities and demands. This, of course, leads to poorer patient outcomes overall, which harms families and affects a hospital’s reputation. The nursing shortage also creates the perfect storm of stress and overwhelm, leading to burnout among nurses. Some nurses don’t get enough sleep due to their schedules and struggle to create healthy boundaries between work and home, which can eventually cause mental health problems. The solution to these problems is clear: train more nurses, increase the number of nurse practitioners, and improve working conditions for healthcare workers. With the help of eLearning, that could be more realistic than ever.

Nursing Education Is More Flexible And Accessible With eLearning

Nursing education requires learning a mix of theoretical knowledge and practical skills. Although there’s no substitute for clinical experience, a large portion of the nursing school curriculum can be taught online. There are several benefits of eLearning for nursing education. The first is flexibility and convenience. People who need to work while they attend nursing school don’t have to worry about the time spent commuting and have more flexibility when it comes to completing their coursework. This is also important for parents of young children, who might want to train for a new career but have unpredictable schedules.

Accessibility is also a key benefit of eLearning for aspiring nurses. Many people who would be talented nurses are unable to attend classes physically, for a variety of reasons. Bringing nursing education online, however, opens up the pool of prospective students and encourages more people to apply. It also makes it easier for nursing students to explore different types of nursing jobs they might enjoy.

Making Nursing Education More Cost-Effective And Scalable

Training for a career in healthcare is an investment. However, by bringing nursing programs online, there are many different cost-saving opportunities. By eliminating the costs of infrastructure and utilities, schools can offer these programs at a lower rate while still providing students with a high-quality curriculum. Students also save money on transportation and other expenses related to in-person learning.

Online nursing programs are also more scalable, which will be key as we work to train more nurses and solve the shortage problems. Without the physical limitations of the classroom and the option to have more classes going on simultaneously, online programs can scale much more easily, while still providing a high-quality education.

Overcoming Challenges In Online Nursing Programs

While the benefits of offering online nursing programs are significant, it’s important to acknowledge some of the challenges that go along with non-traditional formats. Practical experience is very important for nurses in training. For eLearning, there is an ever-expanding toolbox of interactive learning experiences, such as simulations, interactive quizzes, and case studies. While practical experience is necessary near the end of a nursing education program, these tools can help prepare students for clinical work.

Additionally, Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality technologies have come a long way over the years and can now be used to bridge the gap between theory and practice. These tools can provide clinical scenario simulations and help students practice in a low-stakes, safe environment. Building a sense of community can also be a challenge in online nursing programs. Students need to interact with their peers and get support as they go through their nursing programs. Online discussion forums, video chat, virtual study groups, office hours, and mentorship programs are all good ways to help students feel supported as they work toward their nursing degree.

Accreditation And Credentialing In eLearning

When it comes to providing degrees in the healthcare field, proper accreditation and credentialing are absolutely critical. Students who choose to attend an eLearning nursing program need to get the same level of instruction as those who go to an in-person institution. Cutting corners in nursing instruction puts patients at risk. Students need to choose their programs carefully and ensure that they are going with a reputable school that provides high-quality eLearning instruction.

eLearning Is Making A Difference In Healthcare

There is no immediate fix to the nursing shortage, but it’s clear that eLearning will be an important part of the solution. By making nursing programs more accessible, convenient, and affordable, more people will be able to build a fulfilling career and employers will be able to tap into a larger, more diverse talent pool. We need to encourage healthcare organizations, nursing schools, and policymakers to help facilitate these programs. Without them, the current nursing shortage is only going to get worse.


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