A few years ago I was talking to someone who was excited because his wife had decided to change careers and start training for a healthcare position. She really wanted to work in nursing and had decided to start an LPN program. It’s become pretty obvious, even in the remote areas of the country, that healthcare is the place to be. With the shortage of nurses and the growing need for more and more healthcare facilities, there’s not much way to miss.
So, what happened? Rose was put on a WAITING list for a chance to study nursing! What? We’re short of nurses in every corner of the planet and there’s a waiting list when someone is motivated to start the necessary classes to switch careers? Here’s what I found out. There are not enough teachers for the programs in many areas of the country. On top of that, there is a requirement that students spend a number of hours in supervised clinical work, which is also not available everywhere.
It would seem that doing part of the coursework online would ease the overload in the classroom, but there are a few things to be sure of before you plunk down your money and think you’re in for smooth sailing. While online college work is as common as paint now and the novelty of going to school on the computer is worn off, there is still the problem of finding a program to match up what you need to learn with what can be offered at this time.
There are even online Universities cutting back on healthcare classes and enrollments because the clinical portion of the program still has to be completed and qualified teachers still need to be working these programs to make them worthwhile. If there is a nursing program of any level available to you in your local area, then you might be able to arrange the clinical supervision you need for online training with a local hospital. Do a little homework and find out which area hospitals are associated with the programs in your area that you can’t get into because of a waiting list.
Once you have the name of hospitals in your area, you can work with a person from the online program to see if they will accept the clinical supervision you can get locally. Don’t just blindly pay your fees, study and hope for the best. Talk to at least 4 online programs and get a feel for how helpful the representatives are. If they aren’t willing to talk to you now when you’re a prospective student, think how helpful they’ll be when you lose your use of one clinical program in your area and have to find another in the middle of a series of coursework.
We have linked to a few of the mainstream online programs available. The list is everchanging, so keep trying until you find one that fits what you’re thinking in terms of time and money expended to get into the career field of the future!
Good luck! You might even consider continuing your education until you have become qualified to help with the teaching shortages in nursing programs across the country. What a way to explore your options, right? Teach as much or as little as you wan and enjoy life in between. Become a travel nurse and see the world and maybe even stay and teach awhile somewhere that you might consider living in retirement.