Best Online Sites to Study Nursing from Home
By Erin Wallace, Contributor
COVID-19 has everyone home a little bit more often than usual; unless of course, you're a travel nurse or other healthcare worker. In that case, you're on the front lines every day caring for patients and families affected by this virus.
In recent weeks, since about mid-March, schools across the United States at all levels — primary, secondary and college — deployed remote learning systems on an enormous scale never seen before.
Some nursing school programs were forced to get creative with distance learning. For example, at Penn State Lehigh Valley, nursing students are continuing their clinical rotations through virtual simulations, calling it the Shadow Health Digital Clinical Experience (DCE).
Whether you're already in nursing school looking to get some extra credits or you're a seasoned RN travel nurse looking to brush up on your skills during your free time, here are some of the best online sites for studying nursing from home.
This online learning platform was founded by MIT and Harvard and is home to some 20 million remote learners. The site also has over 120 institutional partners, including the University of California-Berkeley, Caltech, Boston University and Dartmouth College, among others.
Helpfully, edX supports learners at every career stage, so whether you're a brand new travel nurse looking to learn new skills or someone who's been in the field for a while, chances are, you're bound to find a nursing course to match your skill level or interest. Available courses run the gamut, covering topics such as controlling hypertension, mechanical ventilation, dementia, diversity and disaster medicine training.
Do keep in mind that although many edX courses are free to audit for a limited period, which means you can watch videos and participate in discussions, if you want unlimited access and wish to earn a certificate for your participation, you have to pay a fee.
Depending on your state's licensing requirements, participating in an online nursing course may count towards continuing education hours, which you may need for renewing your license.
Browse for jobs at Onward Healthcare to find your next ideal travel nursing role.
Coursera is another popular online learning platform that provides opportunities to take online courses through partnerships with colleges and universities.
Depending on your goals, Coursera offers multiple types of learning programs — everything from a guided project that teaches you a job-relevant skill in under two hours to coursework toward completion of an entire degree.
Looking to explore nursing informatics? Coursera has plenty of courses available in this subject area. Or maybe you're interested in learning about global perspectives on childbirth, trauma emergencies and care, disaster preparedness or schizophrenia. Whatever your interests are in healthcare and nursing, Coursera offers plenty of options.
Many online nursing courses offered on Coursera are free, and reviews are provided for each one, so you can get a sense of how others have fared.
If you have some funds to spare, Udemy is a great option for studying nursing online. It's a huge repository of over 150,000 courses in various subject areas, including nursing.
Individual lectures often include a combination of text, video and audio. You can also preview a course to decide if it meets your expectations.
Once you do pay for a course, you gain lifetime access to it — so you can always refer to course materials if you need to in the future.
Course options include ones designed to prepare you for the NCLEX, which is helpful for nursing students, and others focus on specific clinical areas, such as mental health, respiratory care and drug calculations.
Online colleges and universities
Another option is to explore remote learning opportunities at individual colleges and universities. While you might consider choosing one close to your current travel nursing assignment, you can also choose from any school across the country.
Studying nursing online to either brush up on old skills or learn new ones is a great way to boost your clinical experience and bolster your resume for employers.