The healthcare industry requires staff who are well-qualified and up to date with current practices and innovations. With the accessibility of online degree courses, many more people are able to attain qualifications. For those who work full time but wish to further their education and career, online degree programs can meet their needs. There are many online healthcare degree programs catering to a wide range of staff from various departments and disciplines. 

Advances in technology, combined with staff shortages, mean there are many more online degrees and career opportunities for healthcare staff. Universities and colleges have made their courses more accessible to potential students. Online learning has existed for many years, but it has progressed in recent times. Improved online teaching methods have meant many disciplines, such as healthcare, have utilized online learning. Online and traditional programs have different benefits, and students can select which way best suits their circumstances and requirements. 

There are numerous benefits to earning a healthcare degree online, including personalized scheduling, cost savings, location flexibility, personalized scheduling, and support resources,

such as research libraries.

Registered nurses, for example, can advance their careers by taking the Online MSN Nurse Practitioner Program with Spring Arbor University, which is a faith-based program open to nurses qualified with ADN or ASN. Upon completion, nurse practitioners will have the expertise to examine patients, prescribe medication, diagnose illness, and provide treatment. 

Case study

Nacole Riccaboni is a registered nurse who blogs about being a new nurse and advanced nursing education. She gained an online associate degree in 2011 and chose this degree because she wanted to start working as a nurse as soon as possible. She planned to return to education and get an advanced degree later. The route she took meant she could enter the nursing workforce within two years. However, many hospitals only employ nurses with bachelor’s degrees so fewer job opportunities may be available to nurses following this route. 

Two years after becoming a registered nurse through the associate nursing program, Nacole decided to study for an online Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). One of the reasons she did this was because her employer wanted her to become more qualified. 

Nacole is studying to become a nurse practitioner. After graduating from the RN-BSN program, she began looking for a nurse practitioner course. She did not want to wait before moving onto the next stage of her education. She wanted to stay working in acute care but also wanted the option of working in family practice. 

Her RN-BSN program had been completely online and suited her, so she wanted to find another online program. She only wanted to visit a campus when it was essential. She worked full time and did not feel she had the time or money for traveling. There is more choice for on-campus courses, so Nacole had to do some comprehensive research. She emailed admissions to check that programs were totally online. Sometimes she would find out that online courses did require campus visits. She ensured she talked to the admission and the nursing program advisors so they could tell her what was expected of students throughout the course.

Nacole found that there are many specialized nurse practitioner programs, including psychiatry, pediatric, and acute care. She was looking for acute care with a family option. After researching for a while, she found a program for an acute care emergency nurse practitioner that offered acute care and family specialties. She recommends taking the time to research, so you find the right course for you. A specialty certificate can be gained in addition to the degree. Nacole is studying for a cardiology certificate, a subject that interests her and she has some experience in. When deciding which course is right for you, Nacole suggests that people consider their lifestyle, time provisions, financials, and career ambitions. She believes the choices for nurses are limitless, and their passion for the job can be reflected in their educational path and practice setting. She recommends finding the right school and educational path for you.

Studying online

Online degree programs have become more popular in recent years. Many people choose online learning because it is flexible and convenient. An online course can be more appropriate for students with families, careers, and other responsibilities. There can be more choices in online degree programs compared to a local university. For those who live in rural areas, it can offer learning opportunities that would not be found locally. With online learning, students can study when it is convenient rather than the traditional method of attending class at particular locations. Students can join discussions and submit homework at a time that suits them. This works well for people who work shifts. 

Attending traditional programs means spending time with other students and teachers and attending classes at set times. Although students doing online programs do not meet people face to face, they can network and connect with other professionals online. When attending traditional programs, students are required to live on campus or in accommodation in the city. In contrast, online programs cater for students from a wide range of places, which results in more diversity. This brings a multitude of experiences and perspectives to the learning group, which can benefit everyone on the course. Online programs ask students to work together using learning management platforms, such as Canvas. Canvas has chat rooms where students can interact and ask their teachers questions. They can connect with people across the country and sometimes around the world. They can learn from others working in different areas. Connecting with students from diverse work settings who can share their experiences and challenges can be worthwhile. Student resources, such as technical support and career advice, are also usually readily available. 

Online courses do not have set times for learning, which can make them more flexible for working people. Healthcare professionals can apply what they learn to their work, which can be a valuable part of their learning. 

There are students who do not work well on online programs and are more suited to the traditional way of learning. They may prefer talking to people face to face. People may be used to writing quite concisely at work, but online programs do require more intensive writing as most of the communication is in written form. Undergraduate students in online nursing programs are required to ask the preceptor and facility for clinical experience. 

Online learning technologies are diverse and include podcasts, webcasts, simulation tools, and learning content management systems. Students participate in online classrooms by posting their thoughts. Some students prefer this because it gives them time to gather their thoughts before posting. This can be beneficial for individuals unsure of speaking out and those who speak English as a second language. 

Whatever the delivery method, students should always check for accreditation. The program should be accredited by either the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education or the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission.

It is worth finding out how long the organization has been delivering classes online. To deliver high-quality education online, organizations need solid technology systems and expert course design. Students can research the university or college by speaking to enrollment advisors and learning more about the course and the available resources. They can also talk to faculty members and current students as well as past students. They can ask past students about the course content, their experiences, and what they did after graduation. 

An online program means that students do not have to relocate and can continue in their current working roles. They can schedule their lessons to fit in with their working lives. The cost of tuition and fees is more affordable due to lower living and transportation expenses. 

There is a need for an adaptable, educated, and skilled workforce in healthcare. The healthcare sector is evolving along with the continual advances in technology. Healthcare providers must keep up with new technologies and techniques and ensure staff are increasing their skills and knowledge to deliver high-quality patient care. There needs to be a belief that education continues throughout working life.

Continuous education can result in a highly skilled staff, an excellent reputation, improved financial performance, quality patient care, and fewer malpractice lawsuits. In contrast, an absence of continuous education can mean losing staff, dissatisfied users, inefficient systems, high costs, a negative reputation, and wasted time. 

It can be difficult for healthcare organizations to release staff from work to attend course lectures, seminars, and tutorials. Online learning makes it easier for students to learn at a convenient time and still hold down a job.

Healthcare degrees

There are many online healthcare degrees for clinical staff who want to be better qualified and further their career.

Some examples of online healthcare degrees are:

  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing
  • Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing 
  • Master of Science in Nursing
  • Healthcare Administration 
  • Health Informatics 
  • Medical Laboratory Science 
  • Healthcare Management 
  • Public Health 

Online Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)

This program is suited to registered nurses who want to study a degree program to improve their skills and learn more about patient care. Some online BSNs are 100% online, while others require some campus visits. Registered nurses often choose to complete the BSN due to the career advantages they gain in the nursing field. While an Associated Degree in Nursing focuses on technical skills, a BSN provides skills and knowledge that prepare students for leadership roles. 

The core coursework includes social and science technologies, behavioral sciences, and anatomy. There is also practical experience through clinical coursework. The BSN program includes studying legal issues, nursing informatics, ethics, and research. It also explores essential skills such as critical thinking, communication, compassion, and organization. Coursework includes clinical experiences, laboratory simulations, clinical coursework, and health assessment.

Having a BSN can bring opportunities, such as employment in specialty nursing roles and unit management positions. Students can complete a bachelor’s degree in nursing in four years if they study full time. Students with an AND may qualify for accelerated programs that usually take two years of study. When considering online BSN programs, it is best to first ascertain the program length, clinical requirements, curriculum, and accreditation. 

Online Bachelor of Healthcare Management

This program is delivered completely online and is suited to healthcare professionals looking to work in leadership and managerial roles. These courses cover employee relations, economics, and finance in the healthcare industry. Earning this degree enables students to gain the business practice and skills needed to succeed in healthcare management. 

There is a need in healthcare for qualified staff who understand business and how to run operations smoothly. This degree is designed for potential leaders working across many settings. Course programs explore subjects such as financial management, patient partnerships, population health management, and software and technology. Graduates can progress in their careers with a strategic understanding and a solid business core. 

The field of healthcare management involves overseeing the strategy of clinical facilities. Professionals in these positions employ skills from many fields, such as finance, insurance, medicine, business, and accounting, to increase efficiency and improve patient outcomes. 

Healthcare management includes the management and leadership of hospitals and other healthcare facilities to provide high-quality care to patients. Healthcare managers must give support and direction to the departments or units they lead. An online program for a degree in healthcare management provides the qualifications and knowledge required of healthcare leaders. This program usually takes four years to complete.


There are numerous benefits for healthcare staff who decide to study for an online degree. Online education has enabled many more people to gain healthcare degrees, including those who work full time, have family commitments or other responsibilities, or do not live near a university offering the course they want to do. Many more courses are accessible to people if they are delivered online. The healthcare industry needs more highly qualified and expert staff to meet the growing demands on the service. Online learning has opened up the opportunity for staff to contribute to the service and have rewarding and satisfying careers.