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Why Nurses over 50 Flock to Online BSN and MSN Programs

There once was a time when online RN to BSN and MSN degrees were unfamiliar, but those days are long gone. Healthcare is continually evolving and expanding, and nurses are encouraged to achieve at least a BSN degree to be eligible to work in Magnet-status hospitals. Online degrees have earned a desired spot in the higher education forum, and the impact of brick and mortar schools lessens when factoring in the convenience and cost of an online education.

In the past, an associate’s prepared nurse would face an exhausting uphill journey to earn an advanced nursing degree. Today, online RN to BSN programs can ease an older learner back into the higher education forum. And from there, who knows where? The appeal and ease of attaining an advanced nursing degree can whet the learner’s appetite for graduate work and beyond.

Going back to school is a daunting proposition for anyone, and it’s considerably more overwhelming for the older learner for a multitude of reasons. Older learners are usually already employed full time while balancing the challenges of a growing family and aging parents. Time and money are of the essence. The scheduling convenience, affordability, and growing respectability of online BSN and MSN programs have made these a logical choice for the older learner.

Adult learners have less flexibility in their lives and their work schedules than their younger counterparts. They are often less eligible for financial aid and have increased family obligations. For these reasons and others, online learning offers attractive options.

Benefits of Online Nursing Programs

Online learning combines interactive classes with local clinical rotations to provide a complete education. Some schools offer hands-on instruction through simulated labs. In addition to providing a reliable educational plan, online colleges offer other benefits.

Online Learning Can Be More Personalized Than Traditional Schools

There are so many advantages to online learning, and the presentation is one of the most significant benefits for the older learner. Help is widely available with expanded hours, and instead of traditional lectures, the delivery of classroom materials enhances knowledge through various media:

Instructional videos

Digital Guides

Group Discussion

Online Tutors



Online coursework is very interactive which is essential for the older learner. Most traditional degree programs rely heavily on lectures. The interactive forum and class set-up allow for continued access to lecture content and therefore more chances for review.

Online Learning Flexibility

The flexibility of online learning and class schedules is the top feature that appeals to older students. Classes can be accessed just about anywhere there is an internet connection. In this technologically savvy world, a nursing student can access their online coursework from just about anywhere. A student can prepare assignments in advance for submission, allowing for much-needed flexibility and balance in a busy life. Lessons can be done in the morning, during rush-hour, or at 3:00 a.m. if that’s what it takes to get the job done. You are not stuck with the same class schedule or expected to adhere to any.

Online Learning Accelerated Timelines

Students can complete their degrees faster through accelerated timelines. Online degree options are often offered continually throughout the year instead of the traditional semester options, and this fluid scheduling option allows faster completion of the degree.

Minimally Disruptive to Established Lives

Taking courses online cause minimal disruption to established lives and allows the learner to handle life emergencies with a minimum of repercussions.

Online Learning is Accessible and Affordable

The legitimacy of online learning combined with the push for a more educated workforce has employers jumping on the online bandwagon. More employers are offering tuition reimbursement which reduces the financial burden of advanced education.

Other financial incentives are the reduction of overall expenses such as healthcare, transportation, and campus-based fees associated with traditional colleges. Another big bonus is that the accessibility of online education helps the learner to maintain hours at work, so there is no income loss.

Distance Learning Has Grown in Popularity

The Online Report Card from Babson Survey Research Group completed annually shows an increase in the number of distance learners for the 13th year in a row.  Another important consideration is that more and more individuals who begin an online degree are attaining that degree. The convenience of online learning is an essential factor in degree attainment.

Join the legions of mature nurses who are increasing their education and benefitting from online opportunities such as an RN to BSN program.

If you are interested in more information about GHE's nursing schools and programs, visit our Students page.