After spending time working at the bedside or in a clinic, most nurses have a lot of great ideas about changes that could make practice more efficient for nurses and improve safety for patients. However, they are often quiet about those great ideas because some nurses do not feel empowered to speak their minds or they feel that their voices fall on deaf ears. But, earning an MSN in nursing administration is a way for nurses to see their ideas become a reality.
No Time Like the Present
You may be thinking that you do not have time to pursue an advanced degree. You work full time. You work the night shift. Your kids are in multiple activities. Your spouse travels often. While earning a degree does take time and energy, it is not impossible with an online MSN program. “Students are attracted to the online educational environment because of program accessibility and study schedule flexibility. Students in online programs can complete coursework at a time that does not interfere with work and family responsibilities” (Hampton & Pearce, 2016).
Learn Where You Earn
Some students do not consider online programs as an option because they assume there must be at least some time required on campus. However, online coursework for many programs, such as the MSN – Nursing Administration program at The University of Alabama in Huntsville can be completed 100 percent online. There are no scheduled course sessions, which means you can complete assignments on your time, according to the schedule dictated by work and family obligations. You can complete clinical or practical coursework in your geographic area, which allows you to stay near your current job and your family as you earn your degree.
Times Are Changing
Currently, many nurse leaders belong to the Baby Boomer generation, which is characterized by the “live to work” ethic. According to Martin and Warshawsky (2017), “the next generation of leaders needs to be drawn from the Millennial generation, a generation who values life-work balance and who is working to live.” Completing an online MSN in nursing administration program allows you to balance your professional life with your personal life, preparing you to become a nurse leader who understands and values work-life balance.
Take Charge of Your Career
Online learning requires many of the same principles that are essential to becoming an effective nursing leader. “Online education provides students with control over their learning experience but places greater responsibility on the student … one needs to be well-organized, be self-motivated, and have good time management skills to keep up with the pace of the course” (Hampton & Pearce, 2016).
The American Organization of Nurse Executives (AONE) has developed a set of principles, known as ACORN, to guide the development of future nurse leaders:
- Acknowledge generational differences.
- Create choices that balance work and life.
- Operate from a sophisticated management style.
- Respect competence and initiative.
- Nourish retention imperatives.
According to Martin and Warshawsky (2017), these principles “were developed with the understanding that early careerists share equal responsibility and accountability for their own professional development.” The basis for AONE’s principles and the discipline required when completing an online MSN in nursing administration program go hand in hand, placing you ahead of the competition after graduation.
Just a few moments ago, you may have believed that you did not have the time to invest in earning an MSN in nursing administration. Now you know that an online program provides you with the opportunity to learn on your own schedule while achieving work-life balance. The dedication required to complete an online program mirrors the skills you need to be an effective nurse leader for the next generation of nurses. Now is the time to take your great ideas about the profession of nursing and make them a reality.
Learn more about the UAH Master of Science in Nursing – Nursing Administration Online.
Hampton, D., & Pearce, P.F. (2016). Student engagement in online nursing courses. Nurse Educator, 41(6): 296-298. doi: 10.1097/NNE.0000000000000275.
Martin, E., & Warshawsky, N. (2017). Guiding principles for creating value and meaning for the next generation of nurse leaders. Journal of Nursing Administration, 47(9): 418-420. doi: 10.1097/NNA.0000000000000507.