The way that people learn and the educational system, in general, is changing. Even before COVID-19, students were opting to pursue their education online through eLearning, and that number has only increased since. As eLearning technology becomes more advanced, online schools can provide students with a high education level, comparable to what they would receive in class.

Students are looking for options that allow them to learn their chosen craft and obtain their credentials in a way that suits them. There is no longer a one-size-fits-all approach to delivering education, as everyone has different life circumstances and learning styles. The healthcare industry, in particular, requires its staff to have many years of formal training to be successful in their chosen field. The learning never stops, as innovations in medicine and medical technology emerge. Healthcare professionals need to be constantly upskilling and taking courses to ensure they have up to date knowledge that they can use to serve their patients effectively.

eLearning provides the best solution for the healthcare industry and its professionals to obtain the level of knowledge and training they need while still working and caring for patients. On top of that, there are countless other benefits of eLearning for students entering the healthcare industry.

Flexibility and convenience

Society has entered a time where convenience and flexibility are not only sought after but expected. The same goes for education. Many people choose to start new careers or take nurse practitioner programs later in life when they may be unable to attend full time, or during specific hours. Life commitments such as mortgages or children mean that students cannot afford to go to school without working and need the flexibility to attend school at a time that suits them. Even those who don't have children or work commitments can still benefit from eLearning's flexibility to maintain a healthy work/life balance.

Parents may need to be available to pick their children up from school, take them to their extracurriculars, or be at home with them. eLearning allows students to study from the comfort of their own homes, cafes, libraries, or even on the bus or train. As long as students have access to laptops or smartphones, they can continue to study anytime, anyplace.

When talking about the healthcare industry, working hours are often unpredictable, with long shifts and time spent on-call. Healthcare professionals cannot commit to set hours of in-class nurse practitioner programs since the job doesn't work that way. More than any other industry, those working in healthcare will continuously be taking courses and upskilling for the duration of their careers, so flexibility and ease of access are essential.

eLearning courses such as nurse practitioner programs are accessible 24/7, meaning that even those working all day can study at night, or those working all night can study during the day.

Cost-effective

Education in the healthcare industry can be costly, both for the students and the healthcare facilities that fund continuing education. For professionals attending nurse practitioner programs or other upskilling programs, there is the cost of pulling them out of work to do their studies. Additional costs that you need to consider are the costs involved with the training facility or school, which are often passed on to the student in the form of higher student fees.

eLearning eliminates the need for classrooms and full-time instructors, meaning that online programs and certifications are often less expensive than what you'd pay to attend a school in-person. Not only can tuition fees be less, but there are tons of other ways that students can save money by attending nurse practitioner programs online. As most of the learning materials will be virtual and downloadable, students can cut expensive textbooks' costs. Since they can do their studies anywhere, they no longer need to be on campus, which will save money on student accommodation. There is no commute required to get to school, you can save money on gas and parking fees too.

For those pursuing a healthcare career, it is common knowledge that you will need to study for much longer than other professions. Saving money in any way that you can will allow you to continue learning and developing your skills without the hefty financial burden or stress.

Work and study at the same time

From the above point, eLearning allows people to continue to work in their field while they attend school. On-the-job experience is a vital tool for learning and growing in the healthcare industry, and attending nurse practitioner programs in-class means taking time away from gaining experience. Many eLearning programs are for continuing education, which is a massive part of all healthcare professionals development. Taking time off work to complete nurse practitioner programs is just not feasible and interrupts your work life. That's why eLearning is the best solution, allowing people to continue working and studying simultaneously.

While other jobs can have steady hours, which allows you to take night programs in-person, those working as doctors and nurses can have irregular hours. Studying at any time, day, or night means that nurse practitioner programs will not interfere with work hours, no matter what they are.

Additionally, it isn't financially viable for everyone to stop working while they are in school. As stated previously, many people rely on their wages to support themselves and their families. eLearning allows everyone to achieve their goals, progress in their field, and succeed without sacrificing financial stability.

Caters to different learning styles

One of the best parts of eLearning in the healthcare industry is that it caters to different learning styles. Each person learns and retains knowledge differently, and eLearning allows each student to take in information in the best way for them. Some people learn best visually, such as through images, infographics, videos, etc. Many traditional classes, especially in healthcare, are presented in a lecture format, which isn't great for visual learners as they have nothing to look at.

Others might be auditory learners, who don't rely so much on the visual aspect and only need to hear the information to retain it. When receiving handouts or written instructions, in-class auditory learners may not fully understand what teachers ask of them, or the concepts that the information is trying to convey. They need to hear it out loud.

There are also interactive learners, who need interaction with the material to retain it, such as quizzes or games. Lectures, slideshows, and even videos on their own do not provide interactive learners with the tools they need to learn and understand the content.

eLearning caters to all types of learners by including all different kinds of learning materials in nurse practitioner programs and giving students the chance to take their time absorbing information. Those taking nurse practitioner programs and other healthcare programs must retain every ounce of information in the material. Compared to other professions, not remembering a vital piece of information could be the difference between the life or death of a patient. eLearning also allows students to take breaks between lessons and modules since many people lose focus after hours of sitting in class.

Access to resources

When you are studying in class, you might be taking notes, but it's impossible to note everything that is discussed. You have no way of going back to review the material included in your lectures or presentations. The best way to learn and retain information is the go over it multiple times to ensure you don't miss anything, but you cannot do this with in-class learning. 

eLearning platforms provide unlimited access to every resource that you need when learning your class material. Healthcare students and professionals can access this database whenever they need a refresher on a specific topic and can find the information out in minutes. Rather than pouring through pages of old notes to locate details, it's straightforward and easy to look up what you need through eLearning platform search engines.

The eLearning platforms also provide a place where students can connect and collaborate and contact teachers whenever they need to. You can log on 24/7 to read through study guides, replay old slideshows, watch tutorials and videos and relisten to any lectures.

Update course material in real-time

Medical technology and science are evolving by the day, and information you learned years or even months ago quickly becomes outdated. Textbooks or physically learning materials that you've purchased during your programs and courses cannot be updated, where digital materials can. It's easy to swap out outdated course materials on eLearning platforms, such as PowerPoint presentations, worksheets, quizzes, tutorials, and reading materials with the click of a button. Students will have the opportunity to revisit these documents and take note of any updated information or changes.

Teachers don't have to teach their programs from old materials and instead revamp all their materials each year to include new advancements, medications, or more efficient and effective procedures. In itself, that can provide a higher quality of learning for students taking nurse practitioner programs or other continuing education in the healthcare industry. The dynamic nature of eLearning means that teachers can update course materials by the day and provide the most accurate and relevant content to their students. In healthcare, students must have access to the newest technology and science updates, since that's the purpose of upskilling.

eLearning may be more effective than classroom learning

In a 2018 study from Learning House Inc., of students who took both in-class courses and online courses, a whopping 85% claimed the experience was just as effective online, if not more so. Interestingly, 37% of that number said online learning was more effective. There are many reasons that this may be the case. eLearning platforms provide tons of features that you don't get in a classroom.

As discussed above, each student's preferred medium is different, and providing more options means that everyone can learn more effectively. Additionally, many students face anxiety about participating in a classroom setting, for fear of asking the wrong questions or drawing attention to themselves. If they don't understand something, they might just opt to forget about it rather than interrupt the teacher or ask for clarification. Interacting with teachers and other students online is not as intimidating or competitive; therefore, students can get the answers they need.

Learn self-discipline

Self-discipline is one of the most important skills you can have when working in the healthcare industry. It allows you to stay in control of yourself and how you react to the traumatic situations you will likely face in your healthcare career. Whether you're taking nurse practitioner programs or pursuing a career as a physician, the self-discipline you will learn from eLearning will be extremely beneficial to you. Not only does eLearning give you the chance to learn everything you need to know about healthcare, but you will also need to stay motivated and personally accountable for your progression.

Since you don't have set hours, you will have to make time in your schedule to study and complete your assignments and tasks. Time management is imperative to ensure you balance your work, life, and schooling so that you complete everything accurately, on time, and to the best of your abilities. No one will force you to do the work or be taking attendance. It is up to you to make your studies and learning a priority.

Self-discipline and time management skills will help you in your career for prioritizing tasks and ensuring you complete everything on your list. In healthcare, this is extremely important as the wellbeing of your patients is at stake. You need to make quick decisions on what to prioritize, while still staying disciplined to complete each task. There are not many tasks that you can leave until the next day or decide not to do. Patients rely on healthcare professionals to give them the care they need, whether administering medications or changing the dressing on a wound.

Conclusion

eLearning is the healthcare industry's future and will allow healthcare professionals to access the training they need to provide a high level of service to all their patients.

Support Independent Indigenous Journalism

Native News Online is an independent, Indigenous-led newsroom with a crucial mission:  We want to change the narrative about Indian Country. We do this by producing intelligent, fact-based journalism that tells the full story from all corners of Indian Country.  We pride ourselves on covering the tribes you may have never heard of before and by respecting and listening to the communities we serve through our reporting. As newsrooms across the country continue to shrink, coverage of Indian Country is more important than ever, and we are committed to filling this ever-present hole in journalism.

Because we believe everyone in Indian Country deserves equal access to news and commentary pertaining to them, their relatives and their communities, the story you’ve just finished was free — and we want to keep it that way, for all readers. But we hope it inspires you to make a gift to Native News Online so that we can continue publishing more stories that make a difference to Native people, whether they live on or off the reservation. Your donation will help us keep producing quality journalism and elevating Indigenous voices. Any contribution of any amount, big or small, gives us a better, stronger future and allows us to remain a force for change. 
Donate to Native News Online today and support independent Indigenous journalism. Thank you.