When you want to become a nurse, it can seem as though there is an endless number of courses, exams, and qualifications you have to take. In order to be a successful and competent nurse, you will need a huge range of skills, knowledge, and experiences. You may already know what type of nurse you would like to become or may not yet be sure of the area in which you want to specialize.

If you are already working as a nurse and want to expand your career and specialize in a certain area, or if you are considering beginning a career in nursing and want to know what the journey may look like, nursing certifications online could be the perfect next step for you. There are plenty of benefits to these courses, as well as the positives of online study. Here are just a few of the reasons why you should pursue anĀ  online nursing certificate.

Who is it for?

When you become a nurse, there are many different course options, types of certification, and exams to undertake. Different jobs and roles are available for nurses at different stages of their careers and who hold different levels of qualifications. Nursing certifications online are post-master’s courses, which means they are for those who already hold a master’s degree of science in nursing.

If you already hold a higher-level degree such as an MSN, or you are an APRN, nursing certifications online can help you specialize in certain areas of nursing. When you first want to become a nurse, there is a lot of education and training you require, as well as licenses and certificates. An APRN is an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse, and you must complete a degree in one of the four recognized roles and gain your license in order to be an APRN. These roles are:

  • Certified Nurse Midwife
  • Certified Nurse Specialist
  • Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist
  • Certified Nurse Practitioner

An MSN is a master’s of science in nursing, and is again one of the higher levels of nursing qualifications. APRNs hold MSNs, and it is important to plan out your educational pathway if you are serious about becoming a nurse. These courses are post-mater’s certificates, which means they can only be studied by those with master’s degrees. If you have an MSN or an APRN, then you may be qualified to continue your study and pursue nursing certifications online. This is a great way to build your career, develop your skills and deepen your knowledge to allow you to progress and achieve your full potential.

1. Different pathways to choose from

With nursing certifications online, there are different pathways to choose from; clinical and educational. Clinical tracks are for those who want to continue to work with patients in medical settings. The education pathway is for those who wish to teach in universities, colleges, and other educational settings, as well as working in clinical settings. Each role requires different skills and knowledge, and it is important to consider your ideal career when deciding which of the nursing certifications online you would like to complete.

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2. Multiple career outcomes

When you are thinking of studying nursing certifications online, there are multiple options to choose from that will inform your career outcomes. Think carefully about what area of nursing you would like to specialize and work in, and choose a certification that will help you achieve this. You will already be a qualified, registered nurse with plenty of knowledge and experience, and a nursing certification online can help you grow in your desired area, as well as help to shape and impact the future of nursing and teaching.

Nurse educator

If you would like to combine working in educational and clinical settings, becoming a nurse educator could be the perfect career choice for you. You will teach in educational settings such as universities, teaching hospitals, and nursing schools, as well as practice in clinical settings. You will be teaching and training a wide range of students, and there are plenty of skills that are required to do this.

As well as the technical and medical knowledge required, you will need to have many characteristics that will make you a great teacher. These include leadership, patience, organization, planning, and communication. You will also most likely create new courses or update old ones, which means you will have to be at the forefront of new nursing technology and practices. This is why nurse educators continue to practice in clinical settings.

Family nurse practitioner

There are two types of nursing certifications online for those wishing to become family nurse practitioners, and which one you choose will depend on your existing qualifications. There is the option for a non-NP to FNP certificate or an NP to FNP certification. In general, family nurse practitioners work independently or with other healthcare professionals to provide adult and child healthcare, providing a wide range of family-focused services.

As a family nurse practitioner, you could work in many different settings, including hospitals, schools, and clinics. This is a varied career that covers many different tasks, duties, and areas. Wellness, prevention, and treatments of mild to acute ailments affecting any member of the family are a couple of the focuses of an FNP, as well as educating and promoting healthy choices, prescribing medications, and conducting exams.

Adult gerontology

Gerontology is the study of aging. An adult-gerontology nurse practitioner specializes in healthcare in adolescents to old age. You can specialize in primary or acute care, with the former generally referring to the treatment of patients who are ill and in hospital, and the latter focusing on treating those who are not usually ill and on maintaining their health. This is a non-NP to AGPCNP course and therefore focuses on primary care.

As an adult gerontology primary care nurse practitioner, your aim is to improve outcomes within the population that you have chosen to work in. This can include encouraging and promoting healthy choices, evaluate caregiver competence, educating patients and caregivers, and managing transitions between care settings. You could work in a range of environments, such as long-term care facilities, hospitals, private practices, and clinics.

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3. Flexible studying

With nursing certifications online, you have a flexible study option that you can make work for you. Full-time, in-person studying may not be achievable for many people for many reasons, and nursing certifications online are designed for those working and who want an education option that they can fit around their lives. Having control over your education can help develop many personal skills alongside the technical knowledge that you will gain. It can also help you understand what kind of learner you are, and how best to work in order to take in new information. This is valuable and can be taken forward in your career, making you an efficient learner.

The nursing certifications online combine distance learning with a certain number of clinical hours, which allows you to put your knowledge into practice, develop your skills and relationships within the industry. This combination works well for those with busy lives and other commitments such as work or family. The ability to have more control over your education can help you become a developed and well-rounded student and professional, as you will gain plenty of skills during your time studying. Managing your study and education as well as your life and workload is a brilliant skill to have in any career, but especially in nursing, where you will have multiple patients at one time and will need to be up to date with the latest treatments and developments in the nursing industry.

4. Online learning benefits

There are so many reasons why online learning is incredibly popular. The online certification courses are designed for those who already have existing commitments such as your job or family. As well as being able to study around these commitments, nursing certifications online can help you develop certain skills and characteristics due to the unique challenges an online course presents. Furthermore, the class sizes are smaller, which means you can have a more personal, detailed learning experience.

Soft Skills

Soft skills are non-technical, personal skills that are transferrable. Many employers look upon them favorably, and you may already have many of them. As well as the technical, hard skills that nursing certifications online can teach you, they can also help you to develop your soft skills. Time management, self-motivation, communication, teamwork, conflict resolution, problem-solving, and adaptability are all examples of common soft skills that are very useful to have on your resume. Online nursing certifications can give you practical examples of times you have used these skills, which is especially useful in an interview situation.

Important soft skills that can help you succeed as a nurse include time management and organization, as you will most likely have multiple patients at the same time and will need to treat each one with the same level of care, professionalism, and accuracy. Another useful soft skill is communication. You will be working with and talking to a wide range of different people, from medical professionals to public members, so you will need to understand how best to communicate and how to alter your approaches to different people and situations.

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It is no secret that education can be costly. If you are considering nursing certifications online, you will already have completed many courses and levels of education. When you study online, you can help save some of the costs involved in being a student. This can include travel and accommodation costs, as you won’t have to worry about finding somewhere to live on campus or traveling to and from classes every day. This may not seem like a lot, but these savings can add up, and nursing certifications online can help make this level of education more accessible to a wider range of people.

As well as potentially helping you save money, furthering your education with nursing certifications online can lead you to higher-paying careers. Furthering your education and career can be a great, long-term investment. The ability to continue working whilst you study also means that you can earn money alongside your certifications, which is a huge benefit for many people. Many online courses are also cheaper than in-person courses, which is another reason to online. You have access to high-level education, support from tutors and classmates, and also financial support from the institutions.


Studying online from home gives you the opportunity to create your own perfect working environment, which can have a large impact on your enjoyment of your education and how much information you take in. Some people do not function well in classroom or lecture environments, and this can impede the efficiency of their learning. When you study nursing certifications online, you are more in charge of your learning.

Furthermore, remote learning allows you to access a wider range of courses and materials. If your local institution does not offer the nursing certifications you want, this could mean you are unable to study them or will have to travel great distances in order to do so. Not only is this costly, but it can also greatly impact your life and cause a lot of upheavals. With nursing certifications online, you can stay home and continue with your life as normal whilst accessing the courses remotely. This helps save you money and time and makes education more accessible, especially now that a lot of resources and study material are now available online.

Studying one of these courses can help you develop both professionally and personally and is a great investment for your education. If you want to specialize in a specific area, work in clinical and educational settings and deepen your knowledge, online nursing certification courses can help you do this. Not only will this help boost your career, it can also help you on your way to making an even bigger difference in the future of nursing and the lives of your patients.