Nursing attracts hardworking, dedicated, and compassionate people. They exhibit this dedication seeking ways for delivering the best care possible for their patients. Online nursing programs are an opportunity for working nurses to learn new skills, gain more professional insight, and advance their careers. 

Nursing education has come a long way since Florence Nightingale opened her training school at St. Thomas Hospital in 1871. Over the past 150 years, the role of nursing in the healthcare system has expanded considerably. Nurses are now the largest component of modern healthcare. They are highly skilled practitioners in the science and art of human care and compassion. However, achieving these top skills and knowledge is an ongoing effort.

The work Nightingale began in the 19th century is more important than ever in the 21st. For working nurses, innovative online nursing programs are an extension of Nightingale’s work.  

Online Education for Working Nurses

There is no sector in society that hasn’t been turned on its head by COVID-19. None more so than nursing, including nurse education

The health crisis focused attention on a systemic shortage of nurses. While the forces driving this shortage are complex and difficult, access to continuing education throughout a nurse’s career is one key ameliorating factor.

From pre-school to post-graduate, COVID accelerated a general shift to online learning–some might call it a “lurch.” Fortunately, institutions like Houston Christian University provide online nursing programs using well-established online pedagogical models based on years of research and refinement.  

Online Nursing Programs at Houston Christian University

Houston Christian University is committed to providing working nurses a platform to master new skills and knowledge, clearing the path to new opportunities and leadership roles within the profession.  

HCU’s online RN to BSN program employs an innovative competency-based educational (CBE), no-lecture format. Instruction emphasizes flexible skills-based learning. Students earn academic credit through mastering new competencies, not merely by completing credit hours.   

The Master of Science in Nursing degree program is open to BSN-prepared students with a Texas Board of Nursing license. The program offers two specialized degree options: MSN Pediatric Nurse Practitioner in Primary Care or MSN Family Nurse Practitioner.

The hybrid program requires two one-day sessions on campus for orientation and skills training. There is also a practicum experience at a leading healthcare facility local to students. The remainder of study affords the flexibility of online instruction. As with the RN to BSN program, the MSN program uses the CBE model of instruction. 

Both programs offer students personalized support and feedback. RN to BSN students are assigned individual success coaches who help them navigate time management, goal-setting, and a healthy work/life balance. Instructors are all experienced working professionals dedicated to student success. 

Houston Christian University represents the best in online nursing education. Far from being “second best” to traditional classroom instruction, the RN to BSN and MSN programs are focused, outcome-oriented, flexible, and affordable best-in-class educational options for nurses. 

Success Stories from Students

Nursing is a rewarding, challenging, and noble profession. For most nurses, it is more than a job–it is a calling. Being a nurse, however, is never easy. Certainly, going back to school as a working nurse is a serious commitment. If it feels daunting to anyone considering it, let these words from past students serve as inspiration. 

Bri Holder

Brie watched as neonatal nurses helped her low-weight newborn daughter get a foothold on life. Her daughter survived, and the experience inspired Brie to become a nurse. 

“It was in this time of watching the nurses not only save my daughter’s life,” she says, “but also help her grow and thrive, that I began to realize God brought me to this scary and amazing time to discover my calling in life; to become a nurse,” says Bri.

After earning her RN, Brie tried other RN to BSN programs. None of them worked for her. When she found HCU, that changed. “I was very encouraged by the student success coaches,” Bri says. “To have that extra layer of support made me feel confident that I could achieve my goals.” 

Brie earned her BSN and is now a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit nurse. 

Viridiana Garcia

Since she was a little girl in elementary school, Viridiana knew she wanted to be a nurse. She started her career as an LVN, earned her RN, and then enrolled in HCU’s RN to BSN program. She knew she’d found a program worthy of her drive and passion for nursing. 

“I knew that all instructors are committed to work with me and drive me towards success. Feeling such support from my instructors has motivated me to work harder and achieve my dream.”

Speaking of her success coach, Viridiana says, “Julie is very approachable. She listens to my concerns and needs, provides a word of advice when I need it the most, keeps me on track with my courses and assignments. She makes me feel that I am not alone in this journey to achieve my online BSN.”

From her days as a young girl dreaming of being a nurse, Viridiana hasn’t looked back. She now works as a perioperative nurse. 

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