When nurses consider earning an advanced college degree they often think about time.

It’s no secret that nursing is a demanding profession. Others may talk about time management, but nurses tackle that issue on a daily, even hourly, basis. And at the end of a long shift, the last thing a nurse wants to think about is going to class.

That’s understandable. However, nurses also know the advantages of completing an online RN-to-BSN program or a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program.  They include:

  • Better chance for promotion
  • Better salary
  • Additional expertise
  • Leadership skills
  • For those in an MSN program, the ability to become a nurse practitioner

Those are powerful advantages. But again, there is the issue of time. That’s why competency-based nursing programs are so valuable.

What Is a Competency-Based Nursing Program?

Competency-Based Education, known as CBE, is designed to let experienced students move faster through a degree program. Students can “pass” a class once they demonstrate they have mastered the course’s material.

This is different than traditional courses, where a student stays in a class for a set amount of time even if they know the material inside and out. That’s especially frustrating for those who have professional experience.

The knowledge itself is also different in some respects in a CBE nursing program. For example, the curriculum is designed with the input of industry professionals. Students still learn theory, but also learn best practices that can immediately be applied to their job.

That’s the reason why programs are “industry aligned” and seek the input of employers in healthcare. With the ever-changing needs of the profession, it’s beneficial to offer students the latest information on skills needed in the medical profession.

Coupling Online Education and CBE

A CBE nursing program solves the problem of time. For example, a student at Houston Christian University’s RN-to-BSN program can get their degree in as little as nine months (for those who already have a Texas RN license).

The Houston Christian University CBE programs also offer chances to work with hospitals in the Houston area, gaining clinical experience. The program also provides students a personal success coach who works with them as they move through the course offerings. Skills gained in these programs allow students to use what they are learning immediately in their profession. Those type of advantages work especially well when coupled with the flexibility of classes offered 100% online.

Given these advantages, it’s easy to see why online, CBE programs are attractive for nurses, giving them more control over how and when they earn a degree.