What Are The Issues With Online Nurse Learning

By Robert Flint, NumaAudit | Have you ever thought about how little online learning you’ve had? I was recently at the Nationwide Payments training school for which one of the expectations for registrants is to have some experience of online learning.

Online nurse learning has exploded in popularity in recent years. Knowledge of treatment options, fraud and dangerous practices are just some of the reasons why people have pursued online learning. A simple Google search for “Nurse learning” turns up about 20 million results, with many forums and information sharing websites dedicated to online learning and learning from web resources. Although they can be a resource for learning, online nurse learning can be challenging for some. The following are five questions which every nurse should be aware of before investing in online learning.

Why is online learning such a big deal?

What have I been doing for the past two years to prepare for the exams?

How much does it cost to take courses online?

But, sometimes the common questions can actually put you in harm’s way. Any of the answers can lead to poor nursing practice or poor nursing choice for you and your patients. So, it is important to know what we should not do before taking online learning.

Why Should We Be Careful

Nursing is a profession that requires much more than just meeting a certain distance to pass a test. Nurses are clinicians, and they’re required to have proper understanding of the latest treatments and procedures. Although online learning can provide the opportunity to learn more about the latest treatment options, it can also provide the opportunity to learn that same treatment options from someone who is not a real nurse.

Without learning from someone who has worked closely with actual patients and practices, the patient experience can be lost because online learning fails to match up to the real world. Even though patients may be willing to accept things like fake scans and patient records, real nurses are less than enthusiastic about traditional training methods that do not have these weaknesses.

Nurses should be careful to invest in online learning in areas where it’s possible to actually become a qualified nurse. Since online learning usually replicates the classroom style of learning, questions can get lost in translation.

Online Learning, Cyberattacks and Insecurity

While online learning can be informative and teach patients new treatment options, it can also expose you to risks. Because of this, it is best to pursue online learning as an adjunct to a continuing medical education course rather than having to study by yourself. It is also important to note that cyberattacks can be especially harmful for healthcare workers. Not only can they compromise patient records, they can also infect a system with malware so that even if you have taken an online learning course, you can still fall victim to a cyberattack.

You Should Review the User License Agreement Before You Start

Since online learning can present new risks, it is best to review the user license agreement to make sure that there isn’t any hidden policy that you may not be aware of. For example, what happens if you lose your connection while training or fail to save your work after completing a course? What if the site suddenly closes down? Is it possible to delete the course files? Does it have a 24/7 support line that is not accessible 24/7?

Most websites will offer an “agreement for use” before taking the training. This agreement normally state that you’ll have access to confidential patient information, that the site is not a substitute for continuing education and that you have full access to your course data. Also, the agreement generally state that you can cancel your training anytime and that your record of course materials can be modified only with the approval of the provider.

Nurses should always be careful before investing in online learning, and with the right steps, you can make it a great experience for you and your patients.

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