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How Nursing Students Can Benefit From Competency-Based Learning

As a nursing professional, your goal is to serve patients—helping them get well and improve their quality of life.

Is it possible to help patients while advancing your education? Yes, and one way to move toward that goal is by empowering yourself to achieve the degree you need in a way that’s efficient, flexible, and cost-effective. While many nursing students prefer a traditional course-based approach to learning, others benefit from a competency-based program design. Walden University’s Tempo Learning® format lets you progress at your own pace as you demonstrate your understanding of each topic or skill.

It’s a different approach to learning: Rather than taking a course and completing assignments, students gain immediate access to all of the program’s learning materials. As they demonstrate competency in each area, they receive credits and move forward in the program. Competency assessments can be taken in almost any order, and they come in many forms—from short papers to work-based projects. Faculty support is available as needed throughout the program. This method could empower you to speed your progress through the degree program—and it lets you immediately apply what you’re learning to your nursing career. Here are a few benefits of completing a nursing program in a competency-based format:


  • Scheduling Flexibility
    This flexible format is especially helpful for nursing professionals, who often work nonstandard hours. You can decide when and how you learn, with access to mobile-optimized learning content, no weekly deadlines, and the opportunity to check in with faculty online and ask questions.
  • Cost Control
    Walden’s Tempo Learning® option uses a subscription-based model rather than a set price per course or semester. Students gain access to all learning materials in their program at once, enabling them to set a pace that works with their schedule and budget.
  • Custom Pacing
    A nursing program completed in a competency-based format allows students to move at their own pace. Show what you know and move on, or slow down if your professional healthcare role is consuming more attention during a particular time.
  • Personalized Coaching
    You’ll have access to faculty as needed and also have a personal academic coach to help you move through the program. Initially, your coach will work with you to develop a customized learning plan that will help you meet your goals.

Walden offers Tempo Learning® in the RN-BSN program and three specializations in the MSN program: Nurse Executive, Nursing Education, and Nursing Informatics. With the Tempo Learning option, you can earn your degree—and further your nursing career—in a way that works for you, so you can better serve patients.

Walden University is an accredited institution offering a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN-BSN) Completion Program and a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree program (select specializations) in a competency-based format. Expand your career options and earn your degree using a convenient, flexible learning platform that fits your busy life.

Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission,