Online education provides an excellent way for working nurses to advance their careers. Many nurses enter a RN to BSN program online because of the flexibility they offer to working professionals. This flexibility allows them to schedule school around a busy life.
However, online programs come with their own unique issues. Online programs offer many advantages, but also require students to take a greater responsibility to ensure the experience runs smoothly.
The five areas listed below offer examples of areas where students need to concentrate in order to have a successful experience in an RN to BSN program online.
Create Your Own Space
Traditional students have a class to go to, but RN to BSN online program students need to create their own space designated solely to focusing on school. Before the class starts, students should pick out a location for studying. It can be a room in your own home or a quiet public place such as a library. This not only provides a physical space for students to engage in school work, but also prepares them mentally to forget other concerns and focus completely on school.
Take Advantage of Special Meetings
Some online RN to BSN programs offer students the chance for hands-on experiences in the workplace that allow you to get out from in front of the computer and into the field. These events typically involve working onsite at a healthcare operation such as a hospital, doctor’s office or public health facility. These events provide invaluable training and experience for nurses looking to advance their careers with a BSN.
Ask About Technical Requirements
Different online programs have different technical requirements for watching lectures, participating in chats with other students and meeting with professors. Before entering the course, it’s smart to understand the exact technical needs to be successful in the online program.
Reach Out to Professors
Often students in a RN to BSN program online fail to utilize one of the best advantages: the ability to contact professors and communicate with them one on one. While sometimes you will have to find answers to questions independently, professors remain available at certain times. Establish contact early.
Questions to keep in mind for professors include finding out their availability times and what type of new technology they use in the class. It can also be helpful to understand the expectations for the class and also the various ways you can connect with both the professor and other students.
Organization and Schedule
Online classes offer great flexibility for students. However, that means the student must take responsibility for organizing and scheduling their time for class. No one stands over them offering direction. Often, students can watch lectures at their convenience. This means students need to set a strict schedule for schoolwork, including attending classes, meeting with professors and engaging in chats with fellow students.
These represent some of the issues nursing students should consider when entering a RN to BSN program online. Keep these issues in mind and the online education has a better chance of being a successful experience for you.