You’ve heard about it, you’ve thought about it, you know other people who are achieving educational degrees in this format, but it’s just not for you. Why is that? Have you examined what online nursing education has to offer you and considered that it might just be fear of the unknown keeping you from making the leap into 21st Century Education?
Many facilities now are focused on Magnet status and encouraging nurses to achieve the BSN degree if they’ve not already done so. This creates quite a dilemma for those who can’t afford to decrease hours at work. Others can’t commute to campus or navigate traditional classes around busy work schedules. Even if a facility offers tuition reimbursement, how will you take advantage of this opportunity under such circumstances that prevent you from attending college?
Accessing Education at Your Fingertips
Unfortunately, half way through nursing school, a motor vehicle accident put me out of the program when the Orthopedic Specialist would not clear me to return to traditional classes. I was thrilled to discover an online option to complete my RN degree. I was naïve to the online format of learning, but was willing to give it my best shot. I wanted to graduate!
It wasn’t as difficult as I thought it would be. When signing into a class for the first time, there are clear instructions, a syllabus, assignments broken down by weeks they are due. Traditional class is accomplished online in a chat window which enables students to see what the instructor is saying (typing), it’s interactive in real time. Or perhaps classes take place via a webinar/webcam.
Granted, if you’ve never used a computer before, online education would be challenging for you, but certainly not impossible. A quick community class on computer basics/Microsoft Word and you’ll have the tools you need to begin this new and exciting journey into online education, also known as e-learning. Many schools also offer a beginners computer class to gain the skills necessary to access an education that is literally at your fingertips.
I did graduate with the online format. I passed the same board examination (NCLEX) as any nurse who had attended a classical program on campus. I worked as an RN in various fields for a decade and wanted to go back to get my Bachelor of Science in nursing degree to advance professional opportunities.
Like many of you, I worked full-time and I couldn’t decrease hours or work around classes and commuting to campus. Once again, I turned to the flexible and convenient option of online education. After work, studying and completing requirements from home in my pajamas, I graduated a second time utilizing e-learning!
Am I suggesting that online education should replace a traditional campus program? No, I’m not. But it is an exciting, convenient, flexible option to the obstacles of traditional programs and is merely an extension of classical forms of learning.
Why Should I Choose E-Learning to Get My Degree?
- Convenience and flexibility.
- Variety of degree options.
- Education is brought to you in a comfortable learning environment.
- Avoid commuting hassles, traffic and parking.
- Avoid conflicts with work schedules.
- Access the most up-to-date content available because traditional books become outdated.
- Increase technical skills and use of multimedia tools, enhanced class discussions.
- Transfer credits from other universities are generally accepted.
- Easily communicate with the instructor via office hours, email and/or cell phone.
Increase Your Willpower and Self-Discipline
It sounds too easy. There must be more to it, right? Yes, online education options require self-discipline. Does attending a traditional program not take discipline? Do you not hold a physical piece of paper, called the syllabus, which requires you to read it, mark your calendar for due dates and hand assignments in on time to receive a grade? Do you have the discipline to put your class time on your calendar, drive across town, park and walk into class before it begins?
That same discipline is required to click on the course link and sign in to your class before it begins. Actually, sounds harder to drive to campus, doesn’t it?
Give e-learning a try! There are some terrific online options with schools like the University of Phoenix. Your local university probably offers an online format to those who want the convenience and flexibility to fit their busy lifestyles.
Not only is online education a great option for nurses, it’s a wonderful choice for anyone wanting to achieve a degree in other fields of study. Don’t let fear of the unknown prevent you from realizing your personal and professional goals. Don’t let obstacles stand in your way of higher education when online programs have removed them for you.