Hey, guys, it’s Nacole from the YouTube series #CarChronicles. I’ve partnered with the amazing company Nursing.org to get you exclusive content on online nursing programs. Whether you’re going for an ASN to BSN program, or a BSN to DNP program, I hope you find my tips and advice helpful. So let’s begin.
I’m currently in an online program, and it requires a level of focus and organization that traditional programs do not. So if you’re a person looking into online nursing programs, you must understand that it is self-driven, self-directed, and you have to be organized, because when you miss a deadline, you get a zero. Many professors do not allow excuses such as life got in the way, because every student has life problems or issues. So if you are looking into online nursing programs, you must make sure that you are a very organized and independent person when it comes to getting your education on.
Before you consider any online nursing program, you have to check three factors.
I would recommend you check the quality of the program to make sure that:
- The school is accredited
- Make sure that the timeline of the semester works with your lifestyle
- And make sure that the price is in the appropriate parameters of what you want to pay.
For example, if you want to get in the work field within two years, you don’t want to pick a program that’s kind of four years in length. Also, you don’t want to pick a program out of your price limit. If you want to spend $50k, focus on programs that are either at or under $50k, because online nursing programs run the gamut in prices. So make sure you do your research.
My next tip is to focus on the course itself. I would focus on the syllabus and the rubric. The syllabus in online nursing programs really explains the course in its entirety, what the expectations are, any sort of faculty information, the grades breakdown, and the most important is what assignments are going to be contributed to your final grade. Some courses are broken down into papers, some broken down into discussions, and others are a mixture of the two, but this is where you find out the meat of that course and what’s going to be required if you throughout that program. On the opposite of that spectrum is the rubric.
The rubric should be given with each assignment, and that gives you a breakdown of what your professor is expecting you to answer or question in the assignment. It’s basically a breakdown of how you get an A. As long as you hit the key components of the rubric, you will be successful, but you have to make sure you hit each and every component. And this is why I tell every nursing student to focus on the syllabus and the rubric when you want to understand a course, because it usually lays it out for A to Z on how to be successful.
The next topic is to focus on the requirements and expectations of the course that you’re going to be enrolling in. The expectations in are you required to log on a certain amount of times per week, the expectations– you’re supposed to have a certain computer. For example, in my current graduate program, PCs are recommended, but Macs can also be used, but my school does not require support in that platform. So when you are signing up for an online nursing program, you must make sure that you have the proper technology to be successful, because some programs work on PCs, but they don’t work on Macs. So you have to make sure you physically have the proper tools to be successful in that program.
And expectations, again, are you logging in once a week, twice a week? Are you supposed to be responding to emails once a week or twice a week? Make sure that you know what is expected of you so you can be, again, successful.
The next topic is clinicals. With online nursing programs, clinicals are usually done locally. For example, my graduate school is located in Alabama, but I do my clinicals locally here in Orlando, Florida. It requires affiliation agreements that your clinical instructors would sign, and then once they sign that, you do your clinicals locally. Obviously, your school has to verify that the preceptor or the medical establishment, such as a hospital, has the appropriate parameters to take care of students, as far as the educational requirements go. But usually, if you’re doing an online program, your clinical are done locally, given that the preceptor or establishment meets a certain criteria. But that’s why I really love online program, because I’m able to do my clinicals locally, meet local professionals in the area, and then network for future job opportunities.
The next topic is APA format. A lot of nursing programs require you understand the APA format, and then you execute that on your discussions and your papers. So if you’re a nursing student out there who is looking into an online program, make sure that you understand the APA format, because it can make or break you passing courses, or even graduating a course in general.
The next topic is lifestyle. Whether you’re a full-time parent or you are a full-time professional, I recommend everyone looking into online nursing programs, because they provide a level of flexibility that traditional universities do not. For example, I work full time, yet I’m still able to go to school full time, and that’s through just the online program concept. I could not go to school Monday through Friday, because I am a full-time professional. And this is why I love the online program concept, because I’m able to still be that full-time student and dedicate myself on top of working 40 hours a week. So I would definitely look into that if you’re a person who wants to work full time, or you’re a full-time parent and you can’t go to school every day.
When you are looking into online nursing programs, I recommend you asking the program if they locate preceptors for you. Some programs do, some don’t. But if that is going to be a requirement on you’re end, you have to make sure you know well in advance so that you prepare yourself to hit the ground running and to look for those preceptors, because in some cities they’re few and far between. For example, when I had to find my preceptors last year, it took me six months to acquire all three of them. It required a lot of phone calls, a lot of office interviews, and to be honest, it was stressful. So you want to make sure you understand that requirement early so you take it seriously and get started early.
I wish you all the best of luck in your online nursing program research. Please make sure you go and subscribe to the YouTube channel Nursing.org, and I hope you all have a great day. Bye!