Healthcare Technology Featured Article

November 10, 2020

Earning Your Nursing Degree Online: A How-to Guide

Technology has opened the doors for many careers while offering faster and more efficient ways to get tasks done. However, as tech advances, so too do the way we use it. For example, it is now possible to gain a degree without even leaving your home. Even for careers, such as nursing, it is now possible. This opens the opportunity up for thousands more ambitious students looking to make the most out of a long and rewarding career.

For the best experience, when it concerns learning online, be sure to follow the tips below.

Choose the right program for you

There are different nursing programs you can choose from online. Make sure to gather as much information as you can about the different programs so that you know what to expect. Look over the curriculum, for example, which you will receive as a new student. See what the courses are, what the readings are, and what type of projects you must complete for each course. This information-gathering process will help reduce your stress about the unexpected and help you prepare for what is to come.

When you have your sights set on becoming a nurse quickly, a great option is one of the online accelerated BSN nursing programs. The fast-track program provides you with the skills and experience to become a nurse, all in as little as a year, depending on the school.

Get the Needed Supplies

There are certain items that students need, such as scrubs, sneakers, stethoscopes, highlighters, and notebooks. If you are not sure what else is needed, ask the program’s enrollment advisor for assistance.

Ideally, you will want to have all supplies for the first day of school. Being unprepared won’t create a good first impression, and it can start your educational journey off on a sour note.

Make Connections

Friends are great to have during any important phase in your life. This one is no different.

Reach out to other nursing students who you will meet during clinical placements or message with during online discussions for the program. Get to know them and develop friendships.

They are on the same path as you, and, likely, you can help one another if you feel overwhelmed or want help with something. Knowing you are not alone in this experience is important, and sometimes just being able to talk about your day can be helpful.

Plus, you can study together. If you are someone who does well in study groups, making nursing friends is even more critical. Prep for exams together to help improve your grades. Thanks to advancements in tech, you can set up a group video chat and help each other.

Stay Focused

Being accepted onto a course is a great accomplishment and one to be proud of. As you start the school experience, keep your focus on the goal, which is to be a registered nurse.

There is likely a waitlist for the program, and you don’t want to take for granted that you have one of the limited number of seats at the school. Make the most of the experience by always keeping your eye on the goal.

You are in this for the long run, looking to graduate and then live out your dream of helping patients. To get there, you must put in the time and effort now in school.

Keep your motivation high, and make sure you retain a balanced lifestyle. Be sure to get enough sleep, eat healthy meals, and put in the study time that is needed to do well on tests.

Get Back Up

If you do have a setback during your time in nursing school, don’t give up. Know ahead of time that there will be challenges, as with anything in life.

For example, you might not do as well on an assignment as you had expected. If this happens, make it your mission to do better on the next paper you submit to the instructor.

If you’re not sure what you did wrong with the assignment, ask the teacher for help. Meeting them in-person, virtually, or by phone is a great way to discuss what went wrong and how you can do better the next time.

Some online nursing programs can be fast-paced, but they are not meant to tear down your dreams. Instead, they can make you dig deeper into your strengths and rise over challenges. This is an incredible experience and not one you ought to give up on!

The same train of thought applies to if you do not do well on the first test of the program. Know that you have room to improve and that positive thinking will keep you going. If you haven’t formed a study group yet or put aside time on your calendar specifically for studying, now is the time to do so.

Take Breaks Too

As earlier discussed, balance is important as a student. Only once you rest can you return to the coursework feeling refreshed mentally. Then you can study, complete projects, and more with a renewed sense of purpose.

As for how long of a break you take, that detail is up to you; for example, you can take five minutes to get some fresh air outside or make a cup of tea. Alternatively, you might take an hour to go to the gym to clear your head and get some much-needed exercise. The main thing is getting a change of scenery for a short while before returning to your desk.

Final Words

Your dream to be a nurse does not have to be only thoughts. Instead, you can pursue it by attending a program online, which opens doors to become an RN and potentially move on to a specialty later.

Preparing before the school’s program start date will help you feel in control and have less stress. Put in the effort and continue to do so throughout the curriculum so that you can reach graduation with your head held high.

Reach out to your support network of family and friends, as well as other nursing students and the program faculty, when you need help. You are not alone in this experience, and the assistance of others can make the experience more enjoyable and educational. It can help you get more out of the process, not to mention forming friendships that can continue after graduation.

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