By Joanne Lavin, EdD
(Content courtesy of CUNY School of Professional Studies)
Online nursing degree programs, such as the RN to BS in Nursing degree offered by the CUNY School of Professional Studies, are as rigorous, informative and rewarding as those available on a traditional campus setting. Even though many new students need time to transition to this new learning format, the advantages of choosing an online degree program quickly become apparent to nurses with busy lives.
Learning online can be liberating in terms of the freedom gained to choose ideal times for studying, researching, submitting assignments and blogging. The flexibility to develop your own schedule rather than conforming to a school’s timetable is one of the benefits of learning online. Additionally, online students can avoid spending hours commuting to and from class at specific hours of the day. This allows nurses who are employed, have families, or live remotely to achieve their professional goal of earning a bachelor’s degree in nursing.
It should be noted that learning online is not easier nor does it require less time studying, researching and preparing class assignments than conventional classes. The online learning environment actually can be quite challenging due to the somewhat independent aspect of managing your time, absorbing the material, contributing to class discussions and submitting your work. Although institutions such as CUNY SPS offer the opportunity for you to interact with your instructors and peers in a number of ways (including videos, discussion boards, blogs, e-Portfolios and instant messaging), it is important to note that this environment is different than a traditional classroom, thus placing more responsibility on you to complete assignments in a timely manner.
For some students, learning in an online environment can feel lonely after the close-knit clinical groups that they experienced at the associate’s degree level. Personal characteristics that can help students succeed in an online program include strong organizational skills and the ability to be self-directed. We have compiled a top 10 list of key online learning strategies that we hope prospective students will find helpful if they are considering pursuing an online bachelor’s degree in nursing.
To see how an online class works at CUNY SPS, take a look at our video here.
Joanne Lavin, EdD, is an associate director for nursing in the CUNY School of Professional Studies.