Online Degree??

  1. This may be an "old" topic here, but I need some help and advice. I have an Associate Degree and have been in nursing full and part-time for almost 30 years. I would love to get a BSN and have been looking into an online course from the Univ. of Phoenix. It's not cheap, but it's very flexible and I could work at it around my schedule.
    I'm particularly interested in input from those of you who are managers and do the interviewing and hiring. Does a degree earned "online" carry the same weight as one earned on campus?
    Thanks - I look forward to your input.
    Bob
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  2. 11 Comments

  3. by   l.rae
    l'm wondering the same lately, Bob....l will be watching for replies...do you intend to stay at bedside if you get BSN? l won't...l don't think.....anyway, l work ER too...been a nurse for 22 years....welcome to allnurses.....looking at your location(s)??? What part of OH?...only if you feel like sharing.......LR
  4. by   lever5
    I started the program with university of Phoenix, it may sound flexible, but requires a lot of time. You have to lock on to their site and download all your classes messages. You are expected to come up with meaningful thoughts after working 12 hr. shifts and woo be to those whose brains are fried. The downloading of messages is time consuming as their server only works at its own pace, and your work must be expressed in perfect APA format. You must participate 4-5 days a week, download messages for an hour first, some of which are "GO GIRL", and take as long to download as something meaningful. I loved the content, and I think the program would prepare a well rounded, valuable person. Don't let me forget the group work. Have you ever worked in groups? You do all the work. They take credit. NOPE. I don't beleive I am a team player. Or did I miss that part of the course where they taught us how to get people to do their part? Is this a rant? Oh, well, this is just my opinion.
  5. by   lever5
    The group discussion is just one part of the work load, Every week you submit a weekly summary, The classes last 6 weeks, there is a paper due every week. Some of them are long papers. others are throw away, busy work. Every course has a group project. There is power in a group. A group that works together is stronger than one person. I have never found a group that gave a consolidated team effort. I have never seen a group that worked together in this aspect. Some of the common excuses for not doing their share; I had to work overtime.....My cat died.....I'm sick....., I realize these are all good excuses, but I do not want to do anyone else's part, I could hardly do my own. When you commit to college, you take on a responsibility to those in your group, as well as to yourself. I just could not count on my classmates. What did they care, they did not know me. It was a lot of work, I really enjoyed it, the course is full of valuable information, but you can't control who you are paired up with. UOP has the best library I have ever encountered, I was in the MSN program. By the way, I have my BSN, does not do you any good. No more money, no more opportunity.
  6. by   Level2Trauma
    You can also receive an online BSN degree from the University of Alabama. They initiated this program the year after I graduated (shucks). However, we did get to partake in the pilot program by taking one class online. It was absolutely wonderful. You could attend class at your own discretion (2am, 3am etc. etc.). The teacher asked us if we would consider coming back to class after taking the online course...I said, "only if I can sit here in my underwear and drink coffee." I wish I would have had the opportunity to take my entire degree online. It is so much more flexible than...an 8 am class 125 miles away. Just my opinion though. You can access UNA's website (as well as others offering BSN degrees online) from my website by clicking on the link below. Also there are some slide-shows which are downloadable...if you have to perform a presentation...feel free to download and use as you see fit.
  7. by   ceecel.dee
    BSN's do get paid more where I work, and do have more career options, if you want to get away from bedside nursing. You obviously have more career options if you are already working on your MSN.
  8. by   ceecel.dee
    Anyone think something gets missed with online classes? Like good old class discussion/debate?

    I took an online pain management class where everything you typed in had to be referenced. Rather puts a damper on the back and forth of a discussion like "What would you guys say to a doc that just cannot be dissuaded from ordering Demerol for the elderly?" They would respond, "on page 23 of the text it says blahblahblah......" Duh, I read that too! (maybe graduate classes are supposed to be treated in a more scholarly way at that University, but I've taken others...live classroom dynamics...that were great).

    I missed just conversation, like goes on here. I believe we have a lot to learn from each other with that natural give and take, that is much more comfortabe, condusive to "thinking outside the box" ideas.

    Just my 0.02.
  9. by   eltrip
    I've noticed that the University of South Alabama also has on-line degree programs. I'm looking into the MSN program for FNPs. I've wondered about the lack of discussion with an on-line course, but I think that the ability to "sit here in my underwear and drink coffee" to quote Level2Trauma outweighs that consideration, at least for me.

    Here's hoping!
  10. by   lisalpn
    Someone told me that www.excelsior.com offers associates,bachelors and masters in nursing ....I am thinking about it..
  11. by   Dr. Kate
    Deaconess College of nursing in St. Louis also has online ASN and BSN programs.
    While my BSN was classroom based, I am looking into an online MSN. My advice is to talk with as many people as possible about their experiences with various programs. I was ready to go with the Excelsior program until I spoke with the director of the Deaconess online program who told me they have gotten students who started there but became frustrated because of the Excelsior tendancy to change the requirements midstream. She had nothing to gain in coloring the picture as they don't give a MSN. There was a letter in Nurseweek this month from someone who got started in an online program that was expensive and turned out not to be what she expected and she felt stuck financially and academically. It just made it clear to me that you need to do your homework. You need to know what the particular school means by online learning. You need to know if you need structure where you have to be online at a particular time or if you are self-disciplined enough to do it all on your own. You have to know if you really are willing to spend a whole lot of time in front of a computer working. You need to know if the program itself is flexible or just the time you take a particular class. Do the credits transfer to other schools if you find you really hate doing it all online.
    As far as whether online is as good as traditional. Hard to tell. A lot depends on what you want to do. We had a nurse come in to apply for a job who had never, ever had any bedside clinical experience as an RN. She had gotten an LV/PN, gone to work for a weight loss clinic. Tried an RN program and had anxiety attacks just being in class. Got her RN from NY Regents (now Excelsior). She was still at the weight loss clinic and had decided she wanted to work in acute care. We didn't hire her. But, you know, someone will. And that scares the heck out of me.
    A nurse with 20+ years of experience, an online degree can only enhance you, IMHO.
  12. by   BobFromER
    Thanks for all the replies! From what I'm hearing, there are a lot of advantages to online study (the underwear, coffee thing) and lots of you are considering programs. I'm not crazy about the "group study" concept since I'd rather rely on ME - I'll prove my team playership in the ER.
    I'm about 20 miles east of Cleveland, so there are lots of resources for classroom study - but as we all know, that is at THEIR pace and schedule, not mine.
    I hear Jacksonville has an online program, too. I will check into some of these other schools. Doubt they can be any more expensive than UOP. I will say that from the time I registered at UOP site for information, it was about 10 minutes before a counselor called me by phone to "get the ball rolling".
    My goal (at this point) is not to get away from bedside (ER) nursing. I love taking care of people in ER and always have. It is truly rewarding, even when people are not at their best. Mostly I want to be more "marketable" since I also have a California license and an urge to "snowbird".

    Bob
  13. by   disher
    Can you take a few of the BScN courses as a continueing ed. student? CE courses help you get used to group papers and presentations. Group work is a pain but it's expected in real and virtual classes. Distance courses are the only courses that are based on independent work. If the university offers classroom, online and distance formats try all of the different types see which suits you best.

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