"Online Degree"/"Internet School"

  1. Just wanting to start a new discussion:

    I believe there is a misunderstanding out there regarding Distance Learning. Some people I've met, assume all you do is mail the school a check, pass a few tests, and basically buy your degree. Others seem to think the education is sub-par to brick and mortar/traditional schooling because they feel there is no accountability and mentoring. Others seem to think earning an online degree is they easy way out. And still others are leary of the "lack of clinicals".

    Clinicals Issue:
    I earned my LPN degree from a traditional school. I would like to say there was very little "teaching" being provided by the instructors. Being a "good student" I was one of several in my class who would lead discussion groups and help other students along - I did learn a lot this way. Almost all the content learning was on our own. I sat at a table with other students (many of them slackers, and some of them not very bright) for 7 HOURS A DAY. After I graduated we filled out a survey for the school and one comment I made was that I resented being required to sit in class for the required amount of hours because I could have learned all that stuff on my own in a fraction of the time; and that I resented teaching other students and carrying others' weight.

    The one thing that was very beneficial was the clinicals in LPN school. Oddly, our teachers in the program and the nurses we were paired with in LPN school were all RN's. Never once did I receive instruction or mentoring from and LPN during my LPN program. :smackingf I learned a lot from the hands on clinical experience that I could not have if LPN school was distance learning. I would feel very differently about distance learning if they did not require previous experience in medical field first. In LPN school I had some 700 hours of clinical time. This clinical experience, along with that which I have acquired while working as an LPN since prepared me for the "lack of clinicals" in the Excelsior Program. Therefore, at the time of my graduation from Excelsior RN program I had 6000+ more hours of clinical experience (practicing as a nurse) than any other graduate of a traditional RN program starting fresh.

    Lack of accountability/mentoring issue:
    I had plenty of this in LPN school, and also on the job working as an LPN. In LPN school there was a teacher I was directly accountable to, however, I am one of those students who is basically self disciplined anyway and required almost no intervention from my instructors. This transferred to my Excelsior studies... I did my own thing while meeting the requirements of the program and excelling at it - not just barely making it.

    That being said, there are exams to pass and that is where a distance learning student is accountable. Also, there are instructors and forums and student connections for study partners, and phone appointments and all sorts of optional mentoring and support options for Excelsior students. None of which did I feel necessary in my case, but available nonetheless. There are no "favorites" or "personality conflicts" or "brown nosing" in a distance learning program. The grades are black and white, and/or pass/fail. Simple, no politics.

    The "Buying your degree" and "Easy way out" Issues:
    I invite any nurse who feels distance learning is a cake walk to take one of the NC exams or perhaps the CPNE cold turkey, armed only with the knowledge they presently retain from their own traditional nursing education and clinical practice. Nuff said.



    What do y'all think?
    Last edit by anticoagulationurse on May 14, '07
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  2. 13 Comments

  3. by   Tweety
    Nuff said.

  4. by   txspadequeenRN
    well said
  5. by   RN34TX
    Very well said!!

    And to think Excelsior (Regents back then) was referred to as a "home study" course when I first started which of course has now been replaced by the other cuss word "online program".

    There really isn't anything online about it yet it gets lumped in and/or referrred to as such. Not to say that online learning is bad because that's not true.

    My gripe has always been how the CPNE gets referred to as a 3 day clinical while other students have to go through two years of clinical. This is even in the court documents of California vs. EC and California constantly tried to label the CPNE as a 3 day clinical no different than a typical clinical day at San Diego City College's ADN program.

    A clinical experience and a clinical examination are not the same by any means.
  6. by   Lorie P.
    very well said !!! i have to agree on the part of coming from a traditional school verses online. i see brand new nurses coming from adn or bsn and know nothing of clicnical skills.
    i actually had a bsn instructor with a phd in nursing tell me one day that she didn't want any hard pts for her students because it might scare them off!!
    also in my lpn school i have 716 hours of clinical days and 716 hours of class room time and i know that i basically taught myself. so with excelsior i will do just fine.
    by the way, i have to shake my head when a new rn ask me' have you ever done a foley, ngt etc." you know they only have 1 clinical day a week at the local cc and boy does it show!!
    at work now, there is a new rn,bsn, that has been in orientation for almost 5 months because she needed the extra time cause it was too hard for her to take care of 4 pts all by herself. that is another hot topic of mine.
    thanks for letting me vent and for excelsior!!!!
  7. by   txspadequeenRN
    you know for some odd reason i have never thought of it this way...hummm, very good point. anyway i am fixing to do the ec thing and get this rn mess over with...just getting money together to send in for my yearly fee and will probably send in the app fee this week. want to get nc1 done while waiting for my acceptance letter....


    Quote from rn34tx
    a clinical experience and a clinical examination are not the same by any means.
  8. by   2bNurseNik
    Very well said. I plan to get an "online" degree. That was pretty encouraging.

    Does anyone know the "average" amount of clinicals hours for an ASN degree? Where I plan to attend, clinicals ARE 1 day per week for 8hrs in a 6 semester program.
  9. by   Lorie P.
    Quote from niknik
    very well said. i plan to get an "online" degree. that was pretty encouraging.

    does anyone know the "average" amount of clinicals hours for an asn degree? where i plan to attend, clinicals are 1 day per week for 8hrs in a 6 semester program.
    [font=book antiqua]that seems to be the norm around here in south ga too, 1 clinical day for a 6 semester adn. when you stop and think about it, not really hands on for what you are learning as far as skills and being able to actually do them. ( skills, like iv's, foley's, ngt, cause let me tell ya, those dummies that we practiced on in lpn school were nothing like the real thing!!!!?
  10. by   BULLYDAWGRN
    A pal of mine took a online class from university of phoenix, I need to take over a algebra class and try to get a A in the class to raise my gpa a little. Well my pal tells me he took all his exams online at his house or at work, he explained to me how easy it was to be able to complete your assignments and exams without having to travel to some test proctoring site. Now that would help me, esp. with my scheduale. Have any of you folks out there in computer land taken any online stuff from U of Phoenix? If so could you possibly send me a message...
  11. by   Jenn91c
    Quote from txspadequeen921
    you know for some odd reason i have never thought of it this way...hummm, very good point. anyway i am fixing to do the ec thing and get this rn mess over with...just getting money together to send in for my yearly fee and will probably send in the app fee this week. want to get nc1 done while waiting for my acceptance letter....
    i was just on the site today getting some materials and they will drop test #2 if you have an lvn license already. look into it, it will save you some money!
  12. by   txspadequeenRN
    yea i know, i was going to start in august when i got my fa from my other school but i am trying to get started early .i want to be free and clear of the changed coming in oct!!!

    Quote from jenn91c
    i was just on the site today getting some materials and they will drop test #2 if you have an lvn license already. look into it, it will save you some money!
  13. by   NICUrn2B
    Thank you very much for this! I plan on attending UOP and my parents keep bickering about how ill be attending an online school. They don't seem to understand that clinicals still need to be done and tests are just as hard. People just assume that its easy but honestly, i think that online schools are harder because you need to sit yourself down and study... no ones there to check your attendance or your work! Kudos to those going the hard way.. ONLINE!
  14. by   traumaRUs
    I did my LPN and ADN at traditional brick and mortar schools. Then, I did my BSN and MSN at UofP online, then I did a post-MSN CNS certificate at a brick and mortar school. By far, UofP was a fine education. Have had absolutely no problem getting accepted for any further education.

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