Online, but not Out of Touch
This article is based on my personal experience as an expecting mother taking courses in a RN-BS online program. Was I compromising any academic quality by not taking the traditional classroom route, or harnessing the benefits of an online education?
- 7 Published Jun 11, '13
The faculty said the Associates degree nursing program was “extremely vigorous” but if you ask me that was putting it lightly. While my friends went to sandy beaches for spring break I stood home surrounded by mountains of flash cards, textbooks, and enough anxiety to make a Buddhist monk pull his hair out (if he had any). I was determined to succeed as a nursing student but there were still times when I wasn’t sure how I was going to pass the semester. Nevertheless, thanks to a great support system and internal drive I happily graduated in 2 years earning my Associates degree in Nursing. Finally life was about to begin!
On the same day I learned of having passed the NCLEX I also found out I was pregnant with my first son! Amidst the joy and excitement also came the realization that finding a job and pursuing a Bachelors degree would prove to be quite impractical now, especially since my belly was beginning to show. How could I take classes in a traditional classroom setting when my expected due date was mid-semester, and how could I return to class once my husband’s paternity leave ends?
Countless questions whizzed about in my head like flying monkeys. Soon I learned of a RN to BS online program that offered the chance for me to achieve my goals without sacrificing too much of my personal life. I did have some reservations about taking online courses (something I’d never done before). I wondered how involved the professors really were, and whether I was self motivated enough to thrive in such a program.
Despite my concerns I enrolled online and with time learned that I had made the right decision. My GPA rose significantly and my professors proved to be quite helpful, especially when I went into labor early right in the midst of midterms. Not only did I receive time extensions but my professors seemed really in touch and excited for the arrival of our baby boy.
It wasn't always sunshine and roses but we made it work. I read chapter assignments whilst breast feeding in the day and my husband stood up with our little night owl while I took exams at night. After a few semesters, I was holding my Bachelors degree in one hand and shaking the hands of my Penn State professors at graduation with the other. With my husband and son by my side I felt gratefully accomplished.
Though I have yet to practice in the work world, I feel motherhood and my Bachelors degree have helped to enhance my skills as a RN in the real world. I hope my story sheds light on some of the benefits of online Nursing programs and inspires expecting/new parents to work hard in achieving their goals. These temporary sacrifices lead to long term success and nursing is well worth the effort!Last edit by Joe V on Jun 11, '13
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