Online, but not Out of Touch

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    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?

    Online, but not Out of Touch

    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 Jan 14, '15
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  3. by   anie10
    Thank you for sharing!

    All the best to you and your family.
  4. by   Clinical_Queen
    Thank you too and likewise!
  5. by   aharrellRN
    I commend you on furthering your education after completing your ADN program AND taking care of a brand new baby!

    ... Alan.
  6. by   BSNbeauty
    Congrats on your baby and completing your degree! you are an inspiration.
  7. by   Clinical_Queen
    Thx, I appreciate your kind words!
  8. by   BorntoHeal
    I'm a single mom working part time at the moment. I had searched high and low for an accredited associates RN program that would still allow me to be the mom I desperately wanted to be to my newborn! I was hoping for an online program that had a campus nearby for labs and clinical classes, I know, there are no such fantasy programs!! I was even willing to go to a traditional classroom but I couldn't go 4 days or nights a week and still work to pay bills and provide for my boys. I did find a CMA program through my county's tech center that was fairly cheap and was offered 2 nights a week with labs on Fridays. I begin my last semester in September!! Then I find out that if my dream, ever since I was 6yrs old, was to be an RN, I just wasted time and money in the program I'm about to graduate from in 6mo!!! I'm so upset, lost, and heartbroken!! I don't want to give up my dream of pediatric nursing but I'm about done searching for a slightly convenient program that doesn't exist!! I'm not going to quit this program, I will see it through and certify because I'm almost done and it will at least get my foot in the door to be able to care for people like I've always dreamed of and taking a break is not an option!! Any advice would be appreciated!!
    Exhausted and heartbroken but borntoheal in VA!!