Jumping back in to school! Oh my...

  1. Well I've gone & done it.

    Entered my masters in nursing leadership with focus on education, that is.

    I kept saying throughout my school years, during my working in the hospital years, and then during my working at a school years that I would never do it. Go back to school, that is.

    And yet, here I am. Enrolled in my very first on-line masters level class at Regis University in Denver,CO. To say I'm a little overwhelmed by the amount of work required is putting it mildly. I'm daunted at the thought of having to put together cohesive arguments, with sources cited, and then put them all together in scholarly papers (which I haven't written in 20 years!)and keep up with discussion boards. Also included in my first course is a Portfolio powerpoint presentation, required Service Learning hours at a new non-profit literacy agency with contract & feedback required for that. And that's just [/U]some[/U] of the requirements for the first course.

    So if there is anyone out there who has been, or who is in the same situation as I am, I would love to get some feedback on tips or tricks that worked well to keep you organized & on-track. thanks in advance!
    Last edit by GerberaDaisy on May 7, '13 : Reason: Grammar!
  2. Visit GerberaDaisy profile page

    About GerberaDaisy, MSN, RN Pro

    Joined: Apr '12; Posts: 47; Likes: 93
    RN, Nursing Faculty; from US
    Specialty: 20 year(s) of experience in Med-Surg, Tele, Ortho-Trauma


  3. by   pinkiepieRN
    Congrats! I have a 21 credit post-baccalaureate certificate in Nursing Education, but didn't complete the remaining classes to get my MSN. I may go back, but for Psych NP. The education track is an awesome experience. I definitely enjoyed both my courses and my professors, although I may be a bit biased because I went back to my alma mater. :-D. Good luck!
  4. by   Annaiya
    It is definitely a challenge to go back to school after it's been so long, and getting used to online education is a challenge in itself. I used the calendar on my computer, which syncs to my iphone, and I put absolutely everything in there. I didn't put the weekly reading assignments, but I put everything that needed to be turned in on my calendar with an alarm that pops up the day before. I also put in all of my shifts for work, when rent is due, etc. All with alarms to remind me to do them. For me, that was a life saver, because you are so busy, time flies by, so the reminders help to make sure nothing is ever turned in late. You just have to be careful that you get everything into your calendar right!

    Don't procrastinate! Everyone always says this, but I think it's key to doing well in a master's program. Inevitably, a project that you thought would take a few hours will turn into a few days. If you wait until before it's due you'll be in trouble. Also, with the online format, if you need to e-mail your instructor, it might be a day before they get back to you. If you're working on it the night before it's due, you may not have time to ask questions.

    Congratulations on starting your master's degree. It is a ton of work, but it's a great feeling of accomplishment once you're done!
  5. by   GerberaDaisy
    Thank you so much for the tips about calendar alerts. I will definitely do that!

    I just finished my first discussion post, and am feeling a little more confident that I can do this

    Thanks for the words of encouragement, Annaiya.
  6. by   GerberaDaisy
    Thanks dolcebellaluna!

    If you already have 21 credits, can you use that towards a Psych NP degree at your alma mater or another school?
  7. by   PrayeRNurse
    You just received the best advice from Annaiya. I am older and just finished my BSN online after 20+ years out. I will add two tips that saved me. I am also a single mom but everyone struggles with time for everything so tip one is to develop a 2 week or even a 30 day menu. Shop for everything and then come home and cook it. Put it is a deep freeze. I avoided eating out this way. I just thaw and no mess or worry.
    Tip two. APA will be your worst nightmare. Have a great book on APA they will prpbley tell you which one to buy. Find someone at a local college that is a English major or a Professor that will review your paper for sentence and grammar errors as well as APA formatting. It will cost a bit however it will save your grades. Please keep us posted as to how you do I am looking for a MSN or DNP program online.
  8. by   GerberaDaisy
    Thanks PrayeRNurse!

    I will definitely keep you posted on how it goes. Week One is half done, just 7 1/2 more weeks to get through for this course!!

  9. by   athena55
    A tip for those of you who may be new to APA required papers for school:
    APA and MLA Format and Style Software by PERRLA, LLC - PERRLA.com
    Costs about $35 but the program that you download to your computer sets up EVERYTHING: your header, your title page, your reference page. Lifesaver for me! Check out the website.
    Good Luck
  10. by   blizz108
    I returned to school after 20 years as well (to finish my undergrad). That first semester was a doozy. Gradually I learned that I couldn't possibly read EVERYTHING assigned. Not physically possible. Prioritizing was my saving grace. I ended up graduating with honors and am starting graduate school this summer. The most difficult thing for me was returning to "student life." I can't just up and buy that pair of fancy shoes or order that bottle of pricey wine.
  11. by   blizz108
    Thank you for this tip! The switch from MLA to APA is not a fun one.
  12. by   GerberaDaisy
    Well just for an update, my first course finished last week and I got a 98% so I'm pretty pleased about that! Went much smoother than I anticipated. Already into first week of next course...
    Thanks to everyone for their tips and advice.

    Also, the dreaded APA WAS where I lost most points. arghh!