Distance degrees

  1. Hi Guys,

    I am a RN who graduated in the spring after three years in a diploma program in Ontario. I am a mature student and I am working on a very busy, stressful surgical floor in a teaching hospital.
    I want very much to do my degree- and have been accepted into a nursing degree program full time a great hospital- but full time. I need to keep working and would like to do my degree by distance.
    I ahve looked at Athabasca, St. Fx., and even some in the states.

    ANYONE out there who is doing it, have done it, have considered it.............please let me know how it is going.....why you chose the school you did .....or why you did not do it.

    I want to get started as soon as possible......thanks for any input.

    p.s. I have even looked at some RN-Masters programs in the states......again any advice would be greatly appreciated.
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    About JMP

    Joined: Feb '01; Posts: 740; Likes: 2
    RN, ICU


  3. by   Canuck
    Hi JMP...hope this reply isn't too late to be useful to you. I too wanted my degree badly, and researched all, and I mean all avenues of distance education. I am a busy Mum and work Full Time in OB, so I needed something flexible. My other criteria was that it had to recognize my diploma and experience, which means I was not going to do any PT degree via distance ed. that would be finished in 5 or 7 years. Here in Ontario Ryerson and Brock to mention two, offered 1 year (full time) degree programs for RN's. The one year thing appealed to me soooo much, but I could not envision being able to maintain my life and take on the equivalent to a full time course load.....even if it was just one day a week in class. Anyway, after researching programs across Canada, Scotland, England and Ireland I was fortunate enough to hear about the CHarles STurt University's Distance Ed program, in Australia. I enrolled last September, and hope to have my Bachelor of Health Science in Nursing some time in the next 12 months. Check it out....it is a reasonable, relatively short, and good program!!!
  4. by   JMP
    Hi Canuck

    Thanks for the info. I just looked at their web site and have a few questions if you don't mind........... I have a three year diploma- does that mean I am a Diploma RN according to their standards? How is the work load- how many courses are you taking.......and what about the cost? In Canadian dollars, how does it work out?

    I work full time in an ICU setting and I am just about finished a critical care program that has lasted almost one year. University of Ottawa will give me a full credit for the critical care course- how is St. Charles at granting credit for experience and past courses?

    Any info would be greatly appreciated. I am also taking ( although I had to get an extension) a course thru Athabasca. It is tough to do both Critical Care and Athabasca and work full time.......... thanks again for any info!

  5. by   Canuck
    They do recognize past courses and certifications. I have CNA certification in my specialty area, plus 2-3 other specialty certificates. When I applied I simply sent in photocopies of everything post-diploma that I have ever done....and I mean everything. I even submitted conferences that had granted continuing education hours for attendance. I got a response back from Charles Sturt that they were granting me a certain number of "credit points"....which translates to the balance required of 4 subjects, for me. They say you can take as many subjects at once as you desire. I was a little afraid to take more than one at a time, because I didn't want my life to be totally "ruined" by studying continuously......I still had my family to consider! If I was single, or married with no children, I would do 2 courses at once. However, I have been doing one at a time, and find it very manageable, with working full time. Again, PT workers may find it easier to do two subjects at a time. The specific degree that I am referring to here is a Bachelor of Health Science in Nursing....this degree allows for the most course exemptions for your diploma RN. They actually prefer the three year diploma, because of course it means you are a college-based graduate, rather than one of the "older" hospital-trained RN's. Luckily I too had a college affiliation, so I was granted the most academic grade points that way. I appealed to them to let me have more exemptions, but they said the absolute minimum number of subjects you could do, and still expect a degree, is 4. I asked that on behalf of some c0-workers of mine, who are part-way through Ryerson, Athabasca, and St. Francis of Xavier programs. Interestingly they would not be granted any more than I was with my certifications and NO previous University level courses. Many of these people wish they had done mine instead, because it is so much quicker. I can't imagine Athabasca...they allow 7 years to complete!!! Waaaay too long for me...by that time the basic preparatory requirement may be a Masters! I intend to look into doing my Masters at Charles Sturt as well, once I'm finished. I also inquired at UofT if they recognize this degree, and they said they do. You can also get into Teacher's College with it etc....so I think it is a good alternative for diploma RN's who want a degree, but don't want to spend a small fortune in time and money. Each subject at Charles Sturt costs $900. Australian $....which translates to between $700. and $750. depending on the exchange rate at the time. So, for around $2800 Cnd I will have my degree...compared to $10,000 at Brock or Ryerson! I would be glad to answer any other questions you have....if i can!
  6. by   ValWai
    Hi, this is Val. I am a RN in Singapore graduated in Hong Kong. I've been a RN since 1981. I just started a Bachelor of Nursing(Post Reg.) course in Monash University. It is a two years program with 8 subjects; 2 subjects in every 15 weeks. Lectures are given in Singapore by Monash lecturers and local examiners. I plan to migrate to Canada in the near future and I am just wondering if the credits are transferable to other universities in Canada.
  7. by   Canuck
    Hi Val: Monash is actually one of the Universities I looked at also when I was searching for my distance ed program.....they were extremely slow to reply to my inquiries, and in the meantime I found Charles Sturt! Anyway, in Canada it seems to be the specific employer that you need to find out from if they recognize your degree or not. Insofar as transfer of credits, each university seems to assess people individually, so all you can do is apply and see how the credits are recognized. There's a lot of switching back and forth, and appeals to recognize certifications as credits or partial-credits....it seems like its very competitive and complex. Best idea is to focus on applying to a program, and then they'll tell you where you stand. Good Luck!
  8. by   Shandy12
    Glad to see some further information on distance education. At this stage of my game, I really don't want to spend the next five years pursuing my Bachelor's. I will contact Charles Sturt U, and see what they will offer me. You'd think that some of these universities would get the idea that diploma nurses with experience don't want or need the "full" treatment from their institutions. I didn't get much in the way of credit at Athabasca for courses I had previously taken, and that didn't impress me much!

  9. by   Canuck
    I know...they don't recognize much here in Canada....if they do the program usually requires more credits! Honestly I don't think Charles Sturt can be beaten for price, speed, no exams, no clinical hours to do....afterall who really wants to be a student again in practical? Its all research, assignments, essays and projects, which suits me fine...you can pick areas that interest you!
  10. by   ValWai
    Hi Canuck. Thank you for the reply. My son will be going to the University in Canada. I want to go with him and to visit my brother at the same time. We will be staying in Vancouver somewhere near to UBC. So, do you have any information on the nearby universities?
  11. by   Canuck
    No, not in B.C. actually ValWai...I am in Ontario. All Canadian Universities offer a great experience for young people though. If I was young again I would love to do the traditional-type degree. Maybe some BC nurses are online and they could help you with some west coast information. Good Luck!
  12. by   JMP
    Hi Canuck

    Thanks so much for your informative reply. I have contacted Charles Sturt and I have more info now to read over. I wanted to ask you- do you feel the B of Health Science is looked at much differently than the BScN? I know it is reconized by U of T..........but did you do any research regarding how it viewed by nursing types......or do you even take that into consideration?
    So far, I am impressed with what I see.......and someone else in the ICU I work in is thinking about starting it as well. I think it might be a good deal with the two of us working on it at the same time. Thanks again for all your info!

  13. by   Canuck
    Someone at my hospital graduated with the Bachelor of Health Sciences degree from Charles Sturt....and within 6 months had a promotion to management level. I think it all depends what you want to do in nursing, who recognizes what. Some feel they only want the BScN, because they have specific ideas about what they want to do. I am happy where I work....I just don't want to be "left behind" by not having my degree. I don't want doors closed because I lack that bit of paper! In that way, I feel the Health Science degree more than meets my needs...I don't have any professional aspirations whereby the BScN would be mandatory.
  14. by   Canuck
    P.S. There are also two of us working on it simultaneously on my unit....it makes it more fun, and its great to be able to discuss topics with each other. Others doing the long, long PT route of the BScN, are looking enviously at us, wishing they were in our program! I really feel sorry for them studying for their "Biology" exams, and "A&P" exams (yuck!!)

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