How to Study Nursing in the Online Era
Given the recent global events of the coronavirus, many students are looking to obtain higher qualifications through online methods compared to the traditional face-to-face teaching practices. Particularly for nurses, this can be challenging since this profession has always required physical class attendance to gain adequate exposure to the practical knowledge needed to take care of patients as a nurse. Many institutions have now made this possible by delivering the theoretical content and material through an online streaming platform, allowing prospective nurses to learn through a blended approach. This means that people interested in working in this field can obtain a degree or diploma from the comfort of their homes.
To become successful through online learning, though, one has to be very disciplined and motivated to ensure that they will achieve the same level and quality of work as if they were in a classroom environment. This means allocating enough time each day to studying and managing deadlines properly. If you are interested in pursuing a nursing training program, but are limited to self-studying, here are some key things you need to consider.
Understand Your Learning Objectives and Goals
To achieve quality education through online learning is not necessarily easier than traditional face-to-face training, but rather it is more convenient and adaptable to a person’s individual needs and abilities. Consider how much time can be allocated to each course and set specific deadlines and goals to achieve these objectives. This may require that a dedicated study space is created that will better facilitate your online learning experience. Daily tasks and reminders should also be calendared to ensure that successful future planning is done, which helps to limit the amount of stress for the student.
For nurses, the hospital environment can be very demanding. Learning to manage your study goals and set realistic time frames while studying online will help you once you start actively practicing. Just remember that taking regular breaks helps you to retain the memory of what you have learned. In school you are reminded when to take lunch or go to the bathroom, so be sure to set an alarm for at least every two hours as a reminder to take a walk or eat.
Obtain the Right Equipment
It seems only logical that you will need a computer to get access to your course materials, but the quality of the device must be capable of handling various programs and graphic settings. Online nursing courses utilize a lot of videos for instructional purposes, so you need a computer that is able to stream the lessons without interruption or poor quality. This ties into the internet connection and the speed is equally important so that there is limited downtime during classes. The particular course taken will also determine the internet speed required, and most institutions will provide this information to you before you enroll.
The get a better learning experience, opt for a webcam as well as a pair of headphones with a built-in microphone. Many classes prefer to interact with students visually to be able to communicate throughout the lesson, and this is especially for nursing programs.
Degrees of Nursing Qualifications
Some entry-level diplomas and qualifications will allow a person to practice as a nurse, however, this choice should be made with the future of specialization in mind. Consider where you would like to be in the next ten years, and do the research accordingly. Ideally, if you want to become a surgical nurse in the cardiothoracic department, you would need more than a certificate to reach this goal. Additionally, the qualification you choose needs to allow for further education, for example, building onto a lower-level diploma or degree to specialize in a particular field. Some entry-level courses will not reach the basic prerequisites for a Doctorate or Master’s degree, and you may find that you have to take bridging courses and spend more time studying to earn that same qualification.
Choosing the proper program and qualification will also be reliant on the institution and whether it is reputable and accredited. This is important to make sure that the education you receive is suitable to the nursing career of your choice, but more so that you obtain proper practical experience. To gain a better understanding of the requirements as well as your online studying options, check out Baylor University’s accelerated nursing programs online.
Ask for Support
Apart from staying motivated and disciplined to self-study, all students, regardless of if they are studying online or in a classroom, will at some point need assistance. As part of a nursing career, it is important to understand as much about the human body and healthcare as is possible. Because online learning limits access to a physical teacher that is always readily available, it is helpful to participate in online discussions with other students in the same field. Numerous teachers provide their services online and even through social media platforms. Make the most of other professionals who are also in need of guidance and support to make your online learning experience easier and more worthwhile.
Your Study Needs May Differ
Online study groups may be beneficial to some whereas others learn better when they are on their own. It is important to understand what study methods are the best for you and what will help you to ultimately achieve the grades needed to become a practicing nurse. If studying with background music helps you, then run with it. Engage with your specific learning type to find your ideal setting and ask for support if it works for you. If isolating yourself from others is more optimal to your learning then ensure your environment fits this theme so that you are accessing your full potential.
Online learning is fast becoming the more popular choice of study and it is easy to see why. Especially for the healthcare industry, nurses are needed now more than ever to help with the COVID-19 pandemic. Achieving a nursing degree has been made more accessible and, in many cases, more affordable to students.