Online Nursing Education: Everything You Need to Know

Published by Sofia Blanzaco
Reading Time: 4 minutes

Returning to school is an important decision in anyone’s life. Adding one more task to a busy schedule presents a series of challenges. However, allowing students flexibility in respect to where and when to study is an online degree feature that offers an excellent option for nursing students, whether you’re just starting your higher education journey or you have already had some nursing experience. Whether you’re looking for a Bachelor’s, Master’s, or even a Doctorate’s degree, here’s what you need to know before jumping into online nursing education:

Would an online program suit your needs?

Prioritizing and managing course time around an already busy personal life is the key to success in an online nursing program. The students best suited for online learning are engaged, dedicated, and focused. It’s imperative to be goal oriented because it’s an environment where you can pick and choose most of the time, for example: when you’re going to check in, when you’re going to do your job. You cannot be distracted by all the opportunities that arise throughout the week, which may divert your attention. 

In addition to having the right mindset and skills, having the support of your family or partner is also important to your success in online learning. A focused mindset and having your employer’s support is essential if you think you’ll need to cut back on work or take time off to meet clinical hours. Your family or partner support is also critical to your success in online learning. Your risk of dropping out increases when family members don’t understand the importance of what you’re trying to accomplish.

What is the teaching method for online courses? 

Students can often access course content at their convenience when learning online. As a result, some of your work and communication may not occur in real time. Online programs offer many ways to interact with your instructor and peers, even if you aren’t physically in a classroom. Many schools that offer online programs create virtual classrooms where a web-based software like Canvas creates an environment that mirrors a traditional classroom. 

Canvas: What Is It?

Canvas is a course management system that facilitates online learning. Professors can post assignments, grades, and information online. Universities and colleges around the world use it, since it offers discussion boards for asynchronous discussions, chat rooms for live discussions, and centralized email so you can stay in touch with your instructor and communicate with other students. It is also a great tool to submit assignments and take exams. In addition, canvas provides a password-protected online classroom in which you will submit your work and communicate with your instructor and classmates. Note that your instructor uses the tools provided by Canvas to create his/her virtual classroom, so just as your face-to-face courses vary significantly, so will your online courses. 

Becoming familiar with the Canvas environment and its tools is the first step to succeeding in your online course.
As with any classroom, it is a changing environment –expect each module to apply different tools and techniques. Join in, ask questions, and participate as you would in any classroom.

Making your home a good study place

  • Create and delimit the space 

The first advice for studying from home is that the place of study –probably a re-adapted space in the house– must be comfortable: you must feel comfortable in it. It must also be calm (as much as possible depending on where and who you live with) and invite to concentration.

  • No noise, please! 

Another critical aspect of having a good study space is that there is no interference or noise, if possible. To block out distracting sounds, you can use headphones or sounds of rain or white background noise. There are websites and apps with sample styles.

  • Light, ventilation… a good environment 

Feeling comfortable in the study space is essential. Ambient light is necessary for productivity. Therefore, standing near a window or balcony with indirect natural light is vital for vision. And if you have to study with artificial light, let it be warm. Light and neutral colors of walls provides for deeper concentration.

  • Tidy and not overloaded 

Having all the material overlapping and a cluttered table leads to confusion. To avoid distractions, it is best to place the correct elements. It is advisable not only to have what is needed at that time in front of you, but it is even better if it is organized. Clutter can cause unnecessary distractions. The space, however, should not be overloaded.

  • Motivating images 

You can also customize the study space with those images that are attractive. For example, a photo of a pet, which brings so many benefits, will be an excellent motivation to concentrate and finish earlier. Or the picture of the prize you hope to get after passing the exams could also be another good option.

  • Schedule and planning 

Setting a schedule and a work plan will help you achieve your study goals. Experts recommend prioritizing a morning schedule because there is more light and mental activity is more creative and enhanced. One of the proposals they make is to create panels to visualize the tasks and objectives set to follow up on pending and accomplished things. Colored sticky notes work too. 

Give online learning a chance!

Online education is becoming increasingly common, especially in light of recent world events that have changed how education is delivered. The proliferation of robust networking and collaboration tools makes it easier to earn your nursing degree online. 

Online learning is an accepted and credible way to earn a high-quality accredited nursing degree. Prospective students are encouraged to select the program that best suits their learning preferences and lifestyle needs.  

We hope that this post has helped you decide to take the next step. 

A Brief Talk with Nurse Amanda

A Brief Talk with Nurse Amanda

If you are a nurse and you still do not know Amanda, then you must read this interview:  Amanda Guarniere is the founder of The Résumé Rx, The NP Society, and the Nurse Becoming Podcast!  Whether you are a first-year nursing student or seasoned nurse practitioner, the...

read more