By Melissa Turek, October 2015
For the online RN to BSN program there are certain computer programs that can make your life much easier. The first one I would like to talk about is Microsoft office 2013. Without it you will have a very difficult time accurately completing your work. You will use Microsoft word for every class you take at Utica. It is the go to program for writing papers or even writing your weekly posts. My suggestion is to write out all you posts in word first, then copy and paste it into posting area. The reason I say this is word is much more thorough at finding misspelled words which will aid you in getting a better grade. Formatting in word is also much easier. Make sure you follow APA to the letter with the 12 point Time New Roman font, double spacing, etc.
The second program you will use quite a bit is Microsoft PowerPoint. Many professors will assign group projects as PowerPoints so it would be beneficial for you to take some time to really understand how to use it. A really well put together PowerPoint with pictures will make all the difference.
For the statistics course I would suggest having a webcam or a printer with a scanner. During this course you will be drawing graphs, scatterplots and such. It is much easier to draw these on a piece of paper and scan it into your computer or draw it on a white board and take a picture of it with your webcam. Most times, to save on paper, I used the whiteboard/camera trick and it looked like this.
Also, there are many very long equations with odd characters. For me, it took longer to try and type it all into the computer so I would write it all out and snap a picture.This trick will be more useful for us older students who may not be as technically savvy as the younger generation.
I found that skype can also be a useful program to have. It can also be useful for talking with other students for group projects or as study buddies. Also, you will need it for the health assessment class’s final physical assessment.
Finally, having a fully functional PDF reader is essential! Almost all of the research you will be doing on the library website will be in PDF format. I did not invest in a full version of a PDF reader and I am sorry I didn’t. The limited version allows to you read the material but the full version allows for so much more. You can transfer the PDF to a word document, copy and paste information, and much more. So I highly recommend spending the money to have the full version.
And just a little tip about a computer: I would suggest using a computer or laptop with a slightly higher memory. It allows for faster download time and will save you time in the long run. Remember to always have your work backed up in one or more places so that way if your computer goes down you don’t lose all you have done.
About the Author
Melissa is a 39 year old, soon to be graduate of Utica College. She lives and works in upstate NY, near Albany.