By Melissa Turek, October 2015
If you have never taken an online class before, this experience will be very new. In a nursing associates program, you always have a professor or a clinical instructor there to hold you accountable for your work. When you have to look them in the eye and explain why something is late or why you didn’t turn something in, it makes you think twice. Here at Utica College, the professors expect that YOU will hold YOURSELF accountable. This is particularly true in the online RN to BSN program. Because the program is designed with the working nurse in mind, the due dates are sometimes posted at the beginning of the course for work that isn’t due until the end. For instance, some classes have a large final paper or project due the last week of class. I have seen more than one student, and have been guilty myself, of procrastinating until the last minute, then rushing to try and fit six weeks of work into a few days or a week. Here’s a little tip: if the professor makes you aware of a paper or project at the beginning of a class that’s not due until the end, it is because the paper or project requires more than just a week’s worth of work. I would suggest getting started immediately on large papers or projects.
Nursing, although a team sport, requires a certain amount of independent thinking and self-discipline. The same holds true for online nursing school. The professors fit fifteen weeks of content into eight weeks of learning. As such, the pace is very fast and the work load is heavy, but certainly manageable.