How to Know if an Online RN to BSN Degree is Right for You
So you’ve decided that you want to pursue your RN to BSN degree. You like the potential to make more money, the expanded career opportunities and the increased career training a BSN can give you. Should you finish out your bachelor’s degree at a traditional college or continue toward your degree online? While it’s true that online schools offering BSN programs have many advantages, they are not for everyone, so ask yourself a few questions to see if you can excel in an online BSN program.
- Do you have the self-discipline to take courses and study independently? Successful online BSN students are able to motivate themselves and make time for their courses without the benefit of having a professor there in-person. Online students must create enough time in their day for studying and completing assignments, just like traditional students do, so they can finish the course in the required period of time. If you had trouble managing the workload of traditional college, you won’t find a quality online nursing college’s workload any easier.
- Do you communicate well using modern technology? Online nursing students don’t need a lot of social interaction to succeed, but they still must have the ability to glean help from classmates or their professor through e-mail or chat. Online students are comfortable working alone, but are also comfortable with Web conferences and speaking to professors and fellow students over the phone. Tech-savvy nursing students can benefit greatly from attending college online.
- Does your learning style fit into the model of online schools? Do you have an easier time learning by reading or by listening and seeing? If the latter is true, and you find yourself reading material over and over before fully understanding it, traditional school might be a better option because of the more direct access to your professor in class and in office hours. But if you learn best by reading and communicate effectively by writing, you may discover online college is your best bet. The Idaho State Board of Education also has great resources for determining your learning style and whether an online college is right for you.
- Do you need a classroom setting to get in "learning mode"? It’s difficult to succeed in an online environment if you don’t have an organized, quiet area in your home or elsewhere in which you can devote yourself to your courses undistracted.
Still not sure? Boise State University provides a helpful survey that helps potential students decide if distance education is right for them.