Online Nursing Education: Here are Some Common Misconceptions

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Online Learning Myths Debunked

Online learning has become more and more popular in the last decade, especially for career changers looking to transition into nursing. This can be attributed to the level of flexibility online coursework offers. Instead of being tied down to a specific classroom location and time, online coursework provides flexibility to create your own schedule and complete coursework at a time that works for you, all while meeting set deadlines, of course.

Despite the growing number of people pursuing an online nursing education, there are still some students that consciously steer clear from online learning, mainly due to six common misconceptions.

Misconception 1: Online nursing programs are 100% online.

Perhaps the biggest misconception about online nursing programs is that they can be done 100% online. While this may hold true for individuals who already have their nursing degree entering into programs such as an RN to BSN route, it’s not the case for non-nursing degree holders looking to earn their bachelor’s in nursing.

It’s imperative that non-nursing degree holders are applying the nursing theory skills they’re learning online in a real-world healthcare setting. Practicing these skills will give you the confidence to care for patients during in-hospital clinical rotations.

Thanks to programs like Madonna University’s Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN), students have the opportunity to take part in a blended curriculum, consisting of three components:

  1. Online coursework educates you on core nursing concepts through assorted interactive learning modules.
  2. On-site skills and simulation labs bring online coursework and clinical rotations together, teaching you how to safely put the nursing theory concepts you’ve already mastered into hands-on practice.
  3. In-hospital clinical rotations let you step into the role of a registered nurse. Your clinicals will take place inside top area hospitals, including Ascension’s St. John Providence.

Misconception 2: Online nursing programs have a lower quality.

According to U.S. News & World Report, accrediting agencies hold online programs to the same standards of quality as on-campus programs. As you research online nursing programs, the first thing you’ll want to do is verify a school or program’s accreditation with the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) or the Department of Education, but it doesn’t hurt to go directly to the source.

Madonna’s ABSN program in metro Detroit has met all standards of accreditation. The University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) and the nursing school levels are approved by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) and the Michigan Board of Nursing.

Completing the Madonna ABSN program online doesn’t mean you will be singled out and left on your own to study and learn – it’s actually the opposite. You will be taught by the same top educators and scholars who teach on campus, and you will receive the same quality BSN as the nursing students who chose the traditional route.

nurse and doctor in a hospital environment

Misconception 3: It’s difficult to communicate with your instructor.

An online nursing education can be just as interactive and purposeful between you and your instructor as traditional learning environments. Just because your professors are online doesn’t mean you can’t build a professional relationship with them outside of the digital classroom.

The advancement of technology has allowed online education to become more accessible and feasible than ever before. Take online learning management systems (LMS) for example; just like Gmail helps you manage your emails, and Excel helps you manage your financial documents, an LMS is a software program that enables you to create, manage, and deliver eLearning courses. Most importantly, it helps you to meaningfully connect with your instructors and cohort members in a variety of ways.

The Accelerated BSN program at Madonna uses an online LMS called Canvas. This will let you connect with instructors through email, video conferencing (similar to FaceTime), and discussion forums, so you’ll never have to wait around for office hours to connect with your professor. However, if you prefer meeting face-to-face, the instructors are more than happy to arrange an in-person meeting with you.

Misconception 4: Online nursing programs accommodate one type of learning style.

Today, e-Learning courses are engaging and robust and appeal to all different styles of learning:

  • Social: You like working in groups.
  • Verbal: You like using words, both in writing and speech.
  • Physical: You like using your body, sense of touch and hands.
  • Logical: You like using logic, reasoning, and
  • Aural: You like using sound and music.
  • Visual: You like using images or pictures.

Madonna’s ABSN instructors and course developers continuously look for ways to make online courses feel just as intriguing and interactive as on-campus courses. Here are some examples:

  • Discussion boards and group projects help social learners.
  • Research papers, essays, and discussion boards help verbal learners.
  • Assignments that have real-life connections and hands-on labs help physical learners.
  • Quizzes, activities, and games help with logic and reasoning.
  • Recorded lectures help aural learners.
  • PowerPoint, YouTube videos, and web conferencing help visual learners.

Misconception 5: You can work a full-time job and complete an online nursing program.

Pursuing an online nursing program is not a decision that should be taken lightly. It requires much preparation, time, and energy. With that said, working full-time during your online nursing school journey is not recommended.

Madonna’s ABSN program is compressed into four semesters and moves quickly. Between online coursework, hands-on labs, and in-hospital clinical rotations, you can expect to spend up to 40 hours a week completing lectures, assignments, writing papers, responding to discussion boards, and more.

To be successful in Madonna’s ABSN program, you’ll want to set daily learning goals to stay on track, because no one will be reminding you of when your assignments and projects are due.

Madonna simulation lab in session

Misconception 6: Anyone can succeed in an online nursing program.

It takes a particular individual to succeed in an online nursing education, especially if it’s accelerated, like Madonna’s ABSN. Because online coursework brings a level of flexibility and convenience to the learning process, you’ll be responsible for managing your time wisely.

In addition to time management, it’s also best to:

  • Be self-disciplined
  • Be organized
  • Be persistent
  • Have a routine and dedicated study environment
  • Understand how you learn best
  • Anticipate stress

Are you ready to begin your online nursing education? Contact us today and find out if Madonna University’s ABSN program is the answer you have been searching for.