How to Succeed in an Online Nursing Program

Nursing is one of the most rewarding and meaningful careers anyone could hope to have, but getting to that point can be difficult. Many nursing students are adults–some with families–who have not seen the inside of a classroom in many years. Others are fresh out of high school but are unable or prefer not to attend a traditional nursing school.

No matter the circumstance, online nursing programs are often the best option for many modern students. In fact, most college and university students take either part or all of their classes online these days, and nursing students particularly can benefit from this. Taking all classes online provides students with the opportunity to get the same credits, learn the same information, and have access to all of the same resources as traditional schools, but from a more comfortable and accessible location.

However, there are still some distinct differences between online programs and more traditional classes. Many of these differences give online students advantages, but there can still be difficulties to pursuing and attaining a nursing degree online. This article is designed to help those students and provide a few tips and strategies for success, focusing on the specifics of online nursing school.

Utilize and Improve Computer Savvy

Obviously, online degree programs require at least a small level of familiarity with modern technology, but those who have an enhanced level of technical savvy will be in a better position to succeed. This does not mean every nursing student should begin to learn advanced coding and computer programing, but seeking and taking available opportunities to learn more about technology can be incredibly helpful.

Make and Stick to a Schedule

Because there are few, if any, required class times with most online programs, students can have erratic schedules. This will inevitably lead to falling behind in classwork and scrambling to get back on track. Staying disciplined with a strict schedule will help create positive habits and make every area of life easier.

Get Involved

Just because students are not in a traditional classroom does not mean they cannot learn with and from their peers. Online study groups are one of the most useful resources available to students, and these can also help a student stay on the right track.

Stay Healthy

All college students can get too busy and overlook basic tasks of healthy living, and this can be worse for online students. Eating healthy, exercising regularly, staying on a decent sleep schedule and other self-care acts are crucial to mental and physical success. Any student who allows these areas to lapse is much more likely to “burn out,” in addition to the possibility of serious health problems.

Be Practical

Taking courses online, as opposed to traditional in-class programs, can lead students to live a more non-traditional life. Strange schedules, sedentary lifestyles, and other aspects of online nursing school can cause unexpected problems. Online students are encouraged to do all of the same things they would in a traditional school, and they may have to go above and beyond to maintain a normal life while in school.

Make the Most of It

Online students have a unique advantage in learning multiple healthcare provider skills via the wealth of resources they have at their fingertips. Students are encouraged to use all learning resources provided by the program, as well as seeking out possible mentors, nursing conferences and any other medical networking opportunities.

 

Quick Nurse Licensing Programs for Your Career Start – Do They Hit the Details?

canstockphoto1753582Nurses are in high demand because of shortages all across the United States. If you are interested in working with the sick or elderly, a vocational nurse licensing program to become a licensed practical nurse could start you on a new and rewarding career path. You may even decide that you want to move on and earn your bachelor degree or even your master’s as a registered nurse.

Fast-Track Nursing Programs
Know what to look for in a vocational nurse licensing program. Comprehensive programs make you a vital member of a health care team, either in a long-term care facility, rehabilitation facility or in a hospital. After you have earned your LPN, you’ll work under the direct supervision of the R.N.s on the nursing team. Doctors caring for your patients will also give you direction in meeting patient needs.

A good fast-track nursing program will teach you how to take and record vital signs, observe your patients for changes so you can alert other medical staff, give prescribed medications and dress wounds. If you have good judgment, like working with others and can interact with others in a professional way, you can be accepted into a nursing program.

You Earn Credits and a Diploma
Any good vocational nurse program will be set up as a terminal practical nursing program, for which you earn college credits. You may take your classes in a community college setting and these credits will be considered if you decide to move ahead in your nursing education.

Your instructors know that you will need to sit for a practice nurse licensing examination, so they will teach the materials you need, not only to work with patients, but to pass the exam. As you talk to the nursing college, make sure you find out whether the classes will expose you to everything you need to learn. If you need to take any course prerequisites, enroll for them and get them out of the way before you begin your vocational nursing program – your classes will go much more easily this way.

Needed Program Competencies
Expect to learn nursing theory, as well as the skills you’ll need to work directly with patients in a health care setting. As you progress through the fast-track program, you’ll gain valuable real-life experience in the different settings where you may work – nursing homes, clinics, long-term care facilities, health care agencies or hospitals.

Your instructors should teach you how to function well as a beginning practical nurse while being supervised by an R.N. You’ll be expected to learn to use critical thinking skills because you work with patients who are sometimes critically ill. Being able to think “on your feet” is vital. You’ll learn how to collect vital signs and record these so your patients’ care moves forward, as well as evaluating nursing care based on the outcome criteria for your patients. You will have to perform technical nursing care and show you can use current technology to care for your patents.

National Council Licensing Examination-Practical Nursing
Every nursing graduate, including those enrolled in a vocational nurse licensing program, will be required to take and pass the National Council Licensing Examination, or NCLEX. You’ll take the NCLEX-PN exam for your level. Discuss this licensing exam with program administrators at your college.

 

Investing Money for Your Child’s College Fund

1110368564_6082a1afbb_z-flickrDo you have kids? If so, it is important to start saving early for their college education. College is not cheap, and it is going to continue to get more expensive as the years go by. Because of this, you should consider investing to save for your child’s future education.

(Image via Flickr by Lyndi&Jason image hyperlinked)

Why Should I Save?

College is extremely expensive. Kids just out of high school are rarely able to pay for their education themselves. It can be a frustrating, stressful time for students and parents. However, if you save ahead of time, you will be able to help your child get the education they need to be successful in life.

Money is Tight – How can I Save?

It’s not always easy to save money. However, there are simple ways to start putting money aside. Consider putting away even a few dollars per paycheck. This adds up over time. In fact, just $10 a week will show a savings of $520. Many parents choose to cut back on indulgences, such as a daily coffee at the coffee shop, to help save money for their child’s education. Another option is to take as much or as little as you are able and invest it.

What if I’m new to Investing?

There are a variety of investment options when you are saving for school. There are a variety of guides out there to help you choose the right investment for your family, such as Fisher Investments YouTube videos. These videos show you different investment options and how to make them.

What is the Best Education Investment?

Again, this is up to you and your family. Contacting an investment advisor can help you narrow down the best options. Not only do you need to decide what type of investment to make, you also need to know how much money you plan to invest, and how quickly that money will grow.

Are There Penalties for Education Investment?

This depends on the type of investment you choose. However, many college investments, such as the Coverdell Education Savings Account, do not have any penalties if you are withdrawing the money for educational purposes. However, keep in mind that there is a maximum contribution to this account of $2000 per year, per child.

What are the Benefits of Saving for Education?

There are a variety of benefits you and your child will receive if you save for their education. First, and most importantly, they will not need to worry as much about how they will pay for college. However, there are other benefits, as well. You can get tax reductions do to the investment plans. On top of that, the money grows tax free. When you and your child both know that they don’t have to worry about going into thousands of dollars of debt for school, you both have peace of mind.

Saving for your children is important. Help ensure that they get the best education possible, without having to worry about where the money will come from, when you start saving early.

 

Resources:

http://www.babycenter.com/0_saving-for-college-a-guide-for-parents_348.bc

http://www.investopedia.com/articles/03/010303.asp#axzz2M245Ahxy

http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/Savings/secrets-saving-saving-childs-college-education/story?id=11803141

http://financialplan.about.com/od/savingforcollege/a/howmuchcollege.htm

http://www.investopedia.com/ask/answers/09/options-save-childs-education-children.asp#axzz2M3MOVfbD