How to Make the Most Out of an Online Nursing Degree

Studying online is becoming increasingly popular, and that includes healthcare education. It’s helpful for many people, especially those who do not live near a university or who are too busy during the day to attend classes. It can be difficult to manage, though, as the absence of structure can quickly lead to a student falling behind.

If you are starting an online nursing degree and want to make sure you make the most out of every moment, read on.

Choose the Right Course for You

You can’t make the most out of a degree if it’s not the right one for you. For that reason, your first step is to browse online nursing courses and apply to one that genuinely interests you. For example, if you already have nursing qualifications, you could find online NP programs to become a nurse practitioner.

Remember not to rush your decision, as there are plenty of options due to the fact you don’t have to travel there. It opens up a chance to apply to a university on the other side of the country! Look at the material, how long the course takes, and reviews from past students to ensure you are well informed before applying.

Study Wherever You Can

A lot of people decide to study nursing online due to other obligations. If that includes you, then one of the ways you can make the most out of your learning time is by studying wherever (and whenever) you can. That means studying on the bus, on the train, on your breaks, and with your breakfast in the morning.

By squeezing in as much reading and studying time as possible, you reduce your chances of falling behind.

Message Your Professor Often

Just because you can’t meet with your professor in real life doesn’t mean you shouldn’t make the most out of them. In fact, due to them being available for meetings online, their schedule might even be a little more open than the average university professor’s.

If you ever feel like you don’t understand the material or you are falling behind on your work, do not hesitate to message your professor. After all, they are there to help and guide you through the degree, and they will do everything they can to ensure that you not only pass but that you ace the course.

Put Your Phone Down

Sitting in a classroom means the chances of being distracted by your phone are reduced. After all, it is rude to scroll through Instagram or message your friend when you have a teacher talking to you. When you’re in the comfort of your own home, though, it can be very tempting to pick up your phone halfway through studying to see what’s going on in the world. This must be avoided, as it’ll detract your attention from what’s important – your nursing degree.

Your friends and social media will still be there when you finish studying, so whenever you sit down to read a textbook or take notes, switch off your phone or place it in another room entirely. That way, you’ll absorb the information without distraction.

Arrange to Meet Up at Least Once

Just because you study online doesn’t mean you can never meet up. Whether you’re doing an online nursing degree or online np programs, there will most likely be other classmates who are willing to hang out at least once during your degree. You never know, you might find a fellow student who lives nearby in the same state as you! Not only will doing this improve your friendships, but you’ll also gain stronger connections, which can be helpful for nursing career opportunities in the future.

Set Up a Home Study Spot

One of the best ways to combat the difficulty faced due to the absence of a classroom is to set up your home study spot. It can be anywhere in the house – your bedroom, the dining table, the living area – it just has to be spacious and comfortable enough to accommodate your studying needs. Plus, you must make a rule that you are only there for studying (and perhaps a little snacking) when you sit there. Some tips for setting up the perfect home study spot include:

Ensure Bright Lighting 

Dim lighting can cause the brain and the eyes to relax, which is the opposite of what you want for a study session, so opt for a bright desk lamp with some other light sources mixed in there.

Keep it Organized 

You’ll have a hard time concentrating on your work if your desk is full of old paperwork, notebooks, stray pens, and old water bottles. To ensure minimum distraction, clear your desk before each study session.

Choose a Quiet Spot 

Few people want to study right next to a loud TV or a set of speakers. If you live with others, make sure you choose a spot where you won’t be interrupted by their noise and presence. It helps to let them know when you are studying, too, so they know to leave you alone for a few hours.

Create a Study Schedule

It’s better to plan when you’re going to study rather than do it on a whim. Otherwise, you could end up pushing all your important reading until the last minute, resulting in poor grades. So, at the beginning of each semester, pencil out a loose study plan to get you through each week. Of course, sometimes other obligations appear, and in that case, you can always move your schedule around.

Do the Extra Reading

If your professor tells you about any extra reading, make sure you find the books and read them. Of course, that doesn’t necessarily mean you have to read all of them, but buying the books or getting them out of the library means you can find relevant chapters and extract knowledge that’ll help you in your nursing studies. While studying online np programs, you might not have access to a university library, so make sure you join your local town’s library to see what nursing books they have on display.

Form an Online Study Group

Study groups don’t always have to take place in someone’s living room or a local coffee shop; often, they work just as well through an online meeting. As an online student, this will often be your only option, so seek out anyone else in your class who wants to form a study group and plan to meet in an online chat room once or twice a week. Not only will you form stronger bonds, but you’ll also fill in any knowledge gaps. Plus, it’s never a bad thing to have an extra support group.

Take the Lead on Projects

If your professor puts your class into groups for certain projects, try to take the lead in these, as this will make you stand out among the crowd as well as give you leadership experience. Then, when you sit at your next nursing interview, and they ask you when you’ve displayed leadership qualities, you will be able to tell them plenty.

Learn Outside of Your Course

Online np programs will prepare you for a nurse practitioner career, but that doesn’t mean it has to be your only source of information. By reading extra nursing books, following nurse YouTube channels, and subscribing to nursing magazines, you ensure your knowledge is wide as well as deep.

Keep Ahead of Your Assignments

You might think you have all the time in the world when it comes to your assignments, especially when your deadline is months away. When you’re busy, though, the time flies by, and you’ll soon realize that the two-month away deadline is now two weeks away, and you have barely started. So to ensure you don’t have to rush any work, start your assignments as early as possible, even if that just means some simple planning or note-taking. Future you will thank you!

Spend Your Time Off Wisely

Degrees like online np programs often allow a week break at the end or in the middle of a semester. While it might be tempting to throw your textbooks into a drawer and get on the next plane to a sunny destination, think hard about how you should spend this time off. While you should let yourself have a break, you should also spend at least some of this time catching up on any missed work or reading. That way, when you go back the next week, you’ll be more than prepared.

Take Advice from Your Mentor

Making the most out of online np programs or your online nursing degree also means making the most out of your work experience. To do this, you should seek advice from your mentor. Mentors are incredibly valuable in the nursing world, as they have tons of advice and information to help you thrive in your studies and beyond. So, if you have a question or just want a little advice on how to move forward, don’t hesitate to open up to your assigned mentor.

Carry Notes with You

By creating simple notes and carrying them around with you, you can memorize important information wherever you go. So, whether you are trying to learn all about ethical decision-making for online np programs or you are memorizing body parts for online nursing school, make sure to simplify the information for notes you carry everywhere.

Focus on the Material

It is easy for nursing students to become overwhelmed with all the technical information they have to remember, especially when they are studying from home. When this happens, take a step back and look at your material once more. Often, degrees like online np programs will have all the material available online to browse whenever you need to.

While extra reading is always positive, that doesn’t mean you have to remember every piece of nursing trivia in them – simply reading relevant chapters is enough. By focusing mainly on the material provided, you ensure you take in the information that matters. After all, your professor set the material, and they understand what you need to know to pass!

Take Enough Breaks

Studying too hard for too long won’t help you take in any more information; in fact, it could blur the facts you’ve already learned. So instead of pushing yourself when you’re overworked, remember to take breaks wherever you can. They don’t have to be long breaks – sometimes, a fifteen-minute breather away from your desk can be enough to give you clarity.

What Are the Benefits of Choosing to Study Online?

Choosing to study online np programs or traditional university degrees can be a tough decision. While there are benefits to both, here are the reasons you might want to choose online study:

You Can Learn at Your Own Pace 

Traditional learning often requires you to work and study at the same pace as your peers, but this can leave some people whizzing ahead with others falling behind. By taking as much or as little time as you need to study, you ensure you absorb all the information necessary.

You Can Study Wherever 

Some people work well in a classroom surrounded by people, whereas others work better alone at a desk with classical music playing and endless cups of tea. As an online student, you get to decide where you study, and you have plenty of options!

You Save Time and Money 

One of the biggest reasons nursing students choose an online degree is the amount of time and money it saves. It allows you to save transport money, keep your current day job, and study at the time of day that suits you. This is particularly handy for those who are already in a full-time nursing career and are pursuing a degree to further their education.

Online degrees are an excellent addition to education. It does require a lot of effort, though, so follow this advice, and you will surely make the most out of your online nursing course.