Are You Ready for an Online Course?


Posted to Nursing, Uncategorized

Are you ready for an online course?

Online education is a popular alternative to traditional learning. In some instances, a few on-campus sessions are required for various reasons such as an orientation, exams, or labs. For the most part, however, online programs are conducted strictly online. This affords students from all over the country or world to take a particular class in the same time period.

Not all classes or subjects lend themselves easily to an online opportunity. Much of the basic nursing education process does not. Theoretically you can learn how to give an injection, insert a Foley catheter, start an IV line, and perform a head to toe assessment from written and audiovisual materials. Would you want that nurse to start your IV?

In some instances, a video which can be played over and over may indeed be one of the best learning opportunities. However, the boards of nursing have established rules to protect the public which state that to become a nurse, the student must participate in a set number of hours of hands-on learning under the direct supervision of a qualified nurse educator.

In the future, perhaps more of the nursing theory classes will be available online and afford schools to accept more students into their programs by using their nurse educators to conduct more clinical education opportunities. Currently, online nursing programs are reserved for those advancing their education. Non-nurses must take on-campus nursing classes to become nurses.

Are you ready for online learning? Do you meet the criteria to make a good student? Here are a few things you need to consider. You may find you need to work on some in order to better prepare yourself.

  • Are you a self-starter?
  • Can you organize your life and use your time wisely?
  • Can you work independently?
  • Do you often complete tasks before they are due?
  • Are you able to figure out instructions on your own or with a little help?
  • When reading something, are you a quick reader and able to grasp concepts and meaning easily?
  • Can you work with others you have never met or don’t ever see in person?

If you require a great deal of motivation from others to get you started you may not be ready to successfully complete an online class. If you need multiple reminders or are one to procrastinate until the last minute, an online class may not be good for you either.

If you’re a social butterfly and need interactions with others to flourish, the isolation of an online class may not work well for you.

For those who are slow readers and need help to understand the concepts, an online class may not be well suited for you. And if you have to interact with others face to face, then an online learning environment will not work well either.

Online education offers students the opportunity to study at their own pace and “attend” classes in their own time frame. You can sit at you computer at 1 AM in your pajamas and take an exam, or watch or listen to a lecture. You can email your study group or group project members who may scattered all over the world and not awaken anyone.

But you do have to be motivated to sit down and focus for a set period of time. It can be easy to get distracted by friends and family, television, phone calls, etc. It isn’t like going off to class and sitting there until the bell rings.

If you think you’re ready to engage in an online learning experience to further your nursing education and career, there are many opportunities available ranging from continuing education courses, certificate programs to advanced degrees.

By Kathy Quan RN BSN. Kathy is the author of The Everything New Nurse Book, and owner/author of