The evolution of technology has transformed education, making the benefits of online learning for nurses particularly attractive. There have been countless innovations, especially among online-based accelerated nursing programs.
In the early days of online learning, students would watch or listen to a recorded version of their professor’s lecture. Today, online-based accelerated nursing programs, like Concordia University’s Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) in Portland are providing students with a much more convenient, interactive experience.
ABSN Curriculum Structure
First, you should know that Concordia’s Accelerated BSN is not 100% online; online coursework is only one part of the curriculum. In addition, you will participate in on-site skills and simulation labs and complete in-hospital clinical rotations. All three components will take place at the same time, helping you put the skills you’ve learned in one area into practice in another.
- Online coursework teaches you core nursing concepts through various interactive learning modules.
- On-site skills and simulation labs bridge the gap between online coursework and clinical rotations, and teach you how to safely put the nursing theory concepts you’ve already learned into experiential practice.
- In-hospital clinical rotations let you showcase the nursing skills you’ve learned in coursework and in the lab on real patients. Your clinicals will take place at some of the best health care institutions in and around Portland.
The Best Parts of Online Learning
The Accelerated BSN at Concordia strives to ensure that online classes provide educational value equal to that of traditional classes. This is what makes the benefits of online learning for nurses so interesting. These benefits include:
The Convenience to Learn Anytime, Anywhere
Not everyone has the time to sit in a physical classroom for several hours each day, and this makes the flexibility to create your own schedule while completing the online portion of the curriculum a major advantage for Concordia’s Accelerated BSN. “The nice thing about the online portion is you can log in from anywhere,” says Kevin Writer, Accelerated BSN student. “I log in from home or from a coffee shop and can still be part of the learning experience.”
Concordia’s online learning management system (LMS) lets you log in to the online portal from both your smartphone and laptop, giving you unparalleled access to materials for any given course. However, while you have the convenience to complete the coursework on your own schedule, you must remember to complete all required coursework by the due date assigned.
Also, as you complete the online coursework, you’ll want to set weekly learning goals to remain on track, like Accelerated BSN student Vickie Waadevig does. “I’ll log on at the beginning of every week to organize my workload,” she says. “If I have a big project coming up, I’ll start to map that out, do my readings and go through what I have for the rest of the week.”
Dynamic Content for Everyone
Our LMS has a variety of interactive activities conducive to your personal learning style. From discussion forums to video content to interactive activities, you can engage with course material at your own speed. “You don’t have to worry about missing important points because you have the control over how fast or slow you want the lecture to be,” says Kevin.
In traditional nursing programs, students show up to hear a lecture and try to take notes as best as they can while also following along with the PowerPoint being presented. This can be a lot of content to take in at once, and if you don’t understand the information in the first place, you can start to lose focus and become more confused. But, the online portion of the ABSN lets you listen to lectures and review course material as many times as needed until you fully grasp the subject.
“We see very few PowerPoint presentations; we have actual interactive activities that require us to pay attention, so we’re not zoning out,” says Vickie.
Featuring 3D animations, simulated scenarios and advanced graphic design elements, these interactive activities can help you learn in a creative way. For example, one assignment may consist of you identifying the arterial pulse sites on a 3D animation of the human body. Matching each site to its proper location will help you visualize and conceptualize each site’s function better than before.
Other interactive activities may include:
- EKG interpretation
- Digestive system matching
- A teen pregnancy case study
- Identifying sugar levels in food
While the content at Concordia is cutting-edge, traditional education resources are just as important. You will notice that your interactive activities coincide with your lectures and assigned textbook readings.
The Ability to Connect with Faculty through Various Channels
The beauty of online learning is that you don’t have to wait around for office hours to connect with your professor. Throughout the 16-months, you will have various opportunities to interact with instructors via email, video conferencing and discussion forums.
There is a live video conference feature within the online learning portal that allows your instructors to explain perplexing concepts and answer questions in real time. “It’s almost like FaceTiming your instructors,” says Sandra Herrera, Accelerated BSN student.
Just because your professors are online doesn’t mean you can’t build strong professional relationships with them. The more you contact them, the more they will facilitate your academic success. Over time, they can serve as a partner in your career advancement and professional growth. “The instructors at Concordia want us to succeed,” says Kevin. “They take the initiative to be in contact with you a lot, and I always hear back from them within 24 hours.”
Tips from Accelerated BSN Students to Help You with Online Learning…
“Always have a schedule. Scheduling is a really important part of making sure you can succeed.”
– Kevin Writer, Accelerated BSN Student
“Think about your learning style and be aware of how you learn best.”
– Stephanie Hollingworth, Accelerated BSN Graduate, Class of 2018
“Have a designated space to complete online coursework.”
– Vickie Waadevig, Accelerated BSN Student
“Treat online coursework like it’s your job.”
– Sandra Herrera, Accelerated BSN Student
Are You Ready to Learn Online?
There are many benefits of online learning for nurses, and Concordia’s online-based accelerated nursing program has a lot to offer. It’s flexible, interactive and adaptive, but that’s just one part of our learning model — the ABSN is not 100% online. If you’re ready to start learning to become a nurse, contact an admissions counselor today.