Pursuing an online nurse practitioner degree is attractive for many nurses who need the flexibility of learning from home but make no mistake, online learning is just as rigorous as classroom learning. The time you save commuting and sitting in the classroom will be spent reading, writing and studying.
Online learning is not for everyone. Success as an online student takes a lot of self-discipline and planning. To be successful, plan on spending a minimum of 10-20 hrs per week for each class studying, with weekly quizzes and papers crammed within a 5 week course. In addition, online classes usually require you to post 1-2 well-written comments daily online.
Knowing these expectations upfront can save you time, money and frustration and give you the opportunity to be better prepared before you begin.
Do you have what it takes to be a successful online Nurse Practitioner student?
If the answer is yes, here are 9 survival study tips to help you succeed.
Work Part-Time if you can – Online learning may allow you to continue to work full-time but remember, online courses require a lot time. If you cannot balance work and school, consider cutting your hours back at work. See if your employer can help you financially through tuition reimbursement programs, etc.
Participate in Online Orientation – Taking the time to read the orientation guide/tutorial for your school’s online learning system will help save you time and frustration down the road. Better yet, attend an orientation workshop online or on campus, like those offered by the University of Phoenix, before you enroll.
Study the Syllabus – Stay on top of your assignments from the beginning by understanding the course description, software and textbook requirements, bookmarking recommended websites, and adding weekly tests & assignment due dates to your calendar.
Use a Webcam and USB-based headset that plugs into your computer’s USB port to get the best quality sound with online conversations.
Connect with Other Students – One major drawback of online learning is the lack of face-to-face interaction with other students. Stay connected through video chat, email, message boards and discussion groups daily.
Develop a Study Schedule to keep up – plan to set aside 10-20 hrs a week for each course. Set aside the same day/time each week to study and stick to it.
Get Help from your online professors – This one cannot be overstated. Say hello and introduce yourself at the beginning of the course via class chat or email. Before asking a question, search for answers in the class syllabus, website, and discussion boards. Ask your question politely and give them time to answer.