5 Tips to Choose the Online Nursing School Right for You

No one can tell you which online nursing school is right for you. As a rule, you must be the one who chooses which path to take and how you want to get there. The differences between the online nursing schools are varied and one needs to be aware that they all have their pros and cons. However, if you make a wise and informed choice then you are half way to your goal. If a nursing school fits with your schedule, needs and personality than there is nothing stopping you from succeeding.

Bear in mind that no matter which online school you choose you will still need to take part in clinicals which require ‘in person’ teaching to complete your degree. So before you have earned the degree you will need to transfer to a land campus school.

1. First and foremost check out the fees that the online nursing charges for their courses. This is probably the most important part of choosing an online nursing school. It is the common practice of all reputable online nursing schools to be up-front with their fees. They realize it is important to new students to know how much they will be paying for the course. This will help to build trust in the school as they put fourth the effort to respect their students by offering their fees in an honest manner.

2. You will need to check out the course requirements before signing up for anything. Each school has different requirements that must be met before entering their program. These may include a high school diploma, previous nursing courses, or specific course studies from other schools. All of these requirements are easily located in the prerequisite area of the course description.

3. Time available is very important when choosing an online nursing program. You will need to check and make sure that you have the minimum amount of time that is required by the school to dedicate to class and course type studies. Most of the schools that offer online programs operate on the same premise of standard schools and require that students complete a minimum number of hours in class room study to be eligible to graduate. All of the time that is required will be listed in the course description during the review process.

4. Degrees offered is another area where one should put fourth some effort in research. If the online program does not offer the degree that you need to get the job you want then it is useless to you as a school. Through most of the online nursing schools you can choose the type of degree that you wish to obtain and enter the course of study as set down by those guidelines.

5. Finally you should determine if the school you are looking at fits the individual needs that you have. If a school does not fit the most basic needs than it will not be of much worth to you as a student. If you have special needs or require an aggressive course study you should check with the online schools advisor to ensure that they can accommodate such a need or desire.

Tips On How To Download Free Books Online

Technological progress has rendered conventional books less popular as more people embrace the convenience that come with the developments. With the help of an e-reader device, you can read all the books you can handle without having issues with your sight, especially because e-ink does not glow and you can also set contrast to comfortable levels. There is even more convenient because you can carry as many books with you as you want on the devices something that would prove cumbersome with paper bound books.

Free books can be found online so you get to enjoy your read without really spending much on the books that you prefer. But to have an even more enjoyable time with the free books, you need to be cautious with the book downloads so you end up with genuine deals that match your reading preferences every way possible.

Tip 1 – Select reputable and reliable sites to download your eBooks from. There are so many sites out there offering free books, but only the best will contain all relevant books for your reading preferences. A good site should not solely deal with one genre, but should at least offer you variety so you have the freedom to choose the books that you can download and read for free instead of being limited to options just because you are getting the books free. A good site should also offer books that are written by professionals and recognized authors for that matter. It would be even more convenient to choose a site that sends you updates once new books have been uploaded on the site. Find out what you can enjoy from the site before subscribing so you get better value.

Tip 2 – Choose the download format carefully. Free books downloads can be in RTF, TXT, EPUB, PDF and MOBI formats. PDF book format is probably the best that you can settle for. It is a format that contains texts complete with drawings, formulas and any other graphical information the book may have. Most books actually look very appealing in PDF format and even the tables are clearly displayed to give you the most pleasant time reading your selected books. You will find the format especially impressive with books that touch on fitness and health and come with lots of graphics to take the message home. There are very good sites that offer free eBooks in PDF formats only.

Tip 3 – Go through any book review before downloading. It is one of the best ways of understanding what the book is all about and deciding whether it is something you would enjoy reading. Reviews can be from readers who have already read through the books or you can also rely on book previews that give you a summary of what is behind the story. The books may be free, but that does not mean that you should be stuck with a boring book simply because it is free. Find a little about it before going ahead with the download.

Tips for Online Students: How to Ask a Question

Getting Started

When you are new to online learning there can be a lot to learn, and fast! As an online student you will be taking on some additional responsibilities for your time and your academic work. One of your greatest resources is your instructor. Asking for help or communicating with an instructor can be very intimidating, especially for a new student.

Before You Email

Many times instructors will post important information in the course announcements, the syllabus, or perhaps send out a welcome email at the start of class. Chances are that many of your questions will already be answered there. Be sure to spend some time reviewing your class and the materials right away. You will feel much more at ease with your environment.

How to Ask a Question

Instructors love to help students. We are here to help you succeed! In order to help us help you, we need you to be as specific as possible. If you simply say “I need help” or “I don’t understand” it doesn’t give us much to work with. Begin your email by stating the assignment, unit, or reading that you are working with. Then follow up with the question. Tell your instructor what you don’t understand or what outcome you are looking for.

A Poor Email:

Professor Smith,

I am so confused and I don’t understand what I am supposed to do! Help me!

Student Jones

Unless Professor Smith is a mind reader, chances are he or she doesn’t know either! What are you working on? Where are you in the classroom? What is the obstacle holding you back? In this scenario, your instructor will have to ask you follow up questions for more information, which will only delay you getting the help you need.

A better way to approach the issue:

Professor Smith,

I am having trouble with the Unit 4 discussion. Are the instructions asking for two responses to classmates, or three?

Student Jones

This is very clear and concise. Professor Smith will know how exactly how to respond, meaning you will get a clear answer right away.

Following Up

Most faculty members are quite diligent in responding to student emails right away. However, there are a myriad of reasons you may not get the speedy response you hoped for. The very first thing to do is review your syllabus, the course announcements, and if applicable your instructor’s biography. Look for information on contacting the instructor. Did you use their preferred means of communication? (Note, increasingly the preferred means of communication will be a messaging tool in the classroom and not email.) Is there a stated expectation of how long you should wait before a response?

If there is no expectation outlined in the course materials, wait 48 hours and then you may follow up with your instructor for a response. What you want to avoid here is multiple emails a day, or sending emails hours later asking if your instructor received your message. This is inefficient for both students and instructors.

Instructors as Resources

Remember, your instructor is key to your success. You never have to feel timid or apologize for asking questions. It is our role to support you and help you navigate the course successfully. We want to help you! Asking questions is a great way to enrich your learning experience.

Tips to Select Top Nursing Schools

World Report and US News remain the ideal standards when it comes to checking out rankings of top nursing schools within the US. These two sources base their rankings and reports by asking administrators, deans as well as faculty members of various nursing programs to assess other schools based on the educational quality and the preparedness of students who want to pursue a nursing career. The employers hiring new nursing graduates are also surveyed to keep a tab on the best schools for nursing.

Two Nursing Levels

There are two common levels when it comes to nursing. One is the associate level and is called the ADN or Associate Degree Nurse, which is a two year course and the other is the bachelor level called BSN or Bachelor of Science Nurses, which has duration of four years. You can easily get access to accelerated programs for both the levels if you have a degree in another segment or have credits in your college. If you have a bachelor degree, you can certainly expect to earn much more income. On an average, a BSN gets around 52000 USD while also being able to get promotions to managerial or supervisory posts quicker compared to an ADN.

Reputation And Rankings

One way to ascertain if a school is one of the top nursing schools is to check the reputation of the institution. You can check online for various customer opinions as well as reviews of students who have already studied at this institution. You should also check with students who have passed out from the school about the placement success and how well the course prepared them for the workplace. These factors are crucial because you do not want to invest in a school, which does not offer you quality education as that would be a waste of time, money and resources on your part.

Accreditation

One other aspect you need to consider is if the school is accredited to any state nursing authority or not. Accreditation is important because it assures you that the certification received will be recognized by the state nursing bodies. In addition, if a school has accreditation, it will also ensure that at a later stage if you want to pursue continuing education in the same niche, you can do so.

Online And Offline

The third and perhaps most important way to assess if the school is one of the top nursing schools is to check if they provide a combination of online and offline classroom modes. While offline modes of study can help students pick up practical lessons, most universities these days provide online education to help students manage hectic work schedules and study time. With online courses, students can choose a suitable time for study, schedule clinical experience sessions as well as balance out their work schedule, family commitments and academic pursuits thus leading to a faster and easier way to become a nurse.

How to Post Your Curriculum Online

With the Internet becoming such a prevalent part of life, it is no wonder that it is steadily becoming a part of the educational experience. This article focuses on online learning how it developed, what factors to consider when developing an online course, the rationale for creating an online learning environment, the different types of online learning and tips for maintaining and optimizing an online course.

Online learning is the use of multimedia tools and technologies (i.e. computers, videos, kiosks) through electronic means to demonstrate and/or teach a concept and/or skill.

Did you know that when you insert a keyword into a search engine that is a method of online learning?

Over 70% of people, use online search sites as a way of conducting secondary research. However, it is up to the web user to determine which information is considered important and reliable. When the results appear on a webpage after a keyword search, most people view results from the first two pages. Using online search is seen as an “unstructured learning environment” since there is no set agenda or sequence for learning (As opposed to a structured learning environment in which the resources (including text and hyperlinks) are in a comprehensive format, such as a webpage or a compact disk (CD).)

Someone may be searching for a particular product. There is no “pre-determined” path or procedure, as long as they find the product. When consumers visit different sites to compare prices, it is a method of online learning. Some people refer friends and relatives to their online “wish-list”. Why? So that they can learn what gifts they want to buy for them.

There are two types of online learning. The first is hands-on synchronous learning environment. This is also known as live, real time learning. Examples of this can be found in online seminars, live chats and conferences.

The other type is asynchronous learning. This type of learning happens at the pace of the computer user. Learning can happen beyond classroom hours. Forums in which that can be done are by emailing the instructor to tips and guidance, by a discussion, bulletin board or submitting assignments by posting then online.

Despite the resources available in today’s world, instructors and institutions alike are not using online learning to its full potential. Close to 90% of educational institutions have access to the Internet ; however only a fraction of instructors are implementing it as part of their curriculum. Another challenge is the “Digital Divide.” Lack of income, limited or no access to a computer and lack of Internet access are factors that contribute to the “Digital Divide.” Students that are on the short end of the divide are may be reluctant to work in a new environment.

Institutions are also not immune to the “Digital Divide.” There is an increasing strain on educational budgets that technology is sometimes considered an afterthought instead of a necessity.

Online learning is not a medium left only for academia. Corporate environments use online learning tools to train employees. Many continuing education, adult education courses and seminars are also held online. Software companies often give periodic training sessions for clients on how to use their products.

To ensure the success of online learning, one should begin planning an online course by establishing the goal and objectives for the course. Once the goal is set, determine how having the course online will help to enhance the class experience in terms of reaching the goal. Is the online medium a tool in which the student will be using actively, or is it a medium, which would be used to display items of interests, i.e. charts, graphics, or video?

Before creating and teaching an online course, it is important to obtain first hand experience in the resource. If one has not taken an online course, it is suggested that one does so. Online courses can last anywhere from half-an-hour and hour to an entire semester or year. When taking an online course, here are some questions to consider:

o How easy and/or difficult is it to navigate (to get around) and explore the website?

o Were you able to access the materials you needed in order to complete tasks/assignments?

o Were there additional resources listed?

o What are your likes and dislikes regarding your online learning experience?

o How responsive was the instructor?

o What aspects and factors can you take into creating your own course?

After you have taken an online course, you then have first-hand primary research as a student in the online learning environment. You can now take the experience and focus on making the online learning environment for your students enjoyable as well as informative.

The first step is to plan the content. What type of content is going to be on the course site?

What content is needed for the course?

o Syllabus

o Assignments

o Lectures

o Assessment Information

(Exams/ Quizzes)

o Submission protocol

o Measuring Student Progress

o Confidentiality Issues

o Instructor’s Information

o E-mail address

o Office Hours

o Credentials

o Phone/ Voicemail

o Resources

o Hyperlinks

o Videos

o Books

o Periodicals

According to the Web Teaching Guide , a good method to use is to take index cards and write on each one what kind on content should be on the site and organize it in an easy to navigate sequence of events.

Once you have the materials organized, its time to figure out how to make the course accessible on the Internet. Below is a listing of routes one can take to get their course online:

o Internal Resources (Institutional/ College/University)

o Equipment (Computers with Internet Access)

o Computer Lab facility

o Publisher Resources: Examine your textbooks.

Some publishers do have online resources that are available to instructors, such as websites and CDs that may be free to use.

o Web space may be available for instructors at their institution. Check with the educational department and/or with the MIS department at your institution.

o External Resources

o If web-hosting space is not available, there are web-hosting packages starting off as low as $5 USD per month. Most web hosts have easy to build templates where all one has to do is insert text, documents and/or images.

o A domain name is also necessary if you are hosting with an independent company. Domain names are typically around $9 USD per year.

When you have the course online, there are still factors to consider.

How receptive will students be to the online format?

Some students may not have the experience learning in an Internet based environment. If this is the case, recommend hands-on training. Many libraries and community centers offer free “Introduction to the Internet” courses that cover the basics from e-mail, searching to surfing.

Does the instructor have adequate time to dedicate to the course, beyond class hours?

If the instructor is not responsive and engaged in using the online medium, how do they expect students to learn to be comfortable in the online environment? It is also recommended to have a variety of methods in which students can communicate in addition to the telephone and office hours. Bulletin Boards, Online Forums, Real-Time seminars, an e-mail group are practical examples. This will train and encourage the students to check the site and participate in bulletin boards and/or forums on the regular basis.

Below are some closing tips that will help in the maintenance and management of an online course.

Closing Tips:

o Take an online course at least once a year.

o Keep your online material updated.

o Be accessible online as well as offline – students tend to ask more questions via e-mail than in the classroom.

o Be open to student feedback, they are helping you to improve the online experience for themselves and other students to come.