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Helpful Tips for Success in an Online RN to BSN Program

Going back to school to earn your Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree is an excellent return on your investment of time and money. But it can seem intimidating, especially if you have been out of school for a while.

Programs like the online Registered Nursing (RN) to BSN from St. Thomas University (STU) are flexible and convenient and therefore a great choice for busy adults. Potential students have many steps and strategies available to help make the online college experience successful. Building connections with instructors, working with other students, staying organized and understanding your options are all critical in helping online nursing students succeed.

Connect With Instructors Early

Assuming that you’re on your own is a major misconception that can cause problems for online students. Engage early and often with your teachers to get support and guidance that will lead to greater success in your classes. At the same time, connect to other students in your class and to school resources, such as tutoring, writing labs and other support systems.

It’s easy to scan a course syllabus and think it is straightforward, but making assumptions can cost you a grade, as well as time and money. Communicate with your instructors before and during the course, and take the time to ask about course expectations. The instructors and staff at STU are resources to support your learning journey and ensure your success.

Work With Other Students

In programs like the online RN to BSN program at STU, you are in good company. Today’s nursing students are older and more experienced. In fact, nearly 84% of students enrolled in RN to BSN programs are 26 years old or older, according to 2020 data from a National League for Nursing survey. Over 33% are aged 31-40.

RN to BSN programs are filled with students who have been out of school for a while. Consider reaching out to these colleagues, many of whom are also balancing school with work, home and personal lives. Sharing experiences and networking with others who have similar challenges can help build morale and a sense of camaraderie.

You may also want to consider starting a study group, a useful way to enhance learning and succeed in nursing school. Listening to other students explain nursing and medical concepts can reinforce what you have learned in class, and individuals in a study group can hold each other accountable.

Get Organized

With your multiple roles as a student, working nurse and caregiver, you will need an efficient way to keep track of all your obligations. In addition to traditional, paper-based organization options, a number of programs and apps exist to help you manage your hectic life. The following represent just a small number of those available:

  • Evernote. This program lets you streamline your assignments, notes, ideas and questions in one place. You can also exchange notes with other students. This app allows you to easily clip nursing-related articles, graphs and images you find online.
  • Asana. This app helps students track assignments, classwork and school collaborations and organize work schedules and tasks. It’s especially good for managing tasks, monitoring project progress and working with a team.
  • Google Drive. Don’t underestimate the importance and usefulness of Google Drive, which can securely store and provide access to your files and assignments. It is also great for team-based projects and allows you to collaborate with classmates or send your work digitally to your instructors for feedback.

Prepare to Earn Your BSN Online at St. Thomas University

Returning to school can seem overwhelming, especially if you already have many other responsibilities. Incorporating a few simple tips — such as communicating with instructors throughout the course, connecting with other students and establishing a good organization system — can be the key to your success.

Due to in-person clinical requirements, only students currently residing in Florida and Georgia can enter this program. Students in the program must complete 108 precepted clinical hours as part of the Nursing Leadership and Community Health Nursing courses.

With the tools to succeed, online nursing education students are prepared to take the next step in their careers. STU’s online RN to BSN program offers the flexibility and convenience working nurses need. You can choose from multiple start dates and complete the program in as few as 12 months.

Learn more about STU’s online Registered Nurse to Bachelor of Science in Nursing program.

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