Transitioning into an Online Master’s in Nursing Program
Deciding to put in the effort and time required to achieve your professional goal of a Master of Science degree in Nursing can be very exciting. Professors and students within the MSN program at Jacksonville University have taken some time to share their advice and tips to make transitioning from a bachelors program to an MSN program a successful and fulfilling journey in education.
Tips from the professors who teach in the JU MSN Program:
- Reserve approximately 10 hours per week per course preparing and another 3 hours per week per course in actual class activities – this is a necessary commitment to maximize your learning potential. This content will promote your advancement in the profession of nursing so plan to spend time immersed in the readings, writings, presentations, and discussions. You will get out of your education what you put into it so make the most of it.
- Communicate frequently with your student peers and faculty to establish a strong connection with those who are either facilitating your journey or along for the ride. These individuals will provide support, encouragement, and clarification.
- Relish the fact that graduate school is quite different from your BSN program. You should be commended for embarking on a journey that only 10% of all nurses will ever make. According to nursing professor Dr. Jean Gordon, the graduate student will be challenged “to evaluate, analyze and synthesize, in turn act with greater insight, clarity, and effectiveness.” Likewise, she notes that a graduate student will be asked to “analyze, synthesize, and evaluate unit materials in order to develop clear and practical understandings.”
- Time management is essential. Develop an effective mechanism to establish balance in your life between work, family, recreation, and school. This balance will keep you productive and energized.
- Despite our best efforts as faculty, the graduate curriculum will be challenging and frustrating at times but obtaining your MSN will be rewarding and definitely worth the effort.
Tips from students in the JU MSN program:
- The instructors want students to succeed so keep organized and focused and do not be afraid to ask for help.
- Take a deep breath, relax, and move forward with a clear and open mind. Be confident in your abilities and share your expertise in nursing with your classmates and professors.
- Take one day at a time and really learn to enjoy the experience.
Like most endeavors that are worth the effort, there will be good days and there will be not so good days. Your commitment to pursuing an MSN degree could have been made for a number of reasons. Through the hours of study, writing, reading, and research it will be tempting to forget the reason that was originally the impetus for starting the online MSN program. Always remember that whether for career advancement, personal knowledge, increased salary, or self improvement that the work being done now is the price for that reward.