Dozens of nurses were awarded degrees at Jacksonville University’s recent commencement and, for many of them, the event marked the first time they set foot on campus.
About 60 students from Jacksonville University School of Nursing’s online programs attended the school’s graduation ceremony in December to walk alongside their virtual classmates and campus-based peers.
Their personal and career experiences varied, but the graduates expressed similar reasons for choosing Jacksonville University’s online nursing degree program: word-of-mouth from other students about the high-caliber education delivered in an exceptionally flexible format.
“I chose online because it was convenient for me. Since I do work full time, I don’t have many options as far as going to school during the week, so I chose online because I could do the classes at my pace when I had time to do them,” BSN graduate Lauren Annis said. “I chose JU because one of the nurses I work with graduated from the online BSN program and she really liked it.”
Annis looked at other colleges before making a final decision, she said. But, “JU was the best option for me. (The university) offered everything that I needed and they had the accreditation I was seeking.”
MSN graduate Gloria Motanya of Atlanta, Georgia, also turned to her professional contacts to find the right school for her.
“I really did my research … finally, JU caught my eye,” she said.
An acquaintance already enrolled in JU’s nursing program told her great things about the professors and the university’s academic excellence, she said. That student’s enthusiasm made her decision easy.
“He told me the instructors respect you as a person and I said, ‘That’s where I will go!’” she said.
Pursuing a BSN or MSN online with Jacksonville University is an especially rewarding experience, students said, because you do not have to sacrifice quality for the sake of convenience.
JU’s superior curriculum was BSN graduate Jamie Daugherty’s top reason for choosing the university, she said. And the anytime, anywhere accessibility of its online program minimized the effect her studies had on her family life.
“I loved the fact that all I needed to do was take my laptop and my textbook and I could go on vacation … I didn’t find any of the things to be challenging to use online. Everything about the online program was easy to use and self-explanatory,” Daugherty of Brooksville, Florida, said.
In addition to academic excellence in a flexible format, the program’s user-friendly technology and exceptional professor accessibility earned high praise among the graduates.
The professors in the online program “really work with and for the students to help them complete their goals,” above and beyond anything he ever experienced as a student elsewhere, BSN graduate Chad Schindler of Jacksonville, Florida, said.
The online experience at JU was “extraordinarily excellent,” Motanya said. The professors were respectful, helpful and always available.
“What makes JU special is I’ve seen my colleagues and the schools they went to and the classes they took; JU is different because when you come out of JU, you know that you really went to school.”
Her coursework provided lifelong benefits, both personally and professionally, she said.
“I know I did a lot of classes but I loved it because it made me better – a better person and a better nurse than I was before,” Motanya said.