How to Succeed in Online Nursing Programs


Whether you’re just starting out in nursing or looking to further your career, online nursing programs offer the convenience and flexibility many people are looking for, which are some of the main reasons enrollment continues to increase every year.

Successful online learning, however, depends largely on a student’s ability to self-motivate (among other things). With proper preparation, students can set themselves up for success. Here are a few tips to get you started!

Tech Savvy

Healthcare is constantly changing as technology advances through artificial intelligence and the internet of things (IoT). New medical devices are being introduced every day which will allow nurses to cut down on some of the more monotonous tasks to focus more on their patients’ well-being.

As healthcare becomes more efficient, the scope of nurses’ responsibilities will continue to change and expand, so being able to adapt to and learn new technology is important.

Being tech savvy will only enhance the main goal of learning how to deliver safe, effective care to patients. Of course, the skills and knowledge earned early on lay the foundation for success.

Understanding Expectations

Even within the same nursing program, professors may have completely different expectations of their students. Just as every class is different, every professor is different.

Students are in often in a state of information-overload at the beginning of a program, and it’s likely to feel overwhelming. Asking lots of questions (how to use equipment properly, how to call a code, etc.) about what you need to know rather than things you’d like to know will help you get to the bottom of what is expected of you.

Organizational Skills

Make it a habit to stay organized, or you’ll quickly get in over your head. The constant flow of information demands organization, otherwise you could miss opportunities, deadlines, and important dates. Here are a few ideas to consider:

  • Use a planner, either digital or physical, to keep track of important times and dates.
  • Create a filing system on your main computer, so it’s easy to access assignments, documents and research. Or, organize materials into actual folders with labels that correspond to lessons and chapters by date.
  • Get flashcards; create them by hand or use a website like flashcardmachine.com
  • Make to-do lists to prioritize every task. Dedicate a space in your home solely for school work, so you aren’t scrambling around to see where you left all of your notes and lists.
  • Ask your peers what they do to stay organized. By talking to them, you learn early on the value of teamwork in nursing.

While online nursing programs are sure to challenge even the best students, they are also perfect for people who want to earn a degree and advance their careers, while also juggling households, families and other obligations. For some, brick and mortar schools aren’t even an option in the area they live.

Summed up in a previous The Nursing Site Blog post, “Nursing is a lifelong journey of learning, but it’s not a one-size fits all situation. Nurses of all levels need to continue to be sponges and absorb all the information they can.”  

This a a sponsored guest post.