August 18, 2007, 11:55 am

Online Nursing Degree – Are You Ready To Take It On?


Ah, August is in the air and Brady Quinn is back on the field.

This time in a Cleveland Browns uniform!

Here in the Bay Area we are so sports oriented, it never occurred to me that I would not see the Browns on TV every week.

Moving to Ohio was a little drastic, so I managed to get the NFL package online so I can at least listen to the games. Brady is supposed to take some fourth-quarter snaps against the Lions this week.

I’ve got to join the Bay Area Browns Backers to watch the games at a local club.

I also own the jersey Brady is wearing in this pic – is that cool or what?

I do love my football! Notre Dame starts in two weeks!!!

It doesn’t get much better than this!


(PS: Kasey Kahne qualified third in tomorrow’s NASCAR race!

I am having one great weekend!)


On September 4th, I will be starting my second semester of classes toward my BSN. My first semester experience was so positive that I chose to take ten units this time.

The online learning experience has been amazing. I’m not sure I would have “gone back” for my degree if online education was not available. I have been able to fit a top-notch education into my lifestyle instead of rearranging my life around a classroom.

It is not for everybody. There are certain characteristics you have to have to make it successfully in an online class environment.

  • Self-motivation – you’ve got to make yourself sit and do the work. While there are deadlines, there are no classes to keep you motivated. It has to come from within.
  • Focus – you need to be able to block out your surroundings. Online learning means studying at home (or, uh, at Starbucks) and if a sink full of dirty dishes or a pile of unfolded clothes (or Paul McCartney on the sound system) is going to distract you, this could be a problem. “Well”, you think, “I’ll just do all my chores first.” Right. Except the chores never end and often become a way to procrastinate.
  • Work Experience – my personal opinion is “the more experience, the better”. When I take these classes, I bring almost 30 years of nursing with me. This helps me put the class material into perspective. It is easier to learn and retain because I’ve “been there, done that, seen that”. Last semester my classmates had anywhere from 5 to over 30 years of experience behind them before starting the program. I firmly believe I would not have appreciated what I am learning now if I had done a BSN right out of high school.


The university you choose to “attend” via online classes is very important. I did not have to look far before choosing the University of Wisconsin – Green Bay. Here’s what you want to look for in a program:

  • Accreditation – you want to make sure that the program you are attending is accredited.
  • Credit for previous degree/classes – find the program that will offer you the most credit for your previous experiences. I had taken a lot of art history, English, paralegal and music classes for “fun” over the years. Every single one of those classes was transferable to the degree, not to mention my Associate’s Degree counting for a large number of units.
  • The ability to take non-major courses at a local college – online nursing programs are not cheap. Many classes will be general education: English, humanities, math, statistics, etc. You want a program that will give you credit if you take these classes at a local community college. This will save you quite a bit of money.
  • Local clinicals – having to travel to do the clinical component would have been a deal-breaker for me. Find a program that allows you to arrange your community nursing/public health nursing clinicals in your own county/community.


You don’t have to be a nurse for this to work for you.

I do not advocate getting your initial nursing degree via the online route. However, if you are thinking about nursing in the future but cannot attend classes now due to work or family responsibilities, you can take individual classes online from your local community college. It’s a great way to start accumulating units toward the eventual degree. Humanities electives work wonderfully online.

Research the requirements of nursing programs you are interested in and start taking those general ed classes. Whether you decide to go into nursing or not, they will come in handy for any degree.


As for me, I am entirely comfortable going for my BSN online, but will attend a traditional program when it comes to getting my MSN. If you already have your BSN, you may be comfortable with obtaining your MSN online. I’ve heard there are now doctorate programs online, also.

Better learning through technology.

I’m all for it!


Epilogue: If you are interested in learing about the BSN/LINC program through the University of Wisconsin, here is the BSN-LINC Home Page.

And no, they did not pay me to write that, but I am definitely paying them for a great education!


  • […] Efron Link to Article kasey kahne Online Nursing Degree – Are You Ready To Take It On? » This excerpt is […]

  • Caroline

    August 18, 2007 at 5:46 pm

    My school offers a whole crapload of classes online, including some of mine. I take most of my classes on campus but I have at least 1 per semester that’s 100% online. Also I think they offer the RN-BSN route all online, and they also ofter a Master’s that has a lot of online courses too. I think it’s a good way to learn but you’re right…you have to be REALLY focused because it can be much easier to slack off.

  • Rita Schwab

    August 19, 2007 at 3:48 am

    Nurse Kim,

    You’re not alone in your admiration for Mr. Quinn. He is definitely “scoring points” here in Cleveland as well…

    Cleveland Loves Brady:

  • Markie

    August 21, 2007 at 5:41 am


    I’m actually heading into the final of 5 semesters in my program, so I feel for you.

    You’re my hero,


  • […] The ability to take non-major courses at a local college – online nursing programs are not cheap. Many classes will be general education: English, humanities, math, statistics, etc. You want a program that will give you credit if you … by Kim at 7:40 AM […]

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My name is Kim, and I'm a nurse in the San Francisco Bay area. I've been a nurse for 33 years; I graduated in 1978 with my ADN. My experience is predominately Emergency and Critical Care, and I have also worked in Psychiatry and Pediatrics. I made the decision to be a nurse back in 1966 at the age of nine...

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