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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.

Earning a BSN via an online RN to BSN program is a great choice for busy adults because it offers ultimate flexibility and convenience. There are a number of tips to help make your online college experience a success.

Connect With Instructors Early

Assuming that you’re on your own is a big misconception that can cause problems for online students, according to U.S. News & World Report. Engage early with your teachers, and often, in order to get the kind of support and guidance that will lead to a higher level of 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 Mississippi College are here to ensure your success. You are never alone in the process.

Connect With Other Students

You are in good company. Today’s nursing student is older and more experienced. In fact, nearly 84% of students enrolled in RN-to-BSN programs are 26 years old or older, according to a survey from the National League for Nursing, and over 33% are aged 31-40.

Registered nurses (RNs) who graduated in 1985 were, on average, 24 years old. Only 50% are 25 or under now. RN to BSN programs are filled with students like you — those who have been out of school for a while. Consider reaching out to these other students, many of whom are also balancing school with work, home and a personal life. 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 to help each other academically. Study groups are a good way to enhance learning and succeed in nursing school. Listening to other students explain nursing and medical concepts can be an effective way to 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 student, working nurse and caregiver, you will need an efficient way to keep track of all your obligations. If a paper-based organizing system works for you, by all means, keep it. But for those of you who prefer digital methods, there are a number of programs and apps designed 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 all in one place. You can 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 keep track of their assignments, classwork, and school collaborations, as well as keeping work schedules and tasks neatly organized. It’s especially good for management of tasks, monitoring project progress and working with a team.
  • Google Drive. Don’t underestimate the importance and usefulness of Google Drive and its ability to securely store and provide access to your files and assignments. It also is great for team-based projects and allows you to collaborate with classmates or send your work digitally to your instructors for feedback.

Going back to school can seem overwhelming, especially if you already have a lot on your plate. Incorporating a few simple tips, such as communicating with instructors throughout the course, connecting with other students, and getting a good organization system in place can make the difference to your success.

The online Registered Nurse to Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN to BSN) program at Mississippi College is designed with working nurses in mind. It is a faith-based program that offers the ultimate in flexibility and convenience. You can choose from multiple start dates and take as few courses per session as is convenient for you. The 16:1 student-to-faculty ratio means you can count on a quality education and individualized instruction. Success is well within your reach.

Learn more about the MC online RN to BSN program.

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