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4 reasons to pursue a BSN fully online

by Monica Smith

Oct 08, 2020, 12:00 PM.

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Fully online students and first responders enrolled in FIU’s online nursing program explain how the RN to BSN program helps make things easier, even during a pandemic.

When hospitals started to become busy with COVID-19 in early March and the governor issued a stay-at-home order, FIU’s fully online RN to BSN students knew that while things might get challenging at work as the virus spread, their program would continue unchanged. 

For the following four nurses, the last seven months have been difficult, but they’ve learned so much about themselves, their abilities and are ready to don their PPE “armor” to head off the possibility of a second fall wave of COVID-19 as they finish their degrees. While they all needed the flexibility that online learning provides, they offer several more reasons to consider pursuing a BSN having completed most of their courses during a pandemic through FIU Online.

1. Assistance along the way

RN Silvana Martins, a single mom of a five-year-old, decided to go into nursing because she has a passion for helping people when they are most vulnerable. She worried that with work and her son, things might get too busy for her, so she chose the RN to BSN program fully online. Nevertheless, she was concerned that it might be hard to make real connections with professors or get the help she needed with coursework, but that wasn’t the case.

“The professors are very accommodating; they work with you if you have conflicting responsibilities. You do have to make certain deadlines; however, they are very flexible and will assist you in making appropriate changes to facilitate the completion of your assignments,” she said.

2. Accelerated degree

Nicole Mueller also chose the online RN to BSN program to allow for her full-time work schedule at Memorial Hospital West as an RN in The Family Birthplace. She chose her degree because she wants to have more opportunities and options in her nursing career. In addition, through word of mouth, she learned that the program was structured well with a lot of support.

“Friends who are nurses said it was flexible and doable with working full time and that the program was great,” she offered and explained that the courses were relatable. 

Until her leadership class, she never saw herself going into a management position, she admitted, but became inspired because she learned how it all translates through the profession. In addition, she liked that her program would be quick so she could advance her career.

“That’s one of the main reasons I chose the program. I appreciated that the timeframe to complete the degree is accelerated,” she affirmed.

3. Resilience despite life challenges

Valerie Michel has three children ages 9, 7 and 17. She is an RN at a Baptist Health Urgent Care facility. She is one exam away from graduating. 

“Life always throws something at you. I came a long way. After having kids. I was laid off when the hospital I was working for made budget cuts. Then I started working for Baptist and I decided to finish my degree and pursue my BSN, fully online with FIU,” she recalled. Michel disclosed that she’s received incredible support from the school and administrators—especially when she became ill with what was suspected as COVID-19.

“I got symptoms, got tested, but my COVID-19 test was negative. I may have tested too early or was a false negative. I had fever, stomach issues and cough for many days. I had to stay home,” she stated. “I am so grateful that the BSN program was online. If it wasn’t, I wouldn’t have been able to pass my class. There was no way I could go face to face. I did my work from bed.” 

4. Travel is possible

For Ameka Anglin, flexibility, affordability and an accelerated degree were key. She praised the advisors who helped sort out her transfer credits and relayed her relief that she chose FIU’s online program because of her traveling nursing job.

When COVID-19 became prevalent in the U.S., Anglin acquired a position with a company that supplies extra nurses to hospitals in need of manpower to combat coronavirus spikes. For her, the front line moves all over the country, but she’s able to take her courses with her wherever she travels. 

Anglin took the traveling nurse position so she would not bring the virus home. At one point, she was away from family for more than two months, but it helped keep her family safe, she said. 

“I still maintain my grades through online learning, even when I worked more than 60 hours a week,” expressed Anglin. “It would not have been possible to complete my degree in person. Online made it possible and I was still able to help fight COVID-19. Who could ask for more?”

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