In the context of nursing, a hands-on profession, you may be wondering how online education works exactly. Part of what makes the Marian University Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) program’s hybrid curriculum so great is while it allows you to complete the nursing theory element of your coursework online, you still receive a hands-on nursing education in the form of skills and simulation labs and clinical rotations.
To give you a clearer picture of how online education works in concert with the other two parts of our curriculum, we’ll explain the online component of our ABSN curriculum and outline the advantages of online learning for your nursing education.
Structure of Online Coursework
The first thing to know about how online education works in Marian University’s ABSN program? It’s impossible to complete 100% online. You can’t become the best nurse you can be without also learning how to interact with patients and fine-tuning developing nursing skills in a real-world clinical setting.
Online coursework is just one part of the Marian University ABSN curriculum:
- Online coursework presents core nursing concepts delivered in innovative ways.
- Nursing skills and simulation labs teach you how to apply nursing skills in simulated patient care scenarios.
- Clinical rotations through St. Vincent in Indianapolis, Indiana and Saint Thomas in Nashville, Tennessee allow you to interact with patients and work with the region’s top healthcare providers.
What does the online education portal look like? Leading instructional designers took great care to develop an intuitive online platform to house the nursing theory component of Marian’s accelerated nursing curriculum. Their goal was to create an online education portal that works for all students, no matter their preferred learning method. They accomplished this by creating a user-friendly course design that combines interactive course material with simulated case studies.
User-Friendly Course Design
What good is an online learning platform if it isn’t easy to use? This isn’t a problem with the online-based portion of the Marian ABSN curriculum. While course content varies from module to module, you can find them all on an online learning management system called Canvas. Think of it as your one-stop-shop for everything you’ll need to complete your online coursework. In each course within Canvas, you’ll find:
- Reading and study materials
- Learning activities
Interactive Course Material
While you’ll still have textbook reading assignments and the ability to listen to pre-recorded course lectures in each of your ABSN courses, you’ll also have access to other interactive course materials to help you learn. Instructional designers created these learning activities for you to apply and master what you’ve learned during the hands-on portion of the ABSN curriculum.
Within each module, you’ll find interactive practice activities, patient case studies, informational videos, quizzes, and discussion boards. These learning components feature 3D animations, simulated scenarios, and advanced graphic design. For example, in one activity you may learn about dosages by filling the correct amount of medication into a virtual syringe.
Simulated Case Studies
Occasionally learning modules will include simulated case studies to help you apply what you’ve been reading about in your textbooks. These highly interactive animated scenarios let you make key patient care decisions and allow for more in-depth concept application as you progress through the program. For example, in one case study, you’ll take on the role of a home health nurse assisting an elderly patient.
We understand nothing beats real-life human interaction. That’s why these simulated case studies, while designed to mimic real-world nursing responsibilities and experiences, are a great way to enhance what you learn in labs and clinical rotations.
Advantages of Online-Based Learning
Through Marian’s ABSN program, you’ll receive the same quality instruction in a virtual classroom as you would in a traditional one. Here are a few more of the benefits of online learning for non-nurses pursuing a second degree in nursing.
Supplements Hands-On and Textbook Learning
As mentioned earlier, online coursework combines with hands-on simulation and skills labs and clinical rotations in top-rated healthcare facilities within the St. Vincent and Saint Thomas healthcare systems.
It’s also important to note that while our online learning platform includes lots of interactive elements to help you learn, it doesn’t serve as a substitute for traditional instruction methods such as textbooks and lectures. Rather, the online learning component of your ABSN education serves as another robust resource for you to grasp challenging topics.
In general, accrediting agencies hold online programs to the same high standards as on-campus programs, according to U.S. News and World Report. That means you can expect to receive the same quality BSN as the nursing students who chose the traditional route. The same is true for Marian’s ABSN program. Marian University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), while the baccalaureate degree program in nursing (including the ABSN program) is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education and meets the approval of the Indiana and Tennessee boards of nursing.
Collaborative Virtual Classroom
If you’re worried you’ll miss access to top-notch nursing school instructors because you’ll be in a digital classroom, rest assured you won’t be. Although you don’t attend a physical classroom, you can still connect with classmates and instructors off-line and via the online learning platform by:
- Participating in real-time study sessions on Canvas to prepare for exams.
- Connecting via email and video conferencing whenever you have questions.
- Forming in-person study groups with your peers, since you’ll all live in the same area while enrolled in the ABSN program.
- Demonstrating your knowledge and understanding of concepts on course discussion boards.
Caters to Your Unique Learning Style
Marian’s ABSN instructors and online course designers understand each student enrolled in the program has a unique learning style. That’s why they designed and prepared course materials for all types of learners. Whether you best understand new concepts visually, aurally, verbally (by reading, writing, and speaking), or kinesthetically (by doing), you’ll find what works for you through the online learning platform:
- PowerPoints and YouTube videos help visual learners
- Pre-recorded lectures for aural learners
- Discussion boards and video conferences help verbal learners
- Interactive simulations and case studies help kinesthetic learners
Sidenote: If you don’t know what your unique learning style is, our dedicated ABSN success coaches are here to help you develop study strategies. You can also take an online quiz to determine how you best retain and synthesize information.
You Control When and Where You Study
While you still have to meet your instructors’ deadlines and come to the ABSN program site to sit for exams, the beauty of online learning is that it lets you complete nursing theory coursework from anywhere, at any time. Thanks to technology, you can listen to lectures and engage with interactive learning activities as often as needed.
That said, you’ll be completing four years’ worth of nursing education in 16 months, so you’ll need to prioritize your studies above other aspects of your life. Accelerated nursing school is a major commitment that some have compared to holding a full-time job. You can expect to spend 40 hours a week or more completing online coursework.
Are You Ready to Learn Online?
Marian University’s online-based ABSN program is flexible, collaborative and adaptive, making it a great option for adult learners, but the online component is just one part of the puzzle — our program is not 100 percent online. If you want to become a nurse and learn how online education works in tandem with the other parts of our nursing school curriculum, reach out to an admissions advisor today.