Online learning has grown in popularity by leaps and bounds. And with the shortage of nurses in the U.S., online Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) programs are popping up all over the country. ABSN programs, like the one at Averett University in Norfolk, Virginia, allow you to reap the advantages of online learning while also gaining extensive hands-on clinical experience in diverse areas of practice.
Components of an Online ABSN Program
Due to the retirement of nurses, the rise in chronic illness and other factors, we’re currently facing a shortage of nurses across the U.S. Averett is helping to meet the nursing shortage head-on. Our ABSN program offers three start dates annually — in January, May and August — so that we can enroll a greater number of students each year. The program comprises 66 credit hours over four full-time semesters, allowing students with 60 or more college credits to earn a nursing degree in as few as 16 months.
What an Online Education Looks Like
Online coursework is one major part of our online-based ABSN program. However, it’s not the only component. While it’s true that ABSN students can complete assignments, watch lectures and read material online, they must also complete skills and simulation labs at our program site. In addition, they must complete clinical rotations at leading hospitals throughout the area.
Skills labs give students the opportunity to practice what they’ve learned online in a contextual health care environment. They learn how to assess vital signs, insert IVs, dress wounds and more — all under the watchful eye of instructors in a risk-free environment.
Simulation labs allow students to practice caring for high-fidelity manikins that exhibit lifelike symptoms and real-time reactions to care. Again, instructors are on-hand to manage the simulation and provide feedback on students’ performance.
The ABSN student’s education also includes a series of clinical rotations. In these placements, students work alongside registered nurses throughout the 16-month program. At Averett, students complete 488 clinical hours at top health care facilities in Norfolk, Virginia, and Hampton Roads. These placements provide real-world experience in a variety of specialties, caring for patients of all ages and circumstances. In addition, students complete 97 clinical hours via simulation at the Norfolk ABSN Learning Site. In total, they complete 585 clinical hours.
Online Learning: What Are the Advantages?
Let’s look at some of the benefits of the ABSN program’s online coursework.
1. Convenience is one major advantage of online learning.
Unlike a traditional college experience, where you must sit for hours in a lecture hall, online ABSN coursework allows you to adapt school around your schedule. So you can strike a balance with other commitments such as family time and housework. With online coursework, you attend lectures, complete assignments, do reading and review for tests when and where it works best for you.
You can study virtually anywhere you can take a computer and find internet connection. Averett’s online learning management system (LMS) allows you to log into the online portal from your laptop or PC, so you have free, easy access to course materials at any given moment.
Yes, there are still deadlines and the expectation that you’ll complete coursework as assigned. But the freedom to study in a café on a Saturday evening is advantageous, especially if you learn better in such an environment.
2. Interaction with fellow students and instructors is another perk of an online-based ABSN program.
You don’t have to wait for traditional in-person office hours to connect with your instructors. You can connect with them using email, video conferencing and online discussion-forums. The more you stay in contact with your professors, the more they can help you succeed.
You can stay in touch with fellow students using email, video conferencing and discussion forums as well. Many students feel more comfortable participating in class discussions when they can do so in an online forum. Online discussion boards can reduce the anxiety that comes with public speaking. They also allow students to really think about the subject matter and form their best responses, contributing to the discussion when they’re ready.
3. The incorporation of a variety of learning-style preferences into the coursework is an important asset of online study.
At Averett, our online learning management system (LMS) offers a variety of interactive content that is suited to a wide array of learning-style preferences.
Traditional nursing programs sometimes consist of a lecture where you take notes while following along with a PowerPoint presentation. Some people have difficulty focusing in that environment. Our online resources allow you to listen to lectures and review materials repeatedly, for as long as it takes to understand them. And since students have control over the speed of the lectures, they can pause to engage with interactive content — including videos, 3D animations and discussion forums — as they wish.
Don’t Wait, Learn More Today
The online coursework in the Averett ABSN program is flexible and interactive, but it is only one part of the learning process. As we’ve discussed, an ABSN program can’t be completed 100% online. If you’d like to learn more about our blended learning model and how it could help you become a competent, practice-ready nurse, contact our admissions team today.