My time studying with the University of Phoenix online has affected my life in many ways. I have had the chance to learn a lot by utilizing the Internet to help me further my education. I feel that my degree will open many new doors for me, but first I will go back and discuss my impressions from when I first started taking nursing classes online. Learning has always been very important to me. I understand that we do not get very far in this world if we are not willing to take instruction and use it to the best of our abilities.
Being a student was an exciting opportunity, especially in the major field that I had chosen, nursing. Nursing is an ever-changing field, and it is very important to keep up with the latest information if one is going to be professional and the best they can be in their chosen profession. I feel that strengthening my knowledge base made me grow in my personal life because there was so much that I could accomplish just by taking the steps to learn more.
In nursing learning more leads to bigger and greater opportunities and the chance to take jobs that might be out of reach if I did not choose to obtain greater knowledge.
While learning new things may be stressful at times, I feel that the knowledge received is all worth it in the end. I first learned the English language nine years ago when I immigrated to the United States. My problem solving skills and my oral communication skills were wonderful, but I had some trouble with my writing skills. As for retrieving information and using it, I had no problem locating information, whether in books or on the Internet, and using it for any task that was put in front of me. Collaboration was not a problem as long as it was done in an oral manner.
As I have mentioned, my writing skills were only fair, and so collaboration involving writing could be fairly difficult. My career goals were based around degrees that I had already earned, namely a registered nurse degree and a respiratory therapist degree. My immediate goal was to get my Bachelors of Science degree in nursing, however, I also had other goals. For example, I wished to take my two degrees that were already earned and use them to get into a nurse anesthesia school. My most lofty goal was to finish my bachelor’s degree and start taking more classes to earn a Masters degree one day.
As you may see, I am very dedicated to my chosen line of work and desire to be the best at it. Education is my ticket to being the best, and I crave all kinds of new information and knowledge that will make me an excellent nurse. While I was in the program, I found that the classes raised my level of competence in several areas. While I was already quite good at problem solving and oral communication, taking classes that challenged me and required me to do over and above what I was accustomed to only increased my competence in those areas.
While my writing skills were not so good to start off with, different requirements for classes gave me a lot of practice and much more confidence with the written word. Taking Internet classes helped me solidify my ability to retrieve information on my own and use it to do the tasks that were expected of me. Two of the general education classes that helped me the most with becoming a more proficient learner were GEN 101, Skills for Lifelong Learning, and REL 333, World Religious Traditions. GEN 101 really gave me a lot of insight on how to balance learning with having an outside life.
It gave me the opportunity to learn more about collaboration and how it would help me through classes and through life. Being taught how to assess my own strengths and weaknesses was very helpful and gave me a lot of insight into what I needed to improve upon and what I was already doing well. Learning how to access and use the information that the University provides to us online proved to be particularly valuable to me. Perhaps the most important thing this class provided me was the ability to sit back and take a look at why I was returning to school and what I really hoped to get out of it.
That really solidified my career goals and made me eager to get into the process of completing my degree. REL 333 was my favorite general education class. I found that it taught me a lot about all the different kinds of religion in the world, and also about personal views of life from other perspectives. I know that in my line of work I will encounter many people who have different ideas about the world than I do, and this class was very helpful in giving me a glimpse into what some of my patient’s and co-workers’ lives and beliefs might be and how I might work with people who have different views on life than I do.
The two core courses that I enjoyed the most were NUR 390, Introduction to Professional Nursing, and NUR 420, Health Assessment. NUR 390 was a great class because it really gave me a good base for the rest of my nursing classes. Being able to take a good look at my strengths and weaknesses in regards to writing, giving presentations, and working with other people as a group really gave me a reference to discover what I was doing very well and what I could improve in. It also gave tips on stress management, something that is very important for someone in the nursing field.
Too many nurses burn out because they are unable to handle stress, and I think that learning these tips will help me get through some of the rough days. Also, thinking about the direction that health care is going and what my role as a nurse will be in that field was interesting and informational. NUR 420 was my favorite core class. I got a lot out of the information on different types of patient assessment, especially the ICU assessment section. The many different types of assessment taught will be very valuable to me in my profession, especially since they dealt with patients across the entire life span.
I think that this class will prepare me very well for any hospital situation that I find myself in since it did not focus on one age group but instead gave a good overview of anyone I might come in contact with. Learning risk factors and strategies for prevention of many common problems will also prove to be invaluable in my line of work. Perhaps the most important thing I learned was how to get a good patient interview. It can be hard to get good information from someone who is very ill or in pain, and the strategies I learned will be something I can rely on until the end of my career.
My University of Phoenix experience was wonderful for the most part, but there are a few things that I believe could make it better. I personally would like to see more interaction between the students taking any given course. While the Internet is very convenient and a great way to learn for people who cannot attend regular classes, there is a human component that is missing from the whole system. Social skills tend to get put on the back burner, and I think that for some professions it is very important to work on social abilities.
Also, I believe that the tuition may be prohibitive for many people who would very much like to continue their education. I understand that all colleges are expensive, but perhaps a slightly lower tuition would make it possible for people who could never hope to attend college get the degree that they desire. I think that having an online university is great, but the students would benefit from classes on social interaction and dealing with the public without a computer in front of them. Dropping the tuition would also be a great help and encourage many new students to sign up for programs, thus offsetting the drop in revenue.
Instituting those two measures would make for students more prepared for the real world and more people being able to follow their dreams, such as I am doing. Now that I have received my degree and am ready to take on new challenges, I see that lifelong learning is something that everyone should attempt to do, whether in a program or just by their own devices. Lifelong learning is extremely important if one wants to keep up with the ever-changing world we live in. For my part, nursing is a field that is very fluid. There are always new things to learn and new ways to do things.
It would be nearly impossible for me to do a good job in my field if I was not constantly striving to learn something new and improve myself to do the best job possible. I have grown in my abilities to communicate with patients and families, my writing skills have improved quite a bit, and I have learned a lot about the views of others whom I will encounter daily. All of these things can be attributed to lifelong learning, and I feel that every class I took expanded my knowledge and made me more determined to continue my education until I reach my goal.
I have not determined yet what my final goal will be, but I hope to be always reaching for the next thing I can learn until I find the perfect spot for me. Even then, I always wish to be perfecting all that I do to make my personal and professional life all that it can possibly be. My personal goals for the next few years center around my family. I want to take time to raise my beautiful son whom I have not had much time for during my past two years of study in this program. I want to spend some time with my family and do some traveling.
I also want to consider expanding my family with another baby, but it is too soon to tell about that. My professional goals include getting out of bedside nursing. I have done that for quite a while and am ready to move on to something else. I want to keep learning more and more about my profession, and through that gain a promotion which will improve my skills and ability base. As far as educational goals, I have many things in mind. The two most pressing are to get my Masters degree in nursing and to apply to a nurse anesthesia school for next year.
I will be in Kaplan University’s Legal Nurse Consultant program for the next full year. As far as skills and competencies that I would like to develop, I would very much like to continue learning about cardiac care. That is something that I am very interested in and would love to find out as much information as I can on the subject. I have not joined any professional organizations as of yet, but I am looking into different ones and may make a decision to join one in the near future. I hope to attend some pulmonary and cardiac workshops or conferences in the next year or so.
Having just finished my degree, I have not given much thought to workshops and conferences just yet. There are several additional degrees that I might consider looking into. I am already enrolled at Kaplan to take their Legal Nurse Consultant program, and I would really like to get my Masters degree in nursing as soon as possible. Besides those I am also thinking about taking classes to be a nurse practitioner or become a CRNA, which is a certified nursing anesthesia position. I am keeping my options open. In conclusion, my years in the nursing program at the University of Phoenix have been hard, yet rewarding.
I have finished my goal of having a Bachelors degree, and that is opening doors for me to become so much more. I am grateful for the emphasis on lifelong learning that my courses have provided as that has inspired me to go on to more classes and more degrees. It is good to have an online university to go to that is respectable and accredited, and it is good that there is a way for people who work and have families to improve their lives by getting higher education. I will take with me all that I have learned from this program and hopefully be a better nurse and a better professional for it. This is just the start of my dreams. .