How to Ace Online Classes for Nurses

Submitted by Dr. Chinazo Echezona-Johnson, DNP, EdD, LLB, MSN, PCC, CNE, CNEcl, NPD-BC, RNC-MNN

Tags: nursing students online learning student expectations student nurse

How to Ace Online Classes for Nurses

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An online class could be exasperating, especially when there are other distractions such as work, family, and life. DO NOT PANIC! Follow these simple rules to succeed in any online course:

  1. Time management. Dedicate time to study and do the assignments. If time is an issue, break up the reading and the assignments into smaller tasks. For instance, study one chapter every day from 9p to 10p after the children are in bed. Time management will remove distractions.
  2. Do not go at it alone. If the reading, discussions, and assignments are confusing, contact the Professor for clarification.
  3. Be mindful of deadlines. Submit discussions, assignments, or quizzes on time or before the due dates to avoid penalties.
  4. Practice professionalism at all times. Include salutations when replying to discussions and inquiries from the Professor and the classmates. Use the appropriate names, titles, and salutations when communicating with Professors. Reply to questions from the Professor and your classmates. IF YOU DO NOT REPLY, YOU WILL GET POINTS OFF. Do not use abbreviations or slang. Never start an email with "Hey," "Yo," "What's up." It is appropriate to use "Dear," "Hello," "Good Afternoon" Be polite. ALWAYS!

  5. Check every single writing. Always double check postings and replies for grammatical errors and spellings. Use spell checks. If English is the second language, before submitting the writing, have somebody else proofread the writing to ensure that the writing will make sense to others. 
  6. Be engaging. Reply to the Professor and the classmates if they ask any questions or inquiries in the discussion. In online classroom forums, replies to inquiries are student engagement. Log in at least twice a week to submit assignments and reply to discussions. Post discussions that answer the discussion question (s). Do not post only one or two sentences.

  7. APA or other requirements. If this is required, use APA guidelines in all assignments and postings. Make sure to follow APA guidelines consistently. These guidelines include the cover page format, double spacing, in-text citations, correct references of sources, headings, tables, and other guidelines.

  8. Up-to-date sources. Use current sources to support all discussions, writings, and replies. Sources should be within five to 10 years old except for "classic" sources or your assigned textbook. Always check the rubrics to see what the Professor is using to grade the submissions.

  9. Professional integrity. Please DO not copy and paste any work without citing it. Copying and pasting without citation is plagiarism. Any student who committed plagiarism could get a dismissal from the college. Do not make-up citations or a summary of studies. Fake sources or summaries are fraudulent. The penalty is administrative actions from the school.
  10. Self-Care. Always dedicate time to relax and exercise. Do not burn out or get sick because that may hinder the completion of the course.

Education is an investment. Strive for the best. Make the online course fun! Good luck!