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NURS 6003 Discussion: Strategies for Addressing Questions

NURS 6003 Discussion: Strategies for Addressing Questions

RE: Discussion – Week 2

When I first thought about going back to school, I was terrified. I have so many questions about how I was going to do this journey and whether this was the right time to embark on it. I thought about starting my master’s years ago but I was focused on helping my husband complete his degree, having a baby and working as much as I could as a staff nurse. I kept telling myself when my husband finished his degree, I would go back to school so I could advance my own education and career. That day came in July and I was faced with a big decision in the middle of a pandemic.

NURS 6003 Discussion: Strategies for Addressing Questions

As the questions and doubt began to fill my head, I became overwhelmed and I had not even signed up for the first class. I reached out to an Enrollment Specialist and she was able to answer most of the questions I had and then more questions started to appear. I was fearful of how I would find time to get everything done while still being a mother and wife? How was I going to succeed in an online environment? I have never taken classes online, what was I supposed to expect? Do I have to take more then one class at a time? The questions began to overwhelm and flood me. I started to do my research to see if online learning was going to fit my life and style of learning. While reading through the assigned readings for this module I had a sense of ease come over me when I knew that I would have deadlines, but the class was adaptable to my personal, professional, and academic life. The integrated model of learning fits me and would help me to achieve success. Ke and Xie (2009) concluded that the integrated course design model appears to promote the highest level of satisfaction while close-ended discussion tasks promote the opposite. I was going to be able to balance life and school, which took away some of my anxiety.

I have traditionally done face-to-face classes when I got my BSN many years ago. I was going to embark on a new journey, and I needed some facts. Bray, Harris and Major (2007) conducted a survey that showed students opting for online classes may be older, have children and/or be fully employed. That was me from the start. Further, the survey showed that “ online classes can resolve conflicts between work and schooling since online class material can be studied at night, on the weekends, and other times during non-work hours” (Bray, Harris & Major, 2007). This started to ease my fears. Another fear I had was how I typically want to engage in face-to-face conversation and now I was going to be online and at home where I can be easily distracted and not engage with others in a traditional discussion. In a study done by Kemp and Grieve (2014) the results showed that students expressed a strong preference for class discussions to be conducted face-to face, reporting that they felt more engaged, and received more immediate feedback, than in online discussions. This concerned me because I am an engaging person and I have never used an online platform before so I did not know what to expect.

I also had the ultimate fear of APA formatting. I am not typically a strong writer and having to use APA has always been a challenge for me. Scholarly writing was “regarded by many as the most difficult of all the academic-related skills to come to terms with, and the most challenging part of the learning and studying process” (Whitehead, 2002). This made me feel a little better that I would not be facing this challenge alone.

I am fortunate to recognize some of the challenges I will face throughout my journey and I am lucky that Walden has so much to offer to help me overcome these challenges. The Academic Writing Center offers help with APA formatting, grammar, revisions and so much more. The library also offers so many resources from journal articles, newspapers, books, and research studies that I will be able to streamline research easier so that I can focus on improving my writing to be more clear and concise. My two professional individuals I chose to help me through this journey have walked in my footsteps and understand the struggles of balancing work life, academic life and personal life. I am fortunate to have them as a resource. One of those individuals has been completing her MSN in Leadership and she writes papers daily, so she has a grasp on APA formatting to help me out, as well as, helping me to learn good time management and balancing a healthy life while going to school. I know that I can always rely on my peers, professors, family and advisers for support throughout this process, as we will all face different challenges in this journey.

References

Bray, N.J., Harris, M.S., & Major, C. (2007). New verse or the same old chorus: Looking holistically at distance education research. Research in Higher Education, 48, 889-908. https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ1134653.pdf

Ke, F. & Xie, K. (2009). ‘Toward deep learning for adult students in online courses’,

Internet and Higher Educations, 12(3/4), 136-145. https://journal.alt.ac.uk/index.php/rlt/article/view/1648/pdf_13

Kemp, N. & Grieve, R. (2014). Face-to-face or face-to-screen? Undergraduates’ opinions and test performance in classroom vs. online learning. Psychol, https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2014.01278/fullStack, S. (2015). Learning Outcomes in an Online vs Traditional Course. International Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, 9(5), 20. https://eds-b-ebscohost-com.ezp.waldenulibrary.org/eds/detail/detail?vid=1&sid=c4def7d2-600a-413c-ae85-82ba20155dd5%40pdc-v-sessmgr01&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWRzLWxpdmUmc2NvcGU9c2l0ZQ%3d%3d#db=eric&AN=EJ1134653

Whitehead, D. (2002).  The academic writing experiences of a group of student nurses: a phenomenological study. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 38(5), 498-506. https://onlinelibrary-wiley-com.ezp.waldenulibrary.org/doi/full/10.1046/j.1365-2648.2002.02211.x

 

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Congratulations on your recent RN graduation. I, too, had a difficult time this past year trying to balance work and school while having to homeschool my kids during the pandemic. However, excelling in my BSN program with everything I had going on showed me how strong and hardworking I can be and has given me the confidence to pursue my MSN. 

 You mention self-direction, self-efficiency, and time management are also areas you need to work on. To be successful, you must have time management skills and planning tools (Laureate Education, 2018). One thing that helped me a lot was getting a big calendar and writing down all assignments, discussions, and responses due dates, and my work schedule, and any other family appointments or events. Having a visual idea of everything I needed to complete for the week helped me identify and set aside time to complete schoolwork. This allowed me to stay organized and on track. I also had times of lacking motivation. When this occurred, I would decide on a reward for completing an assignment to help motivate me. It could be something small like a long hot bath, favorite dessert, movie night with my kids, or something big like a weekend trip. Nurses should engage in self-care activities regularly to help decrease stress levels (Kelbach, 2021). 

 Good luck and best wishes as you continue through your program. If you have any questions or need any help, please reach out to me.

References

Kelbach, J. (2021, May 24). The Ultimate Guide to Self-Care for Nurses. Registered Nursing.org. https://www.registerednursing.org/articles/ultimate-guide-self-care-nurses/

Laureate Education (Producer). (2018). Your Toolbox for Success [Video file]. Baltimore, MD: Author.

Strategies for Addressing Questions

Keeping Motivated

When I came back from 16 hours duty yesterday and went back to the hospital for a double, I was asking myself, why am I doing this to myself? I want to do so many things after work and enjoy my leisure time, like watching movies in Netflix or singing my heart out in the Smule app. Or maybe during my off days I’d like to spend time with my 5-year-old son, So, why did I let myself suffer of not being able to do what I want to do? Because now I needed to alot time for my studies. “Does my classmate also felt the need to keep motivated?” In the required readings, I’ve read that, “Students perceive online courses differently than traditional courses. Negative perceptions can lead to unfavorable learning outcomes including decreased motivation and persistence.” (Kauffman, 2015).  But now I got to learn strategies to be successful in my online schooling because I have to think of my future, of what entails once I become successful with this course. So, I focused on my personal and professional goal, this helped me get motivated. According to Online Colleges, (2018), 10 Traits of Successful Online Learner includes Self-direction, which is an independent approach to learning, this includes developing good habits with time management and study techniques. “What time-management hacks you like to share?”  In the Video file, Your Toolbox for Success (2018) Time management skills, Test taking strategies, Planning tools like Calendars and Communication strategies are essential resources and strategies to be utilized throughout the program.

Writing

Another major dilemma I have is writing, knowing that the only way we are heard and graded in class are through writing. I must admit I am not that confident with my writing skills. “What writing tips can you share?” Until now I struggle what to write or how to write discussions. When writing I always ask myself, am I doing the right thing? A great resource I learned is the Walden University Writing Center, although I still have to get used on navigating the site. “Do you know any other sites that can provide techniques to writing efficiently?”, “Where can I learn more how to cite and write references? According to the Video file Tips for Effective Online Composition and Communication (2018), Academic writing can seem overwhelming, but we have to start somewhere. It is good to know that there are resources that we can fully utilize to help us. Like make a paper review appointment or attend a writing webinar.

Technology Use and Financial

When I decided to study Master of Science in Nursing PMHNP it was primarily because I want to advance my career, I was at first unsure of what I was getting into. Especially that this is my first time to study utilizing online learning. Some of the immediate concerns that came into my mind when I enrolled was, “Will I survive this course, even if I am not that technologically skilled in using the computer?” and “How am I going to pay for this education?” I have never tried having a student loan before and this is something new for me. Fortunately, my Student Enrolment specialist Mikayla Bostic assured me of how the process will be and my Student Advisor Sasha Butler was always available to listen and answer all my questions. I am grateful that Walden provided me these Academic resources who I can utilize to work with my queries. In the Video file, The Walden Journey to a Masters of Nursing: Strategies and Resources for Success, (2018) stated that their Academic advisors are the first line of defense in Master’s program and that they are dependable and approachable.

Clinicals

Who else can help me in this endeavor? Especially that I do not have that much connections yet. Even the question of “Who will be my preceptor during my clinicals?” sometimes crossed my mind but I am positive I will eventually find one. At work I am already looking for possible preceptor. And my professional network Ms. Belmonte and Ms. Brown-Heard are willing to support me by helping me form connections with NPs and Psychiatrists in our Hospital. And I know this does not end in my hospital, reaching out to professional classmates here in school and being a member to American Nurses Association (2018) are all great sources for Professional success.

References

Kauffman, H. (2015). A review of predictive factors of student success in and satisfaction with

online learning. Research in Learning Technology, 23, 1–13. https://journal.alt.ac.uk/index.php/rlt/article/view/1648/pdf_13

Online Colleges. (2011, July 14). 10 Traits of a Successful Online Learner.

Retrieved January 14, 2019,

from https://www.onlinecollege.org/2011/07/14/10-traits-of-a-successful-online-learner/

Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (2018). Your Toolbox for Success [Video file].

Baltimore, MD: Author.

Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (2018). Tips for effective online composition and

communication [Video file]. Baltimore, MD: Author.

Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (2018). The Walden Journey to a Masters in

Nursing: Strategies and Resources for Success [Video file]. Baltimore, MD: Author.

American Nurses Association. (n.d.). Resources to succeed. Retrieved November 14, 2018,

from https://www.nursingworld.org/resources/

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