For Michelle Mills, a graduate of ASU’s RN-to-BSN program, going to school while working full-time and raising her 12-year old son was a bit intimidating. “As an older student, the thought of going to school online is a bit daunting if you haven’t done it before,” says Mills. “But the professors are very patient and supportive. The software is really user-friendly and there is a help desk to help at any time . . . and I used it.
And given her other life priorities, the flexibility was advantageous. “The program is extremely flexible. It totally worked for my needs, my work schedule, and around my schedule of just being a mom. I don’t even know if I could’ve completed my degree if I didn’t have the ability to do it online,” she says.
The RN-to-BSN program is run through ASU’s College of Nursing & Health Innovation and can be completed online within 13 to 18 months. Registered nurses with their associate’s degree or nursing diploma can complete all of their upper-division course requirements online and achieve a BSN while working around their desired schedule.
Recently, one of the courses in the program was certified by the Quality Matters Program, which is a faculty-centered, peer-review process based on national standards of best practice, research literature, and instructional design principles. It is a mark of excellence, demonstrating a strong commitment to quality online course design.
Mills can attest to the quality of the courses. “The program at ASU is challenging. But you have a lot of support from the professors who are very encouraging as well as the support staff, the librarians, the IT people, financial aid, and the dean. They are all there to help you succeed.” And Mills also learned from her network of other students. “You’re not just learning from the professor,” she says. “But from all the other students as well — each student, whether they’re just out of the RN program or they’ve been an RN for 10 or 20 years, has something that they can teach everyone else.”
The program was so worthwhile that Mills decided to take her education even further. “The market these days is really calling for nurses to have a higher level of education,” she explains, “and the BSN is also a stepping stone to graduate work, and is what helped me get into the Doctorate in Nursing Program here at ASU. I felt like I was a good nurse with an Associate’s degree. But I have a different perspective now that I have the Bachelor’s.”
For Mills, upward mobility in her career was definitely a focus but so was the flexibility to be a hands on mom. “The ASU RN-to-BSN program is an excellent opportunity for any moms out there to spend more time with their child,” she says. “Instead of telling your child to go do their homework, you can actually sit there and spend that time with them working on your assignments, and that’s an excellent way to model how working hard can really pay off. When I was straight out of high school, I wanted to make my parents proud. Now I found as a single working mom I really wanted to make my kid proud.”
Are you ready to take the next step?