My personal academic growth has exposed me to both styles of education: traditional and distance learning. Personally, this is my second time being a devoted distance-learning student, once for my RN-BSN and now for my DNP-FNP. My decision to seek an online Nurse Practitioner program versus a traditional classroom setting is having the benefit of flexible online scheduling to accommodate the demands of my work, home, and life. The quality of Loyola University New Orleans BSN-DNP-FNP program was also considered in relation to accreditation, student success rate, and the assurance of receiving the highest education with an underpinning of scientific knowledge and clinical practice expertise to provide exemplary patient care. The benefit of online learning increases self-motivation, increases your technical and writing skills, and gives you the opportunity of not just sitting on the “back row” in a class, you are involved in the learning/teaching experience to obtain new knowledge to advance in your nursing career. Opportunities for convenience, cost-effectiveness, and student enrichment are also variables in choosing online learning versus the traditional classroom setting. I believe the greatest advantages of distance learning is the convenience and flexibility, diversity, student enrichment, and increased instructor-student time. Distance learning also aids in the development of coordinating activities and prioritizing tasks, reading and responding critically and articulating well and intelligibly. Distance learning also provides individuals an opportunity to finish a degree they might have started and were unable to continue with for one reason or another. I believe with distance learning, I get to control my learning environment, which ultimately helps me develop a deeper understanding of my degree course.
Online learning provides me with the advantage of asynchronous learning in regards to nursing research and the application of nursing theory for assignments, the ability to reflect on discussion questions to be more actively engaged when participating in the discussions with my peers, and take exams on a schedule that works for me. Online distance learning gives me the opportunity to work at my own pace and the opportunity to hear about what is occurring beyond my local area in nursing. Furthermore, online learning gives me the opportunity to collaborate with other nurses throughout the country. I have come to know the beauty of distance learning at Loyola University of New Orleans, as it has exposed me to a diverse class of exemplary students and distinct professors who are practicing as Nurse Practitioners but also are performing research, have published research, and are changing and advocating for nurses at local, state and national levels. As a first-year DNP-FNP student at Loyola University New Orleans distance learning university, I have realized I am learning from the best nationally known professors who genially care about you as a person, a student, and your future as an advanced practice nurse.