If you’ve ever been to a department store around late July or early August, chances are you’ve seen a back-to-school sale. It’s the time of year when you prepare for your next year of school by stocking up on notebooks, pencils, pens and any other traditional school supplies you’ll need. So what if you’re planning on attending nursing school online? You might still need some of the classic essentials to take notes and keep your course materials organized, but what else? What do you need to prepare for the next 16-24 months of your life?
You’ll Need a Computer
Because a large portion of your coursework will be completed online, it’s recommended you own a computer. It’s not a requirement, however borrowing one or trying use a public computer, like those at your local library, can leave your course work unsecure and can be a hassle. If you don’t already have one, it’s a good idea to purchase your own.
The good news is that you don’t need a top of the line computer; you just need something simple that meets one of the following criteria:
- A PC that either runs Windows Vista, 7, or 8
- A Mac with an operating system 10.6 or higher
If you need to purchase something, laptops make a good choice because of their portability and relatively lower cost. Best Buy offers a wide selection of laptops starting at just $250, and students with a Husky card can get a discount.
While buying a computer might seem like an expensive school supply, think of it as investment in your education and nursing career. Long after the program is over, you’ll still have the computer to use for other things, like staying current on medical research and staying connected with students you met in the program.
You’ll Need a Secure Internet Connection
High speed internet is recommended for all online coursework. Your time is valuable, so it’s worth it to get a connection with a decent download speed. In addition, make sure the connection is secure. Open WiFi access found at local coffee shops or restaurants leaves your personal information exposed. You never know who else is on the same network, so it’s better to be safe and use a secure, password-protected connection.
You’ll Need Microsoft Office & Firefox
Your computer will need to have some basic software installed. First, you’ll need Microsoft Office (Word, Excel and PowerPoint), which can be purchase through the Tech Marketplace available via myNEU. Second, you’ll need a way to connect to the internet. Firefox is recommended for all NEU online programs and is free to download.
If you’d like to get a better idea of how these applications will be used, Northeastern University has a few demo videos available for you on what to expect from taking courses online.
You’ll Need Basic Technical Knowledge
You don’t need to know anything fancy to take online nursing courses. You just need to know how to navigate the internet, use email and upload/download files. Attending NEU online isn’t about advanced technical knowledge; it’s about the self-discipline to learn the material, which would be the same if you were enrolled in a traditional program.
You’ll Need the Right Attitude
To be a successful nursing student, you need more than the right technology. You need to be self-motivated, proactive and engaged. Because you have so much flexibility with online courses, it will be up to you to keep yourself on track. Set a schedule that will fit your lifestyle and stick to it. This way, you have predetermined time during the week for nursing school.
If you ever get stuck on an assignment or run into technical issues, it is better to reach out immediately to a classmate or professor with questions. Don’t wait until an assignment is almost due to speak up. Your success as a student enrolled in one of Northeastern’s online accelerated programs depends on this as much as the right technology and technical knowledge.
If you want more information about NEU’s Direct Entry-Hybrid program, or any accelerated nursing program, contact us today to get your questions answered.