Online Education: An Explanation and a Rant


MOOC stands for Massive Online Open Courses.
MOOCs are currently free and taught by instructors at top universities. There is no grade associated with taking the class.
Online education is an extremely important area. I am currently taking the courses necessary to advance from an LPN license to an RN license via online courses through Excelsior College in Albany, New York. I would not be able to do this otherwise, because I’d have to go to school all day and work all night.
Which brings up a beef that I have with the way most nursing programs are run.
Nursing programs overall seem to stuck be in the dark ages. Most of the classes I attended to get my LPN license could have been taken online, but the school didn’t have the funds to pay online instructors. They were lecture classes. The teacher read right out of the textbook.
I was able to obtain my LPN license because there was a part-time school option. The school in my area does not offer a part-time option to obtain the RN license. One would have to go to school full time, which I simply couldn’t do. I don’t have the option to work part time. I do not have a spouse or parents to support me while I go to school. One should not be expected to have such.
As well, I can understand requiring that clinicals be done on a day or evening shift rather than a night shift, because nights tend to be an oddball shift. I should know, I’ve worked night shift for a great part of my working life, and I prefer it.
This one is the fault of the hospitals, not of the college. The hospitals do not offer a day or evening option for clinicals, which I very much think they need to do. Not everyone does well on day shift. Some people, like me, work night shift, and an evening shift clinical would be much less difficult to adapt to.
Medical school is another area that needs to advance out of the dark ages. My brother is an EMS captain in Tucson. He works closely with the staff at the area hospitals. He says that interns are still treated as the “resident’s bitches,” and the hours they work during their clinicals are horrible, i.e. 36 hours at a time without a break.
It seems to me that nursing school and med school remain shitty experiences because the people who came before had shitty experiences, so they want to insure that those following in their footsteps will suffer too. It’s a poor attitude, and it’s time to work to make these experiences positive ones for students. I think people graduating from a more flexible program where they were treated in a humane fashion would be better doctors/nurses.
I realize that people have to have their skills down pat before they can be certified. I’m not saying that nursing and med school programs should be lax about requiring excellence in the necessary areas. I’m only saying they should treat the students with common decency rather than continuing with harsh, outmoded practices.
~The Cheese~
Cross-Posted to:

4 thoughts on “Online Education: An Explanation and a Rant

  1. In a recent past experience I worked at a university and saw how things were done in an accelerated nursing program. I watched people struggle to maintain full-time school and finances. It’s a terrible system. And it’s no wonder a number of early career nurses are unpleasant! I can’t imagine going through all that and as a proponent of distance ed so it just pains me.

    • Nursing school was a terrible experience for me. I almost quit several times. I certainly wouldn’t be continuing to the next level if I hadn’t found this distance learning option, but it’s costing me an arm and a leg. The cost will total around $7500. I am paying in increments of $135 a month. On my already tight budget, this is a big sacrifice.
      The way the nursing program I went through for the LPN license was run, many of the instructors were short-tempered and rude. One instructor was also the clinical preceptor on the subacute unit during one of the training experiences. She threatened to send home anyone who made any sort of mistake. When I did a course evaluation for the clinical, I stated that I thought that this was an unproductive method and made people afraid to ask questions. She nearly sent me home for forgetting what type of drug one of the medications a patient was taking would be categorized as. Fortunately, I suppose, she saw fit to simply tear me a new one rather than sending me home and marking me off as having an absence.
      At any rate, medical training programs tend to be horrible and are badly in need of an overhaul. As do college programs in general. They’re still in the dark ages, and people are paying more for it than ever.

      • Yes, and to what end? If the instructors are not in a clear and compassionate frame of mind, what might each new crop of students inadvertently take away from the classes?!

  2. One of the things that students in my graduating class took away was that it was okay to hold prejudiced attitudes towards people who did not fit their definition of beauty. When asked what population we wouldn’t want to work with, I honestly said pediatrics, not because I hate children but because I don’t like working with children in a medical context. I tend to get a bit freaked out around children who are hurt and screaming. I much prefer working with adults.
    Several students answered with “obese people.”
    The teacher didn’t bother to go further in depth. She simply nodded knowingly. I didn’t know much about size acceptance or health at every size at that point, but I raised my hand and said I felt that people’s prejudices against obese people stems from the fact that we are very visible and therefore easy to target for discrimination.
    Not once did the teacher bother to address this.
    Overall, my experience in this nursing program was deplorable, and I’ve heard similar complaints from other nursing school graduates on various blogs.

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