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After May Macdowall experienced the quality and flexiblity of the Madison School of Healthcare online BSN completion program, she sang its praises to anyone who would listen. And one of those who heard her the loudest was her daughter, Maeghan. At 19, Maeghan was determined to attend college but wasn’t having a lot of success with the local institution. So she joined her mother at Ashworth College, and now the duo attend classes together – yet separately – in different online programs.
May had been a nurse for 30 years when she decided to pursue a BSN degree. “You never want to be left behind in your career, and the BSN is the new standard for nursing,” May explained. “Plus, I feel as a nurse I’m trying to help people be their best, so I should also be the best I can.”
As a board certified case manager, May helps injured employees return to function by providing rehabilitation nursing and facilitating all the services required to restore an employee to health. In this position May isn’t required to hold a BSN, but having the degree will allow her to keep her options open for the future. “Even though I’m not working in an acute care setting now, you never know what the future might hold,” May said, “and if I ever wanted to go back into that type of environment, especially at a magnet facility, I would need the BSN.”
Even though she doesn’t need the degree for her current career, May says she has already found value in the BSN curriculum. “The population-based nursing module gave me a broader perspective on socioeconomic factors that affect care and how patients view care,” she said, “and that is knowledge I’ve already been able to apply in my job as a case manager.”
As May has been pursing her BSN online, Maeghan was graduating high school and looking at her career options. “I’m planning to go into real estate, but I wanted to have a solid backup plan, in case the economy or some other factor affected home buying in the future,” she said.
Maeghan signed up for classes at a local community college but found the rigid schedule didn’t fit her needs. “I work and also am a Mary Kay consultant, so it was very hard to fit traditional classes into my schedule,” she explained.
Then one day her mother suggested she look into Ashworth College. “I loved hearing how convenient it was for my mom to take classes,” Maeghan said. “I ended up enrolling in the Bachelor of Business Administration online program, and it works great for me. I can see a client, then study, then see another client. This program really fits my lifestyle.”
And Maeghan points out another benefit of her online-only education: pacing. “One thing I really like about the online program is the pace is not dictated by the instructor,” she explained. “In a classroom, sometimes the instructor will dwell on information you already understand, but then skim over something that doesn’t make sense. In my program, I can focus on the areas I don’t understand and reach out for help. My instructors have been very supportive in sending me links to additional, relevant material to assist me.”
As the Macdowall family story illustrates, online education can work for anyone, no matter their age. With maximum flexibility to start classes whenever you want and to study at your own pace, online education makes so much sense. As May puts it, “Online education is just such a reasonable option.”
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