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RN-BSN Student Story: Night Shift Nurse & Online Student

| 5 minute read

Nurses are the backbone of our society. The field of nursing requires hardworking and dedicated individuals. So, what happens when one of those hardworking and dedicated individuals is looking to advance their nursing career? They continue their education fully online!
Rachael Stout was a full-time RN that was working night shifts when she decided to earn her RN-BSN degree online at The University of Southern Mississippi. She had been out of school for 8 years and had never taken classes online before. The available resources and welcoming atmosphere provided by USM’s College of Nursing and Health Professionals sealed the deal for Rachael and made her feel confident that earning her RN-BSN degree online was the right decision for her!

After only 3 semesters, Rachael was able to earn her RN-BSN degree!
With personable faculty and class schedules designed for the working nurse, Rachael is so happy she decided to take the step in her career to earn her RN-BSN degree. We are excited to share more of Rachael’s story with you below!

Q. Out of all the schools that you could have chosen for your field of study, what made you choose Southern Miss?
A. Attending a college recognized for quality education was a considerable factor. I want to be proud of the degree I worked hard to obtain. Before choosing a school, I was fortunate enough to have an opportunity to visit the Southern Miss campus. The welcoming atmosphere and the availability of resources to assist students in reaching their educational goals made the decision easy. I will certainly be proud to say I am a Southern Miss alumna.

Q. Why did you choose online learning instead of going to traditional classroom to earn your RN-BSN degree?
A. I chose online learning because I live in Meridian which is over an hour away from campus. Currently, I work night shift and online classes offer great flexibility with my schedule.

Q. For someone that is considering online learning, but is a little apprehensive, what advice would you give them?
A. Before starting in this program, I had no experience with online learning. The Canvas site is easy to navigate, and instructors will provide orientation before classes begin. (Canvas is the online hub for all of your classes.) The program itself is set up for students to be successful while still maintaining a career. It took me a long time to enter the program because I was nervous not only about online learning but going back to school in general. I now wish I would have taken this step much earlier. You just have to give yourself that extra push!

Q. If you were going to earn another degree, would you choose to earn it online? Why or why not?
A. I would definitely choose to earn another degree online. I have actually applied to the Southern Miss BSN-DNP program. I will also add that Southern Miss is the only school I applied to and can’t wait to hear back. I am very excited about all the opportunities available and ready for the next chapter. After graduating from the ADN program eleven years ago, I never thought I would be back in school and now here I am anxiously waiting to start the next program!

This program is completely manageable while working. Assignments, schedules, and due dates are created by a collaborative staff with the working nurse in mind.

Q. Do you feel like earning your degree online at Southern Miss helped – and will continue to help – advance yourself in your career?
A. My experience in the Southern Miss RN-BSN program has greatly increased the confidence I have in my ability to advance my career. Gaining this degree is certainly an accomplishment in itself, but I now look forward to continuing my education with the graduate nursing program at Southern Miss.

Q. What do you feel made your RN-BSN online program unique?
A. The many resources available to online students was something I found outstanding about the program. It was very convenient to have the writing center available when you have a few last-minute questions on a paper. I was able to make an online appointment, send in my paper, and receive feedback rather quickly. This is an excellent resource for the BSN student, and I would suggest taking full advantage of it. The student success center link on the canvas site also takes you to a variety of other resources to assist in other areas.

Q. What do you feel were the strengths of the RN-BSN program?
A. I would have to say the greatest strength of the RN-BSN program has to be the instructors. Every instructor in the program has shown genuine concern for my advancement. They are also very responsive to any questions or concerns I may have. My assignments have always received thorough and individualized feedback. Even though this is an online program, the instructors get to know their students.

Q. What was one of your favorite aspects about the RN-BSN program?
A. One of my favorite aspects about the program is that I was able to earn my BSN in only three semesters.

Q. How was juggling working full-time and earning your RN-BSN degree online?
A. This program is completely manageable while working. Assignments, schedules, and due dates are created by a collaborative staff with the working nurse in mind. This allows for time between assignments and the advance schedule, which is published at the beginning of the semester, also gives you time to get ahead if you have a busy week coming up.

Q. What is a fun fact about yourself?
A. I also have a daughter that attends Southern Miss. She has one more year before graduation. I have another daughter that plans to attend Southern Miss in two years. If I am accepted into the BSN-DNP program, I will have attended with both daughters. One day we will have three Southern Miss alumnae in the family!

Interested in learning more about our fully online RN-BSN degree? Click here! Or fill out the form on the bottom of this page. We would love to send you more information about the program.


Office of Online Learning

All blog posts are written and maintained by the Office of Online Learning at The University of Southern Mississippi. We provide support to online students, to faculty teaching online courses, and to units seeking to develop, grow, or improve online programs at the University.

For more information, email us at online@usm.edu.