LaNeir Johnson had a party one week after she graduated from the University of Rhode Island’s online Registered Nurse to Bachelor of Science in Nursing program in May 2017.
But, she had more to celebrate than her degree.
“My son, Jaden, just graduated from high school,” Johnson said. “My family made me have a party because I didn’t have a party with the associate degree. I wanted to set an example for Jaden to make sure he knew that all he had to do was set the goal and work hard to obtain it. He plans to attend Community College of Rhode Island (CCRI) this fall to start his general studies.”
Johnson knows her bachelor’s degree will continue to pay dividends in the future, but it helped her become a nurse case manager at University Medicine even before she finished the RN to BS program. Johnson has been with the same facility for eight years, primarily as a medical assistant.
“I know certain hospitals won’t hire you without a BS in nursing,” she said. “My job is only Monday through Friday, so I’m looking to gain some emergency room experience per diem. They won’t hire you in some hospitals without that BS, so I feel like this is going to open some doors for me eventually.”
Path to Success
Once Johnson decided to take the nursing route, she enrolled in the Associate of Nursing program at CCRI. She graduated in 2015, and then took about a year off before she dove into the bachelor’s degree program at URI.
“The plan all along was to go to the bachelor’s program,” she said. “CCRI and URI have a joint admissions agreement, so most of the credits I had were transferable. That definitely made URI the top choice. The format and the setup were easy. With the seven-week modules, the flow was also easy. It was seamless. I didn’t have too much of a hassle.”
Johnson said the online RN to BS program was very manageable, even with a full-time job.
“You just have to have good time management,” she said. “They make the setup really easy in the sense that they give you a to-do list. As long as you follow that list with the timeline, you really can’t go wrong. Even if you work full-time, it’s really easy with that to-do list.”
Johnson said she spent between 20 and 25 hours per week on school since she was enrolled in two courses at a time to finish more quickly. Since she has a work schedule within regular business hours, unlike many of her peers, she was able to have time to work on school without much juggling. I did my schoolwork after work and on weekends.”
Johnson said even though her job is a bit different than that of a typical emergency room nurse, the coursework in the RN to BS program was extremely useful.
“I loved the Women in the United States [HIS 146] course,” Johnson said. “I learned a lot in that class. I actually liked the Nursing Pharmacology [BPS 333] course. I liked the Nursing Research [NUR 253] course, too. I did not really have any problems with any of the courses, but those were my favorites.”
Johnson said the course that hit home the most was NUR 447: Adult Health Assessment.
“That was one of the last courses I took,” she said. “Doing case management and research was really applicable to my job. For the most part, all of the courses were applicable.”
And now that she is a graduate of the RN to BS program, this single mom can pass along her advice for others who want to enroll.
“You need to have excellent time management,” she said. “If you don’t have that, you will definitely be stressed out with the deadlines. Now that I’m not in school, I just like to relax.”
Consider that rest and relaxation time well-earned.
Learn more about the URI online RN to BSN program.
Have a question or concern about this article? Please contact us.