2019 Graduate, Bachelor of Science in Nursing, RN-BSN Option
Patricia White is a resident of Houston, Texas, and a mother of four. She grew up in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and got her RN diploma there over 30 years ago. Nurses at that time did not need to have a BSN to be hired or even to be in management positions. With her RN diploma, Patricia worked in several pediatric settings; her favorite was the PICU and she was often in charge of the unit. While she could have worked towards her BSN and even had it paid for by her employer, Patricia was young and "too busy having fun and being single" to do it.
Her four children are now grown and graduating from high school, college and medical school and Patricia decided it was time to go back to school and get that BSN degree that she had put on hold for so long.
Patricia is now a proud graduate of UTEP's RN-BSN program.
Why she enrolled in the program:
While my career has been exciting and fulfilling, I always thought I should go back to school and obtain my BSN. I have had to pass up on other positions due to my lack of having a bachelor's degree. Selfishly, I didn’t want to be the only person in my family without a degree so about four years ago, I started looking up different programs, found out how many pre-reqs (I had to take seven pre-req classes) I needed to be accepted into a program and now, here we are!
I had three co-workers who went through this program (and) by their recommendations, as well as my research, I chose UTEP. It really has been one of the best decisions of my life!
Her experience with online learning:
All of the seven pre-req classes I took were online. Thank goodness I had kids in college who could help me navigate that or I wouldn’t be here today!
Once I understood the language and nuances of online classes, it made things so much easier. (Because I have) a full-time job which requires me to travel, attending a class in person would be next to impossible. Online classes require staying organized and getting assignments done in a timely manner. In some ways, I think it is a bit harder than attending classes in person because of those reasons.
On the support she received as an online student:
My professors were available to help when needed. They even gave us their cell phone numbers to call when we have questions or concerns. That really shocked me. They were very supportive and truly want us to succeed.
What she would say to prospective online students:
This program is not easy, but I think it’s the best. While everything is virtual, I feel like the instructors really know us and truly want us to succeed. I think many people think online classes are easier than ones in person, but they aren’t. It takes a lot of determination and dedication to take online classes. Some people even think taking classes online are easier than (taking them) in person. Nope, not true! I have learned so much about why I need to get my BSN. Professionally, it shows prospective employers you have put forth the extra time and dedication to further your career.
On whether she would enroll in this program again if she had to do things over:
There is no doubt I would enroll in this program again. Even though I have been an RN for many years, this program showed me what was lacking in my education.