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Online student finds offline comradery through RN-BSN program

Amanda Goodman

For many, choosing to earn a degree through one of Arizona State University’s online programs is about convenience and flexibility. That was the case, at least in part, for College of Nursing and Health Innovation online RN-BSN graduate Melissa Two.

“I knew ASU was where I wanted to go for my doctorate so I decided it was where I wanted to go for my BSN and the program fit my schedule better because I knew it was all online,” Two said.

Already working as a registered nurse, Two said the virtual classroom took the pressure off a bit by allowing her to continue earning a living. It also made it possible for the single mother to spend valuable time with her daughter while learning critical skills to advance her knowledge base.

“Having that Bachelor’s of Science in nursing, the things that I learned there were, it opens up your mind in how to be a leader and use resources wisely, thinking more about evidence-based practice.”

While the ability to study and learn at her own pace was a definite draw, she still wanted to interact with her classmates and professors offline. Prior to this program, Two had never taken an online-only course and was missing that in-person exchange.

“I think it actually made me strive more to find that connection.”

So she got involved on her schedule. Two helped organize study groups, team projects and more. She discovered it was easy to step out from behind the monitor and connect with her classmates and professors in real life.

Her work ethic and involvement caught the attention of her professors who described her as an “outstanding student” in the program. As a result, she was selected by faculty as the Outstanding Graduate for Community Involvement.

“She demonstrated a strong work ethic, professional and respectful communication and a strong desire to serve others in her community.  She has always remained focused on advancing her nursing career through lifelong learning so that she can provide care to those who need it the most,” said CONHI Clinical Assistant Professor Heidi Sanborn.

Two is continuing to build upon her education; she is currently enrolled in CONHI’s Doctor of Nursing Practice program. She’s also living up to her outstanding graduate title by joining the Graduate Nurses Organization as an officer.

All in all she said the online program was a great success for her.  She’s proud of her degree and thrilled to be able to advance her knowledge on her terms.

“I appreciate ASU’s innovation and jumping ahead and staying ahead of a lot of colleges when it comes to accessible degree program options,” Two said adding, “the program is challenging, it really makes you think and that’s why we produce a lot of really good students and why we’re one of the top-ranked universities.”