Working Registered Nurse near Salem Earns Her Bachelor's Degree Online
Tina Boris of Fulton County is set to earn her bachelor's degree in nursing after taking classes online from the Eleanor Mann School of Nursing in the College of Education and Health Professions.
Editor's note: This story is part of a series of spotlights on students who study or studied online at the University of Arkansas. The stories are running during National Distance Learning Week, Nov. 9-13.
Tina Boris, an online student in a University of Arkansas nursing program, did not always aspire to be a nurse. It was the interactions she had with physicians and staff when her late husband fell sick that drew her in to the medical field.
"I began to wonder if I might also be able to make a positive difference in people's lives, like many of the staff we met had made a difference in ours," she said.
Boris' academic journey began in 2011. She became a licensed practical nurse in 2013 and a registered nurse in 2014. She is set to earn her bachelor's degree in nursing in December.
When deciding which university would be the best fit for her bachelor's degree, the U of A's online registered nurse to Bachelor of Science in Nursing program from the Eleanor Mann School of Nursing stood out for four reasons, she said. First, Boris sought a program that was 100 percent online, with no required trips to campus.
"This was an important factor because the University of Arkansas is four hours away from us one-way," said Boris, who lives on a farm near Salem in Fulton County.
The completely online program allowed her to save on gas, food and hotel costs. The quality of the curriculum also impacted Boris' decision.
"I felt the curriculum of the R.N. to B.S.N. program was superior to the other university programs I had looked at regarding the width and breadth of the courses," she said.
For Boris, the duration was another appeal of the online R.N. to B.S.N. program from the College of Education and Health Professions. She said being able to complete the program in one year "was a big plus."
Finally, the lack of required on-site, facility clinic hours played an important role in Boris' decision.
"Between my L.P.N. and R.N. programs, I had just finished clocking approximately 1,000 clinical hours," she said. "And while those hours can sometimes offer great learning experiences, they are an added expense."
Overall, Boris says she is satisfied with her experience as a student with the U of A.
"My online experience here at U of A has been extraordinary," she said. "Not only have I enjoyed all the courses I've taken, I have met some wonderful faculty along the way."
The online experience, in particular, has been a positive one.
"The online experience is supported by faculty members who are only an email or phone call away, so you never feel isolated or that you are going it alone," Boris said. "And time is spent doing actual classwork instead of traveling to and from class."
Boris' future plan is to become a nurse educator.
"My true passion is in nursing education because I feel in that way I can touch even more people's lives, through the students I teach," she said. "It is my hope to someday have the opportunity to incorporate online learning into my own teaching curriculum."
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