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Off campus study??

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Author Off campus study??

keeshy

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keeshy

  • Joined: Apr 2007
  • Location: Melbourne
  • Posts: 189

Wed Aug 06, 2008 3:08 pm

I know this has been asked before but I do want to ask it again and get some fresh opinions.

My question is this....who has done their nursing degree or knows of someone, via distance education?

Was it worth it?

Was it a quality education?

Did you get alot of support?

How did the placements and exams work?

I am considering doing my Div1 next year off campus so I can raise my family and work part time as well. Yes it will be hard but I am really keen. (also crazy).

I am thinking of applying to UniSA or any other uni's that offer the degree off campus (if you know of any others it would be great).

Any help or advice or answers you can provide me with are much appreciated :-)

LizzieW

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  • Joined: Jan 2008
  • Location: Brisbane
  • Posts: 13

Aug 06, 2008, 03:44 pm

I'm studying (first year) with unisa - there is great support for extenal students, from lecturers and other students as well as access to learning advisors for assistance with assignments.

A full time load is a recommended 40 hrs/week... I do around 15 - 30 hours/week from home with the kids distracting me and have been getting high distinctions and distinctions so far. Exams are held at exam centres in your region if you are outside the adelaide metro area (I am in Brisbane and mine are usually within 30 mins from home).

As I am only in 1st year I have yet to do my first placement - however, they are arranged locally, if possible to venues of your preference.

I am loving the course so far - it's definately a handy way to study if you have other life commitments.

Lizzie

keeshy

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keeshy
  • Joined: Apr 2007
  • Location: Melbourne
  • Posts: 189

Aug 06, 2008, 09:43 pm

Oh thats great and such positive feedback!! Thanks so much :)

Can I ask how you went about applying for the course? Did you apply through SATAC or open universities or through your states tertiary admissions centre?

I think that off campus is going to be the most sensible solution with young kids and part time work etc.

keeshy

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keeshy
  • Joined: Apr 2007
  • Location: Melbourne
  • Posts: 189

Aug 06, 2008, 10:11 pm

Sorry some more questions....when you complete your studies...are you registered with the nurses board of SA and you have to transfer over or are you automatically registered to your states nurses board (this part confuses me)?

I have been reading that there are times that you need to go over to SA to attend some workshops...have you done this yet and how often do you have to go over?

I am really keen to go ahead and do this but I have to make 100% certain this is going to work for me and my family you know.

emily kate

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  • Joined: Jun 2005
  • Location: Geelong
  • Posts: 3

Aug 14, 2008, 06:08 am

I'm in a similar position to you, looking at doing my Bachelor through University of SA externally. Family commitments are the main reason, also the closest Uni to me is Deakin Geelong and they aren't too flexible, all full time studies and all on campus.

I've emailed Uni SA and asked them about a few things regarding enrolment. It's via SATAC and I've even started the enrolement process which is quite straight forward and guides you through what you need to do. You can save your information and go back in and change it, add things etc, until you are ready to hit the apply now button.

With regards to the registration, once registered you need to apply for registration with the nurses board of Vic who will recognise your training and register you in the state of Vic. That's how it works now, although once you've finished this course, national registration will be in force and hopefully you'll only need to register the once.

My next step is to talk to someone in the nursing dept. at this uni and ask them about placements. I've heard the workshops in SA aren't that often, and given enough warning shouldn't be too hard to work around. I'd like some indication of where the placements will take place (hoping they aren't all in SA) aswell as the option of changing to part time study if it all gets too much.

keeshy

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keeshy
  • Joined: Apr 2007
  • Location: Melbourne
  • Posts: 189

Aug 14, 2008, 04:16 pm

Emily Kate...I just got off the phone with one of the people in the future students office from UNISA and got a heap of info. She actually told me if you work in the industry then they try to organise your placements in your workplace otherwise they find a place as convenient as possible. For exams and things you get alot of notice.

We only have to go over a couple of times a year and thats all. We do have the option to study part time or full time and its all covered by HECS HELP.

I am applying without a doubt!

Steph88

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  • Joined: Aug 2008
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  • Posts: 21

Aug 20, 2008, 02:02 pm

Hi,

I'm a second year external student through uniSA. The flexibility of external study is great, so long as you can stay motivated. However, if you find you have trouble staying motivated, it probably isn't ideal. To be successful in external study you also need to be prepared to seek out help (something I should do more often). I know that my mum was worried that I wouldn't get the chance to form networks with other students studying externally, but you do get to form online relationships through workshops and group assignments, which is always good when you need someone to talk to or just to vent!

I would also advise you to think ahead with placement. I am fairly sure the EN's now get credited for the first (4 week) placement which is at the end of second year. However, there are still 2 blocks of 8 week placement in the third year, and there is no garuntee you will get them close to home. I know a lot of external second years are feeling rather stressed at the moment, waiting to know whether our placement in October will be in our home states or SA... so there is the pressure of not knowing if we will be able to work a bit around placement or not at all, accomodation costs, and for a lot of people child care costs (and not being able to put their kids into care until they know).

I also wouldn't recommend uniSA if you are looking to transfer to another university, because most other uni's start placement earlier and embed it into other courses, which you would then have to repeat. I know this is probably a whole lot of babble and might even confuse you more, but if there's any questions I can help with let me know.

:) Steph

Lauren_8282

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  • Joined: Jul 2008
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Aug 20, 2008, 02:57 pm

Hi!

I'm also in a similar position to you guys. I'm in Adelaide and I was tossing up between CDU and UniSA. I applied last week and put UniSA as my first preference and CDU as my second. Not quite sure how I am going to juggle full time work and a clinical placement, but that's not until the second year, so anything can happen between now and then. I'm a bit cautious about studying externally, because of the motivation factor, but its really the only way I can do it with work, so hopefully there will be a bit of support amongst the other external students.

I went to the UniSA open day on the weekend and spoke to one of the program directors. She said they have course discussion boards (probably a bit like this one) and the lecturer pops in every couple of days to answer any questions anyone might have. She also said that external students are more than welcome to come to the lectures if they are able to, which is great if you are from Adelaide, not so great if you aren't.

Is anyone doing the STAT test for their application? I'm a bit nervous about that one :)

Lauren

keeshy

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keeshy
  • Joined: Apr 2007
  • Location: Melbourne
  • Posts: 189

Aug 22, 2008, 12:51 pm

Thanks guys.

I dont plan on transfering to another uni or anything so thats not going to be an issue. Off campus is the only practical way for me to study right now. I think occasionally motivation will be a factor...it is with everyone... but I have loads of support plus to bonus of being a div 2 already so will have support from colleagues as well.

I am really keen to do it so I think whatever comes I will be able to handle or will give it my best shot anyway.

tropicana

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tropicana
  • Joined: Mar 2007
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  • Posts: 62

Aug 22, 2008, 06:49 pm

Hi, I did my education by distance. Not uniSA, but CDU in Darwin. I liked the independence, and the fact that I could work my life around it. Unis are more online these days as well, so you should have better access. I too was an EN. It really helps with the concepts, because you are already working in the field.

Cant tell you about uniSA support. What I can say though is because I had all my 'lectures' at home, ie as packages, I could read them at my 'leisure', and take notes in my own time too! Not sit in a tutorial room and try to scribble every little scrap of info the lecturer throws at you. So I believe you have an even better chance at getting a quality education...because the lecturer can't just scribble the notes the night before, but has to have them properly presented before you get them.

Best of luck in your choice. I recommend it.

keeshy

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keeshy
  • Joined: Apr 2007
  • Location: Melbourne
  • Posts: 189

Aug 23, 2008, 03:14 pm

Thanks Tropicana!! :-)

I have also applied to CDU external so thats good to hear!!

midaz

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  • Joined: Nov 2007
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Sep 07, 2008, 11:01 pm

Hi Keeshy

I'm hoping that you've applied directly through UniSA rather than via OUA!

UniSA via OUA is a complete disaster, I dont even know where to begin...! The lecturers disappear in the middle of semester, without word, for weeks at a time, they ignore student questions, there's material in exams thats outside the scope of the course, assignment marking is all over the place and takes forever, and they're incapable of organising clinical placements!

Of the initial intake of 50 students only 6 graduated - and thats due only to their incredible hard work and determination. The university gives students absolutely no support, while at the same time doing everything possible to make things harder for us. We are 100% self taught.

Currently the third year students have just been told that the uni has been "unable" to organise our final clinical placement. It was due to start in just two weeks. Obviously without this placement we can't graduate, and we can't accept our grad programs for next year.

If anyone else reading this is even considering OUA/UniSA please stay well away, I wouldn't wish this nightmare on my worst enemy.

keeshy

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keeshy
  • Joined: Apr 2007
  • Location: Melbourne
  • Posts: 189

Sep 13, 2008, 03:38 pm

Hi Midaz...

What is QUA?

I have applied for UniSA through SATAC. Have not heard of QUA and dont have anything to do with it as far as Im aware.

Steph88

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  • Joined: Aug 2008
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Sep 17, 2008, 02:44 pm

Hi Keeshy,

OUA is Open Univesities Australia, UniSA offers a full fee paying place through them. I have heard some very bad things about the nursing course through OUA lately. The structure is the same as that offered direct, but it does have some differences.

- OUA students must attend their workshops in Whyalla while those studying direct have the option of attending Adelaide, Whyalla or Mt Gambier

- OUA students pay fullfee, while those studying direct pay a "contribution" to a government supported place.

I have also heard rumour that the OUA students are not allowed to contact lecturers via email, and can only use discussion boards. One girl who is studying direct through uniSA this year started through OUA, but was having trouble getting credit for her previous work, which seems pretty crazy being the same curriculum.

Don't think this is likely to have much impact if you are studying direct, but should clear up what OUA is.

Steph.

Steph88

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Sep 17, 2008, 05:28 pm

Hi Keeshy and all the other EN's out there,

I have just noticed this afternoon that university of new england in Armidale (northern NSW) offers its course externally to EN's. Just thought I'd mention it to you because according to the website you can complete it in 2 years FT or 4 years PT if you are already an EN with a cert IV, so could save you time and money. Being in NSW i'd gather that the application will be through UAC. Check it out if you like

http://www.une.edu.au/courses/2009/courses/BNURS

Goodluck with whatever you do :)

Steph.

heidi501

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  • Joined: Oct 2008
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Oct 01, 2008, 11:08 am

I am also studying externally through unisa and thought i'd add my thoughts.

Overall, it works for me, i started off internally, and while the interaction was good, i found a lot of the discussions etc in tutorials were too time consuming as a mature age student. What is discussed in 2 or 3 hours in a tute, i find you can do the readings in your own time and grasp the concept just as well in half the time. So for me it works.

You do need to be very proactive, and to be honest, i find you do need to hassle the tutors a fair bit on the discussion board/email to get answers to your questions regarding assingments etc as they seem overworked with too many students to respond to. That's probably my biggest gripe.

In terms of workshop dates take a look at this link which explains the requirements quite well:

http://www.unisa.edu.au/nur/pdf/ExternalWorkshopRequirements08.pdf

In terms of the placements there is one 4 week aged care placement at the end of 2nd year and two 8 week placements in each semester of 3rd year.

I have also heard very bad things about open university course, all the best with your decision though!

keeshy

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keeshy
  • Joined: Apr 2007
  • Location: Melbourne
  • Posts: 189

Oct 03, 2008, 09:36 pm

Thanks for your input everyone.

I have not gone through open universities at all. I applied for a darwin uni and unisa through SATAC so I wont have anything to do with OUA.

I have heard good things very recently about both uni's so Im looking forward to seeing if I get in and how it all works

lizzie beth

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  • Joined: Jul 2010
  • Location: Albany
  • Posts: 1

Jul 27, 2010, 09:39 pm

I am currently a full time regeistered nursing student going into my second year.........has been a struggle as a single mum and am looking into external studies....so far looked at UniSA and Charles Darwin...does anyone have any advice on which is the better of the two....cheers

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