How a Nurse Started a Master's Degree Program On-Time: A StraighterLine Success Story

Beth Dumbauld

success_story_kennetteKennette Orsingher has been working as a nurse for over 20 years. Though she already has an RN, she’s now ready to advance her career by going back to school to earn her MSN in Nursing and Nursing Informatics. Or rather, Kennette has been ready to go back to school for a long time, but the cost and inflexibility of the traditional higher ed system had proved too much of a barrier to overcome.

Fortunately, since her first college experience in 1988, much has changed.

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More Affordable and Flexible Online Degree Options

Kennette considered going back to college over a decade ago, but back then, “a strictly online degree wasn’t possible.” She knew she would need an extremely flexible degree program that would allow her continue to “work full-time” and raise her family. She looked into going back again a few years later when online education was first starting to gain traction, but after doing some research, she found that “it wasn’t cost effective.” That was then, this is now.

Choosing Walden University

When Kennette started looking into earning her master’s degree online this time around, she noticed the difference in her online options right away. She found several career-friendly, affordable, 100% online degree programs that could help her bridge her RN to a MSN. Plus, her kids are older, and need less of her time. “I have four kids,” she said, “but now, two are in college and the two at home are in high school.”

After evaluating online degree programs, Kennette eventually found exactly what she needed in the RN to MSN nursing bridge program at StraighterLine partner college, Walden University.

“I work in nursing informatics. Walden’s MSN in Nursing and Nursing Informatics offered exactly what I was looking for in a degree program - and it’s 100% online.”

There was just one catch: Walden’s nursing degree program started in August, but she still needed to complete a humanities course in order to qualify for admittance.

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Enrolling On-Time with StraighterLine

During the enrollment process, Kennette had her transcripts from her previous two college experiences sent to Walden, including her first two-year degree program in nursing as well as an additional year’s worth of courses completed at a 4-year college. After the school received and reviewed her transcripts, her Walden Enrollment Advisor let Kennette know that she needed one more course credit, a humanities, before she could enroll in the school’s MSN program.

Knowing that Kennette wanted to make the August start date, and it was already summer, her Walden Enrollment Advisor suggested she check out Walden’s new partner, StraighterLine. She let Kennette know that StraighterLine could offer “a cheaper and faster way to complete her [general education courses]” and gave her the information she needed.

Kennette liked what she saw at StraighterLine.

The general education courses “were a lot cheaper and faster” and she quickly enrolled in StraighterLine’s Western Civilization, a 3-credit humanities course. Since she was traveling for work at that time, it took her “about 6 weeks” to complete.

“I liked that you can work at your own pace, that you can work in your available free time, or take a whole day,” said Kennette, and she added, “StraighterLine is very affordable. $99/month and the credits are guaranteed to transfer!”

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Starting at Walden University

Kennette is extremely grateful for the partnership between StraighterLine and Walden. Because she enrolled in a StraighterLine humanities course, and was making headway towards course completion, Walden allowed her to start her Master’s degree program in August as she had planned. She did not have to wait another semester, and was able to complete her StraighterLine course concurrently with enrollment in the MSN degree program.

“I have friends who are also enrolled in the same degree program at Walden and I have referred them to [StraighterLine]. People need to know about StraighterLine!”

Advice for Adult Learners

According to Kennette, “Earning your degree online is not easy.” She added, “It takes more time that you expect, but you can can really learn something from every course.”

Kennette started her Master’s of Nursing in Nursing Informatics from Walden University in August 2015. Thanks to StraighterLine, she completed the humanities course she needed to start her degree program on time and plans on graduating in the spring of 2018. Congratulations Kennette!

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