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How to Stop Getting Distracted and Start Focusing on Your Studies

by South University
September 30, 2013

The advent of online education has yielded benefits almost too numerous to name. It's now easier than ever to earn your degree while also working full-time or raising a family, or even when you don’t live near an institution of higher learning. However, if you're attending classes from your living room or a coffee shop, it’s also easier to be distracted. South University recognizes the difficulties inherent in earning a degree online and has compiled some of the best tips and tricks for staying focused on your coursework.

adult studying

Designate a Work Space

Tempting though it might seem to work from your couch or bed, you'll be more productive in a specially designated work space. Setting aside a work space reinforces the message that your coursework is important. What's more, an ergonomically correct work space can enable you to focus for even longer periods. When you're in your work space, focus only on work. If you don't have space in your residence, find a quiet coffee shop, public library or other space where you can work undisturbed for a good stretch of time. Establishing a space-related routine is almost as important as finding the space itself.

Allocate Time for Your Coursework

Much as you should designate a work space, so too should you set aside work time. Scheduling time for your courses and homework serves as a reminder that you're working toward your goals and need to dedicate appropriate time and effort to achieving them. Examine your current schedule to determine how much time you can budget for your courses and related activities. If possible, set aside smaller blocks of time each day rather than one large block of time per week. Meeting small goals (even like studying for one hour) is easier than tackling large ones.

Allow Yourself Breaks

If you think working non-stop is the way to get the most done, think again. Short breaks give your mind and body the much-needed chance to recharge. Once an hour, take a few minutes to get up, stretch, walk around, or check your email. Limiting web surfing to breaks makes the experience more enjoyable and helps you stay focused on the task at hand.

Enlist the Support of Others

Don't be afraid to ask for help! Share your goals with your friends and family and let loved ones know what they can do to make your journey easier. Don't be afraid to ask for help! If having a TV on near you is distracting, let your spouse or kids know. If you tell yourself that you would finish that paper but you have to cook dinner, order a pizza. Most people will be glad to help, and their generosity will encourage your further success.

Stand Your Ground

During your scheduled work time, do not respond to other requests or matters. Put your phone on silent (or turn it off), step back from Facebook, and let your family know that you won't be available for an hour or two. If necessary, hire a babysitter or ask a friend to watch your kids. Standing your ground will send the message—to yourself, your family, your friends and instructors—that you're invested in you.

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South University Named Among Top Military Friendly Schools

by South University
September 26, 2013

We are proud to announce that GI Jobs Magazine selected South University for recognition and inclusion in its list of Military Friendly Schools® for 2014. The list honors the top 20 percent of colleges, universities and trade schools doing the most to embrace America’s veterans as students. Schools listed have a shared priority of providing military students with focused support.

Military Friendly School iconThe list was compiled through comprehensive research conducted with more than 17,000 schools nationwide via a data driven survey administered by Victory Media, a veteran-owned business and publisher of G.I. Jobs and the Guide to Military Friendly Schools. The survey weighting, methodology, and resulting schools list is independently certified by the accounting firm Ernst & Young LLP.

Criteria for making the Military Friendly Schools list included efforts to recruit and retain military and veteran students, results in recruiting military and veteran students, and academic accreditations. Schools on the list also offer additional benefits to student veterans including on-campus veteran programs, credit for service, military spouse programs and more.

Depending on a student’s unique circumstances, online higher education can provide the flexibility of not having to be physically located on campus. Some programs even enable active military personnel to stay enrolled online while serving overseas and others may offer the opportunity to allow special start and stop accommodations that reflect the reality of soldiers and sailors finding themselves deployed in the middle of a course.

Learn more about how we at South University work with our military students at http://online.southuniversity.edu/military/.

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3 Ways Students Should Be Using Twitter

by South University
September 25, 2013

When it comes to social media, it can be hard to keep up with the latest trends and know the ins and outs of every site. Take Twitter, for example. Maybe you’ve created an account and a user name (your Twitter handle), but you’re not sure what’s next. How can using Twitter benefit a professional adult like you? It might surprise you to learn that Twitter can be extremely helpful in networking, building your professional reputation, and even searching for the next step in your career.

Twitter convo

1. Connect with industry colleagues.

Find and follow established companies and professionals in your field and possibly in your city. Pay attention to what they’re tweeting and when you see something you like or agree with, retweet it. Even better, reply with your opinion included.

Based on someone’s tweets, you can also start a conversation about a shared interest. Ask their opinion on something or recommend articles or sites you think they’ll enjoy. Connecting with someone on Twitter can be an easy way to start a professional relationship!

2. Build your professional reputation.

Start by choosing a Twitter handle that sounds professional and writing a bio that speaks to who you are and where you are in your career. Your tweets should reinforce whatever this bio says. If you say you’re a working mom, dedicated nurse and lifelong learner, that’s what you should tweet about. (Follow us @SuCampusCommon to see what we’re tweeting about.) Find articles that talk about things like balancing your personal and professional life, the benefits of education, or new trends in nursing. Even better, give your own advice on this topic. Build credibility by showing that you’re aware of what’s going on around you and that you have something to contribute.

3. Search for Jobs.

Did you know that jobs are often posted on Twitter? Search using hashtags and keywords to find job postings in your area. Try searching #Jobs, #JobOpening, #ApplyNow, or search for a combination of those with your career field – something like #HealthcareJobs or #ITJobs. Searching “#HealthcareJobs” and “Atlanta,” for example would allow you to narrow your search even further.

In addition, if you’re interested in specific companies, many organizations have Twitter accounts dedicated to job openings. Follow these accounts to know right away whenever a job in your field opens up!

Read More

4 Proactive Ways Job Seekers Should Use Twitter
How to Tweet Your Way to a Dream Job
4 Ways To Use Twitter To Find A Job
How to Effectively Use Twitter as a Job Search Resource

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Applying to new jobs? Be prepared to shine in a phone interview.

by South University
September 19, 2013

Your phone rings and it's good news – an employer wants to schedule a phone interview with you! Wait, how different is that from an in-person interview? Why a phone interview instead of meeting face-to-face? Does this mean they aren't serious about hiring you? Okay, take a breath, calm down and let's talk about phone interviews.

Phone Interview

Phone interviews are common when a company receives a large number of applicants. Sometimes employers screen potential candidates with a short phone call, while other hiring managers conduct a complete interview over the phone before inviting you to the office. Either way, getting a phone interview is a great sign!

Once You Start Applying

1. Keep a contact list easily accessible with the company name, position and contact information for each position for which you apply. This way, you know immediately who is calling and about what job.

2. If possible, give the employer your private phone number. If you provide a number that someone else may answer, be sure that person will take a detailed message and inform you immediately when an employer calls.

3. Return calls within 24 hours. If you wait much longer, they may think you aren’t interested.

4. If an employer calls unexpectedly, explain that you would like to talk but you are busy at the moment. Politely ask to schedule time to talk later in the day or week. This gives you time to mentally prepare, review your resume and the job description, and think about any questions you'd like to ask.

Before the Interview

1. Find a quiet place for the interview, and advise others to not disturb you during that time. Be ready for the call a few minutes early just in case.

2. Print out a copy of your resume and job description and get a pen and paper for taking notes.

3. Practice like you would for any other interview – even though it’s over the phone, you’ll get a lot of the same questions.

4. Dress up a little – it can make you feel more confident and professional.

During the Call

1. Carefully listen to the interviewer, consider each question, and pause briefly before answering. Although it’s easy to ramble when you’re nervous and you can’t see the body language of the interviewer, just be confident and make your answers direct and to the point.

2. Toward the end of the call, ask about the next step in the process; this shows your interest and helps you understand what to expect.

3. Get the interviewer's contact information so you can follow up later.

After You Hang Up

1. Thank the interviewer in an email. Include a sentence or two about why you're a good fit for the position, relating it to something you discussed on the phone. If you didn't answer a particular question well during the interview, you can also briefly expand upon what you said on the phone.

2. Relax and reward yourself with something you enjoy! Hopefully, you’ll be hearing be back soon and on your way to the next step in the hiring process.

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Take Your Nursing Career to the Next Level

by South University, Online Programs
September 16, 2013

Becoming an RN is an important milestone in your professional journey. The next step is continuing to build your expertise. In the growing field of nursing, advancing your education can help you to distinguish yourself as a top candidate and prepare you to make a difference in the lives of your patients. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects positions for RNs will increase by 26 percent from 2010 until 2020. Will you be ready when the next big career opportunity comes your way?

Whether you’re just starting out or you have years of experience and training under your belt, South University has a nursing degree program designed for you and your busy schedule.

Bachelor of Science in Nursing

Nurse SymbolIn our Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program, you will have the opportunity to study advanced techniques for preventing and managing illness as well as for promoting general health and wellness. Plus, our BSN program can educate you on the basics of being a manager, including how to motivate, prioritize, delegate and make informed decisions. Thus, you can learn to not only have a more active role in your patients' health but also to be prepared to oversee LPNs and other RNs.

Master of Science Nursing

Nursing Practice symbol

When you obtain your Master of Science in Nursing (MSN), you can increase your skill and knowledge in specialized areas so that your patients get the care they deserve. If you do not yet hold a BSN, consider our accelerated RN to MSN online program, which combines the BSN and MSN curriculums.

In our MSN program, we offer two Nurse Practitioner specializations—Adult Health Nurse Practitioner and Family Nurse Practitioner. (PayScale.com notes that the average nurse practitioner earns anywhere from $67,307 to $111,234 annually.) In addition, we offer the Nurse Educator Specialization, the Nursing Informatics Specialization and the Nurse Administrator Specialization, so that you are prepared to take you careers in whatever direction you choose.

Doctor of Nursing Practice

nurse studying

If you’d like to be an agent of change in the field of the nursing and lead the next generation of nursing professionals, get started on earning your Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP). Our program is designed to provide practicing clinicians with the depth and breadth of clinical skill, leadership and clinical inquiry competencies essential to achieving excellence in advanced nursing practice.

Learn more about our full offering of Nursing programs today. Or, get to know a current student working on her MSN degree.

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