Are you currently an RN who has made the big decision to advance your career by furthering your education? Have you recently enrolled in one of the RN to BSN programs available across the country? If so, then there is plenty you need to do to prepare, but when it comes to must-have student tools and equipment, a computer tops the list.
Where it used to be that a desktop computer was the only option available, students have so many decisions nowadays – from the traditional desktop or a laptop, to a notebook/Chromebook style computer. So, what would make the most sense for your online nursing studies? What will check off the most boxes? Let’s take a closer look.
What Are Your Main Requirements?
A great place to start is by asking yourself what your main requirements are. Take for example the online RN to BSN Houston-based option available through Texas Medical Center. This course is done completely online, just like any other online degree program, which means a fast and reliable internet connection will be needed.
Of course, that will also depend on your internet provider, but you want to be sure the model you choose is capable of high downloading and uploading speeds.
It’s also a good idea to look at the courses themselves and read up on any software and/or technology that may be required on your part. Is the computer capable of handling such technology? Storage should also be a consideration.
Even with all the cloud storage solutions out there, that can act as your backup and you may still want to store files and research on your actual hard drive as that safety net. Keep in mind that purchasing an external hard drive is also very much recommended.
How Portable Does the Computer Need to Be?
Just because you can do your studies from home in your program, it doesn’t mean you’ll always be working from home. If you’re the type that travels, spends the night at friends or family’s houses, or likes to head to the local coffee shop to study, then portability needs to be factor.
Not only does it need to be wireless, but it should be lightweight and compact, with a battery that has great lasting power.
Does Screen Size Matter to You?
Not everyone is caught up in the screen size, but if you’re the type that prefers a large screen, more like a small television, then you’re probably better off looking at the traditional desktop models.
From there, a laptop is your best bet, as some will have bigger screens than other. The notebook or Chromebook is likely the last choice for those who don’t want to be squinting.
Do You Prefer an External Keyboard?
Finally, there is the keyboard. This may not seem like a big deal, but when you’re writing papers, notes, and assignments and spending all kinds of time online, a comfortable keyboard makes a difference.
A desktop will have a full external keyboard, but keep in mind you can always purchase an external wireless keyboard for use with a laptop if you like. By thinking about each of these factors, you’ll be able to make an informed decision on what’s best for you.