Hear from a former graduate on how online learning provided her the flexibility to balance work, life and school.
My name is Lisa Sikora and I’m graduating from the Master of Science in Health Informatics program at UIC. I chose UIC because I grew up in Illinois, so I know the reputation that UIC has. I actually took an undergrad course here and I also liked the fact that it was an online program so it allowed me the flexibility to work full-time and to complete the program at the same time. They just have a wonderful reputation.
I interact with all types of individuals online. I have individuals that have an information technology background, from nursing professions to surgeons, providers, radiology, laboratory technicians, so there’s a very diverse variety of individuals that are in my programs. I think the Masters of Health Informatics degree will help my career in more ways than I could have imagined. It really will just build upon my current nursing clinical knowledge and help in the health care technology arena that is just the future of health care. It will be really valuable to help with patient and safety outcomes and just using the tools that is just such a growing field for government guidelines and just in general just to help the organizations to move forward with health care information technology.
My favorite experience at UIC, probably just the collaboration with such a diverse group of individuals. Like I said, they are from the United States, they are international, and it’s just a collaboration. Instead of just working with nurses, I also get to work with providers and IT professionals, so you just gain a very broad knowledge from all the learning experiences and all the knowledge from other students of where they worked in their organizations.
What surprised me the most about online learning is actually the time commitment that is involved with it. You think, “Oh, it’s online learning. This’ll be easy,” but I actually think that you probably put more time into learning and studying with an online program than you do with an actual classroom setting, and you have to be very disciplined to actually take that time to read and research, and pretty much you get out of the program what you put into it.