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Abstract

Preloading student satisfaction and success factors into an online program orientation course can strengthen the potential for student retention and success. A 100% online graduate nursing orientation and guidance program was developed. Access to peer support, faculty advisor, and university resources were provided within the course using the same learning management system as the program. Students were taught the basic structure of courses (including discussions, quizzes, and dropbox) to ease the stress of the first few weeks of class. Graduate study requirements and expectations were explained along with the differences between online and face-to-face study. Guidance was provided to assist students in balancing work, life, and study. Students report decreased anxiety and increased comfort with graduate online education, increased self confidence, and feelings of support.

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