Littlenars’ Perks of being a distance learner at UP Open University

September 27th, 2013 by Dianne Peña

If you are a follower of this blog, it’s not new to you that I have been studying my masters (Master of Arts in Nursing) at University of the Philippines Open University and I am now on (hopefully) my last year as a distance education learner.

I have been a distance learner for 3 years now and thus, I am making this blog post to encourage you with all its benefits.

5. No time pressure (unless you want to put pressure on yourself) – it’s not that UP Open University wants you to be a delinquent student, but rather it lets you study “at your own phase”. It let’s you focus on your “busy-slash-hectic” job schedules as it was really designed for. It gives you 7 years to finish your desired degrees with proper filing for a ‘leave of absence’ status. It has a structured/suggested time frame and it is up to you as to how you will push through with it.

P.S this is yet another GREAT slash VALID reason to use internet more and spend quality time with your beloved gadgets 🙂


4. No “dreaded” reportings (as what other masters program does) – you only have to attend Skype or YM chat sessions. Lucky if your professors wanted or scheduled a real “face-to-face” discussion. Yes, that perks relieves the shyness in me. This depends on you degree/course, as for the Master of Arts in Nursing students, we have a 3 to 4-day duty at UP- Philippine General Hospital as a final requirement in our major subject at the end of the semester. (P.S I really really really hate reportings!)



3. No toxic transactions– meaning, you don’t have to go to school just to have a transaction. We have an online enrollment system, an online forum-slash-classroom called “MyPortal” or “Moodle” exclusively for students and faculty. If you have any concerns, you just have to email the person in charge. Also, I would like to specify in here, how I submit my homeworks (some professors want a hard copy of assignments but usually, we just submit online too)… I have it delievered to my learning center via LBC. Though I just live within Manila. Yes, I don’t want to tire myself too much. Lol.


2. Classmates all over the world – Being an online (distance education) student, I have a lot of “off-shore” classmates, most of them OFWs in different countries. I was able to learn from their experiences. I gained friends too and have seen them during end of semester clinical duty. UP Open University enables you to enroll wherever you are, as long as you have an internet access to communicate with them. This is great for those who wanted to go back to studying despite of them not being in our country or for those planning to go abroad and wants to continue finishing the degree abroad. Some programs in other schools doesn’t allow it.


1. Independence – Look where it got Littlenars? It’s not about bragging but I just couldn’t believe that I have finished all my academic subjects for this degree without realizing the time that has passed. It does interrupt with work but not most of the time. I was enjoying, indeed. I developed independence as I do my assignments and finish those thick modules. It was hard to balance your time but I was able to develop self-discipline. You cannot finish this degree without being independent in learning every knowledge, skills and attitude. You would just tell yourself “Did I just do that?”, with a smile on your face.

Additional perks: You got all your time after work or during your off/rest days to sit back, relax, have a date and what not. Experience Life-Work-Balance.


Outing with UP Open University Classmates at Baler, Aurora

Outing with UP Open University Classmates at Baler, Aurora



Excerpts of my UPOU MAN November, December, January, February diary entries…

March 15th, 2013 by Dianne Peña

What LittleNars did during blog hiatus…

Just to give you an update regarding my master of arts in nursing studies at University of the Philippines Open University…

This semester was a series of ups and downs… I want to give you some excerpts of my monthly diary since the start of the semester just to give you a glimpse of what I was doing the whole time I am not blogging…


Work is also demanding, our hospital census was also high and I always come home with exhaustion. I wasn’t able to follow the submission dates in my learning contract and I am a week late again for the journal review and patient symptomatology, it is a bit frustrating, I must hurry but I don’t want to submit work without quality, I am taking my time… one step at a time (but not so much.) I say, PUSH.


The semester is very short for the demands of the subject. I mean, how could you possibly submit requirements weekly, do your work, be a friend, a partner, daughter, sister and more all at the same time without fail… I must be a superhuman if so… Another week has passed and the work is piling up. December really is a “toxic” month especially that it is the holiday season. Still, I will not give up and will fight stress. May God give me the strength and wisdom to fulfill all these.

I must admit, I gave in to my social life and neglected my studies. This is also a week of me having thoughts and was on the verge of dropping out because it seems that I cannot cope up with the requirements, the works seems to be eating me alive when I think of it. I cannot sleep or concentrate very well. I think of school despite of those party times with friends and family

My classmates were also planning of dropping out and some dropped out already. I was very down and confused. As I reflected and thought of it, with the help of my mom’s advice, prayers to God and encouragement of my friends, I realized that it is not in my personality to give up easily. I am almost there… On the other note, I am also thinking of the money and time I will waste if I decided to drop this course and so… I did not and here I am now, cramming and bouncing back up again towards finishing my masters.

Christmas is just around the corner and I am still here swarming with readings and paper works. Nevertheless, I accept it because this is what I wanted and this is where I wanted to be.


It was like, I froze in doing what I needed to do. I was exhausted yet again. I was emotional at the start of the year with having a baggage to bring from year 2012. It was not a good start for me because I was really questioning myself to a point of regretting what I started, which is of course taking this masters degree. I mean, this feeling is expected especially when you are in a lot of pressure with all the aspect of your life and thinking that you are still young (23 years old) and you should be having fun instead of being serious about studying once again, I mean? I just got out of school. That mentality made me paralyzed and I hope the coming week would give me some motivation and hopefully find my eager and productive self once again.

On the other side, it seems to me that no matter what pressure and constant reminding of others and my own self, I seem to work slower and feel more demotivated. I don’t know what’s happening but I seriously want to finish this. I told myself to take one baby step at a time, as long as I am accomplishing something I am doing something to finish all these requirements.

I don’t know if you experienced it, but I am always in a dilemma of opening my laptop and staring at a blank word document for hours because I don’t know how to start and where to start with all the needed things to do. I am starting to get a feeling that every diary entry is a rant for the things to do rather the things to accomplish and I am sorry with that.


For all the requirements, I felt that two weeks is short. I hope we all can finish everything and I am already looking forward to that. Our meeting ended at 6:30PM, that was how long we discussed and brainstormed. It was draining because we have our own requirements to make and we also have to be as a team to be able to finish other requirements. I am worried but I promised myself that I will not end the last practicum experience without accomplishing everything.

The true beauty of this profession is seeing your patients get well after having been admitted for a long time that you thought they won’t surpass their health’s decline. When you see them appreciate you and commended you for your good and competent work, that is when you feel rewarded personally and professionally. We, nurses know for a fact that our profession doesn’t have a great pay but it’s the patient’s good feedback that counts the most.

This week is a busy week. I honestly don’t know if I can finish this all in 2 weeks and I only got 1 week left. I just got to trust God and myself in fulfilling this endeavour for all I know, everything that is gained through hard work has a good outcome if not now but in the near future.

Health is ever changing. It is very complex as the person, family or community we care for. We as nurses should also take part in continuing education endeavors. What I really appreciate in this practicum is to how I can identify the difference in our institution/hospital versus the culture at UP-PGH as well as the UPCN.

Old routine can be proven ineffective nowadays through related studies. Since we are in a private hospital, we should possess and implement excellent and ideal nursing care to our patients. We would like for patients to come back because of good nursing and medical management right? And not only for the facilities and machines.

I realized that it is not easy to be a teacher especially that you are dealing with the life and the future of the students. You need to be an expert in your own specialty and possess the right way of dealing with the students. You not only to be knowledgeable with the curriculum available but also knowledgeable to make one and implement one according to the standards. I also learned about self-discovery learning. I was so used to “spoon feeding” method of learning even though we were already in college. I just learned to acquire it when I enrolled at UPOU.

All my objectives were met and I am glad that duty days are over. We will all go back to our normal lives as an overworked and underpaid staff nurse. I will surely miss this and the company of my classmates… now friends! Let’s get this requirements finished PRONTO!

The above are fragments of my weekly diary entries as a requirement for the semester. They are not really meant to be related as it is shown in this blog post. Pardon for those who became confused.

I would like to thank Dean Araceli Balabagno, Professor Rita Ramos and Professor Ina Ragotero for all the knowledge, continuous follow-up and the opportunity of learning. We couldn’t have reached this point without you. I will forever be grateful.

Dear readers, sorry for so much drama. This was indeed a very emotional semester in my UPOU life.

LittleNars Intensive Practicum at UP PGH for UPOU MAN…

March 15th, 2013 by Dianne Peña

So where is LittleNars with her MAN studies?

The Master of Arts in Nursing at University of the Philippines Open University is based on a clinical perspective curriculum. I have already finished the academic units and by that I mean all the theoretical part of the degree (27 units), I am currently a 3rd year MA student, enrolled in a subject called Intensive Practicum where in it is a culmination of all the things that we have learned since first year. It is really not a online study/distance learning solely. It is a 2-week clinical practicum at PGH (Philippine General Hospital) wherein we get to be a clinician, educator and researcher that happened last February.

The experience was fun-filled, self-directed learning with my classmates. We were only 17 left from 100+ who enrolled in the first year. It was very timely for me since this January, I was entitled for a vacation leave credits at work and so I didn’t have any problems filing for leave of absence and suffer a month without salary. I was saddened by the fact that my first ever vacation leave as an employed citizen of the Philippines was put to my studies. I mean, I have given up so much with this master degree (even this blog)… The good thing is, I got to be a student once again with my classmates without thinking of work.


I got to be a clinician at the UP PGH- Cancer Institute

Discussion with Dean Cel

We had discussion sessions with Dean Balabagno (our faculty in charge)


We had conducted a seminar for the 4th year UP BSN students

Library work Conference room

Library Works with my classmates

2013-02-14 09.44.22 2013-02-14 09.47.20

I got to be an educator for the 4th year UP BSN student at UP PGH Ward 1 Medical Ward


The toxic thing was the completion of the requirements from the start of the semester up to the last.

It was consuming us because most of us are working and we cannot really focus on making our homeworks. I have been ranting in my Twitter account.

Having my clinical practicum at UP-PGH is like coming out of my comfort zone. Work with familiar people is like a routine for me, I can confidently go on duty as a single staff but having to work and learn from a different environment, culture and people… It made me test my “flexibility” and adaptive skills. I miss my undergraduate years, seeing the students and my workmates who became my friends but the good thing is, I gain new friends that supported each other with all the needed things to accomplish for this semester. They were like my extended family who motivates me to continue and pursue this endeavour. With that, I am very much grateful.


I have already come this far, I will not simply give up. I am currently completing my thesis proposal for pilot testing so that I can take the comprehensive exam by next semester.

So help me GOD.

On renewing IVT license at ANSAP…

January 15th, 2013 by Dianne Peña

Another thing to renew as a nurse is the IVT (Intravenous Therapy) Licence from ANSAP (Association of Nursing Service Administrators of the Philippines, Inc)

I personally prefer renewing my license at ANSAP office for easy and quick processing (just a little costly than other institutions though).You can get your renewed IVT card after your 3rd day of seminar and not wait for months in other institution. Save yourself the agony of confirming or going back several times…

Why is it important for you to renew your IVT card?
(for registered nurses, staff nurses, doing bedside care, any job/work dealing with intravenous fluids, intravenous medications (yes, even administering intravenous glutathione)
1. According to the Philippine Nursing Act of 2002 (R.A. 9173) the administration of parenteral injection is in the scope of nursing practice. ANSAP believes that the certification of IV therapist will be continued for safe nursing practice.
2. The Philippine Nursing Act of 1991 Section 28 (RA 7164) states that administration of IV injections requires special training
3. Most government and private hospitals prefer RNs who are IV therapy-certified.

When to renew your license?
So, the ANSAP IVT card expires after 3 years within your birth month and you are required to attend 24 hours of Continuing Education units accredited by ANSAP, which means you have to attend 3 days of IVT Update seminar at an ANSAP accredited institution or ANSAP main office perse and present 3 certificate of attendance during renewal process. You can still renew your license for the whole year within the expiration year. If you weren’t able to renew within the expiration year, you have to attend again the 3-day basic IVT program. I think that’s enough period to renew our IVT licenses.

How to renew your license at the ANSAP Main Office
1. Go to their website (
2. Click the 3-day refresher course on IV Therapy on the right side of the website
3. Choose your preferred dates. It depends on your preference if you want to attend just one seminar per month, 3 days straight etc. as long as you have a total of 3 seminars (24 units) of IV Update when you apply for renewal
4. Click the IV Therapy refresher course application form on the lower right corner of the website
5. Fill up the form completely to be able to reserve a slot (for the payment options, leave it blank. You can apply first and your payment is to follow)
6. Send and wait for the confirmation email or SMS from ANSAP

What are the requirements that you need for IVT license renewal?

1.Original IVT Card
2.Original and photocopy of Certificates of Attendance of IVT Therapy Updates which are equivalent to 24hrs/CEU as approved by ANSAP Institute (This will be given every after seminar you’ve attended at ANSAP main office)
3.Two (2) recent 2×2 pictures with light green background (You can avail and have your photo at ANSAP main office for 30 pesos)
4.Original and photocopy of PRC License
5.Payment of IV Card renewal is P400.00
Payment for IVT Update seminar per day is 700 pesos inclusive of hand-outs and meals.

Bring requirements 1-5 on your last day.

How to go to ANSAP office?
Their office address is at No. 1 Diamond St. cor. A. Rodriguez Carmel V Subdivision Tandang Sora, Quezon City

1. GO TO TRINOMA OR SM CITY NORTH EDSA/WEST (I think, most of us knows how to go to Trinoma)
2. If you are at Trinoma, go to the front, main entrance and find the stand alone McDonalds Mindanao Avenue
3. Cross the street and ride a jeepney with routes NIA-NPC
4. Tell the jeepney driver to stop at TANDANG SORA BARANGGAY HALL
5. Your jeepney ride will only take 10-15 minutes or less. Look at your right side.
6. Landmark is ST. JAMES COLLEGE on the left.

2012-12-12 14.07.58
7. Alight at TANDANG SORA BARANGGAY HALL . ANSAP is a short walk from the Baranggay Hall to the right.

2012-12-12 14.06.14
8. When you see the yellow building with brown gate… That is it. Enter.

I renewed my IVT card with my colleague and friend from work, batchmate at FEU… RJ Regudo.

Going home while going up the foot bridge…

2012-12-12 14.08.57RJ: Friend, natatakot ako…

Me: Bakit may fear of heights ka?

RJ: Hindi friend, meron akong fear of falling…

Me: Ayos! HAHAHA

So that’s it. I hope this post helped you.

***Disclaimer: This post is not sponsored by ANSAP

One sunset by the beach…

December 7th, 2012 by Dianne Peña

Are you in for some cheesy post? Let’s start December with some good vibes…


Nigel: Bakit ba gustong gusto niyo yung sunset? Ano bang maganda don?
Me: Hmmm… Sa iba… romantic, maganda yung color hue, drama… Para sakin, maganda kasi kasama kita… 🙂 <3
Nigel: Hmmm… Sabagay… *moves closer to me*

Top: Sunset taken at Ilocos Norte, Pagudpod
Bottom left most: Taken at Panglao Beach, Bohol
Bottom center: Taken at Saud Beach Pagudpod, Ilocos Norte
Bottom right: Taken at Baler, Aurora by Aileta Estalilla

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...