I apologize for my delay in response... I had a busy week. I just moved into a new apartment, so between that and tests and assignments, getting on the internet is kind of my last priority unless it's for school work.
But anyway, thank you! You do what you gotta do. It's not bad once it's all finally over. Just sucks when you're in the middle of it. But even so, it's rewarding to see the end result and are able to see how much you've actually learned. As for my birthday, it's on April 17, about 3 weeks from now
And no problem, I needed something to help me continue procrastinating studying for my test last night
Pretty sure I did well, so I guess it didn't matter whether I procrastinated or not.
So I went through your message peice by peice and tried my best to answer all your questions... here it goes.
As for the tuition reimbursement. Mayo does not do any sort of tuition reimbursement. The program is technically run and funded by ASU, Mayo just provides the facility and donates some of their nurses to serve as adjunct faculty for a semester or two. Mayo does typically get very good reviews. They're known for their excellence in patient care, research, and education. Unfortunately, they don't pay for you to go to school and they actually won't even guarantee you a job at the hospital when you graduate. You have to apply just like all the other new grad students. They typically do end up hiring more than half of the 20 students in each graduating class though. I think they like doing the ASU program because when it comes time to train the new grads, it costs them less time and money to train us because we spent nursing school learning off of their systems and equipment.
I do know that several hospital in the Phoenix area do offer some type tuition reimbursement in exchange for committing to working in a hospital/department that lacks nurses for 2 years. I know that Mayo is not one of them, but during orientation we received several flyers with information on how to apply for the tuition reimbursement programs. Some pay for tuition, books, and general living expenses... but you HAVE to commit to working for at least two years in the state of Arizona. I personally wouldn't want to make that commitment, because like you, I'm planning on getting out of state as soon as I can (I actually applied to USC, looking to finish up my degree in Biology that I started before switching my major to nursing). But if you're okay with living here for at least two years following school and willing to work wherever they decide they need you in exchange for tuition, go for it. The catch is, if you break the contract, they make you pay all the tuition money they gave you back
Tuition can do that to you... the best advice I have for you regarding tuition is apply for as many scholarships as you possibly can, apply for student loans, federal grants... whatever you can get. You can always pay it back when you graduate if you end up having to take out student loans. Not the best option, but you just have to weigh your options. Luckily, I pay in-state tuition at ASU (super cheap) and I received a scholarship out of high school that covers nearly all of my tuition and fees each semester. I'm not sure what other schools are associated with the Mayo Clinic... I know the major Mayo Clinic sites are only located in Arizona, Florida, and the original and largest (what they call the “mothership”) in Minnesota. I know the Mayo Clinic does not have their own nursing program and I’m honestly not sure if they’re involved in other universities’ nursing programs like they are with ASU. I honestly have no idea. Like I said, this is technically an ASU program, Mayo is just working cooperatively to provide additional opportunities for nursing education. Although, I do know the Mayo Clinic does have several summer nurse extern programs at a few of their sites. Not sure which ones, but it would be something to look into once you’re in nursing school. Another thing to consider, nursing programs are extremely different depending on the school. The requirements can be very different (I know some nursing programs require more advanced science courses than the program at ASU does) and some courses may not transfer correctly. For example, the courses our program requires you to take during your Freshman and Sophomore year are extremely
specific and you probably wouldn’t have taken them at other universities (they have us take classes like “History of nursing and current healthcare systems in the U.S.” and “Clinical Healthcare Ethics”). So my advice as to finding a program would be to figure out which schools you’re definitely interested in and then find out what their program requirements are. Nothing sucks more than taking a bunch of classes for a program they don’t even apply to. Also, try your best to keep your grades up! Nursing school is extremely competitive, especially if you want to transfer… so keeping that GPA up will be very helpful. All of my class at Mayo had a 4.0 or close to it when we applied for the upper division program.
And just some advice for you in regards to taking EMT classes over the summer… I had the same general idea and wanted to get some certification so that I could work in the healthcare field while pursuing my nursing degree. I spent my money and spent my time taking classes to become a CNA. While I enjoyed the classes and the experience I gained through the course during my freshman year, I still to this day
have been unable to get a job as a CNA. I’ve only gotten two interviews and have probably applied for nearly 300 positions over the last 3 years. My resume is pretty good, but unfortunately, this is what happens when it comes to getting a job in a healthcare-related field. I’ve heard this from people trying to get all sorts of jobs, new-grad RNs, CNAs, ultrasound techs, dialysis techs, and the list goes on. I’m not sure if this is different in states other than Arizona… but unless you know someone, most healthcare-related employers want new-hires to have at least a year of experience so they don’t have to spend the time and money training them. So it makes it extremely hard for people like you and I (who have just recently obtained a certification) to get a job. Plus, if you’re in school, employers typically know nursing students have crazy schedules and don’t necessarily make the best employees. So before you take the EMT course, make sure to take that into consideration. I’d hate for you to waste your time and money and end up without a job like I have. Definitely weigh your options and make sure you have a good chance of getting hired to makes sure it’s worth it to take the EMT course. Just a heads up… both from my personal experiences as well as what some of my friends have also experienced trying to get a job.
To answer your questions, yes I started at ASU right out of high school. I graduated from a local high school in May of 2009 and began at ASU in August 2009. I had originally majored in Biology because I wanted to (and still do) go to medical school. But I changed my major to nursing because I wanted to guarantee myself a job in patient care, just in case medical school didn't work out. In addition, I wanted the hands-on patient experience NOW, not wait until my 3rd year in medical school. So I switched over in my first semester of college. I basically jam-packed my schedule, taking 18 credits a semester to include both the nursing courses as well as any of the medical school prerequisites I could squeeze into my schedule.
I'm not sure where I mentioned taking nursing courses before starting upper division... but I was probably referring to the "HCR" courses we are required to take(stands for Health Care Related). Like every major, we're required to take "general studies" courses, but they decided to make our general studies courses specifically relate to nursing. So instead of being able to take some class like "The History of Rock" for our history general studies credit, we take a class related to nursing in particular.
Basically the way our program works, you're considered a "nursing" major through all four years of your degree. The way our program works is the first two years (freshman and sophomore) are spent as a "pre-nursing" student, in which you take all the prerequisites for the upper division program. Then you had to apply for the upper division program (they recently changed this... now if you get accepted into the program as a freshman, you're guaranteed an upper division spot). The upper division students (typical "nursing" students, junior and senior year) take nursing specific courses where each semester's credits are split into half theory courses and half clinical courses. The last two years is where all the "technical"-type nursing training occurs.
To give you the specifics of the program at ASU, I'll give you a list of the courses required before entering the upper division program (# of credits in the parenthesis):
BIO 201: Human Anatomy & Physiology I/Lab (4)
BIO 202: Human Anatomy & Physiology II/Lab (4)
CHM 101: Introduction to Chemistry/Lab (4)
HCR 240: Human Pathophysiology (4)
MIC 205: Microbiology (3)
MIC 206: Microbiology Lab (1) College Fundamental Courses:
ASU 101: The ASU Experience (1)
ENG 101: First Year Composition (3)
ENG 102: First Year Composition (3)
MAT 142: College Mathematics (3)
Elective Healthcare-related Fundamental Courses:
CDE 232: Human Development (3)
Humanities/Fine Arts (3) OR
Social Behavioral Science (3) [General Studies]
NTR 241: Human Nutrition (3)
PGS 101: Introduction to Psychology (3) [General Studies] Nursing-Specific General Studies Courses:
HCR 210: Clinical Health Care Ethics (3) [General Studies]
HCR 220: Introduction to Nursing and Healthcare Systems (3) [General Studies)
HCR 230: Culture and Health (3 credits) [General Studies]
To answer your question about the oncology ward... Oncology isn't considered a speciality in itself like Pediatric Nursing or Psychiatric nursing. There's oncology floors in adult health and in pediatrics... all just depends on the hospital you're in and whether or not they do oncology. I was on the oncology floor during my adult health rotation. For me, that's just not something I'm interested in at all. Oncology is just a little too sad for me and all of the patients typically require everything to be very sterile... meaning you have to gown up every single time you enter their room - which you will end up hating. And most of them have been in the hospital for so long that they aren't happy campers. Some can be very friendly, have very good attitudes, and can make great patients that are very entertaining to work with and talk to. But from my experience, I found that most were at the point where they just wanted nothing to do with the hospital and were exhausted most of the time and just wanted to sleep. If oncology is something you're interested in, you can definitely get the exposure while in nursing school. It doesn't require additional schooling, you can work in oncology with a BSN, but it does require additional on-the-job training when you start on the floor, as there's a lot of additional things to learn because you're typically the one to administer chemotherapy and there's a lot of safety issues you need to be aware of when working with oncology patients due to their supressed immune systems and health problems, side effects that come with the treatments that are unique to cancer treatments, as well as procedures that you probably won't see very often on a normal med-surg floor.
So the reality of nursing school is basically this: you have to be committed and you have to really
want to be a nurse to get through school. It's tough, it's stressful, and it's not something I would do unless I was 100% sure it's what I wanted and was passionate about it. It really is a unique college program. It requires more time than any
other bachelor degree that a university will offer. And it definitely takes a special kind of person to do it. So think long and hard about the decision and make sure it's something you really want to do before beginning the journey and taking on the task of completing your degree. If you're going to do it, you gotta just go for it. It would really suck to get half way through and quit because of the time and energy it takes up. So if you start, make sure you finish. Nurses are constantly needed... and although it may be difficult to find a job directly
out of school, it will be well worth it once you're able to begin your career and get started.
If you have any other questions I can answer, just ask! I'd be more than happy to answer them whenever I have the time to!