Saddleback Nursing School, Spring 2013

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    Hi all!
    I am a pre-nursing student getting ready to put in my applications for Spring 2013. I was wondering if anyone might be able to give me a general idea of what Saddleback College's Nursing program is like? I really would like to get a sense of what the curriculum will be like, how much time might be devoted to studying outside of class, the amount of hours spent in clinicals, etc. Of course everyone's experience is different, but if I could get some perspective as to what I may be facing in the next few years I think I would be better prepared to tackle the challenge. I have a preschool-age son now, and by Spring 2013 I will have a baby daughter as well, so I would like to wrap my head around what my school commitment will look like and plan in advance for the amount/type of help I will need for my family. Thanks for your time in advance!
    --Chelsea
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    i am going to be applying as well! i have two friends that graduated the program from there.. they said it was an awesome program.. they said though that through the program they reccomended that i work part time and last semester to quit my job all together.. they said the last semester is the most intense
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    Hi there!

    I just graduated in December 2011 from Saddleback. It IS an awesome program indeed.
    To answer your questions:
    I really would like to get a sense of what the curriculum will be like: You are right, it is different for everyone - even though we all take the same classes - it's all about how you experience it. The curriculum is intense no matter who you are, but it's also fun. When you get in, if your class is anything like our grad class, all 60 of you will bond like one huge family

    how much time might be devoted to studying outside of class:
    In the beginning - lots. Roughly 4 hours for every one hour of class time. Before long, though, you kind of get a feel for the exams and have a better idea of where to focus your studies. Most people figure out (by second semester) that cramming and hardcore studying isn't always best. The content is nothing like the your pre-reqs. Anatomy is all memorizing, micro is 50/50 between memory and concept. Physio is almost purely conceptual. Nursing school is conceptual AND critical thinking. You'll need to pull from your core physiological knowledge, incorporate nursing care and pharmacology with judgement and priority setting - all rolled in to one test question with 4 "right answers" - but only one is the "best" right answer. The hardest thing to grasp is that you can't exactly study judgement or critical thinking.
    the amount of hours spent in clinicals: Semester 1: 2 clinical days and one day to collect patient data for a pre-clinical work-up. You go to the hospital the day before your clinical and select a patient based on your objectives. you'll have 2 clinical days (back to back). Theory is always on Wednesdays.

    Mental health: One clinical day (no workups - yay) but there will be lots of assignments to fill in the gaps

    Semester 2: Med-surg: all 16 weeks. One clincal day, with the same preclinical work-up - only this time way more in depth.
    (the toughest semester). We had looping rotations to the ER, OR, and Interventional Radiology.

    Semester 3: More clinicals (one day w/ write ups) - Pediatrics. My personal Fave, then women's health (Labor and delivery).

    Semester 4: More clinicals - only now it' MICU, SICU, CVICU with looping rotations to PACU, Telemetry, and ER

    Plan on 8-10 hours of preclinical write ups the day before your clinical - especially in first semester. You'll spent about 8 hours on the floor, and 1.5 hours in post conference on the day of clinicals. Then plan on spending another 12 hours completing your care plan for that weeks clinicals. Most of us got pretty wise, and selected patients based on the topics that were covered that week in theory. that way we could study while we were completing care plans


    hope this helps: I finished cum laude, and worked full time throughout with 2 teen daughters.... It CAN be done
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    Thanks so much for your detailed response! That does help out a lot...I was wondering though (at the risk of sounding ignorant - ) what exactly does' theory' entail? Is that the classroom portion? For example, if I am taking Nursing 170 (Nursing Process) would I have a classroom meeting on Wednesday and then also the clinical (or lab) portion of this class some other time during the week? Thanks in advance for your time!
    --Chelsea
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    yes. Theory is class time, and that will always be on wednesday throughout the entire program. Clinical days will vary depending on which hospital you are assigned for that semester. Don't worry about sounding ignorant.

    Ignorance is what happens when you dont ask questions, and in nursing, that can me dangerous.
    Last edit by jadedjane on May 12, '12 : Reason: Really needed to add a winky face
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    Ok great! Thanks again so much...I really appreciate your responses. Since you are a mom, may I ask you a question about being a parent and being in nursing school? As I mentioned before I have a preschooler and a baby on the way in Septemember and I am concerned about being able to balance school time and family time--especially since my children will be so young. Knowing the Saddleback program and the time committment it requires, do you think it's unreasonable to attempt to take on school AND a young family and have adequate time for both?
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    In all honesty, it depends on several things. What is your learning style? Was pathophysiology and pharmacology really challenging? I did the reading assignments (as much as I could) but I reached a point in second semester where I just couldn't study any more...really - my brain was full. I had to let go of the idea that incessant studying was going to get the job done and believe in myself - and trust that I know the concepts well enough to focus on the new information (the nursing assessments and interventions).

    It also depends on how supportive your family is. Do you have reliable and flexible child care? The faculty are super supportive and they want you to be successful, but you have to make the commitment to be there - regardless of your home life. As successful as they want you to be, they have every right to ask you "how badly do you want to be a nurse" when issues come up that cause you to miss a class.

    Right now, as you submit your application, things are exciting and kinda scary. What if you don't get in? What if you DO get in? What if your babysitter bails on you and you need to be in clinicals at 6:00 am? There must be 1000 questions that you want answers for. All I can really tell you is that once you are in, you can make it work. I guarantee you are not the only one with young children. In my cohort, a student delivered a baby between 3rd and 4th semester!! Several of them had children under 5. Some of us worked full time (like me) and we were one HUGE support group for each other.

    You will see all of this come together fairly quickly in the first semester. Once you are accepted, there is a meeting / orientation about a month before class even starts so you can meet with other members of your clinical group and pool possible resources for rides, babysitting, study groups.... It can happen
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    Thanks so much for your honesty. I am feeling exactly like you said...excited, nervous, and the 'what if's' are swirling around like crazy! Its really helpful to have input from someone who has been there and done that, so again, thank you so much for your time. I am just going to take all of this one day at a time (like everything else), do the footwork and see what happens Thanks again!
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    This was a very helpful thread. Thanks guys! Good luck chelseaandnoah!
    chelseaandnoah likes this.
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    What perecentage in all classes is considered passing? 70% or 75%?


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