Second-Entry Nursing Programs - 2014 Hopeful - page 36

by ShayLynn27

57,417 Visits | 358 Comments

Hi Everyone! I'm starting this topic for those who are applying to 2nd-entry programs, to start in 2014. A bit about myself: I'll be applying to University of Ottawa and University of Toronto. Graduated with a Social... Read More

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    It was through email and it takes a few days to show up on ouac. I only have until April 30 to reply but I haven't seen anything about a deposit.
    NursieWursie likes this.
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    I just heard back from UofT!

    My gpa on the last 5 FCEs is 3.9 for anyone wondering and I posted my other credentials earlier. Also I didn't mention that I worked on a clinical research team in a hospital (talked about this for my "intellectual experience") for a summer and I've been in a school club for a few years plus what I posted earlier.
    NursieWursie likes this.
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    I occasionally check these boards for curiosity and noticed that people had questions about the Accelerated program at McMaster. I am in the Accelerated program at McMaster now (going into the second year). I hope that I'm able to offer some insight on the structure of the program to help with your decision!

    First term, you will take pharmacology (two 1 hour lectures and one 2 hour tutorial/wk), intro to clinical skills (learning all your assessments, one 3 hr tutorial in the simulation lab/wk), PBL (two 3 hour tutorials/wk, pathophysiology (online 1-1.5 hour long module/two wks, plus one-hour tutorials in alignment with module timings), and social determinants of health (one 3 hour lecture/wk). PBL is a group-discussion format. You are given a care scenario (watching a video about a specific case), then the group follows a learning schematic (which you are introduced to in the first week) on researching into the care scenario, prioritizing learning gaps. You pretty much are teaching each other and making connections through the care scenario and your other courses. There is a facilitator who is nursing faculty, so you are not just left to fend for yourselves. There are many valuable discussions that occur during PBL that stimulate your learning and growth in the profession of nursing. It is less focused on clinical skills (you have your clinical course for that) but critical thinking and discussion around the roles of nurses in various settings, patient perspectives, etc. Since we had both lectures and PBL, I personally liked the balance. I found it to be a valuable experience working in small groups and learning how to function effectively as a group, which is definitely important in nursing. I do have to admit though that some of the assignments were painful. The PBL learning environment is definitely different, and people from lecture-style backgrounds do take some time to get accustomed to it. However, if you remain open-minded and willing to learn, I think many people find themselves surprised with how learning can occur in this way when they get more comfortable.

    Second term, you take microbiology (same format as pharmacology), research methods (1 three hour tutorial/wk), professional practice (4 hours in the lab+8 hours in the hospital/wk), pathophysiology (same format), and PBL (one 4 hour tutorial/wk). (FYI, you can receive advanced credit for some courses pending you meet with the academic supervisor and follow some instructions, but worry about that later ). This term tends to be the most intense, just with clinical and a heavy course load. You are evaluated through different methods. PBL through papers/presentations/tutorial participation, pathophysiology through just midterm and final exams, pharm/micro through midterms/exams/tutorial assignments/quizzes, research methods through in-class assignments, clinical through skills examinations (OSCEs)/professional practice evaluations/reflections, etc.

    In the third summer term, you have a community placement (6 hours on one day of the week for the whole summer), pathophysiology (same format, whole summer), PBL (3 hours/wk whole summer), and you're in the clinical setting for 12 hour shifts x 2/wk (6 weeks on a surgical ward and then 6 weeks in mat child or mental health or peds depending on where you get placed). You get a 3 weeks to a month off in the summer depending on when things end.

    In fourth year, you are amalgamating with all of the over fourth years at McMaster and you pretty much follow your preceptor's schedule + you have PBL and a research course.

    I was also deciding between U of T and McMaster but I chose Mac for a few reasons. You finish earlier than Toronto (McMaster is a shorter 20 month program) so you can write the registration exam earlier (Mac finishes April - you write in June; UT finishes in June - you write in October). There are only three write times per year (Feb, June, October) and you have to be done your degree requirements prior to writing.

    Nonetheless, I have friends at UT nursing and we can both attest to the fact that both programs are intense! Tuition I would say is fairly equal - I remember Toronto being around $10,500 (Sept-Aug) and it works out similarly to Mac if you count tuition during the summer as well. I think U of T has more opportunities for financial support to students through scholarships, grants, etc. within their nursing program. No support financially is given to Accelerated students at McMaster, although there are bursaries and scholarships you can apply for here and there if you look in the right places (and also through Mac's financial aid office, pending you've applied for OSAP). Nonetheless, housing and cost of living is significantly cheaper in Hamilton versus Toronto, if this is important and relevant to you. Bus pass to get around Hamilton is also free, sort of (it's included as part of tuition costs, but at a very subsidized cost).

    Another major difference between Mac and UT is that McMaster starts clinical placements in the actual hospital in our second term. I know UT starts within the first few weeks of their first term (either Geriatrics or Mat/Child). This can work to your preference depending on what you're comfortable with. Some students like to ease their way into nursing first (which Mac sort of helps you do - you're just learning your assessments in first term, then you really get to apply them second term onwards in more acute settings), but other people might prefer to start getting exposure to a clinical setting right away (even though it's less acute).

    I'm not sure how UT assigns fourth year placements (I think it was largely based on geographic location), but Mac has a clinical lottery which at least gives you some autonomy in making a choice. The entire fourth year group is randomized and you pick from a large placement list in order; the order is reversed for the Winter term (e.g. if you picked first in fall, you pick last in winter to make it fair). Going to UT may work to your advantage if you are really set in working in Toronto after you graduate (there are relatively few placements for Mac students in Toronto, although there are some).

    I can't speak for which group of grads is more prepared after graduating. I think everyone faces a huge learning curve when starting out anywhere. However, if you used your clinical placements wisely and as opportunities to apply and build on your fundamental nursing skills and assessments, you have a good foundation. Being a motivated self-learner, good communicator and team member, those are sort of the assets that will carry you through in any type of work you do.

    Hope this helps!
    Last edit by timhortons on Apr 17
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    Thanks for such an in-depth post timhortons! That really sheds light on some areas that I was curious about. I am leaning towards Mac right now. I live 10minutes away and I could also keep my job that way. With the courseload, would I have time to keep a part-time job?

    I think I'd like the pbl classes because my last degree was mostly seminar classes, discussions and groupwork so I didn't have many lectures. Also I would lean toward whichever program has more theory-based learning.
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    Quote from linneh
    Thanks for such an in-depth post timhortons! That really sheds light on some areas that I was curious about. I am leaning towards Mac right now. I live 10minutes away and I could also keep my job that way. With the courseload, would I have time to keep a part-time job?

    I think I'd like the pbl classes because my last degree was mostly seminar classes, discussions and groupwork so I didn't have many lectures. Also I would lean toward whichever program has more theory-based learning.
    I know a few people who did have part time jobs but I think it's safe to say the majority of students did not work. I would say most people would advise you not to work if you don't have to, just given the intensity of the program and how fast-paced it is. It's different from having two specific midterm sessions during a semester as I find most people from science backgrounds experienced. You're literally doing something or preparing for the next day every day. You could try it out first term. Doesn't hurt to try

    I also forgot to mention the biggest difference between UT and Mac. UT is very much lecture-style, and Mac of course is PBL-based (but with a mix of lectures in between). The biggest factor in making your decision should largely be based on what type of learning environment you feel you are more comfortable in, which environment you think you will learn best in your training as a nurse, in alignment with logistic/program structure factors. Looking back, the transition to nursing was very overwhelming. You are learning a lot of new information and skills in a very compressed manner. I had experience with PBL and I think it helped make my transition to nursing less overwhelming than it could have been. I knew I would have found a lecture-based program a struggle. I guess, bottom line: know yourself and how you learn!

    Hope this helps!
    Last edit by timhortons on Apr 18
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    I have been accepted to Trent University compressed nursing, as well as Lakeheads compressed nursing. I was wondering if any one as insight on any of these two programs to help me make this tuff decision
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    Would you mind sharing ur stats plz n when u got the offer? When do u have to accept by? I'm still waiting on both of those programs, but I applied pretty late...
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    Hey guys! I was accepted to U of T Nursing April 15th. I thought the "early round" of acceptances was already done but it looks like it may be continuing! I still have not received my package yet but the OUAC site says I have until June 2nd to accept the offer.

    Just some stats: I completed my first undergrad at U of T in 2013. I majored in Human Biology, Psychology and Music History. I had a 3.88 in my last term. My prereqs were mostly A/A-, and one B+. I did not have the human physiology credit so I completed it online after I graduated and have been spending the past year doing brain research at Sick Kids Hospital. The ECs I mentioned on my application included playing a few musical instruments for fun, being an exec member on a couple student clubs, volunteering at a few hospitals and doing research at two U of T labs.

    Good luck to everyone!
    NursieWursie likes this.
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    Hey, Ireceived lakeheads acceptance in February. I just got trent last week, I am still waiting for my acceptance package in the mail. I just graduated from Nipissing with a physical and health education. My overall average is a 85. Lakehead I have accepted since the deadline was may 2. But trent is by may 16th