The University of Alberta? - page 3

Is there anyone else out there that will be going to this program in the fall or that is already going there? I'm so grateful for finally having gotten into this program but now I'm a little concerned. The U of A is a huge... Read More

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    Quote from rng2013
    I am in my 4th year of nursing but 2nd year at U of A Collab. program (I transferred from MB when I got married!).
    I read your post in another thread and just KNEW you were talking about the U of A...

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    rng2013This is my first year of nursing and i gotta say I thought I was the only one!!! I hate the cbl too! I keep thinking this is ******** but so many people in the program don't seem to think anything. I kept wondering why people had a negative opinion of some u of a students! I kept thinking well we start clinicals right away, what's the big deal? Well now I know. I did my fall cbl classes and anatomy and physiology and I decided to go with the 5 yr program so I can really know my stuff inside and out because I'm not so sure cbl classes are goig to help much! Since I have a little more world experience I'm hoping I can still become a good nurse. I try to watch tons of practical videos so when I start clinicals I can perform well.
    Fiona59 likes this.
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    This is a little late now, but I figured I'd throw a thought in...
    I'm in my 4th year from GMU, so I can explain the way the courses work a little.
    In year one, we spent the first term doing theory (anatomy, physiology, english, healthy populations, and a disipline of nursing course), and in the second term we still had 5 subjects (physiology, microbiology, professional communicaiton, psych, and a nursing foundations course that had a clinical component 1 day/week).
    In year two, the first term again was all theory (mental health, pharm, patho, assessment (plus a lab), and another nursing fundamentals course (plus a lab)), then in the second term we did clinicals. This means we have three-5 week placements where we work full shifts, are expected to take on a full load, 5 days/week. Depending on the rotation, you usually have seminar on a monday morning where you meet and debrief with other clinical groups, go to your placement and do patient research (and you'd better finish well prepared knowing your patient(s) inside and out, including patho, meds, history, etc), then you're sent back out for the week. We rotate days and evenings (no nights yet), with the shifts ranging from 0645-1515 or 1445-2315.
    In year two, the clinicals consisted of mental health, a medicine rotation, and a surgery rotation.
    In year three it was the same set-up - first term was theory (maternal child care (plus a lab), nursing in acute care (also had a lab), population health, research in nursing, and an elective). I should mention that all of the labs have extra readings and assignments as well.
    The following clinical term had a maternity/L&D rotation, acute care, and community health.
    All of the clinicals also require your to write papers and do assignments on top of working the full shifts, which are worth 20-40% of your grade, depending on the assignment.
    4th year has been a lot different. I'm in the first term right now, and I'm taking a leadership course, a future directions course (aka trends and issues in nursing), and a nursing elective in high priority popualtions. There is a phiolosphy in health care course I'm putting off until spring, and an open elective as well (but I completed last spring) - in other words, most people are doing 5 courses again.
    The next term we do a 5 week leadership clinical where we work independently with a unit manager or charge nurse, and create and propose a program that would be benifical to the unit. Then there's a 10 week preceptorship - and it's done! (so close!!!)
    They also expect you to take spring courses for stats and psych throughout the program, but you can also knock off some of the electives/open studies courses too - it really helps with the work load.

    As for perceptions, I'll be honest and say that we've been told we are prefered over the U of A students. The biggest reason is because we just do more (probably because we spend so much time working in clincial). My maternity/L&D rotation was a prime example of this - we were treated like crap for the first while because the nurses just thought we "stood around and watched like the U of A students" (I was told this a few times). We constantly had to remind our buddy nurses that we could take on a full patient load alone, and most of them were much better by the end. Then there were the ones who didn't trust us, which was great fun when you're trying to build a relationship with your patients.
    The other obviously nice thing about GMU is the small classes - there's a max of about 180 students/term accepted so you end up knowing almost everyone in your grad class. Two of my classes right now have 24 people in them; they're super cozy haha
    _dindin_ likes this.
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    I am hoping someone can help me with this, as I am considering U of A for the after degree program. I have no previous clinical experience but I think nursing is a great degree to get for the current job market and the flexibility. I know I would need as much practical experience as I can get though during this training. Does anyone know how the after degree program is regarded (respected or not?). I would hate to dedicate over 2 1/2 years of my life and thousands of dollars and find out after the fact. I am also 45 years old and so catch up time is not on my side.
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    I'm not too sure about the works of after degree. It may vary depending on what you have. Do you reside in Edmonton?
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    My friend was in the after degree. Her intake had a 50% dropout rate. It's a lot of BS (questionable administration, notorious PBL/CBL classes, back-to-back nursing classes with no "breaks" like English etc) packed into 4ish semesters. Is it doable? Sure, I work with a few who have graduated from it.

    Re: reputation, no one cares where you've graduated from once you are registered with CARNA. Go where you will have the best experience....if indeed you want to be a nurse. I couldn't do nursing school again. I like being a nurse, but I'd also really like being an RT for similar pay and half the time in school.
    Dezy and Fiona59 like this.
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    Ok, I like the rest of you I can only give my personal experience but here goes.

    I graduated from the U of A ADP. The criticisms noted here have some validity. The U of A program when I attended was certainly not very organized in terms of administration. The drop-out and flunk out rate was pretty high as well.

    Academically the program is challenging, and CBL definitely contributes to that. When I was in the program I would have agreed with every criticism that anyone could come up with. I disliked having to depend on the (often low quality) research of my peers. I thought if one more nursing instructor said to me "that's a good question, why don't you research it and tell us about it next time" my head would explode. My solution was I did my own research.

    Now, for the upside. I have to some degree changed my mind regarding CBL. I will tell you that as a nurse you can't just memorize what you need to know an have done with it. When I don't know an answer in practice I am never stumped. I know where to go for reliable information and I know how to pick out the salient facts.

    I only went to nursing school in one spot so I can't tell you how it compares. I have, however precepted students from other programs and been met with blank stares when I asked them to research something instead of me spoon feeding the answer. There is something to be said for having the confidence to search out your own answers.

    For self motivated learners CBL is an excellent model, the issue at U of A is many students don't know how to learn this way and it is frustrating until you learn how. The idea that your teacher isn't going to give you bupkis is hard to adjust to.

    I left Edmonton after graduation, never practiced nursing there. I agree with the above poster that no-one will give a flip where you went to school once you are out in the real world.

    For what it's worth the U of A must have good press outside of Edmonton because I have been told in interviews "wow, that's a great program." Or maybe the U puts out good grads after all, I certainly think so.

    So U of A students don't despair, it gets better, and in the end you will be an RN, hit the floor and learn on the job, just like everyone else; and when a group member hands in her research copy and pasted from Wikipedia with the links still in, take a deep breath and consider that you may have a leg up on independent learning.

    rangerlil and Dezy like this.
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    You should see if it's possible to move to Calgary for 2 years and do the after degree program at the U of C.
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    Oh no, I'm not liking what I'm seeing. I'm working on applying to the U of A after degree program and this thread is a little discouraging. GMU doesn't have an after degree program though.. Anyone have anything good to say about CBL? (which I had never heard of before now..). My background is in engineering so I'm really not sure how that style of learning will work for me.
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    Oh no, I'm not liking what I'm seeing. I'm working on applying to the U of A after degree program and this thread is a little discouraging. GMU doesn't have an after degree program though.. Anyone have anything good to say about CBL? (which I had never heard of before now..). My background is in engineering so I'm really not sure how that style of learning will work for me.

    ETA my first degree is from the U of A. Any idea if that would transfer over to Calgary easily?

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