UPDATED 7/25/2012 (After NU-104)
Ok, this forum was very helpful to me when I was applying to school. It's time for me to give back. I'm going to attempt to share with you everything that I know. Please feel free to ask any questions and I'll get back to you as soon as I can. BHSN had 500+ applications and accepts around 110 students.
I applied to BHSN in October of 2010, I received an acceptance letter a few weeks later in November. I don't remember my exact TEAS score, it was in the high 70s. My grades for my pre-reqs were A's and a few B's. I had not taken either A&P class or microbiology. I made a point in my application that I was currently enrolled in those classes and I would have them completed before the start of BHSN.
After you are accepted, you will get another letter sometime in the spring. This will tell you the date that you have to go to orientation. Orientation will be sometime in the summer. During this orientation, you will go to various stations: payment/financial aid, uniforms, scheduling, books, and admissions. At this time you will order your uniforms; white pants and a maroon top. Mostly everyone orders 2 sets of uniforms. The cost is around $135. You are to wear white closed toe no slip shoes (I'm a boy, so I don't care, the girls seems very disappointed that they couldn't wear those 'crocs' shoes with the holes in them) with your uniform. You can also wear a white shirt underneath if you please.
During orientation, you are given the opportunity to order books for the first year, or you can take the book list and order them on your own. The cost of the package is around $500. If you are hard on cash, the most important books in my opinion are the drug book and the nursing care plan book. I have not used any other of my books, I've only studied from my notes and the outlines that are available for you to print out for each lecture.
Other things that you need:
- Stethoscope: They vary greatly in price. You might as well splurge and get a good one now, you will being using it for a long time after nursing school. I have a Littmann Cardiology III.
- Audio recording device (optional). If you are an audio learner, then record the lectures.
- Goggles/glasses: you will need these for certain procedures and for your OR rotation.
- As I said before: white closed toe non-slip shoes.
Starts in September and runs through the end of October. You will learn all of your basic nursing skills. You will have clinical your first week
There will be 3 tests, non cumulative. There is also a medication math test, the grade is not averaged in to your final grade. You must score an 80% on the math, you will be given another opportunity to take the test if you score below 80%.
Tuesday: 8:30 - 4:00 Lecture all day. You don't need to wear your uniform this day. Dress comfortably and dress in layers. The temperature in the lecture hall fluctuates alot!
You will have one lab day, either Wednesday or Thursday. You will have the same day throughout nursing 101. The lab will be either in the morning or the afternoon and are usually only a couple hours long.
If you have Wednesday lab, then you have Thursday Clinical. If you have Thursday lab, you will have Friday clinical. Your clinical group will be around 7 students and you will be assigned to one unit either at Bridgeport or at Griffin. The clinicals are short, usually ending around 1200 - 1230.
During these clinicals you will bathe and ambulate your patient and make their beds.
End of October to end of December.
During this course, the schedule stays the same and you stay with the same clinical group. The clinical days start to get longer, but you get a 1/2 hour lunch. The longest clinical day ends around 2 if i remember correctly. There are 3 exams and the 3rd exam is cumulative.
You will be assigned a patient the day before clinical, you must introduce yourself to your patient and do your research the night before.
You will be assigned an extra day from 8 - 12 to go to a daycare center.
You will have 2 weeks off for the holidays and return the first week of January.
By the end of this course you will be able to give meds/injections and IV bag changes.
January to middle of March (Spring break)
There will be 3 exams and a final cumulative exam.
There is another medication math test during this course.
You will be assigned a new clinical group and hospital unit. The clinical sites are at Bridgeport Hospital, Griffin, or Yale.
The schedule changes now. You will pick up another clinical day.
Tuesday: 8:30 - 4 Lecture
Wednesday: Lab (A few hours)
Thursday: Clinical 730 - 230
Friday: Clinical 730 - 230
Besides your regular clinicals, you will also have 2 days of Jewish Home, 2 days of pediatrics, 1 operating room day, 1 Visiting Nurses day, and 1 School Nurse day. Some of these rotations may be scheduled on a Monday.
By the end of Nursing 104, you will have 2 patients and be able to just about everything for them: meds, iv changes, iv piggybacks, injections, dressing changes, etc...
Nursing 105 - Maternity
March to May
This is a short course, 4 or 5 weeks. There are 2 or 3 tests(I can't remember) and a cumulative final.
You will have one clinical day a week on a post-partum floor and a few specialty rotations (Labor/delivery, anti-natal testing, obgyn clinic, etc...)
Nursing 201 (now level II!) - Med-Surg
Another short course 4/5 weeks long. The good news is that there are 3 tests and there is no final!
We are still on 4 days a week, with 2 of those being clinical days. We now start to learn about diseases/pathophysiology.
After this course, you can choose to continue on with the accelerated program or take the summer off!
I chose the accelerated path, so from now on the schedule I will be describing will be different for you if you chose the traditional path.
There is a skills competency during this course: IV flushing.
Nursing 202 (accelerated) - Psych
June - 4 weeks long
3 tests? With no cumulative final!
Lecture will be Mon/Tues 8:30 - 3ish
Clinical will be Wed - Fri 7ish - 3ish depending on your clinical site.
If my memory serves me correctly, the sites are: Bridgeport Hospital, Greater Bridgeport Mental Health, Waterbury Hospital, Yale, Hallbrook, and Silver Hills.
This course isn't too bad, its a nice break.
Nursing 203 (accelerated) - Med-Surg
July/August - 8 weeks long
Yet another Med-Surg course! This course has 3 tests and a cumulative final.
Lecture and clinical alternates days every week; the first week you have 3 lecture days and then 2 clinical days, the next week you will have 2 lecture days and 3 clinical days.
Clinical days are predominately 7:30 - 3:30, some Fridays you will get out at 1.
There is a Math competency the first day of the course.
There are 2 skill competencies: Insulin administration and IVs via central lines. You will be done will your skill competencies after this course!
There are also some specialty rotations that you may have: OR, Dialysis, Med clinic, burn unit, and pediatrics.
After this course you will have a week off the end of August.
This is the course that I'm in now, so this is as far as I can tell you about in detail. But I can describe the next 2 courses based on what instructors have told me:
Nursing 204 (accelerated) - Med-Surg
September - December
4 days a week (we are back on a normal schedule, so it's not really "accelerated" anymore)
3/4 tests with a cumulative final
Nursing 205 (accelerated)
Apparently there are no tests in this course, only projects/presentations. I've heard that you can choose specialty rotations based on availability: ER, ICU, Maternity, etc...
I forgot to mention this in my first post. You are required to take these pain in the ... tests throughout school. Each course you will be assigned a practice test to take at your leisure on the internet. You have to score a 90% or submit the best of 3 tries. You will have a day during the course where you will take a sit down paper/pencil ATI test. If you achieve a certain level, you are safe. If you don't achieve the required level, you are then required to take a practice test again on the computer ( best of 3 tries or a 90%). In some courses the grade is calculated into your final grade, but it's only 3% of your grade. In other courses the ATI is extra credit, receiving a maximum of 3 points added on to your grade (ONLY if you have a 75 first, the ATI test cannot save you!).
I recommend not committing too much time on these tests. The instructors will tell you how important they are and so on... I would much rather dedicate my time to a regular test that is 1/3 of my grade than on the ATI test which is 3/100 of my grade. That's just my 2 cents...
The evening program is partial and it is only for the first year. The evening students attend the Tuesday day lecture, but they have their labs/clinicals at night (after 5pm).
The accelerated program will allow you to graduate in December instead of May of the next year. You must forfeit your summer and attend school 5 days a week starting in the summer. You do not need to decide on this track until April/May before summer.
Your final grade for each course must be a 75.
74.9 = failure
There have been about 8 students that have disappeared from the program after Nursing 102.
There are several competencies throughout the program, they are pass/fail. You will have a second chance if you fail. Some examples are: Injections, Starting IV pump, sterile dressing, catheters, etc...
All the instructors are excellent. Some have bad reputations, but I have not seen anything bad myself. They are all very knowledgeable and are there for you. Just come to clinical prepared and everything will be fine.
I hope this has been helpful and please feel free to post any questions that you may have.