? for accelerated BSN students or grads

  1. or anyone who knows one...

    did you feel rushed through things?
    if you could do it over again, would you go accelerated again?

    i could start an adn and an acc-bsn program at same time.
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  2. 12 Comments

  3. by   fullofgrace
    I think it really varies for everyone.

    I am in a ABSN program, and although at times it really feels like I am in some zombie movie, I actually got used to the pace and now, and although it's not easy, I am managing well. There is not time to sit around, it is really all about getting into it and doing it. You can't fall behind, by God, DO NOT FALL BEHIND. It's super fast, but I learn things one day in lab, and next day I am already using those skills on patients. It's in your face and it's real. Really, some days I just keep telling myself - every day is a victory.

    You've got to know you're signing up for hell. But hey, it's shorter
  4. by   FLAgal14
    Full of Grace:

    I was curious - I am starting an ABSN program this May and will also be working part-time at my current job (which will thankfully allow me to do most of the work at home). How possible is it to do both - the ABSN program and work?

    Thanks
  5. by   Megsd
    First quarter I felt really rushed. I started clinicals two days a week our second week of nursing school. That first week they sent us to "skills lab boot camp". In 2 days (8-4 both days) we were checked off on meds (by mouth, IV, and all kinds of injections), catheters, enemas, tracheostomy care, suctioning, wound care/dressing changes, PPE, a review on vital signs, and a few other things. We saw the skill demoed once, we demoed back, we were checked off to do these things on patients (with supervision initially). That whole experience was mind-boggling, but really, I have learned way more in clinical than I would have spending lots and lots of time in skills lab, so I don't mind too much that they did it that way.

    Aside from that boot camp, the only time I realized how rushed I am is when I am enrolled in accelerated and non-accelerated courses simultaneously. For example, this quarter my accelerated class (that has only my program students in it) is 4 hours of solid lecture a week on high acuity nursing. It's HARD. We have tests every 3-4 weeks, a 10-20 page paper due, and a final exam. This is also where our clinicals are. I am also taking a master's level informatics class, which was incredibly intimidating to me because it was my first master's level class. It is an absolute cakewalk compared to my high acuity class. In fact, it's almost boring because the pace is so much slower.

    But yeah, all I can do some days is take things one day at a time because things come at me so fast I have to learn to catch it all. Once I got used to that, I have really come to love nursing school.

    Regarding working in the program, we were "highly encouraged" not to. I am not working at all, and I am glad. Some of my classmates work but most have cut down on their hours since starting the program or only work on weekends (or 1-2 weekends per month). I think based on my current schedule this quarter I *could* work, but the juggling act becomes just that more complicated and, as fullofgrace mentioned, you simply can't afford to get behind.
  6. by   tencat
    Hi. I know some people in my program did work, but I sure don't know how they managed. Like one person said, do NOT fall behind. I came out of my program feeling like I didn't know nearly enough because I didn't get enough experience with clinicals, but from what I gather, even the traditional students feel that way. If I had it to do over, I would go that route again. It was a great time saver and enabled me to get back into the workforce more quickly.
  7. by   youknowho
    Of course it feels a little rushed at time...its accelerated.
    Would I changed things and go back in time to do the program in 3 years versus 18 months NO WAY! I loved fast paced work buts its not for everyone. We had the same classes and same amount of clinical time but in 1/2 the time. No breaks, no life.
    I started my new job today and the HR lady did say that they are changing the way they look at accelerated programs. They just don't like them as much so make sure that wouldn't be an issue.
    I would opt for the higher degree if you feel you can handle the speed/pressure of the program.
    Last edit by youknowho on Feb 12, '07 : Reason: adding a thought
  8. by   br107
    Quote from youknowho
    I started my new job today and the HR lady did say that they are changing the way they look at accelerated programs. They just don't like them as much so make sure that wouldn't be an issue.
    What does this mean? Is it a reaction to the quality of ABSN grads they've hired in the past? And is this just a local thing or have ABSN grads gotten a bad reputation everywhere?

    I'm with you guys about digging in, finishing sooner, with a higher degree, and getting back to work sooner. But I do wonder about the drawbacks of finishing the program twice as fast as is traditional...
  9. by   MB37
    I have a question too - I'm supposed to start an accelerated program in May, and we have the option to take at least 3 classes at graduate level. The three are pathophys, nursing research, and ethical/legal. I think at this point I would like to return eventually and become an NP, probably not for 5-7 years after graduation though. How much different are these? I've taken grad level classes before in history for my first degree, but they were just different - not harder versions of a lower level course. Who has taken any of these, and what are your thoughts?
  10. by   carolinapooh
    Quote from MMW37
    I have a question too - I'm supposed to start an accelerated program in May, and we have the option to take at least 3 classes at graduate level. The three are pathophys, nursing research, and ethical/legal. I think at this point I would like to return eventually and become an NP, probably not for 5-7 years after graduation though. How much different are these? I've taken grad level classes before in history for my first degree, but they were just different - not harder versions of a lower level course. Who has taken any of these, and what are your thoughts?
    I have 15 hours of my ABSN program at the Master's level here at Duke. I've taken the NP version of Diagnostic Reasoning/Physical Assessment and my master's level Patho course (I got an A in physical assessment and a B+ in Patho). I am now in Applied Statistics, and have Nursing Research and Health Promotion/Disease Prevention (basically a course in lifespan health education) left at that level. I didn't think the patho course was that difficult compared to a bachelor level course (of course, what could I really compare it to, though; but my thinking is that with a course like that, you're either going to get a lot out of it, or you won't). And the great thing about the physical assessment course is that it made the quick assessments we do daily on the floor much simpler for us: to pass the course we had to do a complete head to toe physical, just like the ones you get in an NP's or Dr's office (and in reality the demos we did were MORE complete than any physical I've ever received, including during my military time!). And of course there's the added bonus of never having to take another advanced research methods course (ick; not my bag - can't wait to know that one out), or ever facing this awful and boring stats course I'm taking now ever again.

    I would think taking the master's level courses would be an individual decision. Talk to the faculty teaching the courses and get their feedback. Find out if the courses will still be valid after five years. Consider what programs you might want to apply to for your NP in a few years and call them up to find out their transfer requirements for advanced level courses. I have no choice; I have to take these classes and the bottom line for me is I'm glad I have to. But in your case, I'd do some research and find out if it would be worth the time. If you've done this already, and you've decided to take the courses, then go for it; I'm sure you'll do well!
  11. by   carolinapooh
    Quote from br107
    What does this mean? Is it a reaction to the quality of ABSN grads they've hired in the past? And is this just a local thing or have ABSN grads gotten a bad reputation everywhere?

    I'm with you guys about digging in, finishing sooner, with a higher degree, and getting back to work sooner. But I do wonder about the drawbacks of finishing the program twice as fast as is traditional...
    It's not twice as fast, not necessarily. Unless it's one of those INSANE twelve-month ABSNs (which do frighten me on many levels), it's not even in the ballpark. Sometimes I think people really see it that way (again, the 12 month ones aside) - that "accelerated" equals "shortchanged" across the board.

    I'll use my program as an example.

    Duke requires the following prerequisites (pasted straight from our website):

    * Human Anatomy & Physiology (6 - 8 credits)
    * Microbiology + lab (3 - 4 credits)
    * Basic Statistics (3 credits)
    * General Psychology (3 credits)
    * General Sociology (3 credits)
    * English Composition (3 - 6 credits)
    * Completion of course in growth and development and a course in general nutrition strongly recommended

    I had stats, psych, soc, English comp, and growth and development in my bachelor's degree. I took A&P and micro (and 2 semesters of chem, because I wasn't sure where I'd be going, and plus I had to kill time for classes to become available) at a community college here. (I have a year of organic, but that's another story - some silly notion that I'd enjoy pharmacy school.) The first two years of ANY BS degree is comprised of basic courses common to every major, as we all pretty much are aware: a math, two semesters of English, and a science are generally required, and then electives (like some sort of literature, a language, some sort of "perspectives" course, a fine art, history - all that stuff we all had to take to get a BS). I had all that stuff when I got my BS. I also had abnormal psych, some advanced psych and soc courses, two semesters of religion -a whole bunch of stuff that I took to fulfill my first degree's requirements.

    Anyone has that kind of stuff when they get a BS. I picked up the sciences I didn't have and then applied.

    This is copied from UNC-Chapel Hill's website (the third is RN-BSN, which doesn't apply here):

    The School of Nursing at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill offers an undergraduate program of study designed to provide students with the knowledge, skill, and understanding necessary to function effectively in all areas of professional nursing.

    The curriculum, leading to the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree, offers three options for study:
    1) 24-Month Option which includes two years of lower-division courses in the General College and approximately two years of upper division courses in the School of Nursing;
    2) 14-Month Accelerated Second Degree Option for students with a previous bachelor’s degree

    See where it says "approximately two years of upper division courses in the SON"? (I added the bold type.) In reality, when you literally count out how many months the "traditional" students spend in UPPER LEVEL NURSING COURSES, it's nineteen months. In fact, it's probably a bit LESS than that, if you counted actual class days and not just calendar months.

    All I am taking at Duke is upper level nursing classes. I'm in school for sixteen months. In seventeen calendar months, I have about a month off total. YES - there are some one year programs out there, and that is precisely why I didn't attend one. That, as you say, is frightening. But not all accelerated programs are that short.

    ALL the accelerated programs, regardless of their length, are focusing on the core, upper level nursing classes. Quality, I'm sure, varies - but we all know that's true across the board, which is why you have to select a school carefully at ANY degree level. Remember that the number of hours one spends in specific classes is set by that state's BON, and if a school wants accreditation, they have to show that those requirements are being fulfilled. Accelerated programs are held to the exact same standards as the other programs (we had a BON rep in our class today - it's Duke's five year review - and I have this straight from the horse's mouth, so to speak).

    I don't feel I'll be any less prepared than a 24 month graduate is going to be who graduates this December when I do. By December (299 days 'till pinning!!! ) I know all the sweat, tears, fright, and - let's be honest - cash (which you will hemorrhage no matter WHAT program you choose - ADN, either BSN, or diploma - they'll all leave you equally broke) will have been worth it.

    Yes, the pace borders sometimes on sheer insanity. I read more than most first year law students (which was confirmed for us by a classmate's friend, who actually IS a first year law student), and I stress and I worry and I get scared that I'll pass out the next day in clinical. But so does everyone else, regardless of what type of program they're in. And I'd worry regardless of where I was. We all do, and we all will.

    We're ALL going to be terrified on that first day with our shiny new licenses, regardless of the length of our programs. And I feel like that, for the most part, we'll all be just fine. BONs will deal with subpar programs individually, be they accelerated or traditional.

    Now, back to pharmacology....
    Last edit by carolinapooh on Feb 14, '07
  12. by   piper_for_hire
    I went through a 12 month accel BSN and I went right into a busy inner-city ICU and I did just fine and felt reasonably prepared. If I had to do it all over again - I would do it again and not stress over all the dumb stuff you stress over in nursing school.

    -S
  13. by   carolinapooh
    Quote from piper_for_hire
    I went through a 12 month accel BSN and I went right into a busy inner-city ICU and I did just fine and felt reasonably prepared. If I had to do it all over again - I would do it again and not stress over all the dumb stuff you stress over in nursing school.

    -S
    Cool. The thought of a twelve month program scared the crap out of me. Glad to hear you're right in there with the rest of us.
  14. by   br107
    ok just to clarify, i'm referring to the 12-month programs.

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