Iím an aspiring nurse with a background in public health. I applied to the Associates of Nursing program for July 2012 at Bauder College earlier this spring and am patiently waiting to hear back from the Department of Nursing. Since their nursing programs are in the initial accreditation phase, students, including myself, seem apprehensive about applying and starting the program due to the significant cost as well as the pending full accreditation with the State of Georgia Board of Nursing. Although Iím not currently enrolled, I wanted to share my experience with Bauder College thus far in hopes that it may be of use to future or current applicants as well as inquires from other readers.
I utilized Bauder Collegeís online form to request information on their Associates of Nursing program in early February 2012. I received an e-mail stating an admissions representative would be contacting me within 24 hours via e-mail or telephone. After waiting a few days and hearing nothing, I submitted the form a second time and received the same automated e-mail. Almost two weeks passed without a response. So, I phoned Bauder College directly and spoke to the admissions department. The telephone lines do seem quite busy and Iím sure this gets stressful as a full-time secretary, but the young lady on the telephone was helpful and gave me information for the next nursing information session and said to simply show up Ė Thursday, March 8, 2012 and 6 p.m. So, thatís what I did.
Despite that my name wasnít on the information session guest list, I was able to get checked in and sit through the meeting. Mrs. Lanier, Distance Learning and Nursing Admissions Representative, facilitated the session and was informative and diligent about entertaining questions while maintaining a warm, inviting atmosphere. She was able to answer most questions and invited a financial aid representative to answer more specific questions regarding funding, grants, and scholarships, as that is out of her scope of practice.
After the session, prospective students still interested in the program were invited to sit for the Wonderlic Test (Wonderlic Cognitive Ability Test), which is a general overview of basic reading and mathematics to assess an individualís knowledge Ė sort of like a miniature IQ test. The test is a 12-minuted, computerized exam consisting of 50 multiple-choice questions and an optional short practice section before beginning the graded portion. COMPLETE the optional practice session, as it will ensure that your computer equipment is operating properly and will familiarize you with the exam format so you can focus on answering as many questions correctly instead of worrying about technology glitches. There are no study materials and, honestly, not much that will prepare you for this assessment. Itís nothing like the Kaplan Nursing Entrance Exam or TEAS Test that many recognize.
Go in, sit down, and put on your thinking cap. Answer as many of the 50 questions as you can, and donít get stuck on one individual question. If you donít know it within 30 to 60 seconds (if that), move on. The goal is to answer as many questions CORRECTLY in the 12 minutes. Incorrect answers and skipped questions are NOT counted. The raw score is based on the number of CORRECT responses. When I took the Wonderlic Test, the cutoff scores for continuing with the application process were 20 or 22 for the LPN program and 24 for the RN program. Luckily, I did well and moved on to apply to the RN program. If you donít score well enough to apply to the program or score high enough to apply to the LPN program but wish to apply to the RN program, you are welcome to retest ONE additional time to improve your score.
From this point forward Iíll share my RN program application experience, as this is my goal. Some of the criteria may overlap for the LPN program, but it would be best to consult the schoolís Web site to confirm. After meeting with Mrs. Lanier to receive my Wonderlic Test score the same evening as the information session, she invited me to take the Kaplan Nursing Entrance Exam (KPT) the following Friday. This exam is offered on campus in the computer lab every Friday morning, and you have TWO chances. Mrs. Lanier will e-mail you a FREE study guide to prepare for the exam. My advice: REVIEW AND STUDY it. Itís a short guide but FREE, easy to use, and helpful in preparing for the KPT. The test is very similar in format and coaches you on time management, managing test stress and jitters, and provides great tips for narrowing down answers and utilizing testing strategies. I read and worked through a few pages each day over a few days and completed the review guide well before the following Friday.
You can read more about the KPT online, but the study guide provided by Bauder College is quite helpful and is a great example of the expectations for their entrance criteria. You only need to complete the reading and math sections for Bauderís programs. The current cutoffs are 14/22 (64%) and 17/28 (61%) correct items for reading and math, respectively. Review and retest if you didnít do as well as you would have liked the first time around. I believe you can retest the following Friday, and the highest score will be counted.
Mrs. Lanier called me the next day (on a Saturday morning nonetheless) to congratulate me on my scores and reported that I could move forward with the interview process. There are 2 interviews: one with Mrs. Lanier/an admissions representative (either or, as the interview is one-on-one) and a second with the Director of Nursing (Department Head, Mrs. Black-Arias). When I received my KPT scores and set up my interview with Mrs. Lanier for the following Monday, I requested that my college transcripts be sent to Bauder College as well as a backup copy to my home address. My advice: do this AS SOON AS POSSIBLE and request a backup copy or have the official transcripts sent to you and HAND deliver to Bauder College yourself. My university doesnít charge alumni for transcripts, which is why I requested two copies. If you have to pay for yours, you may want to go the second route and hand deliver the sealed envelope yourself. My transcripts were mailed the second week of March, and I still canít see my transfer credits in my student account. I do know that Bauder received them and has reviewed some of my information, as Mrs. Lanier confirmed my transfer GPA when I dropped in this afternoon.
Before my general interview, I took the Wonderlic Digital Learning Readiness Assessment (DLRA), which is a computerized test that examines an individual's ability to use a computer and submitted responses electronically. You get one chance, and there's no reason or way to study. Simply read the answers and select the appropriate responses. If you got this far and successfully completed the Wonderlic Test and KPT, you shouldn't have any issues.
The first interview is laid-back and informal. Mrs. Lanier is easy to talk to you and asks general questions about your past, present, and future education and career goals as well as your reason for pursing a career in nursing. Be yourself, dress nicely, be prompt, and be honest. If all goes well, she will refer you to the nursing department to set up a second and final interview with the Director of Nursing. My interview with Mrs. Black-Arias was two days later. Again, the interview is one-on-one and laid-back but focuses on nursing. Mrs. Black-Arias is a remarkable, well-spoken, educated, and friendly woman. She has a deep rooted history and background in nursing and education and wants the best for her students as well as the nursing profession in general. Again, be yourself and be ready to discuss your experiences and why you are pursing nursing. One thing I liked about this interview is that she doesnít go down a list of questions and already knows a bit about you from reviewing your application and file. She was able to learn a lot about me as an individual, student, and aspiring nurse simply through talking to me one-on-one. She made the environment friendly, inviting, and we even laughed about some personal hospital stories together. Sheís truly a great Director of Nursing and nurse educator.
My interviews were in mid- to late-March. Since then Iíve renewed my CPR certification and have setup a doctorís appointment to submit proof of my physical exam and vaccination history. Take care of these items when you can, although I believe you can start the program or at least receive an acceptance letter without these components being completed. Definitely take care of them if youíre accepted. Iím still keeping my fingers crossed, and Mrs. Lanier said that everyone should be hearing back very soon for the July 2012 cohort.
I apologize for the lengthy post, but I wanted to share my experience and perhaps ease the stress for prospective and future applicants. Like any school, Bauder College has its flaws, but all-in-all my interactions have been positive. They do take time getting back to you on matters pertaining to the admissions department, but the nursing department seems to have their heads screwed on slightly tighter. My best guess is that the general administration office deals with students flooding their office every day, so undoubtedly they get back-logged. Even then, no one is perfect. Best of luck to future applications, current students, and future nurses throughout the Atlanta area and across the country!