Hello Yolanda! I'm glad to see that you're interested in Georgia Southwestern. I'm finishing up my last semester and will be graduating this May.
First of all, I would suggest that you conduct some research on Americus and the college itself. I'm sure you may have done this already, but it's good to get a grasp on what life will be like when you make the transition into the nursing program. Americus itself is relatively small town. If you're from any of the larger cities in Georgia, moving to Americus will be quite a change. We do have a Wal-Mart, Winn Dixie, Harvey's, Fred's, etc. There are several fast food joints (i.e. McDonald's, Taco Bell, Zaxby's, etc.), a Ruby Tuesday, and several local eateries. Everyone that I've come into contact with during my time here in Americus has been extremely friendly and welcoming, particularly to GSW students.
Some of your clinical rotations will be completed at the local hospital, Phoebe Sumter Medical Center. The current facility will soon be replaced by a new, state-of-the-art hospital later this year. Phoebe Sumter is actually owned and managed by the Phoebe Putney Health System. Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital is located in Albany, GA. You may actually complete some of your clinical rotations at this facility. Albany is roughly forty-five minutes south of Americus. Some courses (particularly OB/PEDS nursing and Psych. nursing) require that you travel some distance from Americus as well. Pediatric rotations typically take place in Macon at the Medical Center of Central Georgia. Some Psych. rotations will take place in Albany. There have also been times when students have had to travel as far as Columbus for clinicals. What I'm getting at here is that you should be prepared to travel some distance for your clinical rotations. Unfortunately, we don't have the luxury of utilizing several large hospitals in such a small community.
As for the nursing courses, any program will be rigorous. Whether you're entering the generic track or the accelerated track, all nursing courses will have a certain level of difficulty. I will admit that some courses are much harder than others, but you'll soon discover the best way to study. During my time in the nursing program, I have come to befriend many of the faculty members. Although their job is to teach, they can also offer guidance and advice that extends beyond just the nursing curriculum. You will find that you enjoy one professor's teaching style over another's, but that will occur in any college setting.
The admissions process is similar to that of other nursing programs
in Georgia. GSW's SON requires that you have a GPA of at least 2.8. However, this is a minimum
requirement and does not guarantee admission into the program. You are also required to take the TEAS Exam. At this point, the SON does not require that you achieve a particular score on the exam, only that you have taken it. If I'm not mistaken, your score must be at or above the national average. However, the score on the TEAS Exam is not the only criterion for admission. You must also complete a number of "pre-nursing" courses prior to admission. These include: Human Anatomy & Physiology, Microbiology, Statistics, Concepts of Professional Nursing, Clinical Therapeutics, and Human Pathophysiology. These, of course, are in addition to standard core courses (i.e. English Composition I & II, College Algebra, History, etc.). Finally, you are required to submit an essay that addresses your desire to become a nurse.
Emile is right about conditional acceptance. Simply put, conditional acceptance means that once you've submitted an application to the SON and it has been reviewed, your acceptance to the program is conditional
pending your final grades in selected pre-nursing courses (i.e. A&P, Microbiology, Concepts, Clinical Therapeutics, and Patho). You are required to achieve a minimum grade of "C" in these courses. Again, a "C" is a minimum requirement and would not guarantee admission into the SON.
After your admission, you are required to obtain a background check. You must also ensure that all immunizations are up to date and on file at GSW. Furthermore, you will need to obtain "CPR/AED for the Professional Rescuer" certification; this can be completed at many American Red Cross offices or through the American Heart Association. The class typically costs around $50. Finally, you'll need to obtain liability insurance. The SON will provide you with information about several companies that provide liability insurance for nursing students. The cost is around $24/year.
Once you're in the program, you'll be required to maintain a "C" or higher in each of the nursing courses. GSW's SON, like most nursing programs, maintains that a "C" is 75 or above. This is something that you'll want to keep in mind, especially around mid-terms =]. You'll take courses in Medical/Surgical nursing, Health Promotion, Gerontological nursing, OB/PEDS nursing, Psychiatric nursing, nursing leadership, and nursing research.
Overall, I've enjoyed my experience at GSW. I actually transferred to this school after spending a year at Armstrong Atlantic State University in Savannah. Americus is small, but you'll soon find that this creates a great learning environment. Class sizes are typically small as well (our class is considered "large," and we only have roughly 35 students). This will allow you to interact with your classmates and professors; people will actually know who you are! GSW is currently in the process of building a new Health and Human Sciences building which will house the SON and the psychology/sociology department. This building will also include a state-of-the-art simulation lab that will allow you to participate in "nursing simulations" that mimic real-life experiences. You have the opportunity to practice skills in a safe, non-threatening environment.
I hope this helps you in making the decision to attend GSW. If you have any more questions, just let me know! I wish you the best of luck in whatever you decide!