I'm in the first semester of the program (there are 5 semesters), and that correlates to 3rd and 4th semesters of the traditional program.
It's definitely time consuming because there are a lot of assignments and we have about one exam/quiz/checkoff per week, sometimes a couple. We only have about 6 weeks of clinicals this semester (1 day/week), but that number increases each semester until the very end (the capstone) where you "work" full time on a unit.
From talking with people in other semesters, the first semester is the most basic out of all of them. We do a lot of assessment, basic skills (moving patients, vital signs, health histories, SubQ/IM injections, dressing change, Foley cath, trach suctioning, etc.), community and patient education, as well as learn about nursing as a profession in general.
We have about 15 credit hours per semester (which includes summers), and there's a good amount of outside work that goes along with the class (for instance, the day before clinicals you have to go to your assigned unit to do the paperwork...this semester that means Sundays for us).
The instructors are WONDERFUL. Extremely supportive, helpful, and willing to help everyone learn and do well. I don't know what kind of school you went to but, for most of us, we came from previous degree programs that were really competitive and tried to weed everyone out. Here, they stress that it's not a competition anymore; they really do want everyone to succeed who has the dedication for it. Not to say that you can slack off by any means, but they will be there for you if you need/want. We have instructors from a variety of backgrounds and experiences. Many of them still work or are involved on different units in addition to teaching. You can really tell that they care about making their students good nurses.
Clinicals can be at just about any area hospital....Methodist, IU, Riley, St. Vincent's, Community....to me, it seems like there are more at Clarian (Methodist/IU/Riley) than the others.
Out of 38 people we have 3 guys. As with a lot of nursing programs
, guys are a minority, but here a lot of them are very active in getting involved. As for average age....we have a good amount of those in their mid-20s, but also a lot in their 30s and some 40s, married, some with children...it's a variety. Also a huge variety in backgrounds...I think I'm one of maybe 2 or 3 in my class who actually has a healthcare-related background.
If you're thinking about whether or not it's for you, try considering why it is you want to be a nurse. I've noticed that the people who go into it thinking "hey whatever, it's a job" are the ones who get burnt out the fastest. It helps if you have a personal investment in it.
Hope that helped! Good luck and let me know if you have any more questions!