@ applyingbsn: i just got an alert now regarding your post. i noticed the date is april!!! so, i am not sure if any of what i am about to say will help. it's probably too late. i have graduated and i am currently studying for my board exam. my general idea of mcphs, worcester is: i hated every single second of it! the people, the school, and the location. if you plan to go here, expect it to be 16 months of hell. i will answer your questions below:
1. i've chosen to live in the borysek 6 person suites, any experience or insight on the living situations within the borysek living and learning center?
i lived in both dorms... there are only 2! the location you mentioned is at 25 foster street. it comes in different suite sizes: the 6 person suite was big and had a nice view of the area (would suggest 8th or 9th floor). but, i was placed with random students and there was a lot of drama. i wanted to study hard, and the rest of the students wanted to be loud. since the school library is tiny and loud, being in this suite was not ideal. i ended up using the umass med library instead. what sucks about driving to the medical library is that you have to pay for parking (you used to be able to sneak your car in and pay nothing, but now they are stringent about ticketing cars that do not have a permit). if you want a quiet place to study and don't have a car, take the city bus. umass med library is up the street. not far at all! the perk about living at 25 foster, is that you can take the elevator down to class and back up... you can take the elevator and never leave the building (ideal during snow season). there is also a store next door, so you can just take the elevator down, step outside, take 4 steps get into the store, shop for food and go back in. i didn't see or deal with snow the 1st semester in ma.
i moved to 10 lincoln square, where i had my own private room (your key is legit: a hotel room key, swipe your card and you're in, kind of funny). it is quiet there!!! and you have your own bathroom, fridge, microwave, desk, access to the cafeteria and large hotel ball rooms where you can study. you also have access to washer and drier down in the basement where all the mailboxes are. you also have access to computers, printers (just like the 25 foster dorms). it’s ideal! but, you have to walk to class (only about 3 blocks away, not bad at all). this is a great place to live during clinical rotations if you have a car. because the back of the hotel is your parking lot, so you are close to your car. people living at 25 foster have to walk to 10 lincoln to have access to their cars.
2. how is the whole clinical experience, when do they start, how is the process of being placed?
clinicals are chosen for you. doreen luciani is the one in charge of emailing all the students with their schedule. at the start of school they will provide you with a form that asks if you have a car and where you are currently living. they will take the information you provide, into consideration, in order to place you appropriately. clinicals are as good as the instructor is... if you have an instructor that likes to teach and is patient: great! if you get an instructor who is always stressed out and worried about you making mistakes, you will suffer! they may give you clinical warnings... the last semester = your preceptor (if you have a high gpa and are in good standing aka have no clinical warnings)... not everyone gets a preceptor which is definitely something that would have kept me from coming to mcp if i knew this in advance!!!! preceptors helped some students line up jobs and really get to be a nurse. not having a precept really sucks!
3. would it be difficult getting to clinicals and doing routine things such as grocery shopping without a car? i don't plan on bringing a vehicle and was hoping that the public transportation would be dependable (coming from chicago, i've always used public transportation).
grocery shopping is not a problem. you have a cvs within walking distance and the next door store: honey farms. if you want serious grocery shopping you can go to the super walmart or blackstone mall (you will need to car pool or take the bus). if you can bring a car... do it. you will want to escape this school every chance you get. blackstone mall off the highway is stress relief (2,3,4th semester when you have a bit more time to get away)... and driving to and from your clinical is that extra free time to listen to music and clear your mind... trust me on this!
4. how is the program in terms of difficulty/workload, teaching quality, advising, career development, etc? my background is in biochemistry and biology so i'm hoping my strong science background will help me through the program.
the program is extremely challenging! mainly because you have no time! your first semester is the worst since you have 5 classes scheduled. this translates to having 2-3 tests per week (if not more) on top of assignments... the remaining three semesters are usually 3 classes each, only. so, your time does become more manageable if you can make it past the 1st semester.
semesters 2, 3, & 4 = you start provider classes (i through v) those are the hardest classes in my opinion. they start with 2 weeks of "front-loading" and then you are in clinical rotations all week every week with classes scheduled only 1 or 2 times per week. the front-loading period is nonstop lecture and exams. keep in mind you are still testing when you have clinicals. just b/c you made it past "front-loading" doesn't mean the hell stops! i was a biochempremed major... and it didn't make a difference. i also worked in biotech and that made no difference. i think your past experience really doesn't make or break you... it’s how you test and how you manage time that will predict your success in surviving the program.
5. what is your educational/career background, and why did you choose mcphs?
bio, chem, premed... i chose mcphs because i was looking into accelerated programs since 2005... and this happened to be the first one that popped up on google... it was accredited (important!!! don't even consider a school that is not accredited!) and was the first school that accepted me... i didn't want to wait for other schools to get back to me (some were not starting until 4-6 months later)... since i was accepted and they had classes starting in the winter... i thought why wait months when i can begin immediately. the goal was to change careers with an accredited school.
6. pros and cons to the program?
pros = you get done in 16 months.
cons = everyone is stressed out, including the professors, nobody wants to help you even though they say they do and try to make all these tools available to you (i say this because if you fight a question with a teacher, they will always be right, even if you find outside sources or more info), << i also say this because every time the entire class has a concern, the professors say "well, this is an accelerated program and you knew this coming in!"
you have to fight for every point on every grade, they test you on information you learned the night before, or two nights before... its hard to cram all the time, you feel like you know nothing because you are cramming constantly, gpa requirement = 2.7 (sounds low, but its a hard program, you will see...), you must have a 2.7 to graduate... if you have a 2.69 you will not graduate! you must have a 73% or higher in every class to pass and move on with the next semester... this is a hesi testing school which means that every final exam is in fact a hesi exam! it counts as 25% of your grade for each class... if you are not getting your 73% or higher average in class (prior to final exam day) you are screwed... because the hesi exam is hard and usually brings your grade down (this is not the case for everyone). but, most people experience a poor grade on the hesi... the hesi being 25% of your final grade in every class can really hurt your average.
7. do you know the first time pass rate on the nclex? as a "senior" in the program, do you feel prepared to enter the profession and take the nclex?
passing rate used to be 100% up to last year... last year the seniors passed 88% the first try... our class is still in the process of taking it so i don’t know yet... i did not pass the board my first attempt... i do not feel prepared for the board. i feel that a hesi testing school does not predict your success on the board.
8. since the class size of the accelerated bsn program is small, how is the interaction between faculty and staff? are they approachable and available for help when needed? how are classes and the learning environment?
our class was the first largest class they had in years! we were ~80 and trickled down to ~60 on commencement day. you will notice on orientation day: the school tries to paint the picture that they are there to "help" you and be most involved in your success. they do provide you tools: like tutoring, and the 3rd floor counselors etc. you do have the opportunity to sign up for office hours with professors. but, in general when i look back... i had to fight for my grades, i had to fight to find a quiet area, and i had to fight to stay in this program. there are more and more students being admitted, and less faculty. most classes are no longer your typical face to face with a professor. you will be staring at screens and getting your lecture from boston or manchester, streaming in live. i have not experienced this because we were the last class to have had a teacher present with us, prior to the web cam evolution.
9. what is your typical week like?
1st semester: wake up, take the elevator down to class or if you live at lincoln, walk to class. sit in lecture for 3-4 hours. break for lunch. 1-4 is more class followed by maybe lab simulation hours. then you take the elevator back up to your dorm, or walk to lincoln... make something to eat, and then study. repeat!
2, 3, & 4th semesters: your provider i - provider v classes kick in. meaning you only have 3 classes per semester. first 2 weeks of each class involves non-stop lectures and exams (called front loading)... then you step into clinical rotation mode (class only 1 or 2 per week and then clinical 3-4 times per week). you are still testing during clinicals. just because you have clinicals doesn't mean you don't have tests on days that you have class.
lastly, i have some questions about finances, but since they may be too personal, i understand if you won't want to answer them:
talk to: lynn berry, he was a great help for any questions you have regarding loans! i took out both federal and private loans.. fed doesn't cover much so then you are stuck going to a bank for extra help. wells fargo has the best deal.. interest wise. i would get a fixed interest. also, if your credit is bad, co-sign with a reliable source. the school receives their cut from your federal source and from your private source... then they hand you a check with whatever is left of what they took. this is what you live on for the semester. be wise with your money. you should probably abstain from working while you are in this program. if you have poor credit, it can really be stressful trying to get a loan. that is why i suggested having someone co-sign if at all possible. again, talk to wells fargo for the best deal (my opinion).
thank you so much!
no prob! hope you received this feedback prior to attending. if i had someone break it down in detail i would have listened and not gone to mcp. understand, again that this is just my opinion... and it could have been different for other students. i do have to note that reviews i had seen on line reflect what i wrote here... i chose not to listen to the reviews because i felt they were too biased and opinionated... but at the end of the day, they were all right.
( last note: you will be wearing a white coat the entire time you attend this school. they emphasize professionalism and dressing the part. you will also have scrubs for clinical. you cannot wear jewelry, or heavy makeup, or nail polish, etc. they are very stringent about looking the part. )