Master of Nursing U of M 2017 Cohort Applicants

  1. Hello everyone!

    I wanted to start a post for anyone interested in the University of Minnesota's Master of Nursing program, 2017 cohort. I just submitted my application and wanted to have a space where we can discuss the process, ask questions, or just nerd out about nursing!!

    I am so excited to see what happens this spring and wish all of you the best!

    A few questions to start some discussion:

    how are you feeling about the application process so far?

    What past or current experiences are you excited to offer the 2017 cohort?

    How long did NursingCAS take to verify your application after submission, and have you experienced any issues with the system?


    Any other questions or topics you want to add, please share!
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  2. 62 Comments

  3. by   Ampharos
    I'm currently in the MN program at the U of M and thought I would let you know I am willing to answer any questions you might have about the program as best I can. I know last year I was constantly stalking these boards/the internet in general looking for info and found that it was pretty quiet, so I thought I would try to help out in that area.

    As far as NursingCAS, I feel like it took a couple weeks (2 or 3, maybe?) for my application to verify. I submitted at the end of December because I had gone to an info session and they had stressed that you needed to submit it as early as possible to make sure it was verified by the deadline.

    Good luck with your application!!
  4. by   kme77
    Hello! I am also applying to the UMN MN program. It is my only application, and I'm really hoping everything works out. I have found the application process to be a little stressful so far - although I submitted all of my materials in November, I didn't realize that NursingCAS doesn't start verifying the application until all letters of recommendation are in. So even though they have had my transcripts for over a month, they only started verifying my app a few days ago. I am really concerned that it's not going to be done in time for the deadline. I really dislike the whole NursingCAS middle-man thing.

    I look forward to hearing from others who are applying!
  5. by   Bee55881
    Thank you so much for the support and information! I've been stalking allnurses for a couple years now and know that the thread last year was super helpful.

    Im so excited but also so nervous. I'm worried my application won't be verified in time for the deadline, but I'm hoping for the best. If it isn't verified by next week I'm going to give admissions a call!

    Any advice or suggestions about interviews? Do you remember that timeline?

    Thanks for your help!
  6. by   Bee55881
    Kme77, I am also nervous and in the same boat. I submitted my app on Tuesday, and it is already verifying, but I don't know how fast they will finish the verification. Let's keep in touch and I will let you know what I hear if I call admissions next week. My hope is that as long as all our materials are in and processed, NursingCAS will continue verifying after the deadline, and the U will be okay with that (hopefully).

    Best of luck to us! Fingers crossed.
  7. by   Ampharos
    Quote from Bee55881

    Any advice or suggestions about interviews? Do you remember that timeline?

    Thanks for your help!
    Applications are so stressful! I spent most of last fall in a bubble of constant anxiety. You'll get through it, though!!

    From what I remember, our applications were due around the 3rd week of January. We found out at the very end of February about interviews (I don't have the the email anymore, but I want to say it was the last Friday of the month and the email came late in the day). The email basically had a link with a list of people with different time slots. You just signed up for a day and time that worked for you. And all of the dates were in the first few weeks of March. I think I did my interview somewhere around mid-March.

    At the interview you talk with the person you signed up with for 30 minutes or so. They ask you a few standard interview type questions they said they ask everyone (I feel like it wasn't very many. We spent more time talking about some of my hobbies and about my family since I mentioned that my family had a long history with the university than the questions, actually) and give you a chance to ask anything you might want to know. I was super nervous and felt like I kind of rambled a little, but the woman I interviewed with was really nice and tried to keep it pretty conversational. I feel like the best advice I could give someone about it is to try to relax and just be yourself. I sort of tried to "prepare" ahead of time, but it didn't help at all, so I wouldn't bother with that. That being said, I was admitted off the wait list, so I don't know that my interview was "good", so definitely take my advice with a grain of salt!

    We got out emails about admissions on March 31st really early in the morning (I think it was there before 7 am). Since I was wait listed I don't know what happens if you are offered admission right away. For the wait list, they didn't indicate when we would find out about getting off the list, but I think it did mention that there was like 15 or 20 people on it. I sent a deposit to a school in Boston, assuming I wasn't going to get in here, but on April 25th (in the afternoon) I got an email telling me a spot had opened in the class and I had until May 9th to accept the position.

    So, that was kind of how it went. There was a lot of waiting, but it wasn't too bad. And the admissions people were really friendly so it was a pretty painless process, for me anyway. Besides NursingCAS, I mean. NursingCAS is awful and if I never see it again I won't be upset.

    I hope that helps!!
  8. by   kme77
    Ampharos, thank you so much for the information! How are you liking the program so far?

    Bee55881, I just got a message from admissions letting me know that there is a 7 - 10 day grace period after the Jan. 15 deadline for NursingCAS to complete verification, so hopefully we will be ok. Admissions also said that NursingCAS is supposedly averaging 3 days to verify applications. I think I'm on my fourth day, so it may be done soon? But I still need to do an academic update with grades from this fall, so I'm still a little worried that not everything will be done in time. I guess we'll see...
  9. by   Bee55881
    I appreciate the responses from both of you!

    Ampharos, I really like that it sounds as though interviews are more conversational vs formal review, as I do much better in the conversational setting. I'm so happy for you, and it is nice to know that the waitlist functions that way! I will keep those timelines in mind and definitely attempt some normalcy until late February

    kme77, I read your message and feel so relieved. Thank you so much for sharing your information from admissions, and it sounds like we will both be okay!! It sounds like the updates don't take a super long time, so I'm sending out good vibes to all of us!


    Were/are either of you worried about GPA or GRE scores?? I have a good background that will help with the admissions process but my GRE math score was low, and my overall prereq grades are Bs, some As. What are your thoughts on this??
  10. by   kme77
    I'm still a little worried though...NursingCAS just told me that it does take 3 - 4 weeks for verification. So I'm not sure where the 3 days thing came from...ugh. So stressful!

    I think my GPA and GRE should be good. I have a 3.96 in my last degree and 4.0 in my prereqs, and my GRE was quite a bit higher than the average they listed in all aspects. I was definitely MUCH higher in verbal than in math, but since I haven't taken a math class since 1996, I was ok with what I got...I studied for three months to try to remember everything I had forgotten in the last 20 years! My main concern is that I have no previous work experience in healthcare. I decided to make a career change after a major personal experience with the medical field, so all of my actual work experience is in my previous career. I'm hoping that my statement will explain this, but I have definitely been wondering if my lack of healthcare job experience will work against me.
  11. by   Ampharos
    Quote from kme77
    Ampharos, thank you so much for the information! How are you liking the program so far?
    You're welcome! I'm really happy to help!

    So far I would say my feelings about the program are positive overall. On the plus side, I have met some of the most wonderful people here. I feel like the faculty all really want us to succeed, which is fantastic, and basically everyone in my cohort is amazing. People are really cool about sharing notes/study guides/cool study resources they find/funny videos and things when school is getting busy or stressful. I kind of figured since this program would have a lot of adult learners with kids/jobs/other responsibilities I wouldn't really make any new friends because people are so busy, but I definitely have and I'm glad for that because new friends are fun! Of course every cohort will be different, but my class has been a big part of making this experience a positive one.

    I have also really enjoyed the clinical aspect of the program. We've only had one so far, but I learned so much there. It was challenging, but it forced me out of my comfort zone and made me see that I can definitely do this! Which was something I needed because as I fumbled around in the lab trying to do really basic things (It took me way longer than I felt like it should have to take a manual blood pressure :/) I wasn't sure I was ever going to be any kind of functional nurse. Having actual patients let me work with them, practice until I got it, and then tell me that I'm not horrible was a major morale booster.

    On the negative side, the program has been a little frustrating at times because it feels like the way they have structured some of the classes seems kind of random. Like, I felt like we didn't do very much during the first month of school and then October hits and they are all "okay, lets try to teach you everything right now because you start clinical in 3 weeks and you need to know this before then". It felt like they were trying to ease us into it or something and the realized they were taking it a little too easy so they had to quick shove everything in. I also wish that we had more opportunities to practice skills before clinical. Every lab session we learned a few new skills, and we had the 4 hour lab to practice them, but then we didn't talk about them again unless they come up in clinical. For most things, we never had to perform them for an instructor to make sure we were doing it right, so it was easy to kind of just watch and maybe not try to do it as much as I probably should have. I get that there isn't a lot of time since this is an accelerated program, but I wish they tested us out on more things so we could be comfortable with it before getting to clinical. But my clinical instructor and most of the nurses I worked with last semester were happy to show me things again and help me to make sure I was learning how to do things properly, so I guess it worked itself out.

    I also kind of hate how much stuff we have to do online, but I think that is because I have never really been a computer person. I guess it is nice because you can do it when you want, but I feel like I learn better with in person activities. I have still been learning, though, so I suppose I'm getting used to it.

    So, I'm saying that I have no regrets about coming to this program. It definitely isn't perfect, but I feel like I am learning how to be a nurse which is the most important thing. I'm excited to start next semester because we have more clinical rotations in several areas, so it will be nice to see something different.

    Quote from Bee55881
    Were/are either of you worried about GPA or GRE scores?? I have a good background that will help with the admissions process but my GRE math score was low, and my overall prereq grades are Bs, some As. What are your thoughts on this??
    Oh, and about GPA/GRE scores. I don't remember my GRE scores exactly, but I know they were pretty similar compared to the average accepted student GRE score on the website. My undergrad GPA was not great (like 2.99 or something), but I went to grad school where I had a much better GPA (like 3.5) and I got As in all of my prereq classes except chemistry (which I took in undergrad) and A&P II (which I didn't have a grade in until after they accepted me) which I got Bs in. I assume my prereq grades are probably the only reason they were willing to even talk to me because my grades were kind of inconsistent, my GRE scores didn't really stand out, and I had zero patient care experience. I really, truly believe that they are interested in your whole application, so I would definitely not count yourself out. I was not at all a perfect applicant on paper, but they took a chance on me, anyway, so that must mean something.

    OMG! Sorry for the wall of text! I guess I have a lot of feelings!
  12. by   kme77
    Wow, thank you SO much for all of the information! It really helps give a better picture of what the program is like. It seems similar to what I remember reading from other people - the clinicals seems to be the most helpful part of the program. Do you mind me asking: are you working any other job? Do you think it would be possible to work a bit while in school?
  13. by   Bee55881
    Ampharos I am so glad you have so many feelings, because all of this is so incredibly helpful!

    Quote from Ampharos
    "okay, lets try to teach you everything right now because you start clinical in 3 weeks and you need to know this before then".
    do you have any recommendations for incoming students to better prepare for clinicals? what sorts of skills were they rapidly teaching you and asking you to know before clinicals?

    and I am going to second kme77 and ask about holding a job during school - what is your honest opinion on that?

    I'm so glad to hear that the cohort is so amazing. To be truthful, I am just as excited about nursing school as I am about making friends in the new cohort. I love the connectedness and the support of that type of community, and I hope that I get to be a part of this year's cohort!

    Thank you so much for all of the info and continued discussion.
  14. by   Ampharos
    Quote from kme77
    Wow, thank you SO much for all of the information! It really helps give a better picture of what the program is like. It seems similar to what I remember reading from other people - the clinicals seems to be the most helpful part of the program. Do you mind me asking: are you working any other job? Do you think it would be possible to work a bit while in school?
    You're both very welcome! I'm glad I can be useful! Keep the questions coming!

    The admissions people kept saying it was impossible to work and do well in this program, but the the second year students at orientation told us a lot of people work through the program and do just fine. I decided to go with the advice of the second year students and keep working, so I do have a job! I work like 15-20 hours per week in a genetics/molecular biology lab I worked in before I started school. I don't think I scored less than a 'B' on anything, so I would say that working and keeping up with school hasn't really been a problem for me. I know there are many other people in my class that are working, too, but there are also a lot of people who don't work or try to focus their work on breaks from school.

    I would say that whether or not you can work completely depends on how flexible your job is and your comfort level with the material. My job is very flexible as far as hours go, so I can adjust based on what my studying load is like any given week (and my coworkers are super supportive, so they don't mind if I need to take time away to study/meet with a group/whatever). As far as the material, physiology was probably our hardest class this semester and I have a lot of cell/molecular biology experience to set me up for that, so I didn't need to study as much for that class as some other people did. Truthfully, I didn't study that hard for anything because I felt like the exams structure for most of the classes followed the lectures pretty well (except for the assessments class, but that class was just a mess in general, so I don't even know...) so you could get through study pretty fast, but I know that others spent a lot more time studying the material than I did, so it definitely depends on you and how you learn.

    Quote from Bee55881
    do you have any recommendations for incoming students to better prepare for clinicals? what sorts of skills were they rapidly teaching you and asking you to know before clinicals?
    Honestly, I'm not sure there is any way to "prepare" for clinical ahead of time. Well, except becoming a CNA or something, maybe. Then at least you would be comfortable with some of the basic care tasks and only have to learn the nursing specific stuff. The actual "clinical skills" we learn in the lab class, like 3-4 per week beginning when school starts in September, so they don't try to rush us into those (although they don't assess our ability to perform most of them, so you don't get a ton of help getting "comfortable" with them until you need them at clinical). Sorry if I was confusing before!!

    The stuff they tried to shove at us right before clinical was all the "nursing process" stuff. So, not "clinical skills" as much as "how to think like a nurse" (Nursing diagnoses, care plans, etc. I had no idea what any of that was before October, so don't feel like you should understand it/even know what it is before you start school). None of it is really that complicated in principle- it was just they way they presented it and the timing that made it seem harder than it actually is (And the ridiculous assignment associated with it that will steal a large amount of your life for several weeks). I felt like I would have had a less painful time "getting it" had they lead with that material since they kept telling us how important it was when they finally did start teaching it.

    I'll be sending you all good vibes for your applications! Definitely keep updating with how things are going! And of course feel free to ask any other questions you have!! Classes don't start again for a little over a week, so I will for sure be lurking at least until then!

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