Quote from NHDEMN
Sorry folks. I just found this thread.
I too am an UNH DEMN student. (one of two males in this class) Although I am in the second batch and as such I am just starting my summer courses. Those of us in the Class of 2007 do thank the Class of 2006 for paving the way. However, not all the bugs have been ironed out.
Yes. this program is new. Yes, it is intense. Sixty-four credits in the first year of study leading to the NCLEX. One has to be flexible and have a sense of humor. (the advice we are all given) Information is crammed into you and you must be prepared to study, study, study. There are a few weeks off but not very many.
It helps if you have a supportive family network of some kind and a source of income. This program is expensive due to the "extra" credit hours abouve the normal graduate load of 9-12 per semester. This past spring we have taken 26 credits. The cost for the first year is well over $20,000 including fees and books etc. The remaining year-and-a-half is at a normal graduate level pace and thus normal cost.
We do (will) have a lot of clinical experience before taking the NCLEX. Generally, two days (16 hours) each week in the clinical setting. I am now in my community rotation and again 16 hours per week in clinical. Additionally, after passage of the NCLEX you can work as an RN and complete the graduate studies portion of this program (1.5 additional years)
The program is designed for those whose undergraduate degree is in a field other than nursing. Mine was Parks Recreation and Tourism (concentration in environmental education). Many of my classmates have had some experience with health care. I was an EMT in college and with the National Park Service more than a decade ago.
I would encourage anyone to consider this program. But you must have a thick skin also as many RN's out there (and doctors also) are critical of this type of program. We find ourselves frequently defending the program to these people. Our solution is to be the best nursing students possible.
The program at the moment has three tracks after your first year: Education, Clinical nurse leader (see the AACN website for info about this) and a self-designed track.
If one is interested, I say go for it. This is no cake walk and is perhaps the toughest and most demanding education I have received so far.
Despite the late info, I hope it helps.
I appreciate your insights, this is very valuable. I've recently decided to put off applying until next year to give me a little more flexibility in completing pre-reqs (since I'm also looking at other programs which have different requirements). I'm excited about the program, but the cost is a big thing for me. As a single homeowner with all the bills that go along with it I'm not sure how I'd be able to afford that first year. Hopefully an extra year will give me some more insights into how to deal with that one.
I'm sorry to hear that you guys have faced criticisms from others in the medical community. I think, as with the ADN vs. BSN debate, it's a matter of what is right for each individual. With the range of choices we have at the current time, I don't think it's fair to say one way is right and another wrong. It may not be what someone would choose for him or herself, but if it works for someone else... well, then they should go for it. I'm confident in my choices and would have no problem dealing with criticism (or ignoring it as necessary), my only concern would be how these attitudes may affect the clinical experiences.
Thanks again, lots to think about...