Columbia University ETP Program 2013 - page 9

The thread here for the Columbia University ETP program for entry in 2012 is pretty long (45 pages right now!), so I was hoping to elicit some of the same responses for those who are applying in... Read More

  1. Visit  prospectivepmhnp profile page
    0
    hello everyone!

    I have a lot of nervous energy tonight and have been poring over the ETP archives. I can't believe we have to wait til February!
    I haven't seen a lot of prospective/current PMHNP students on here - are you out there?

    I applied A WHOLE TWO WEEKS AGO for the priority deadline. My background is in visual art - I have a BFA and have spent the time since working as a nanny, art teacher, and making paintings. I have a 3.6 undergrad GPA and 3.9 pre-req GPA. My GREs were 170V, 157Q. I got a 4 on the writing component, which was lower than I expected. But hopefully it's not weighed too heavily? I think my statement is articulate and non-generic (though of course I'm still obsessing over the little things I might change now).

    I have 150+ hrs volunteering/interning in NYC. I have at least two (presumably wonderful) letters of reference, but my academic letter may not be especially specific - I'm 6 years out of undergrad at this point and my pre-req courses are not exactly intimate.

    From what I can tell, stat-wise, I think I'm in the running. Good luck to everyone! I'd love to hear from anyone in the psych specialty.
    Last edit by prospectivepmhnp on Nov 2, '12 : Reason: adding info
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  3. Visit  CU2012 profile page
    1
    Hi applicants!

    I'm a current ETP student and I just wanted to come on here and offer you support. I thought the nursing school application process was really wrenching and exhausting, so I just want to tell you all to hang in there - you will make it! By the time you're a few weeks into your first semester of school you will barely remember all the painful waiting (I know that seems impossible, but it will happen).

    I'm happy to answer as many of your questions as I can. Congrats to those of you who have already submitted your apps, and good luck to the rest of you as you finish up!
    hollysf likes this.
  4. Visit  the healer's art profile page
    0
    Thanks CU2012 I have lots of questions! How do you like the program? Do you get a choice in where you do your clinicals? Does the faculty seem supportive? Are most of the students succeeding? What were your stats when you applied? What's the program like? I wish there were blogs or something about the experience because I'm so curious about what DE programs are really like!
  5. Visit  dedicatedone profile page
    2
    Hey the healer's art, hopefully I can help you just as much as CU2012 can

    As far as my experience goes, there are pros and cons to the program as there are with any other program. For me, one of the best things I like about this program is that it is the fastest program in the country that I know of in terms of the 1st year (BSN phase). The majority of the professors are great resources and have had pretty amazing experiences to pull from which adds to the richness of the courses. With that being said, this program for me is grueling and tough due to how fast paced this program is. You're some of the brightest and best students in the country which is great because you can work with one another - problem being, you have to find a group of people that work the way you work. I was lucky enough to find that but there are people who struggle with that. Also, a huge con for me is the administration. There are too many issues that stem from the office that I get frustrated that the staff is not more organized.

    In terms of clinical, you do not get to choose your site. You are placed at one of a handful of hospitals throughout the entire city. All of which though are accessible via public transportation except one site in psych which they provide a shuttle for. When it comes to the actual clinical, the ETP class is broken up into 4 separate groups to participate in one rotation at a time (Meg/Surg, Psych, OB, and Peds).

    The faculty for the most part do seem supportive. There are some faculty in my experience who are less helpful than others but I think you will find that is not an issue that pertains to Columbia only.

    In terms of students succeeding, trust me, most are doing extremely well. You'll find that there is a large competitive nature among students here wether they will own up to it or not. However, you will find that there are many who are more than willing to help each other out to understand the material and work in teams to succeed. Ultimately, stress levels do get high but I think that stems from the disappointment students feel when they get anything less than an A. You'll come to hear that the honor society for the ETP class only invites the top 30% of the class - last year that meant you needed above a 3.85 I believe. So yes, I would have to say that students here do well.

    I know that stats are a major factor and applicants love to hear about them. Mine were on the low end so hopefully it gives hope to those in similar positions
    Undergrad GPA: 3.0
    Pre-reqs: 4.0
    Volunteer Hours: ~800 hours? Over the course of 3 years. Completed in several units and community clinics.
    GRE: V 420 M 660 (not sure how this would translate to the new GRE format)
    Language: English speaking only
    Please know that the staff first read your personal statement before doing anything else (this includes looking at your stats). This was discussed in our orientation. They really do want to get a sense of the applicant before diving into the numbers. I heavily believe that my personal statement and letters of rec helped me with my admission.

    The program overall is an exciting one to be in but I would be lying if I say I don't think about how my life would be if I chose another program or option (not like there were many). Ultimately I am happy with my decision because of the fact that this is one of the faster programs in the country for the first year and my heart knows that I am not going to be an RN, but rather a Nurse Practitioner. Certain administration make it seem like you HAVE to work as an RN before going on, but that is not how our program is designed. Sure, I do want to work as an RN for a small period of time to gain more experience but the two roles of very different. I think that by truly understanding the difference between the two roles will help make your experience here a lot easier. This program will test your ability to time manage and perform at the highest level at all times like you have never experienced before. BUT the rewards of working with some of the top professionals in the field are well worth it. Especially if you get to have clinical's at any of the NYP hospitals

    Sorry for the lengthy message but hopefully this adds some more info for you all. Let me know if I can help in any way!
  6. Visit  CU2012 profile page
    1
    In brief: I am definitely liking the program. I think I am being well educated, I'm having good clinical experiences, and I am mostly impressed by my classmates.

    I do want to address the thing I've seen on these boards about hearing "mixed reviews" about Columbia - I also heard that comment when I was applying and I never knew what to make of it! So here's my take on that: the ETP program is large - 175-ish students. I had thought this might be an issue in terms of class participation or something, but that isn't a problem at all - even though lectures can be large, it can absolutely be participatory and have plenty of discussion. Where the largeness of the program has actually come up is in 2 ways:

    1) When you have this many people in a program, people simply have different reactions to exactly the same situation. Sometimes people have said negative things to me (about a particular exam, or class, or professor) and it's been so different from my experience that I wondered if we were talking about the same thing! Some people get upset about every little thing that doesn't go their way, cop a huge attitude and decide they're going to be unhappy about everything, and then they come on these boards and talk about how the program is "SO DISORGANIZED" (...it isn't disorganized at all, IMO). My point is that there are a lot of people in the program, so you're going to get lots of perspectives - heard something bad about the program from one person? Ask someone else and see what they have to say.

    2) The real way in which having a large class manifests itself is in clinical placements - they send us out to hospitals all over the city (and even a little beyond) which means that some clinical sites are better than others. To answer your question: you have no say in your clinical placements (except during integration at the end of the ETP year, when they take the location of where you live into account). I feel like I've had great experiences thus far: some have been great hospitals, some have been not-great hospitals (i.e. a large public hospitals) but I've learned an enormous amount from each placement. I've had friends tell me that X or Y placement they had wasn't good - this could genuinely be because a given place was truly bad, or again it could be because of their individual attitude about a place or a preceptor. But it is important to bear in mind that variation in quality of clinical site is probably inevitable when you have a large class like this.

    To answer your other questions directly:
    - Re: supportive faculty - Faculty are supportive if you make an effort to go talk to them and get to know them. I was surprised by how warm, friendly and helpful a couple faculty members were when I went to their office hours, given that they hadn't seemed that way during lecture (but again, talking to a person 1-on-1 in their office is different than lecturing to a class of 150!). If you've never introduced yourself to a professor and expect to get a supportive response when you suddenly write them a snippy little email about your grade on their last test...that's not gonna go so well. Make an effort and you will be rewarded!

    - Re: students succeeding - To be upfront about it: a few people have dropped out, although I'm not sure how many (I would say maybe 5-10, but that's totally anecdotal). I know of two people who dropped out - one dropped out very early on in the program for religious reasons, and the other dropped out after consistently not doing well in class and (I think) not liking clinical. I know of a few people who are considering stopping after the ETP year simply because it's going too fast for them and they want to do the masters at a slower pace. But the majority of people I talk to are doing very well - we're all pretty stressed, but doing well enough academically.

    Again, I had a few choices of schools and I'm very happy to have chosen Columbia. However, the program is VERY tough and unforgiving in its schedule. If you get behind, you are kind of screwed. If you get really sick and can't keep up with the work/make it to clinical, you are kind of screwed. If you decide halfway through a semester that you're going to be mad at everyone and stop doing your work for 10 days because of how fed up and sleep-deprived you are, you're going to be kind of screwed.

    So when you're applying, try to maximize the chances of doing well once you're in the program by being seriously honest with yourself about your life: are you in a place where you can give 95% of your waking time and energy to school? Are you prepared to have a pretty anemic social life, at least for the first few months? Are you prepared to work very hard, get really exhausted, and just keep going? Do you have adequate support for family or childcare responsibilities that you might have? The time to think about all of this is now, not once you've already started and signed on the dotted line for your loans.

    ...sorry, this was really long! Any other qqs I can answer before getting off my soapbox?
    sweet03nesy likes this.
  7. Visit  CU2012 profile page
    0
    Oh, I forgot my stats! To be clear, I really don't think these are that important. As dedicatedone said: the MOST important things are a) your personal statement (by far - really try to knock it out of the park), and b) your letters of recommendation. Then everything else. That said:

    Undergrad GPA: 3.65 (I think)
    Prereq GPA: 4.0
    GREs: ~1500
    Prior experience: 2.5 years abroad getting patient experience in 2 public hospitals
    Languages: Trilingual
  8. Visit  prospectivepmhnp profile page
    0
    CU2012,

    Through what organization/venue/(?) did you end up working in public hospitals abroad? Where were you? What were you doing? I'm considering something like this if I don't get into school this time around.

    My volunteer/intern experience so far is in peds and HIV.
  9. Visit  PMHNPhopeful13 profile page
    0
    @dedicatedone and @CU2012,

    Which specialty did you apply for? Would you be able tell us anything about the psych and mental health specialty and how your cohort is divided up based on specialites? Also, I noticed that both of you listed languages along with your stats...is that an important factor for CUSON? Thanks!
  10. Visit  dedicatedone profile page
    0
    I'm specifically in the Family Track for the masters portion. However, what I really like about Columbia which is different than almost all the schools I applied to is you're not locked into that specialty. That's something I didn't know until I got here for visitors day and something to keep in mind. You can actually switch into any specialty I believe (EXCEPT for midwifery and anesthesia) after you've been accepted. So though there are ~30-40 individuals in the family track, that number will likely change. I am not sure how many individuals are in the other tracks (specifically in Psych and Mental Health for your purposes). Point is, though you're admitted into one track, you can switch into the others tracks at a later time (just not into midwifery and anesthesia). I have no clue how this comes to be in terms of admissions - i.e. if you apply to a track with more spots, your chances are higher of getting in. I don't know if that statement is true but I do know that many students consider other options once they get here and Columbia is one of the few schools who are comfortable with you switching your track before your Masters.

    As far as language is concerned, I don't know how big of a factor it is. Probably just another detail that rounds out the individual. I state it only because I know others are concerned if it is a factor. Just like any piece of your application, play to your strengths. I know that I only speak one language so I definitely didn't focus on that haha. I spent more time on leadership skills and volunteer work I had.
  11. Visit  hollysf profile page
    0
    dedicatedone and CU2012,

    Thank you so much for your feedback and insight, it has been very informative! Can you tell me a bit about housing? Was it difficult to find? How much are most people paying in rent?

    Also, it sounds like Columbia's ABSN portion is incredibly challenging--which is expected. Do you anticipate a more manageable work load in the masters portion of the program? Do you think the MSN portion of the program will also grant you opportunities to build closer relationships with the faculty in your specialty?
  12. Visit  CU2012 profile page
    1
    Quote from prospectivepmhnp
    CU2012,

    Through what organization/venue/(?) did you end up working in public hospitals abroad? Where were you? What were you doing? I'm considering something like this if I don't get into school this time around.

    My volunteer/intern experience so far is in peds and HIV.
    If you'd like to PM me about this I'm happy to tell you a bit about it - but I wasn't with any organization. I was working abroad and was fluent in the local language so I just presented myself at the hospital and talked my way into volunteering.

    Quote from PMHNPhopeful13
    @dedicatedone and @CU2012,

    Which specialty did you apply for? Would you be able tell us anything about the psych and mental health specialty and how your cohort is divided up based on specialites? Also, I noticed that both of you listed languages along with your stats...is that an important factor for CUSON? Thanks!
    I'm in midwifery - unfortunately I can't really say much about the psych/mental health specialty, and I don't exactly know the numbers by specialty, except that there are about 15 of us in midwifery. (That was something I was really interested in as an applicant, and about which I succeeded in finding out exactly zero information! The admissions office doesn't give out information by specialty.)

    Speaking another language is always something that's good to highlight, but here's a piece of advice (that Columbia really should tell all applicants): LEARN SPANISH. It is probably beneficial in terms of being admitted, but it is ESSENTIAL in terms of being effective once you're in the program. I don't mean you can't get by, but one of my rotations has been in a public hospital where 90% of the patients were monolingual Spanish speakers - most people in my clinical group could not speak Spanish at all, but those who could were about 10 times as useful as those who couldn't. After I was admitted to nursing school I took an intensive Spanish course and then took a trip to Mexico - do whatever you can to acquire Spanish before you get here! You will not have time for this once you're in school.

    Quote from hollysf
    dedicatedone and CU2012,

    Thank you so much for your feedback and insight, it has been very informative! Can you tell me a bit about housing? Was it difficult to find? How much are most people paying in rent?

    Also, it sounds like Columbia's ABSN portion is incredibly challenging--which is expected. Do you anticipate a more manageable work load in the masters portion of the program? Do you think the MSN portion of the program will also grant you opportunities to build closer relationships with the faculty in your specialty?
    I guess I'm not the expert on this because I was already living in NYC when I started at Columbia, but campus housing is VERY limited. And not great. And not cheap. Lots of people Columbia students of all kinds spend less money than campus housing costs to live in great apartments on the Upper West Side, a few subway stops from campus, and others live all over the city. I would go into this assuming you won't be living in campus housing, make friends with people at visiting day, and learn to love Craigslist.

    Once you get into the masters portion, the intensity of the workload varies enormously by specialty. Dedicatedone obviously knows more than I do about FNP, but my understanding is that FNP for example have a very reasonably paced program that allows time for work, for example, but takes slightly longer. Midwifery, on the other hand, I expect will be exactly like ETP: insane work all the time, but is shorter than FNP. Again I can't really speak to other specialties, but in midwifery you definitely build closer relationships with faculty because of how intensively you work with them.
    hollysf likes this.
  13. Visit  dedicatedone profile page
    1
    Quote from hollysf
    dedicatedone and CU2012,

    Thank you so much for your feedback and insight, it has been very informative! Can you tell me a bit about housing? Was it difficult to find? How much are most people paying in rent?

    Also, it sounds like Columbia's ABSN portion is incredibly challenging--which is expected. Do you anticipate a more manageable work load in the masters portion of the program? Do you think the MSN portion of the program will also grant you opportunities to build closer relationships with the faculty in your specialty?
    Housing - As CU2012 said, there can be cheaper housing off campus depending on neighborhood and building. On campus housing is usually extended only to those who live farthest away from campus (i.e. out of country and West Coast Residents). It is extremely limited on campus for the Nursing school because the Med School has guaranteed housing from my understanding. If you're admitted, there will be a tour of the rooms so you can check it out. It won't your expected NYC living experience but I would think living on campus has its advantages (literally outside of class). If you do not get campus living, rent will vary from neighborhood to neighborhood. On average rent will range from $750-$1250 which I know is a larger range but those are the numbers I have been hearing and again, location is everything. Reiterating CU2012, craigslist will become your friend as will friends you make during Visitors Day

    The ABSN is challenging without a doubt like you mentioned. By the end of summer, we all felt like we conquered the impossible but everyone gets through and we survived. As mentioned earlier the people in this program do well and only place pressure on themselves to exceed. I know the FNP portion is much more manageable then the ABSN year. After speaking with students in the Masters Track now, they have class two days a week...? You'll be in smaller class sizes so you'll increase your chances of working closer with the faculty. Professors and staff want you to succeed but it's all about taking the initiative to get to know them and participate whenever possible.
    hollysf likes this.
  14. Visit  the healer's art profile page
    0
    Thank you so much for your answers! Do you guys know anything about the Pediatric Oncology tract?


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