Grand Canyon University

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    Has anyone been through the BSN nursing program at GCU? If things work out, I am hoping to start there in January. Thanks for any input!!

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  2. 81 Comments...

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    I have not been through it, but I am currently enrolled and i would not recommend the program to anyone. Teachers are boring, lab is cramped, lectures are cramped, financial aide loses all your paper work, and they hire all their own MSN students so there isn't anyone their who wasn't educated at GCU. There is no support for nursing students either and i feel like the only people who make it through a 5 semester program (what other program is five semsters???) are the ones who can read a book and learn all the information. For example my class started out with a little over 40 kids now two semesters in we are to just over 20. When we are in lecture we are combined with fast track students so our teacher to student ratio is like 1:40 unless you are in lab in which its a little better. The school is just ridiculous, im a PK and a christian so im not bashing that aspect its just a poor place to get an education unless you need a slip of paper to get your masters.

    Im transferring out next semester to a CC were hopefully ill learn something. I would encourage you greatly to look into other options.
    Last edit by dianah on Apr 20, '10 : Reason: Terms of Service re: libelous remarks
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    Thanks for your input!! Not what I wanted to hear but appreciate the honesty. Unfortunately I am hearing more negatives than positives in my research. Do you attend school at John C Lincoln campus or GCU? I will be doing the fast track and was told classes would be held at JLC North Mountain. What is your schedule like and when do clinicals start? Thanks again for any input.
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    I am traditional @ gcu so my schedule probably woulnt apply its usually half days in the first quarter we had a few days that were like 8-5 but that was just the first week. Our clinicals started second quarter of first semester.
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    My enrollment counselor at GCU said that the traditional campus-based BSN was a weekly schedule of three 10-hour school days and one 12-hour clinical day. So, that isn't accurate? No complaints here about shorter days--I'm just wondering why the enrollment counselors tell us differently.
    WSamsky, sorry to hear the program is not up to your expectations. I read somewhere or was told that GCU has a teacher student ratio of 1:10. That's disappointing to hear that in fact, the classes are overcrowded. What CC are you transferring to?
    I was accepted to MCC Boswell, and am waiting to finish my spring semester to hear if GCU accepted me into the traditional campus BSN.
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    I'm sorry to hear WSamsky has had such a bad experience at GCU. I hope that doesn't hold true for everyone.

    I'm currently enrolled in GCU's fast track BSN program based at St Joseph's Hospital downtown. Though we may only be 3 months into it, my time here has been mostly positive.

    This is the first time that two fast track programs (20 months long) start together. In May, 2 30-person cohorts start their degree, one at GCU's campus and one based at St Jo's hospital. (We have never had more than 30 students in a lecture, and have actually never seen the GCU campus group since the orientation day months ago. I don't know where the 1:10 ratio came from, but 30:1 has never felt overcrowded in lecture. Labs were usually 4:1 and clinicals are 1:1 in most places.) In the fall starts the John C Lincoln based fast track and the traditional on-campus groups.

    I have very few complaints. Lectures are applicable, but sometimes dull (usually when they're powerpoint based). The instructors truly seem to care about getting us students through the program in one piece. I'd be curious to hear more about the 'lack of support' WSamsky mentioned. I haven't needed a tutor yet, but they have been advertised. A friend in the class regularly meets with her mentor, a 5th block student. Help is out there. Labs were fun, clinicals have been interesting and very interactive, and I've been paired up with some great nurses at both St Jo's and long term care.

    My biggest issue is that financial aid has taken far too long to be paid out. This is an across the board problem for nursing students and is unacceptable. However, I feel it's due more to under-staffing/laziness than malicious intent from GCU.

    At orientation I did see a bit of the 'thinning of the herd' that WSamsky pointed out. I'd be interested in knowing the failure/drop-out rates of other schools offering nursing and fast-track programs. We had one student already drop out after the first 8 weeks due to personal issues. I truly believe that this is not an issue if you go into school expecting that it will be your life's focus for 20 months to 2 years, work very hard, ask a lot of questions, and have or can create a good support system. Another contributing factor to the drop outs is that GCU does not baby the nursing students. If your course grade is less than a 76, you fail the course and the cohort moves on without you. Also, you need to take some initiative. When I struggled with a topic and my test grade dropped quite a bit, the instructor did not pull me aside after class, and no one called or knocked on my door offering tutoring. But when you approach the instructors on your own, they delight in sharing their knowledge and experience.

    Would I recommend GCU to those in the market for a nursing degree? While I cannot speak for the traditional program, I am quite enjoying my time at St Jo's and am very glad to be progressing toward my certification. There are far worse schools. ASU has great name recognition, but I hear their program doesn't offer as much clinical experience. In the end, no matter what school you choose, you'll only get out of it what you put into it.

    Hope this helps. I'll try to update as I progress through the degree. Feel free to ask any questions; I always wished there was more information out there when I was shopping for schools.

    -InH
    Archer1121 likes this.
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    Thanks inhibernation! Great information, very encouraging. I am looking very forward to applying in September, and pray I get accepted. I take my TEAS on Aug 3 and I'm nervous as all get out. I've been reading some very helpful threads on the TEAS here and they've helped alot, but I'm still scared!! I really wanted to apply for the John C Lincoln based courses, but I'd have to wait until next fall, so I guess it's GCU campus for me. I'd love to talk with you sometime about your classes and clinicals, very curious as to what you're schedule is like as well. Thanks again for the reply and I look forward to hearing from you again.
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    I think that any program requires hard work and determination. 76 as a cut off seems fair to me.

    I start the fast track program at GCU August 30th and I am so excited. Any advice on the first semester?
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    CONGRATS CMA3!! I'd love to hear anything that anyone in the program wants to share as well. Any advice on the TEAS V?? I take it this Tuesday. Good luck starting NS!!
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    bskinner - Good luck on your application. Whether you apply for spring or fall entry, you should have a choice of hospital or campus based. (St Jo's and campus fast tracks in May, JC Lincoln fast track and campus traditional in September.) As far as schedule goes I can only speak for the first semester. The first 8 weeks felt very class heavy. Lecture and labs 3.5 days per week. The second 8 weeks we have class 1.5 days at the beginning of the week and 6 hour clinicals Thursdays and Fridays.

    CMA3 - A lot of the students seemed really worked up over starting nursing school, which ended up being silly. The courseload is heavy, as expected, but doesn't feel even near overwhelming. The best advice for first semester is to read your books and stay flexible. Schedule's will change, you'll feel a little lost the first few weeks, but that's completely normal. If you can become familiar with your health assessment book ahead of time, that's great (I didn't). Study all your texts, but GCU's exams test your critical thinking process just as much, if not more so than your book knowledge.

    -InH


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