I thought I would go ahead and add some info to get the ball rolling.
1) For the most part, the academic curricula between all the OCNE schools
is pretty much identical. There is a master OCNE curriculum that each program is given and the schools can tailor it to some degree, but the goals and learning objectives are pretty much identical.
2) The first term was just 9 quarter hours. Many students that hadn't already taken microbiology took this to fill out their fulltime status. This term wasn't so bad.
3) The second term is 12 hours. You have 6 hours of Fundamentals of Nursing, 3 hours of Pathophysiology, and 3 hours of Pharmacology. In addition to these lecture classes, you have 4 hours of skills lab every week, and around 10 hours of clinicals every week. Clinical hours vary from site to site but you are supposed to complete 66 hours this term. Oh yeah... there is also sim lab which is totally separate from skills lab.
My school schedule is pretty much 8-5 M-F. Then add hours and hours at home writing papers and doing paperwork for every clinical experience. I knew nursing school
would be tough, but I am continually surprised at how much tougher and more time is involved.
4) I have had two clinical placements so far. The first was in a long-term care facility where the focus was pretty introductory. This term is at a med-surg unit in a hospital and is much much more involved. I am amazed at how much we are already doing and experiencing by the second term. I never would have guessed we would be entrusted to do as much as we do already, but the program has done a fantastic job preparing us so far.
I hear stories of other nursing programs
spending a majority of their clinical time in long-term care facilities and in labs. Honestly, that sounds horrible to me. The clinical experiences I am getting through PCC are stellar and I am very fortunate that they have such good relationships with their clinical site partners. Nothing has pushed me to grow and learn more and faster than being on a med-surg floor and actually being tasked to provide the nursing care for patients.
5) The tests are wicked tough. Putting in around 20 hours a weekend studying is pretty much the standard.
6) I think the faculty are fantastic. No complaints here. I have heard rumors about the program going through a rough patch when they transitioned into the OCNE program, but all of that seems to be sorted out.