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- by pcc-sn Feb 20Howdy!
I am a 1st year student in the PCC Nursing Program.
This site was very helpful to me when I was planning on going to nursing school. I remember how many questions I had before starting the program. I thought I would come back and do my best to answer any questions you may have.
I'll get it started...
Q: How is the program?
A: Very time conuming, often difficult, positively stressful, definitely worth it.
- Feb 24 by pcc-snI 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.Last edit by pcc-sn on Feb 24
- Feb 28 by j.c.Thanks for starting this thread! I do have a few questions that maybe you can give some input on. I applied for Clark College and was accepted into fall term 2013. I've read a few books on how to prepare for school but what are some things you did to prepare for your first term of nursing school? Anything that was helpful or even not helpful? I also applied for PCC but we don't hear if we got into phase 2 until the end of march. How did you prepare for the essay? I am not really sure what the essay is going to be like. Can you give any tips? Maybe like how long can the essay be, how long do you have to write the essay? Thanks again!
- Mar 5 by Christy24Pcc-sn,
Thanks for your insight on PCC's program! If you don't mind my asking, how much previous experience do you have in the medical field and how do you feel it has facilitated these first couple of terms so far?
- Mar 5 by pcc-snj.c.,
I didn't do anything specific to prepare for nursing school other than do my best in all the pre-reqs. Try and brush up on your A&P some because you really do use the info all the time.
As far as the essay goes, I prepared by reading the mission statement of the program to get an idea of what their philosophy is. Also, think about why you want to be a nurse and what you bring to the program that will help you succeed. I bet every school has an essay question along those lines.
Here is some positive news if you get called into the essay... almost everybody that wrote an essay got into the program. There were 180 or so people that did the essays. Something like 80 got accepted right away. The rest were wait listed. But so many of the people that got accepted the first round applied to so many other schools and went elsewhere that it seems like almost everybody on the wait list got in. I hope that helps you keep a positive outlook.
- Mar 5 by pcc-snChristy24,
I don't want to go into my previous experience too much because I would prefer to stay anonymous. I will say that most of the people in the program have a CNA background and that helps tremendously with the first term's clinicals and basic nursing skills. Many have EMT backgrounds and they seem to be doing well. Just about everybody has something.
I think those with a lot of time and experience in hospitals and clinics do have an edge because they are used to the environment and have seen much of what is discussed in lecture. They just seem more comfortable from the start.
- Mar 8 by j.c.Thanks! That's really helpful. One more question... How much time on average do you spend a day in class, studying, in clinical, etc?
- Apr 22 by pcc-snOne thing I didn't mention earlier that I wanted to follow up on is the academic difficulty of the program. Most of the people in the program were A students. Many had 4.0s for their prereqs. The class as a whole is filled with intelligent hard working disciplined people.
All that being said, there is a surprisingly high attrition rate in the program. We lost 5 or 6 students at the end of the first term. I think all of them left for personal reasons. This last term, we had 14 that "failed" out. I put "failed" in quotes on purpose. In order to be satisfactorily completing the program, you have to have an average of at least 75 on you exams in each class. Those that failed out often got Bs in the classes they failed, but their tests were too low. I know of a couple that were kicked out for either missing a lab or clinical day. That is around 20 people out of 77 starting. That is a 26% attrition rate in two terms.
Now you may think to yourself, "won't happen to me." You may be right. But all of the people that are gone were good students before entering the program. All were hard working. The problem is that the program is far tougher than anything you may have experienced leading up to it. A&P and the other pre-reqs were a breeze compared to the actual program. Seriously. I look back on A&P and laugh at how hard I thought it was.
Here is a quantitative example... we had a test where the class average was 78 and 18 people failed by scoring below 75. The tests are pretty tough.
The previous poster asked how much time do I spend a day in class, studying, etc. I tend to be on campus from 8-5 Mon - Wed. Their are 4 half day units in that time. The remaining time I am on campus is spent either reading, studying, or printing out hundreds of pages of power point slides. Clinicals are usually on Thurs or Fri. In general, they run 10 hours or so. Then at home, I probably average a normal hour a night reading or studying - unless there is an upcoming test (which is very often) - and then I am studying non-stop. If I test on Monday, I'll spend at least 8 hours a day on Friday, Sat, and Sun leading up to the test. Most weekends are consumed by studying. And by consumed, I mean ALL day.
Add in the numerous group projects and papers on top of lecture, lab, and clinicals and you will be swamped.
- Jun 17 by ready4nursingCould you give an estimate of the tuition cost breakdown each term? I am sure it will be discussed at orientation as well. I figure I will need to work part time during the program because the financial aid I was awarded is not going to cover living expenses.