Hi, I was browsing AllNurses and saw your post. I am a current ABSN student at OHSU so I'm happy to answer any of your questions that I can. I'm going to have to respectfully disagree with some of kamaboko's response.
There are 64 people in our cohort. Off the top of my head, I can think of at least 10 people who have kids, ranging from a newborn to teenagers. Many of us have significant others, pets, and hobbies. A few of us work part-time jobs, but none more than 20 hours a week. I can give you specific examples if you're curious.
Myself, I have a super energetic dog and am married, but I still have time to go skiing on weekends, be involved with my church, and volunteer with extra-curricular activities. Plus I have a job as a research assistant at the school 5 hours a week. It all depends on how you study. If you are a super serious student and you need to do readings multiple times or if you are learning some content for the first time, you may need to be more obsessive with your studies.
The ABSN program is very difficult but there are busy times and less busy times. It lasts for 5 terms. I have finished 2 1/2 of the terms until now. And so far it has been 4 days a week. Some days are 8-hour clinical days but others are 4-hour lecture. There was one day a week last term that was 8 hours of lecture, but that allowed us to have a day off during the week.
As far as your question about cost: If you are only paying tuition, the ballpark cost is about $40,000. If you need extra loans to cover living costs, then of course it is more. If you want to know the exact cost per credit hour and the number of credit hours per term, I have that info somewhere. Just PM me and I'll get back to you.
As far as your question about what you need to get in: I am not an admissions officer but I can tell you my observations. Super-high GPA and a really great essay. Very few in my cohort have been CNA's, but every single person brings amazing past experiences to the table (like you, a former social worker) that they were able to highlight in their essay. For other nursing schools
, I think they place a lot more emphasis on prior medical experience like being a CNA, but at OHSU, they seem to look for more brains, life experience, and maturity.
I will follow this thread, so feel free to ask me any more questions. I was in your same place last year and so it would be great to be able to provide encouragement and advice to anyone :-)