I am currently in St Margaret SON. Actually started last February, just about finished my third term, already passed clinical eval for semester, just have final exam left, and have a solid enough grade that it is safe to say I passed. As Carbon said, yes the program is intense. We have lost half of our original class to date. Original class was like 42, 37 actually started the program.....we are down to 19 of that...plus the 3 that had to withdraw from previous semesters that later joined our class. I also know several are close and need good grades on today's test and the final on wednesday to pass, so we may lose a couple more (I hope not). Now I will say, many that dropped were because they found nursing wasn't for them, or had personal conflicts that caused them to withdraw. As far as failing due to grades, early on we had several that were failing so bad so early, but also didn't come to class were known they were not studying, just didn't care and figured it would be easy. Those did not return. You will probably find those students in in all diploma/ADN programs (after all it is only 18-24 months, its ONLY a diploma or associates, it MUST be easy right
). All that Failed due to grades at the end of first semester, and were trying, did come back and are still doing fine as far as I know. Think 1 went into the LPN program instead of returning to the RN program, the others returned to the June start the RN program. We didn't lose anyone due to grades second semester, only deciding it was not for them. From what I have heard from graduates and students that are close to graduating with our program the first and third semester are the hardest, and where most that fail a semester do.
Yes it is intense, yes is fast pace, yes it is stressful.....though do think in the end it will be worth it. I do like the school, do like the instructors, do feel I really know what I am doing, and will be well prepared when I graduate.
As Jason said about assignments, some of our clinical paperwork is a PITA. It is. We do ***** about it all the time. Heard that some things may be changing with it (for the better) but not entirely sure if or when that might happen. But other then clinical paperwork we don't really have many assignments......One group presentation assignment, and one other project each semester. Each 25 points......easy 50 points that only help your grade.
As for getting in failing A&P twice, yes that will hurt getting in......don't know for certain if it will make it impossible, so can't advise you either way with that one. Like I said, it is intense, the instructors are aware of that and they might question if you could survive the program. The semester I am finishing is very A&P heavy.....why it is one of the harder semesters.....which is why several people have grades that are borderline on passing. However will say with a 2.8 verify what the required GPA is if they have one (I can not remember).....If it is 3.0 get other classes in to bring it up before applying. If you do not have what they require, they flat out won't accept you. And really, if you are having a hard time getting into RN programs but nursing is really what you want to do, do look into LPN programs. You can always get your LPN, work and then bridge for your RN later. As for phlebotomy, I do not think that would help your application for St Margaret (CCAC may be different, ask someone that knows the program), unless you were planning on working as a phlebotomist in the mean time, though really working as a CNA means more. I do not know if it is different elsewhere, but in UPMC, other then maybe in specialized areas, nurses only draw blood from PICC lines (which a phlebotomist is not allowed to touch). If labs need drawn lab sends a plebotomist to draw them. Also most nurses do not start IVs in UPMC. There is an IV team that is called to start IVs...all the IV team does is go around and check all IVs, change them when they are due to be changed, or when a new start is needed. Only places I know of that all nurses would start IVs is ICU or ED. They are not even teaching us as students how to start IVs. Mostly because we may never do it, and will need retrained on it by the time we would if we do. Now if phlebotomy is a back up plan for nursing, that is a different story, but it is likely not going to nessesarly help your application, or help your skills needed for nursing. Not trying to discourage you, but I had actually concidered taking it too if for some reason I didn't get in for February and had to wait until June to start, figuring it would help me learn some skills that would be helpful, only to find they were skills I would likely never use as a nurse.