2014 Direct Entry MSN Applicants/Survivors

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    Admittedly, this is a bit early, but I'm planning on applying 2013 Fall for next year and was wondering if anyone else here is? Or if anyone here is in a direct entry MSN program and wouldn't mind answering some questions?
    I am hoping to do CNM
    Thank you
    Emily
  2. 34 Comments so far...

  3. 2
    I'm applying right now, and I definitely don't mind giving you advice about the application cycle! It's never too early to start, so that brings me into my first piece of advice.... DEFINITELY start early, because you'll probably end up writing 4-5 different versions of your personal statement by the time you actually submit it. Also, start thinking of things you can do to build your resume and make it awesome so that when October 15th rolls around (the first school's deadline, I think Penn's was October 15th this year), you'll be adequately prepared to submit and be a competitive applicant! As a CNM hopeful, experience in L&D as a volunteer, or shadowing, would be looked upon favorably. Or at a midwifery school, if you have any in your area! And so would training as a doula, if this is at all possible for you. And for the BSN portion, any experience with the underserved is awesome as well (aka, volunteering for a free clinic). Basically, any health care experience is good, but these things are GREAT and will really give you an idea of what it is like to work in healthcare, and in your field!

    Also, look at prereqs for schools and make sure you meet all of them, and if not, make arrangements to take them over summer and/or fall if necessary! For example, Emory's program really appealed to me, but they wanted you to take chem 1 and chem 2 and I only had chem 1, and it was too late to try and take chem 2. I think Case Western's program was the same, as well.

    Begin studying for the GRE now so you can take it at the beginning of summer. It'll be a huge relief to have that done. Not every school requires it.... Johns Hopkins, Duke, Marquette and NYU are a few that don't, but those that do require it really like to see high scores. This is one area of my application that I wish was stronger, but only Penn required it so I didn't want to take it again. However, if you take it in May or June, and you don't get the score you want, you'll have time to take it over again in September. And take the TEAS as well! It will be helpful if you want to apply to other types of programs (and Emory requires the TEAS anyways).

    Let me know if you have any specific questions!
    sittenfeld and queenanneslace like this.
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    Hi Emily, I am a 2013 CNM specialty applicant. What schools are you looking at? I applied to 11 during my cycle (possible another one if I don't hear back from a couple schools by mid-February). I've been accepted to Emory's ABSN/MSN program for the midwifery specialty, but am waiting results from other schools before I accept. I would echo a lot of what Hopefulnurse24 stated. Definitely starting early and drafting some ideas of your personal statement would be helpful. I believe UCSF's application deadline is first (by September 1st ish), but if not then the other deadlines are around mid-October (like Hopeful stated). This means you still have a good 6-9 months to get some good volunteer/clinical/community work if you haven't done so already. And it's really important to finalize your letter of recommendations list and keeping organization. Since there isn't a centralized nursing application, I thought it was quite stressful to make sure all of my letters got in on time (since everyone is so busy!). If you have any questions you can PM me! But this is great that you're starting early
    sittenfeld and hopefulnurse24 like this.
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    I was accepted into the grad entry program for Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL) at Ohio State and will start in June. The application deadline was mix-October and they say that you'll know by the end of January, but I found out at the beginning of December (right before finals - HUGE relief and surprise as I wasn't holding my breath until after Christmas based on the previous year's timeline.)

    One of the most beneficial things I did was attend the open house that the CON offered for all of the GE programs. They had three break out sessions so you could hear about the different programs and ask questions to see how they fit your goals. OSU requires the GRE with a "competitive" score which they said was 150 on each section and I believe a 4 on the writing. I was at 148/150 and I think a 3.5 with all A's in pre-reqs (A&P I & II, micro, pharmacology, nutrition) as well as a phlebotomy and comparative religion course in progress, extra classes in patho and developmental psych from other programs requirements, and a first bachelors in athletic training. The CNL program is 2.5 years in length. The first year, all of the grad entry students take their pre-licensure classes and then take the NCLEX. After that year is when you break into the various specialities which are 1.5-2 years more for the MS.

    One other thing to look at is if you are required to complete a CNA course and state test before the first day of class. If you don't have it already and have the time to complete it, I highly suggest it. It will end up being one less thing to worry about before you start classes.

    Hope this helps paint a slightly clearer picture for you and don't hesitate to ask any questions you might have.
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    Thank you all so much, that's really helpful.
    My situation is a bit unusual ( or maybe I just think so) because I already have two non nursing bachelors and a masters but am doing a later in life career change...The other big issue for me is that I have two small ( under 5 ) kids and a husband who travels for work so I have no idea how I am going to manage a full time accelerated BSN year, plus the 2 that follow- financially, emotionally or child care wise...I'm also new to the US, so that adds a whole other dimension to it....

    Right now I am thinking of only applying to Columbia and Yale for CNM, because these are the only two areas my family could ostensibly move and husband still keep his job ( which obviously we need him to!). We currently live in Boston MA and ultimately, that is where we will be, but there are CNM schools in that area...

    If there is anyone here ( and I'm sure there are lots) who juggled family and nursing school, please let me know how you did it!

    Thank you all again for taking the time to respond!
    Emily
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    I have a Bachelor's - not in nursing. And I did the ADN for my RN portion. Started the ADN program when my littlest was 9 months old.

    Two benefits to this:

    1) 2 year ADN - since I had all the pre-reqs done (English, psych, sociology, A&P etc) it was only about half-time 9-10 cr per semester.
    2) MUCH CHEAPER than the accelerated RN options (MN, BSN, etc)

    This is not the quickest route. But a very sane route. And very doable with little kids under the age of 5.

    (Sent you this info in a PM, too)
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    I know that there are parents in many of these programs... But I still think that it would be very, very hard to do with two kids under 5 and a working husband. It may be best to do an ADN program like the person above me said. A lot of the accelerated programs do not allow for much flexibility, either. Your best bet may be to call each school you're interested in, and see what they think and what advice they can offer.
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    It can be done if this is your passion and you are ready and willing to put in the time. I spoke to a woman who had 2 or 3 kids (can't remember) under the age of 5 and successfully completed an accelerated masters CNL program. You have to look at nursing school like it is a full-time job which means putting your children in daycare from 8-5 Monday through Friday and when your not in class you spend the rest of the time in the library studying. If you scour the boards on here lots of people talk about it and have great success stories. The biggest advice I would give to you is TIME MANAGEMENT. I think you could definitely succeed in a nursing program given your circumstances if you diligently apply yourself.

    I agree with all the post above about researching and spending time writing an essay that tells your story. The essay is the one chance you get to market yourself so write, rewrite and revise until its perfect. Also, be sure to answer the questions asked in the application. The last thing an admissions counselor wants to read is a 3 page essay that skated by the questions. Don't use the same essay for each school. I would think it would appear obvious if you wrote one essay and then mailed it to three different schools. Research the schools, find out what they are known for, the type of research done in the school, basically get to know the school so you can touch on how that caters to your long-term professional goals in your essays and stick to the word count. My mother is the assistant dean of a school and she always told me even with college essays if the professor and/or application states 500-750 words then don't type 400 or 800. Stick to the count. it shows you can follow directions.
    I had the GRE waived for the school I applied too so I don't have a lot of feedback in that department. A lot of schools weigh heavily on the essays and recommendations. Make sure whoever writes it for you actually knows your potential and can speak to your strong suits. I was so thankful to have such great people to write mine.

    I urge you to move forward with this passion, explore it, and I think you will be fine. Obviously, based off your previous background with two bachelors and a masters that you are well equipped to handle the challenges.

    As others noted, you can get your associates in nursing, however based on research a lot of hospitals are looking for graduates with a bsn or msn. I recommend before deciding that route that you research the hospitals you may want to work and the hiring rate for adn's. The last thing I am sure you want is to graduate with an adn and not be hired anywhere quickly!

    Best of luck to you!
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    Wow, thank you all SO much! There is so much great information here! Queenannelace, I'm sorry I don't know why I didn't get your PM yet, but will reply when I do, thanks for taking the time out to respond!

    I say this with the greatest respect for people who went the ADN route, that it is not really for me; because I'm very, very certain I want to be a midwife and not really work in a general nursing capacity ( although of course if this experience helps in the short term, I am not averse to it). I'm not from the US and I'm basically the equivalent of a CPM in my country but my credentials are not being recoignized at par and from what I hear, the job options in MA for CPM's are limited ( if you need to make a living doing midwifery, which I do). So at the risk of sounding callous, I'm basically trying to figure out a route that gets me the training and back out working as soon as possible.

    Soulshine, thank you for your advice- I think that is really sound, looking at it as a job. Putting my kids in daycare ( other then the insane cost) is I guess some sort of possibility. The worry I have is if my partner is out of town ( as he often is) then if there is a kid emergency etc, how does one resolve that....do you know if DURING school you have to do irregular hours in clinicals? nights etc?

    You've all given me something to think about and I think now I can ask questions to the schools in particular in regard for eg to child care...

    I would also love to hear from any nurses of color what their experience has been...I am hearing mixed things about how it affects your chances of getting in to school, work etc. Sadly...

    Thank you again!
    Em
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    Quote from EmmKay
    Wow, thank you all SO much! There is so much great information here! Queenannelace, I'm sorry I don't know why I didn't get your PM yet, but will reply when I do, thanks for taking the time out to respond!

    I say this with the greatest respect for people who went the ADN route, that it is not really for me; because I'm very, very certain I want to be a midwife and not really work in a general nursing capacity ( although of course if this experience helps in the short term, I am not averse to it). I'm not from the US and I'm basically the equivalent of a CPM in my country but my credentials are not being recoignized at par and from what I hear, the job options in MA for CPM's are limited ( if you need to make a living doing midwifery, which I do). So at the risk of sounding callous, I'm basically trying to figure out a route that gets me the training and back out working as soon as possible.

    Soulshine, thank you for your advice- I think that is really sound, looking at it as a job. Putting my kids in daycare ( other then the insane cost) is I guess some sort of possibility. The worry I have is if my partner is out of town ( as he often is) then if there is a kid emergency etc, how does one resolve that....do you know if DURING school you have to do irregular hours in clinicals? nights etc?

    You've all given me something to think about and I think now I can ask questions to the schools in particular in regard for eg to child care...

    I would also love to hear from any nurses of color what their experience has been...I am hearing mixed things about how it affects your chances of getting in to school, work etc. Sadly...

    Thank you again!
    Em
    The University of Virginia Dean is on these boards and will have better insight to your questions. Hopefully, he will see this board and offer some sound advice. I am not sure how clinicals will work at your school of choice but at UVA and the program I am starting you do the clinicals with your preceptor and based on their schedule, so I guess it probably varies. I have heard some shifts are 7-7 which can fall either day or night, and 3-11. So I don't know really. I think it varies. If you have any friends in that area that you can rely on for emergency situations that will help and if the school you decide requires you to relocate, move early so you can establish friendships with other mothers as a back-up plan.


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