Quote from ShayRN0217
TiffyRN, how's it going at UTMB online? I live in San Antonio and am doing research on online programs.
Hi Shay! I don't check here as often as I should. It's been oh-so-interesting to say the least. One thing I can say is that I believe this is an excellent program. I feel I've truly been learning what I need to be successful as a Nurse Scientist.
I was doing the BSN to PhD program so I had to take something like 6 courses from the MSN-education department while my PhD courses were mostly with other students who had an MSN background. It takes approximately a year but after that, the BSN students are pretty indistinguishable from the MSN students in our PhD courses.
It takes about 2.5 years to complete all the coursework required if you take full time hours (9/semester). I completed that in Spring 2017 and was eligible to take Comprehensive Qualifying Exams (CQEs) in May 2017. Some programs call this exam your "orals" but ours were all written. You essentially get 2 tries at this exam and if you can't pass there really is no recourse. It was by far the most intellectually challenging experience of my life. I was able to pass on the first attempt.
At that point I started earnestly working on my proposal but as happens, my personal life got a little complicated so my Summer was not very productive. I was supposed to be picking things up full-steam this Fall but then my dissertation advisor's home was flooded out with Harvey so she has been trying to get back on her feet.
Now the proposal work is back on seriously and I hope to defend my proposal by the end of the year and start data collection for my study in the Spring. I have selected Classical Grounded Theory method with the topic surrounding relationships between nurses and families in the NICU. Ambitiously I should be defending my dissertation by the end of the year 2019.
The program has had some significant attrition. There were 10 students accepted to the program and 8 actually showed up to orientation. Three of us were BSN to PhD. One of the BSN students dropped in weeks. Over the course of the next year 2 of the MSN students dropped due to lack of interest or ability. The two of us BSN students were very tight as we had such similar paths. Sadly she had to drop about a year ago due to severe health issues leaving just 4 of us from this cohort. All of us have now passed CQEs with only one student requiring a retake. So, this is not an easy-peasy program.
As for the feasibility of doing the program online far from Galveston, it is truly doable. A yearly trip to Galveston is required the first 3 years then no more are required. There are very few tests that require a secure location and that can arranged pretty easily. I took mine at the testing center of a local Community College. You can even get a TexShare card that allows you to visit University libraries in your vicinity though this is not usually all that needed, the online library is excellent. The librarian support is above expectations. One can even defend one's proposal by Skype though most students tend to go to the campus to do so. Also, one of the students in my cohort is from the San Antonio area and she has had no issues related to location.