Direct Entry Programs Applications in; what happens next?

  1. Greetings!
    I am new to this forum and have recently submitted applications to several direct entry masters programs. Right now, I have a lot of anxiety concerning the whole process. I encountered several technical problems getting my recommendations mailed on time, for example, but for the most part, I think I am a good candidate.
    My first choice is UCSF, although I am aware of how competitive it is. Statistically, they have something like a 7% acceptance rate, which is on par with medical school! I also get the impression that they don't really take the cookie cutter type of applicant. Rather, they prefer people who have had a variety of experiences, are creative, and those who have a serious interest in public health. One reason I believe this is that UCSF happens to be located in one of the most diverse cities of the country and so they must address the complicated, diverse medical needs of that population. I think it's a great place to become a healthcare worker. There is a lot of interesting initiatives going on in terms of research and how healthcare is administered in San Francisco (they just passed a universal healthcare policy, for instance).
    A bit more about myself: I would like to do research as an NP and believe that UCSF and other schools such as Johns Hopkins and Yale encourage this. Unfortunately, while I am well-prepared academically, I feel that my lack of hands on experience will be a negative. I have a degree in neuroscience and have worked in labs. The only real medical experience I have had has been working as a secretary in a pediatrics office and now, in an assisted living facility (overnight shift) where my duties often entail helping the CNAs pick up residents who have fallen, helping residents in various non-medical ways, etc. Obviously, my interactions with residents are limited from a medical point of view, but I do feel that I am learning a great deal from working with the CNAs and nurses. At this stage in my life, I don't think going to school to become a CNA to acquire medical experience would be a wise decision; it would only increase the amount of time I will have to be in school and I would be earning less than I am now, which, with my current student loan debt, would hardly be helpful. On that note, since I have witnessed the type of work CNAs are required to do, which often goes way beyond their job descriptions, I believe they are definitely underpaid.
    Now, for some questions about UCSF and other schools. Does anybody know when they send out interview requests? I've also applied to Johns Hopkins and wonder if they require interviews. It doesn't seem like it based on the information from the website. What about financial aid and scholarhips? How realistic is it to assume one will get scholarship money?
    Just curious, has anyone picked psychiatric mental health nursing as their intended specialty? So far, I haven't found anybody who has and wonder why. Anytime I mention that I want to do this speciality people think I'm crazy!!!! Of course any specialty has its challenges. I realize that my encounters with patients may be more challenging depending upon the setting, but I can't see myself doing another specialty except for cardiology or maybe women's health.
    I do realize this post is ridiculously long, but I have so many questions! I'd appreciate any input or advice.
    Thanks!
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  2. 29 Comments

  3. by   rchamp59
    Hello, I applied to two of the schools you mentioned (UCSF, Johns Hopkins) and was accepted to both of them. If you would like to contact me we can chat about it.
    Last edit by EricJRN on Nov 27, '06 : Reason: email address removed
  4. by   PsychGrad2BRN
    Hello,

    I have just applied to Yale's GEPN program, and expect to hear their decision by February. I have no idea what my chances are for acceptance. My chosen specialty is Psych-Mental Health with a concentration in primary care. Currently, I am a caseworker in a local mental health agency, so this specialty is a good fit, in my opinion. I'd like to work as a psych tech/mental health worker in a hospital (equivalent of a CNA but in a psych unit) and the pay rate I would get there is similar to that of my current job.

    Where else have you applied?

    Melody
  5. by   mixyplixy
    Be careful with direct entry MSN you come out with alot of knowledge but no real intro to nurisng culture...and little clinical experience. When you say you have an MSN, there alot of high expectations about your knowledge that frequently aqrent supported. If I had it to over I wouldnt do direct entry.
  6. by   salveron
    there is an interview for JHUSON, I'm getting one tomorrow! I was hoping to find something about the possible interview questions but I guess I'll have to assume they'll have the generic interview questions. good luck with your applications.
  7. by   Gennaver
    Quote from chickpea25
    Greetings!
    I am new to this forum and have recently submitted applications to several direct entry masters programs. Right now, I have a lot of anxiety concerning the whole process. I encountered several technical problems getting my recommendations mailed on time, for example, but for the most part, I think I am a good candidate.


    I do realize this post is ridiculously long, but I have so many questions! I'd appreciate any input or advice.
    Thanks!
    Hi there,

    Putting some spaces between your paragraphs...or making paragraphs may help with long posts.

    It is hard to wait and I do encourage a tactful follow through phone call or email, sometimes more than one.

    Personally I consider taking a CNA course an acceptable option, it cannot hurt and it can also serve to help you gain ease around patients and insight into your chosen field. I do not think that a nurse assitant course is going to add terribly to student loans, especially in light of the debt that is immenent upon acceptance into a direct entry program. The CNA is not necessary though as you will get the similar training included in your first basics/clinicals course.

    Good luck,
    Gen
  8. by   Gennaver
    Quote from mixyplixy
    Be careful with direct entry MSN you come out with alot of knowledge but no real intro to nurisng culture...and little clinical experience. When you say you have an MSN, there alot of high expectations about your knowledge that frequently aqrent supported. If I had it to over I wouldnt do direct entry.

    Hello,
    I agree that one must state themselves along the lines of a "new nurse" not as an MSN...not until you've gained RN experience.

    I compare it to BSN being entry level as well as is ADN yet...MSN as entry is too new to be readily understood in the real world, yet.

    So, as a future MSN entry to nursing Nurse I have already found mutual understanding by answering, in reference to "aren't you an MSN student" that I am a "nursing entry, pre-NCLEX student".

    It was something to navigate and I am grateful for folks who outright admitted they were confused by this degree.

    Gen
  9. by   sunnyjohn
    Quote from Gennaver
    Hello,
    I agree that one must state themselves along the lines of a "new nurse" not as an MSN...not until you've gained RN experience.

    I compare it to BSN being entry level as well as is ADN yet...MSN as entry is too new to be readily understood in the real world, yet.

    So, as a future MSN entry to nursing Nurse I have already found mutual understanding by answering, in reference to "aren't you an MSN student" that I am a "nursing entry, pre-NCLEX student".

    It was something to navigate and I am grateful for folks who outright admitted they were confused by this degree.

    Gen
    Yup,

    Gen summed it up.

    Sunny, "nursing entry, pre-NCLEX student".
  10. by   cozzy66
    Prospective Direct Entry student here... I applied for Columbia for the upcoming summer. I'm trying to finish all my pre-reqs in time and am having a lot of 'fun' with CUNY. Basically, I'm stressing more than I should be about this, but I guess it's part of the fun of waiting to hear from my number 1 school
    I haven't applied to any other schools yet, but I do have backup plans in case.

    Hope the other direct entry students start showing themselves.

    Mary
  11. by   janony
    Grrr.... more mis-info about DE MSNs not getting enough clinical hours.

    I live in a city with 4 DE masters' programs, and at least 6 ADN or BSN programs. And guess what - the pre-RN clinical hours for all 10 are the same!!

    My school also has an RN to MSN program. The clinical hours they get are again, the SAME as what we get in the the post-RN portion of the MSN.

    Yes, we don't have the real-world work experience prior to starting the MSN portion that the standard-entry folks do. That's what the majority of us (~80%) do end up working as RNs for at least a year or two prior to looking for advanced-practice jobs.

    That said, I identify myself as a "nursing student" just to avoid the whole DE-MSN explaination!!
  12. by   chickpea25
    I just wanted to thank you all for responding! I haven't heard from any schools yet about interviews, although I have received emails from a few stating that my application is now under review. I have to say that explaining to people what the direct entry program is has been interesting. I spoke with a doctor about this and he said that naturally you won't have much experience coming out of the program but that you will have to acquire it by working as a nurse for a short while. It also may depend on the specialty. I suspected as much.
    I've also applied to Columbia, Yale, and Boston College. The thought of living in new york...exciting but so expensive... I hope these schools have good financial aid packages!
  13. by   anniepants
    Another Direct Entry prospect here!

    Thanks, ChickPea for starting this thread!! It's great to know that there're other people out there eagerly waiting for responses, too!

    I've applied to UCSF, Yale, and Columbia. I'm expecting to hear back about interviews around mid-December (I believe it was Yale who said they'd send out interview letters before they leave for Christmas break), and can hardly wait to find out!! Waiting is the worst....

    I'm also finishing up my prereqs at CUNY (thankful that this will be my last semester...hopefully!) and working as a research assistant at Cornell Med School in Geriatric Psychiatry. I started out wanting to be a Psych NP, but have since changed my mind and am going for Acute Care instead. Anyone else out there going for Acute Care (Cozzy, I know that you are :spin: )?

    Good luck to everyone!!

    annie
  14. by   cozzy66
    Annie --> Which CUNY are you taking your pre-reqs in?? You are so lucky that you're finishing up this semester.


    So yeah, anyone else going in for Acute Care?

    I've considered Psych NP, but hearing about Psych experiences (mother's a psychiatrist) all my life I really don't want to go in for that, even though it seems like it could be interesting. Anyway you'd have to deal not only with crazy patients but crazy MDs also. :trout:

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