Direct Entry Programs- How hard to get in? - page 15

Thanks for all of your responses to all of my previous posts. As you probably assume, I'm evaluating all of my options including ADN, BSN, and Direct-Entry MSN. The direct entry programs look... Read More

  1. by   NP-to-be
    Quote from westcoastgirl
    IMHO Jess is probably right on about getting the sense a "nationally ranked" school "may be so preoccupied with their own research and publications that they would not have time/interest to be really accessible to students". Nursing school is tough and I want quality for my money dammit!

    Have you talked to the alumni and current students of Regis and BC? I had a similar dilemma: a smaller locally respected school versus the larger university down the road whose nursing program is nationally ranked. While both groups were positive, I noted the alums of one spoke very warmly and specifically about the quality of the program, access to faculty, good clinicals. Whereas the alums of the other were rather "snobbish" and mentioned more general/vague reasons they like their program (well the school ranks <#__> so it's gotta be good), it kinda amazed me since I personally know many Ivy league grads with less "snobbery". Both are no doubt good, but it made me think long and hard about which environment I would like to be in......

    Besides, I've never heard anybody in nursing (LPN, ADN, RN, NP) say where you got your degree is all that important in terms of jobs LOL :chuckle
    Another good point Westcoast girl! Does it matter where your degree is ultimately from? I don't know ... but I dont' feel like "top 20" matters like it might in other professions. Anyone have more insight into this?
  2. by   elizabells
    Quote from CAG12345
    1) getting in in the first place
    2) is there enough money/financial aid to go
    3) will I feel comfortable in the program/the city/area the program lives
    4) what will it be like for me to leave behind the people and places I have grown attached to where I currently live and face an entirely new world, unemployed no less

    Anyone else share these concerns?
    lol - totally. If I had gotten into both UCSF and Columbia, I probably would have stayed in the Bay Area, but such was not to be. When I first realized I was going to New York, I gave myself a few days for unqualified excitement before I started worrying about all the other stuff. Now, of course, I'm freaking out, so it's good I sent my deposit before reality set in! :chuckle
  3. by   PdxDreamer
    I'm definitely concerned about moving away from Oregon and not having a job in Boston. It's nice to know I'm not alone! My biggest issue now is making plans for the future. There is a lot going on in the summer with vacations and stuff and I can't give anyone a definite answer!!

    And I don't know about you girls, but I'm also concerned that I won't get in and then I'll have to explain it to everyone who's rooting for me. :smackingf

    I love this board, but it's also brought up my stress level! I applied to schools thinking it wouldn't be that competitive, but you've all done your homework and know the hard facts about admissions. Good thing I didn't know or I might not have applied at all!
    Diana
    To all of you on the East Coast, have a good weekend! I've got a Chem midterm on Monday
  4. by   ChrisA
    Quote from seahorse
    Hi Elizabells,

    I graduated waaaaaay back in 1993 in American Studies. What did you major in?

    Seahorse
    I graduated in '95. Porter College. History.
  5. by   Jess RN
    Quote from PdxDreamer
    And I don't know about you girls, but I'm also concerned that I won't get in and then I'll have to explain it to everyone who's rooting for me. :smackingf
    Oh my gosh I have this same fear! Explaining it to friends and family and even this forum! I know we are all rooting for each other- I want to be able to report happy news!

    I love this board, but it's also brought up my stress level! I applied to schools thinking it wouldn't be that competitive, but you've all done your homework and know the hard facts about admissions. Good thing I didn't know or I might not have applied at all!
    I know how you feel- for me it's the opposite though. It is nice to "talk" with others and kind of get it out of my system. My husband is so glad I ahve this board otherwise I'd be driving him crazy with my musings! PLease don't be stressed Diana. You have applied to a good mix of schools and I'm confident you will get into at least one program.Hang in there!

    -Jess
  6. by   Jess RN
    Quote from westcoastgirl
    Have you talked to the alumni and current students of Regis and BC? I had a similar dilemma: a smaller locally respected school versus the larger university down the road whose nursing program is nationally ranked. While both groups were positive, I noted the alums of one spoke very warmly and specifically about the quality of the program, access to faculty, good clinicals.
    I've talked to a current student at BC- but not Regis. I think once/if I get into any of these programs I'll ask for the names/emails of sudents I can contact. My husband is an ivy-league-er and while he isn't a snob he's all about paying for a "brand name" school and the doors it can open throughout your career. I have to admit he does have a point- but I'm having trouble giving appropriate weight to all the variables, you know?

    Besides, I've never heard anybody in nursing (LPN, ADN, RN, NP) say where you got your degree is all that important in terms of jobs LOL :chuckle
    This is true, I think- but only to a point. In terms of clincial practice- where you go to school will help you get your first job. After that it's all about you and your work skills/references. But in terms of moving on to administration or teaching- I think your "pedigree" does matter quite a bit. I don't know that's the path I want- but it would be a bummer to have to qualify my grad school experience, you know?

    This is a really interesting, if academic at this point, excercise to go through in figuring out which program is best *for you* rather than best according to US News and World Report. Hopefully we will all have this happy dillemma!

    -Jess
    Last edit by Jess RN on Feb 26, '05
  7. by   Gennaver
    Quote from PdxDreamer

    I love this board, but it's also brought up my stress level! I applied to schools thinking it wouldn't be that competitive, but you've all done your homework and know the hard facts about admissions. Good thing I didn't know or I might not have applied at all!
    Diana
    To all of you on the East Coast, have a good weekend! I've got a Chem midterm on Monday
    Hi PdxDreamer,

    I agree with this! I had enough to stress about before taking the GRE and I am so very glad that I didn't find out until after that how competitive my program is, (over 300 applicants for 20 seats). However I was glad to have this in mind and did ask more people for letters of recommendation. I didn't know how many would actually be able to complete them for me but, they all did! So, it may be overkill but, I have 9 letters of rec all day. Everyone that I asked was able and willing too so, they all got put in the packet.

    Then, even that made me sorta stress, (like 'is she an overacheiver or what?' kind of thing.)

    :chuckle

    Waiting now,
    Gennaver
    p.s. this board is very helpful, good luck on chemistry!
  8. by   pancake
    Quote from PdxDreamer

    And I don't know about you girls, but I'm also concerned that I won't get in and then I'll have to explain it to everyone who's rooting for me. :smackingf

    Diana
    I feel exactly the same way. Everyone I know has been listening to me go on for so long that they're all really invested in the outcome. They're sure I'll get in to UCSF, so lately I find myself trying to lower THEIR expectations. There are so many great and qualified candidates that deserve to get in, that I really can't feel sure about anything.

    I hope UCSF sends out the Letters next week. I'm also on a wait-list of 13 people at SF State. I was told that after Mon., when all confirmations for acceptance are due, and if anyone declines, they'll start pulling people from the wait-list and let us know next Thurs if we made it.

    OMG! This is so stressful. I'm so glad to have you all through this process.
  9. by   Jess RN
    And it was *hugely* attended. I'm talking probably 175 people, easilly 125 there for entry level nursing. The vibe was very nice- the faculty were present and very engaging and helpfull. When someone asked when letters were going to be mailed for this year's decisions, the answers ranged from in the next week and a half to three weeks. The chair of the admissions committee wasn't in the room- so no one could definitively say. They did say that the decisions have been made and now it is just putting together the offer letters, etc. They really seem to care about the students and I got none of the weird/snobby/unapproachable vibe I got at BC. After the first year, the program has quite a bit of flexibility in terms of going part time/summer or taking some classes online which is nice. I also learned that the way they score applicants is on 6 areas- all of which are given a point score and are all weighted equally: GRE, GPA, undergraduate experience, essay (content and writing), life expereince and reccomendations. It seems like a really fair process. I hope it works out in my favor!

    If I had to rank the three schools I've applied to in terms of where I'd like to go at this point it would be 1. MGH 2. Regis 3. BC. Never thought it would be so- because on paper I would have thought for sure BC would be my top pic- but I just wonder more and more if it would be the right program for me. We'll see!

    -Jess
  10. by   smile123
    Quote from NP-to-be
    Another good point Westcoast girl! Does it matter where your degree is ultimately from? I don't know ... but I dont' feel like "top 20" matters like it might in other professions. Anyone have more insight into this?
    I think it depends on what you want to do later on. Every school has a network of alumni. If you need to go to a new location such as a state where you are not familiar, it's helpful to have alumni there who could help you. A brand name school may open up more doors for you later on. But a regional school with a good program could be just as effective if you plan to stay in the area.

    Here's an example. When I moved from Seattle to the San Francisco Bay area, I had never heard of Santa Clara University or San Jose State. They were considered strong regional schools. There were lots of grads from the regional schools who had jobs with people who had gone to UC Berkeley or Stanford ("nationally known" schools). This was for the high tech marketing world.

    In nursing, I have noticed a similar trend. In the Emergency Dept (San Francisco Bay area), where I volunteer, I have met RNs who have graduated from San Jose State University, Hayward State and community colleges. They have worked their way up the system; some of them with associate degrees who later went back to get a BSN degree, etc. There was even an RN/NP who came from UCSF. So I'm sure if you went to BC or Regis and wanted to stay around there, you would be fine.

    On the other hand, quality is a big factor. I want to get as much clinical time and learn from the best professors I can for my money. If you can get into a big name school and it matches your goals, that's great. If people were just going for the most inexpensive school, they would all go to community colleges. But we know students go to 4 year state colleges, universities some with regional and national reputations. So there is something to be said for "you get what you pay for". That's why we some of us will take out huge loans to achieve our dreams. ;-)

    So if you wonder why there are over 300 to 400 applicants for 20 slots at a BC, MGH, etc. that's why. People go for the best! UCSF has 400 to 500 people who apply for the 75 slots; they are considered #1 in the nation. Not just the state, the nation! So that's the reason you see so many people applying! There are also lots of people who live in the SF Bay area and like it here, so we apply as well.

    We are extremely capable, smart, and goal oriented. We've slogged through all the pre-reqs and have taken some classes over to improve our GPA from U/G days. We've sweated through the GRE (when was the last time you used geometry?), pouring our heart out on our essays, and chased down professors and work colleagues for recommendations. We want to get in now. We don't want to wait around year after year when the competition is increasing with more applicants.

    The point is to get into a school as soon as possible. It could be that some of us go for the associate degree at a CC route or accelerated BSN just to get the RN; then we go for the NP later. Others, like some of us on this discussion board, have decided to go for it and are doing the direct entry BSN to a masters - yes, we *love the stress* waiting to see if we got in! :chuckle

    Once you've taken the NCLEX, you have the RN degree, the cornerstone for nursing. There is such a shortage of nurses that the schools cannot churn out students fast enough. Hence, the need for these acclerated programs. I do know that in certain places (high metropolitan areas) people say there is a glut of NPs. But I figure by the time I graduate, I will have grown my network, gotten some practical experience (clinicals and working parttime (I'm still mulling that one over)), and will have done well in my classes, so I'll be able to find a NP job. I have confidence in myself. And you should too!

    Do let us know when you hear! We all want to do the celebration dance with you! :hatparty: :hatparty: I love this support group!

    Smile123
  11. by   pancake
    Quote from future nurse jess
    1. MGH 2. Regis 3. BC.

    -Jess
    Just curious, I don't know these schools, what does MGH and BC stand for? Where is Regis?

    Thanks
  12. by   Jess RN
    Quote from seahorse
    Just curious, I don't know these schools, what does MGH and BC stand for? Where is Regis?

    Thanks

    They are all Boston area schools. BC is Boston College- their graduate nursing program is ranked in the top 20 nationally. MGH is Mass General Hospital Institute of Health Professions- they are in the top 100 nationally. Regis is Regis College in Weston, MA- a small regionally ranked college with a good local reputation. They are also ranked- but much lower- in the mid 200s I think. They are much better known regionally, as opposed to nationally.

    -Jess
  13. by   smile123
    Quote from future nurse jess
    They are all Boston area schools. BC is Boston College- their graduate nursing program is ranked in the top 20 nationally. MGH is Mass General Hospital Institute of Health Professions- they are in the top 100 nationally. Regis is Regis College in Weston, MA- a small regionally ranked college with a good local reputation. They are also ranked- but much lower- in the mid 200s I think. They are much better known regionally, as opposed to nationally.

    -Jess
    One of the reasons BC (Boston College Connell School of Nursing) is so in demand is that it's only a 2 year program to get your RN and NP instead of 3.

    http://www.bc.edu/schools/son/gradua...masters-entry/

    But they do require Org Chem or Life Science (with a lab), so some students do not want to do this!

    Evidence of the Following Courses (within 5 years - waivers considered):

    Anatomy & Physiology I and II w/Lab
    If taught separately, then, one semester of Anatomy and one semester of Physiology
    Life Science or Organic Chemistry w/Lab
    GENERAL CHEMISTRY WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED
    Microbiology w/Lab
    Two (2) Social Sciences (Sociology, Psychology, Anthropology, Economics, Political Science)
    One from each discipline or two from the same discipline will be accepted
    Introductory or higher level Statistics course

    It's $836/credit x 70 credits = $58520 for tuition for the 2 year program, which is attractive to people who want both degrees in a short period of time. You can also work part time for the 2nd year after you pass your NCLEX. It's worth checking out.

    Smile123

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