Hi! I was in your position last year, I had just got accepted into Flanagan Day starting January 2011, I was super nervous! I will try to answer some of the questions you have.
1. How close to January would the orientation be? I got my official acceptance letter on December 8th.. so I believe it was sometime in December.
2. Do you get any electives while a student in the program? I was thinking of taking some additional psychology or chemistry courses. They do not require you to take any electives. Nursing 1010 is 10 credits, so you could take another course but I would HIGHLY advise you NOT TO. As you need and should devote your whole time to Nursing to ensure you do the best that you can. But if you are persistent and you must take one, I would not do a chem or a bio, a psych maybe. And it would most likely need to be an online class if you wanted it to work.
3. Given that nursing 1010 is 10 or 12 credits, I wonder if I could fit a psychology course in there, or am I being unrealistic? Lol I think I answered that. Yes it is a 10 credit course. But during the orientation they will tell you that if you can, don't work. It should not be a part time class when they are telling you that you shouldnt even work. If you NEEDED to take a course (which you don't because you should have already taken all the ones that are required) then yes you could probably do it, but why put that extra pressure during you FIRST semester of nursing school?
4. The topic of "lateral or horizontal violence" comes to mind. I was reading an article regarding the subject. I was given to believe that the term refers to nursing instructors bullying and verbally students as well as that sort of thing going on within the profession itself. How prevalent is that and how do I survive it, if it is an issue? There are some instructors that can be pretty tough, but you can't go cry about it. You need to take it and it will make you stronger. Obviously if it is something serious it should be reported but most of the time they are doing it to HELP you. If a professor babys you where are you going to get in life? Personally I like having a tough one, it gets you ready for the real world.
5. I was told by a recent graduate that her class started out as 60 students and just 12 ended up graduating with her after the two years. Do I have something to worry about in terms of being thick-skinned enough. I'm garnering my toughness as we speak. From Nursing I to II i think we lost about 5 people, and those 5 spots were taken by people who had failed II and were now retaking it. You don't know how you will be if you don't try! I wouldn't be worried about it, make some good friends and stick with them. It will help a lot.
6. Would it be advisable to review dosages beforehand? It wouldn't hurt, but they have a lot of dosage review before the actual math test. I didn't review a thing beforehand because they only want you to know certain things, its not worth it to look through your whole book.
7. What would your most important bit of wisdom or advice be for survival in the program and indeed in the profession? The test questions in 1010 come strictly from the Taylor book (the huge thick one) So my advice would be know THAT BOOK inside and out and follor the readings listed.
Hope all that helps and good luck!