Getting the "feel" of different direct-entry programs?

  1. Hi all,

    Hopefully this is the right forum for this question. I'm finishing up pre-reqs in preparation to apply to direct-entry programs for summer 2014. I will be completing a BS in Sociology this summer from Arizona State University. I have been considered an "on-campus" student for tuition purposes but have taken all but 2 of my classes online.

    I have not really enjoyed the online "learning" environment. I see that many of the direct-entry schools teach the RN portion in-person but leave the graduate portion to be taught online, available "at a distance."

    I do not want that in a graduate program. I really want to attend a school that is somewhat tight-knit, where the professors/teachers are approachable and care about students. I want to attend lectures and take notes and study in the library. I guess I want to do all the things that I didn't get to do in my undergrad because I honestly feel that my undergrad education is lacking because I have taken online courses.

    Can anyone recommend how to get a "feel" for different grad programs so I can attempt to narrow down my applications?
  2. 8 Comments

  3. by   bbcc
    What specialty are you looking to do? That can change how courses are delivered. I'll be starting at Vanderbilt in the fall for Nurse-Midwifery; my specialty courses will be primarily in person, but I believe some other specialties have more online options.
  4. by   blondielocks
    I am looking at psychiatry. There are a few programs that offer a dual FNP/PMHNP track which I am interested in, because I feel that the FNP portion can help me be a better provider when it comes to the psychiatric side of things, but if a school did not have the option to go dual w/ FNP, I would be ok with that.

    I am especially concerned because it seems most programs offer the psych portion at a distance. I know Vandy does...which is a shame because I think I would really like Vandy. Another school I'm considering is OHSU in Portland (I want to be able to get a DNP).

    Even though you are going into a different specialty than what I'm interested in, bbcc, what has been the "feel" you got from Vandy? Does it seem like the nursing school functions in a more traditional manner?
  5. by   bbcc
    It's hard for me to tell, since I haven't been to a traditional nursing school! Vanderbilt lets you transition directly from the MSN to the DNP... and I'm not sure you're going to find anywhere that has no online component to their program, because these programs are mostly designed for non-nurses so we need to get some nursing experience before we get our Masters. I know with Vanderbilt, it is a "modified block" format, where you will complete some work online and be in Nashville 1 weekend per month for in-person classes; other program are online specifically to allow you to begin working as a nurse while you complete your masters.

    I didn't look at very many schools, because I essentially chose based on timeline (I couldn't start this summer like most programs do) and number of prerequisites needed; Vanderbilt happens to be the perfect fit for be based on location and their emphasis on innovative teaching techniques and their requirement that all faculty (in NMW at least) be actively practicing practitioners. It's in the part of the country I want to end up practicing in, and I'm not going to pretend that having a "real" football school will be a bonus!

    You might want to post in this forum: Post Graduate Nursing Student: MSN/DNP/DNSc/PhD. That's where most of the applicants seem to congregate, and there are threads for a multitude of different programs - I know I didn't find this side of the forums until well after I applied to my schools.
  6. by   Adenium
    I went to UCONN, and the RN portion was taught at the brick-and-mortar campus as is the graduate portion I'm in now. Also, the program is structured with the expectation that you take a couple years to work as a nurse before returning for the MSN. A couple classes are taught mostly online with a few in-person sessions. Most courses meet weekly on campus, which I highly value. I cannot stand online message boards.
  7. by   Annaiya
    My graduate program has been entirely online, so I don't have personal experience with an in-person program. However, my coworkers who are doing the local mostly in-person program don't seem to have what you are looking for in terms of a tight-knit group that all work together. To me, what you are describing is what you can find in undergraduate programs, not masters programs. For graduate school, people are often working while doing school, have families and kids to go home to and are just focused on learning the content. There is also so much assigned reading that it doesn't leave much time for study groups and things. I can understand wanting to attend lectures for the people who aren't really self-disciplined learners, but a lot of the graduate content you still have to learn on your own. I think that's why there are so many programs that at least have a lot of classes online.
  8. by   myelin
    Off the top of my head some programs that are very much campus-based would be... Seattle U, OHSU, UCSF, Yale, Columbia, Boston College, Penn...
  9. by   BCgradnurse
    I went to Boston College, which was a 100% campus based program (except for clinicals). I liked getting to know my classmates. It was important to me to have a peer group that was there for both academic and social support. I made a lot of good friends that I'm still in touch with. I took some of my pre-reqs on line, which worked out well, but I prefer the bricks and mortar type of learning environment.
  10. by   priorities2
    I believe Case Western is campus-based though I'd call and check. They have a family studies PMHNP program that looks really interesting.