I am currently an ABSN student at the Hendersonville (Nashville) campus, set to graduate with my cohort this December. Firstly, understand that, while it is a "16 month" program on paper, Union is one of the few universities that allows incoming students to take courses considered pre-requisites pretty much everywhere else, so the program really becomes a 12 month endeavor of full-tilt effort. This includes Microbio, Stats, and DevPsych, in addition to several courses everyone takes. If you have those three classes done, you can have a very nice first semester, with only 1 day/week physical campus commitment for half of the first semester- the rest is online. If you need to take any (or all) of the listed courses, it is a pretty heavy course load. I transferred things in, and was able to continue working through December of last year.
The next session starting in January is total commitment to the program, with 4-5 days/week on campus in class/lab. As was already mentioned, with the pace and scheduling, there will be some sort of major exam every 1-1.5 weeks, and they can cover anywhere from 8-18 chapters, depending on the course and the material at the time. I am currently in the final "slow phase", if there is such a thing, before starting the final semester in July leading to graduation in December. As for preceptors/adjuncts at clinical sites, all of them are active practicing nurses, and all of mine so far have been both supportive and helpful. The didactic faculty are all very experienced clinicians in their own right, and the learning environment is similar to other university level courses one may take- different professors resonate differently with every student.
Passing grade- 75% or higher. Most courses involve only 4-5 grades for the class, so there is little margin for error. The university also uses a more aggressive grading scale than the traditional university 10-point grade scale. In addition, UU utilizes ATI testing, not only at the end as a cumulative NCLEX prep, but also for certain courses, or combinations of courses (ex: pharm 1 and 2 are their own courses that run successively, but combine for a pharm ATI at the end of pharm 2). These ATI exams account for 10% of a final grade, meaning that if one has an 84% in a class and fails the ATI, it is a course failure at 74% final grade. We have lost several to this, but the format has been successful, by and large, in the preparation SNs get at UU.
I personally enjoy the high intensity and stress of the ABSN program, but it definitely is a grind that one needs to be prepared for, and it helps to have a good understanding of yourself and who you are before embarking on this. While no program is 100%, I am glad I chose Union, and feel like I am learning what I need to know moving forward. The cost is what it is, but such is nursing school
anywhere. The biggest thing I can offer is that you ensure that you'll be good to go financially, as there is little to no time for working and carrying good grades. 'C's do indeed get degrees if you are okay with stopping after the BSN, but something stronger will be needed if you have thoughts of graduate school. Of the several people in my cohort that work, all of them work very limited schedules as NAP, either at Vandy, St. Thomas, or Tri-Star, and only the number of hours needed to maintain health insurance.
If you think of anything else, don't hesitate to give a shout. Good luck!