I am interested in the online BSN program at UTA. My situation is a bit unique. Im a single mom who works from home and I homeschool my children. My intent is to continue to do that(homeschool, not work from home anymore) even after I begin working as the flexibility of options for nurse would allow me to do so. I was an LVN in California for 13 years but it's been 10 years since Ive worked outside the home. I did my pre-requisites to finish my RN there but never completed that since I stopped to have kids.
The only way I could pull this off is if I am guaranteed weekend clinicals. The advisor on the phone told me yesterday it could be during the week or on weekends, but being a single mom, weekends are better for me to have someone take care of my kids while I do clinicals. My ex is not exactly stellar in being present for his kids so his involvement and commitment to taking them at all is pretty much not there which means I would have to arrange care for them. Does anyone here know if they are pretty accommodating to weekend clinicals given the circumstances ?
I also will have to apply for financial aid. They said to apply at the same time I apply to the program. Did anyone here use financial aid and was it enough to cover tuition and living expenses ? I will have to quit one of my jobs in order to give the program it's full attention.
That's pretty complicated. The online program assigns you to one specific hospital for your clinicals from what I know. I am currently in the campus program and I am in my 4th and 5th clinicals and none of them have been a weekend clinical. So it just depends on the hospital to be honest and when they have clinical. But the majority seem to be during the week and a few have fallen on weekends. I would just apply, and if accepted ask if you can somehow get weekend clinicals everytime.
Thanks for the input, JLoveOB. I am wondering - if your clinicals were during the week, were they at least on the same consecutive days ?
Yes! So for Foundations I had clinical every Monday for 7ish weeks. For Psych I had clinical every Friday for like 6ish weeks? For M/S I had clinical every Thursday for 7ish weeks, for CC I have clinical every Thursday for 10 weeks, etc. Your clinical will be on the same day every week and its only for 4-10 weeks you have clinical all day. So its really not that bad. You will definitely have a schedule down and there are PLENTY of single of moms in our program and I'm not sure how but they definitely make it work!
I was told clinicals were 2 days a week and consecutive shifts of 12 hours. Is that not how it works ?
The online BSN program is not really known for it's flexibility. It's very structured in that classes are set in place every semester and what's on that degree requirement everyone must take in that order. With that being said, every fall there are 3 active online programs running concurrently. Your Junior 1 (first semester students) Senior 1 (those who started in the Spring) and Senior 2 (those who started the Fall of the previous year. So if hypothetically you apply for the fall start and start your J1 courses, you will be required to complete J1 clinicals before moving on to J2. You remain with the same group semester by semester unless you must fall back for a nonpassing grade (you don't pass 1 class of the 3-4, you fall back a semester to redo that 1 course before you can pick up your next classes) or circumstance that keeps you from completing the course/clinical rotation (i.e. having a baby/hospitalization) in which case they will reassign you to a new group the next time your next semester is "in rotation". Whatever hospital site that group is assigned to if you are partnered (employed by system and accepted and ranked into program based on that employment) or not is when your clinical days will be. You're correct in that they are usually 2 days in a row. I so happened to have Saturday/Sunday based on my assigned hospital site. Another person under my same healthcare system, but different hospital site did Monday/Tuesday. So it just depends on what the hospital site has available. Now in J2 you must take Psych which is not a specialty offered at all major hospitals so you may have to go to an inpatient facility in which case your days may change for that rotation. Peds rotations in S1 for example, were Friday/Saturday for most of us in the DFW area for 3 weeks. Asking for weekend clinicals is not an option because they have only so many spots per site available and shuffling you around isn't exactly easy with access/site clearance or background checks (Pedis clinical site does this again) and again space. They are very clear in orientation that you must accommodate the program, the program can't accommodate you. On campus is a whole different story though.. And remember we are accelerated so what on-campus does in 10 weeks (1 day per week in Critical Care) we do in 2 days in 5 weeks. We do have plenty of single parents in this program though, and it's just a matter of having a support system. It's not easy.. but it can be done. Good luck to you!
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