Any VCU AMSN/ABSN Summer 2012 Hopefuls?

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    Hi everyone, I'm new to allnurses.com. I recently applied to VCU's accelerated MSN program. I KNOW I'M EARLY, BUT I'M VERY ANXIOUS. The deadline is nov 1st. We won't hear anything back till February. I just wanted to put something out here to see what people thought, who applied, and if they know anything about admission process. Any input and insight is welcomed. (amount of students accepted, gpa calculation, etc.)

    Talk to you soon,

    mas28
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  3. 93 Comments so far...

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    Hi! I don't have a whole lot of information to add accept that I am just as excited and anxious as you are. I have applied to the Accelerated BSN program. I hope this thread gets us some good info and good luck!
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    Hey y'all --- I'm currently in the ABSN program (and am semi-familiar I suppose) with the AMSN program at VCU and I was in the same position you were in last year. Any questions, feel free to ask!

    Good luck,
    NoleMercy
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    Hey Guys,

    I too am applying to their ABSN program and am super excited. For NoleMercy, I would love to know what you did to make yourself a strong candidate.

    Also this post is a bump for mas28's questions.

    -Marwa
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    Hey guys, thanks for replying kellyski, Marwa< and NoleMercy. Kellyski and Marwa, I hope we all get in. NoleMercy, congrats and how are things? We want the inside scoop. How many absn and amsn students are there. Do you have any insight on the selection/admission process. Is the program fairly organized. I applied to the AMSN program so fingers are crossed. I'm a dude, so I'm a lil concerned that I may be outnumbered (if i get accepted) . How many guys are in your class? Overall how is the program? Thanks for any insight.
    Last edit by mas28 on Sep 15, '11
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    Thanks! I'd love to be a resource for you guys, as I know how STARVED I was for information when I was applying. I commuted from Northern Virginia almost an hour and a half to my job every day in another state just to get in state tuition, because I know VCU is where I wanted to be (and I wanted in state tuition).

    So feel free to ask away, and I'll keep checking back here to provide information when I can, as I know how helpful it was for me.

    So what I did to make myself a strong candidate? I have NO clue. I came from a degree that wasn't even science related in my undergrad, I do have my masters in another field though which again, not science or anything remotely hardcore oriented at all.... ha. But I did spend a lot of time (approx. 3 years) prior running volunteer rescue squad so that maybe helped? I applied with a 3.6 undergrad/3.9 grad degree, and actually panicked major the day after the deadline as my GRE scores were never sent. So they got added on my application late... but I did get in. I believe I found out the 1st/2nd week of February. And there is no point in calling to check up, because they will NOT give you any new information (as I learned.... ) The admission process is pretty straight forward, application and then notification. A lot of the people that got accepted had "science" oriented degrees --- psychology, biology, etc. but not all of us (case in point). So I would say a strong essay would be important. Prereqs all have to be done obviously, and I got a fair amount of A's/B's in my prereqs, as I was working FT as I took some of them... so I wouldn't stress if you get a B or two.

    Organization: The program is quite disorganized at the start of each semester, BUT by week 2 each semester it seems to settle in a bit so it's not too bad. I remember last summer, I felt like it was completely unorganized until month one or so, but looking back it wasn't too bad. But if you ask the questions, they do get answered if that makes sense. I know that a large part of the unorganization is the fact it's a large nursing school, and accelerated students are the only ones in the summer... makes for a confusing time I'd reckon. After your first summer, you get put in with juniors and follow their coursework, but by the second summer you pull ahead of them, as you're there again in the summer and they're not.

    For last year, I believe there was about 80 ABSN students and 15 AMSN students. The AMSN students take the first year and a half with the ABSN students with the exception of some of their classes are different/graduate level from ours but are the same classes (just the higher level). We have clinicals together, major classes together, etc. There are 10 guys out of the 95 of us -- and they're all great. You are outnumbered obviously, but I love our group of guys in our accelerated program, because they were the most diverse and their reasons for going into nursing were all unique, plus their backgrounds! We have a farmer, an ex-football player, a Peace Corps member, etc. Every single one of them have this great wealth of knowledge and perspective -- I find them to be way more fearless than some of the women actually.

    Any other questions feel free to ask. I love this place, the hospital is GREAT for clinicals -- and I'm so glad I made this choice. I feel like I get a lot being at a Level I trauma center, while in a big city since you get a giant diversity. The faculty is very knowledgeable, and there is always a lot going on. I would definitely recommend coming to a visit day -- I did, and learned a lot about the school. They actually had current students come and talk, which was also great as I learned a lot from them as well.
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    THANK YOU NOLEMERCY!!! This information really helps. We all thank you. Your grades are excellent, I'm not sure why you were worried. I know it doesn't matter until you get the letter, but your stats are great. I on the other hand have a cum. gpa of about a 3.4. I started college 10 years ago and didn't so well my first year. I stopped got married and 2 kids and went back 7 years later and did very well. I completed my assoc's degree wiith a 3.68 and went back to my original 4 yr school and had a major gpa of 3.72. No c's my last 2 year whatsoever, but since my grades from 10 years ago still count, it brought me down to a 3.4. I'm hoping the admission committee sees that I've matured from 10 years ago and havent made a c since. I have a 4.0 science gpa. (A in micro, a&p1 and 2, development psych A, and B in statistics. (3 points from an A) So prereq's are at about a 3.8. I know getting good grades in prereqs are important but for some reason i don't get the feeling they base everything off of them like most nursing schools. Most schools calculate your gpa from your pre req's regardless of anything else, so who knows? I'm hoping they take all this into consideration. I had academic and work references. I have been in the operating room for about 8 years, so I have the healthcare background. So i had MD references as well. I hope my essay knocks their socks off as well. Anyway. Thank you so much for taking time out of you busy schedule to respond to the starved ones! It just really helps calm nerves. Please keep us posted and I will post if I get in when the time comes. I really want to go to VCU and get in this AMSN program.

    I love the fact that everyone is in the same classes. That's awesome. You kinda grow and learn together. Now I won't feel so lost!! (If I get in!) haha

    Thanks again NOLE and GOOD LUCK EVERYONE!! I HOPE AND PRAY WE ALL GET IN THIS FEBRUARY! KEEP ME POSTED!!!!

    mas28
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    Wow both of you guys have awesome stats. mas28 you really have nothing to worry about. Sounds like you have everything you need to get into a top nursing school (great references by the way).

    My grades are no where nearly as high as everyone else's are. I recently graduated and my undergrad GPA is a 3.2. However I also got my act together my last two years and I supposed if they were to count 60 credits, I have a 3.75. My prereqs I did pretty awesome too. Also I was totally in the same boat with Statistics LOL

    Right now I'm working on getting some clinical experience and I feel stressed cause time is running out. I do have a lot of leadership and public health experience which is what my degree is in. I also have stellar recommendations so I feel good about that...

    Although VCU is amazing for nursing school. Their minimum GPA is a 2.5 which made me feel alright about my GPA...but maybe that's not the case?

    Ah well, here's for the best.
    Thanks again NoleMercy.
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    Thanks Marwa T, I hope your are right!!! As for you, No worries!!!! You sound like a really good candidate. And yes if you don't have a 3.0, (which you do!) the graduate website states that they look at your last 60 credits, which I hope they do the same for me as well!!! I'm hoping and praying for all of us. There is no required medical experience for the program so don't beat yourself up/stress over that. I attended an info session and the lady stated that because we have people from all backgrounds, we don't give preference to people with health care background. Although It makes complete sense that someone with medical experience (whether working or volunteer) would be a great candidate for a nursing program. But we shall see. I'm pulling for you. Marwa T. Hopefully in a few months, we'll be posting and getting together at the student orientation. GOOD LUCK EVERYONE!!!
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    Keep asking any questions you have I'll keep checking back to answer (hence why I looked for this thread in the first place). I don't think the GPA is the hugest of factors, because lets be real, my degree(s) from before were kind of.... easy degrees. Having medical experience will surely help in clinicals, and having the mindset to learn skills -- but are CERTAINLY not required.

    I think they more look of what you can bring to the table. Which I think a lot of that comes from the essay, and your whole application package. I was worried because the only other school I got into was my last choice -- I didn't get into a lot of the schools I considered to be far less "up there" compared to VCU, because again, learning at MCV is NO JOKE and is an amazing experience. Again, from what I listed before, TONS of people all around the map. Lots of people with families, some that had sick family members that made them want to pursue nursing, some that realized what they were doing wasn't for them (me, hence why I switched, plus I run rescue and love it), etc. We are quite the diverse group!

    I would recommend not waiting to February -- keep talking on here, keep up with each other, especially if you all end up in the same program. My class created a facebook group with the people on last years' thread since we all kept in touch on that thread to check on the status of everyone getting in, so we already had 20 ish people in there before the program even started. Helped to meet some familiar faces before day one, helped us bond before school even started. Now we have I think 95% of the AMS/BS class on there.

    I really like having classes with the same people too.... you do get to pick different tracks, which divides the program for 2 semesters (women/peds, adults/psych) but AMSN students don't (they have to do women's first followed by adults). It allows you to really bond with quite a few family. It's funny, us accelerated students are kind of our own little (big) group even though we're mixed in with the juniors. I think part of it is because we all feel like we have tons of "life experience" compared to those in college for the first time... even though about 60% of the accelerated students graduated in the past 2 years from college.

    But I would definitely, definitely recommend going to a visit day. They brought in students from last years' cohort, and getting to talk to them and drill them about everything under the sun about school work load, classes, clinicals, getting a care partner position in the hospital was invaluable. Good luck to you all! I'm sure you all will get in and do famously!


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