Shenandoah 2nd Degree and Midwifery Programs

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    Hi all!

    I will be relocating to Leesburg, VA in the near future and I am planning on starting an accelerated 2nd degree program sometime in 2011. My first choice would be George Mason, because of cheap in-state tuition, but I have heard its very difficult to get into so I am considering other options of course!

    I am interested in Shenandoah University because 1)the second degree program is located right in Leesburg, where I'll be living and 2)they have a midwifery program. However, so far I've very mixed (mostly negative) reviews..

    Have any of you gone through their 2nd degree bachelor's program or their midwifery program? What did you think? Do you think it would be possible to transition right into a master's program from the 2nd degree program (their site says they require a year of nursing experience before applying)? Or, in general, what is the school's reputation? Would it be worth the extra $$$ and commute to consider places like Georgetown or John Hopkins instead?

    Thanks for the help!
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  3. 11 Comments so far...

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    I am actually going to do the Accelerated Second Degree BSN program at Shenandoah starting this fall. I, too, had some concerns over mixed reviews on this site. I was going to apply to Mason as well, but when I drove over there during light traffic hours, it took me an hour to get there. With 3 kids and a husband, commuting time is important to me. I didn't apply to Georgetown for the same reason. Ugh! I hate DC traffic.

    I recently went to SU's open house and asked a lot of questions. One that made me happy was the NCLEX pass rate. The traditional BSN at the Winchester campus rate was somewhere in the low-to-mid 80%. That is in-line with the other schools around the area. At the Leesburg campus, the rate has been historically at 95%. This year, it has been at 100%. That made me feel really good. Also, the professor who spoke at the meeting described all of the resident professors at the Leesburg campus. Their credentials were very impressive; and if their personalities are similar to the professor who spoke, I can't wait to get there. The other benefit that I've been told about is the smaller student-to-nurse ratio in the clinicals. I think that will be a great advantage for learning and hands-on work.

    SU is very expensive, but there are academic scholarships, VTAG grants, and the INOVA scholarship available. If you can get them all, it brings the price in-line with GMU. But to me, saving 2 hours of commute time each day is worth a lot of money.

    Good luck to you.
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    Oh, one more thing. I asked about the Master's programs and their requirements. If you are an SU graduate, you get 50% off tuition for Master's classes. Also, a couple of your BSN classes go directly towards your Master's. I was also told that you could go directly into the Master's program from the Bachelor's without work experience. My hope is to get a job after I pass the NCLEX and start taking a class at a time towards my Master's while I'm getting experience in the field.

    Let me know what you decide.
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    Hi. I'm not familiar with Shenandoah University's nursing programs, but I just wanted to add that you may want to check out George Washington University's accelerated BSN program. Their first class started in 2009, so they're still underway right now. I believe it is concentrated at their Virginia campus in Loudoun county, just outside of Leesburg. Assuming the clinical arrangements are also set up with Virginia hospitals, then you wouldn't have to commute all the way to DC for G'town or (I can't even imagine) to JH. It's expensive, but hey...if you're willing to consider those two schools...well this at least gives you another option to consider with the strong pro of GW being a shorter commute.

    I also wanted to mention...and I don't know how accurate this is...but when I did my OB rotation at a very large hospital in Northern VA...the nurses there told me there were NO nurse midwives with privileges there....something about OB physicians applying political pressure in some way to make it realistically impossible for them to do so. I don't think this is the case in DC or MD that I know of, and I don't know about other areas of the state either. You may want to do some asking around to find out more about that too.

    Good luck to you!
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    After my last post I became curious about what exactly the nurse midwife situation in Virginia was. Here's a link I found to a blog by a VA woman who had wanted to give birth at home:

    http://www.childbirthsolutions.com/a...irth/index.php

    According to what she wrote, in VA, as well as DC and MD, there are obstacles set up to limit the scope of their practice.
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    Thank you both for the help!

    jgamom: That is VERY reassuring. I was so dreading the commute, and now SU is higher on my list. It sounds great, ESPECIALLY with 50% off Master's tuition! That's great! I'll have to get over there for an open house sometime in the near future. Good luck with starting the program in the fall!

    whodatnurse: I didn't know GWU had a 2nd degree program, I will certainly look into it. That is a little worrisome to hear about difficulties practicing as a midwife in VA, I hope that doesn't affect going through grad school for midwifery too much... However, I think your article was mostly discussing lay midwives, rather than nurse-midwives. Unfortunately in many states, lay midwives have it much worse than nurse-midwives, and are forced to practice underground. This is definitely something I'll have to take into consider though, thanks for the info.
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    I know that Loudoun Community Midwives has privileges at The Birthing Inn at Inova Loudoun Hospital: http://www.lcmidwives.com/faq.php

    Good luck in choosing your nursing programs!
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    I actually just graduated in December from SU's 2nd degree program. I felt the program prepared me very well for my boards and for starting my job. The only issue that many people had with the program was not with the nursing education aspect. It was related to financial aid and registration. That was all managed on the main campus and we were often ignored or over looked when it came time to pay money or register for classes. We had to be very assertive about getting things done. But the nursing classes and the professors are wonderful. It is hard, don't get me wrong but you will learn.

    Also, several people in my class took some prereqs at mason and they spoke to some of the students there and said they hated the program. It is much more condensed and they really didn't have time to learn the material. This is probably why they do not have a very good pass rate for the NCLEX.

    Oh and lastly, if you get you BSN at Shenadoah, you can go back and get your master's or certification in midwifery for half price. A nice perk.
    StaceJ95 likes this.
  11. 0
    Just an FYI, GMU's pass rate is higher than Shenandoah's... this year and historically: Virginia Board of Nursing Education Programs.

    I applied to Shenandoah but ended up getting into Mason so I went through their 2nd degree program. There are definitely problems in the program, but I would expect that there are problems in any accelerated area of education. That being said, the Professors there have been some of the best I've encountered. I still keep in touch with many of them and use them as clinical and academic resources even in my current position. I hear Shenandoah is a great school but $ and NCLEX pass rates would convince me to at least apply to Mason. I commuted 45 minutes each way to the Fairfax Campus but I recorded lectures and used that time to listen to the lectures. They were also planning on moving much of the nursing program to the Prince William campus, though I don't know it that's still the case. Also, the clinicals we had have been very impressive on my resume - Childrens, Georgetown, Sibley, NVMHI, etc. The Inova system, amongst other hospitals in the area, knows the Mason 2nd degree students well and offered many of us jobs, even in this economy.

    Just my 2 cents. I'm sure you'll do great at Shenandoah, but I'd at least apply to Mason, if I were you. What could it hurt? $20k, 12 months and a reputation for academic excellence in the healthcare community... you can't beat that.
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    I am hoping to get into the Second degree program at SU and have heard so many good things about it. I have a 3.2 gpa which I know is not necessarily the best but do you think I still have a chance? I am going to send in my application the end of this week so do you have any suggestions for what I should include, right now I have the application form, 2 recommendations, and my transcripts. Should I also include a personal statement or another letter of recommendation? Do you have any helpful advice for getting in and being successful?


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