I started WGU RN-BSN on 4/1/13. I spoke with my mentor last night to set up my courses for my first term and she said that it will be nearly impossible for me to graduate in 6 months and 1 1/2 years is most likely. She said that more courses have been added recently which makes the program longer. I explained to her that I will be working only 1 day per week (if they call me in) and plan to devote 40-50+ hours weekly to studying. I have no children at home and my husband is also working on a degree with WSU. I have some pre-reqs to take--micro, statistics, bio-chem, and behavorial psych. But, I have been a nurse for 14 years: med/surg, case management and home health for 11 yrs. I have already taken 2 RN-BSN classes plus nutrition that didn't transfer. Furthermore, I had a 4.0 in college! She listened to me but said she really doesn't like to accelerate students that much. Needless to say, I was very surprised. I was hoping to finish in 6 months but 9 months at the most. Am I being unrealistic? Do I have a lot more courses to take then others do? I was so motivated and excited to start but now... Any advice is appreciated.
Apr 3, '13
Hi Paradisebound RN,
Our similarities are many. I too am starting WGU my start date is 5/1. I work one day/week and am shooting for BSN in 6-9 months. I have not been assigned a personal mentor yet, but I hope I dont get a downer like yours seems to be. I cannot imagine why you couldnt finish in 6-9 months. Those pre-reqs arent bad. I hope that I only have four. Anyway, I would give it a little longer with this mentor and if he/she continues to be unsupportive of your goals, I would contact student services and request a different mentor. You are paying for the mentoring services so you should be able to get one who is more on board with your needs and goals. Good luck.
Apr 6, '13
Not knowing the program changes that have occurred I can't really comment much about that...but I can tell you that my wonderful mentor was always a bit of a Debbie Downer when we would discuss graduation dates. Once she got to know me and saw me tackling courses she became better, but she was never an advocate of my finishing in one term. Just keep going through your courses and having her add more as you finish. I never asked my mentor, but I got the vibe they are really not supposed to promote finishing in a term...but they also can't hinder you either. With the time you have to devote to your studies, I don't see why you couldn't finish in the time you want. Just keep doing as good as you are!!
Apr 6, '13
I imagine they don't promote it because the more people who do it, the less money they get. I'm sure they encourage their mentors to tell their students that 12-18 months is more realistic.
It took me 18 months to finish, so I never had to have that debate with my mentor.
Apr 8, '13
I start 5/1 and I plan to finish in 10-12 months and my mentor said anything is doable...I say if you double up you can do it in 6 months
Don't let anyone get you down especially if you have your plan already set up.
Apr 9, '13
I am a student mentor at WGU. I agree that to say the program can be done in six months isn't likely. But I also agree it isn't impossible. I always take a realistic approach at first, but then introduce the idea that the student may progress faster. I try not to go too far ahead. I usually plan and tell the student that we will decide about adding classes when they have started the last scheduled class. Then, unless the student directly asks otherwise, I advised adding one class at a time. My expectation that I make sure the student understands is, if they feel they can accomplish it, then I am their most motivated supporter. My expectation with all my students is that they CAN succeed.
Apr 20, '13
I started 3/1, work FT, and hope to get it done in 1 term. Since you only work 1 day/week you should easily be able to get it done in 1 term.
P.S. my mentor is awesome! I think I hit the jackpot with her.
Apr 20, '13
Time to completion depends on a lot of things, not the least of which is how much time you realistically have to devote to the program. If you're only working one day a week and have 40-50 hours to devote, there's absolutely no reason you can't finish in six months! Part of the mentors' jobs is to keep your expectations realistic, and realistically, most people don't do 40-50 hours. If you REALLY can, they you really can get done quickly.
Another factor affecting the timeline is whether or not you have any other coursework (besides ASN coursework) that can transfer. I came into the program needing to complete 11 courses--7 nursing courses and 4 non-nursing courses. Yet another factor is whether or not you're able to demonstrate competency in any of these courses without "studying." WGU grants competency-based credits, so if you "know" your subject and can demonstrate competency by writing the papers or taking the tasks, then you can tick those off with little to no study time. (For example, although nutrition was woven through all our ASN courses, WGU wouldn't grant me credit for that. I took the test and passed the course in one day because I knew the material).
Good luck to you! Like I said, I had to take 11 courses, and at the end of this month, will have completed the program in two terms. Some weeks I completely ignored the program, but I would say in all, I averaged 15 hrs/week.
May 13, '13
I too am unsure about what the new curriculum requires, but I completed 27 units at the end of February and began November 2012. Six months is definitely doable. If you can think of a community health issue and look at the coursework for your practicum, you can most definitely begin to accumulate hours early if you have the time. My biggest time waste was the practicum hours. If I had begun seeking out resources earlier in the term, I probably could have been done at the end of January.
Some of the papers are only 1-2 pages. Utilize the message boards and webinars for the specific information you need for the tasks BEFORE you dive into the course of study. Some of the course mentors write fantastic FAQs for passing the tasks, and I spent an extra few days fumbling around at the beginning of a few classes not realizing those resources were out there.
Overall, I probably devoted 20 hours a week split up into little chunks. I work full time 12-hr nights, so you can imagine how difficult it was to make time for schoolwork. It is possible.
May 14, '13
Why didn't previous RN-BSN classes get accepted? I'm considering WGU but I'm in an RN-MSN program that doesn't award an interim BSN degree; however, looking at the RN-BSN programs the classes are for obvious reasons, identical. Given that WGU isn't the caliber of a brick & mortar university why would they not accept certain credits? If they don't accept those pre-reqs does one have the ability to pay the tuition and take the assessment w/o all the assignments?
Just wondering if it would be worth it to me to get my BSN in the interim IF WGU lets me assess out in 6-12 months while doing my MSN. I'll be finished with the BSN portion by the end of the summer. I've already got 3 other degrees so I don't think I would have any science pre-reqs unless WGU wants to milk me for money. Anyway, any advice would be appreciated.
May 16, '13
Hello there. I'm interested in employment as a mentor and was hoping you could answer a few questions for me. I messaged you and hope to connect. Thx.
May 21, '13
I don't know anything about that. I think you messaged the wrong person.
May 30, '13
I believe the additional classes and the coaching of mentors to slow students down is very intentional. Many students were finishing in one term and bragging about it as "VERY doable" and that made the program look sub standard in their eyes. In their attempts to make the program harder and more lengthy they have really messed up. I have read complaints that additional classes are filled with disorganized fluff and mentors have become more rigid. They are also requiring you to take classes that you have already taken citing everything from the 5 year rule to the name of the course you took was physiology followed by anatomy and they require anatomy and physiology. They will become a less viable choice for students if they don't get it together and soon.
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