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Anyone attend or have info on SWIC?

Illinois   (18,361 Views 28 Comments)
by 020405Mama 020405Mama (Member) Member

969 Profile Views; 16 Posts

I am looking for any info about the program at SWIC in Belleville. My mom lives in Belleville and I'm thinking of moving my family up there to start my nursing school adventure.

I've looked at the website a thousand times, but it's a little confusing to me. You only need to complete one semester each of bio, chem, and algebra in order to apply? I understand that the more classes you take the better your chances of getting in since they go by a points system, right? Do they only admit once a year? Are there any other ADN programs in the area?

I haven't been in school in 10 years and I'm a little freaked out!

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Sillynicunurse specializes in Med/Surg ICU, NICU.

164 Posts; 1,924 Profile Views

I took all of my pre-reqs at SWIC. I have heard good things about their program. Those are the classes that you need to have completed prior to applying unless things have changed they like it if you have more done. Again unless they have changed their program they admit 1 time a year and I think the deadline was March/April and then you found out in I think May if you would start the program in the fall. The only reason that I did not pursue my nursing degree there was because of their once a year admittance. In hind site I would have been better off financially to have waited. Their classes are very inexpensive compared to other programs in which you get the same education. Call the school and ask to talk to someone they should be able to answer all of your questions. Best of luck to you.

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53 Posts; 2,797 Profile Views

I am a 2007 graduate of the nursing program at SWIC. Since it is a 2 year ADN program, I applied back in 2004 and based on what I saw on their website, I think application is pretty much the same. Here is how it works.

Yes, the more pre-reqs you can take and make good grades in (As and Bs), the better your chances. I have a bachelors degree in another field, but I took a year to take classes that would help me when it came time to apply, including Anatomy, Chemistry, Medical Terminology, Nutrition, etc. When I applied, the cut-off was fairly early...I want to say December 15th the year before you wanted to start the program. And the program only starts in the Fall -- they say it starts the preceding summer, but that is only for a Clinical Calculations for Nurses course. Oh, and even though the Anatomy classes are supposed to be part of the 2 year program, just about everybody took them PRIOR TO applying just so they could check them off their list. You could also do this for Sociology, Nutrition and Psychology.

They use a points system to determine who makes the cut. Like I said, they factor in your grades (an A earns more points than a B and so on). Again, the more classes you have with more As, the better. They also give point(s) if you have experience as either a CNA (Certified Nurse Assistant) or LPN. Then they also make you take an aptitude test and award points based on how well you do on that test. And, since it is a community college, preference is given to those who live in the district. So, if you were to move to Belleville, you'd fall under that as well.

The year that I got accepted, we learned there were over 300 applicants and 80 of us being selected. So, it is fairly competitive. Obviously I don't know what was the least amount of points they took and got accepted and I can't even remember the amount of points that I had, but when I applied I had just about every pre-req done and had As (not to toot my own horn) in just about every one of those classes. A couple of Bs, no Cs. On the flip side, a friend of mine had mostly Bs and some Cs, was also a CNA and also got accepted. Also, since I had been in school before and my most recent math grade (at another college) was a C, I took the basic Math course that they accepted for the program at SWIC, got the "easy A" and when it came time to evaluate my application, they accepted the A because it was then my most recent math course. (Sorry if that sounded a bit confusing.) And, I believe it is SWICs policy that if it has been more than 10 years since a course, you would have to take it again. So, even you had English 101 at ABC University back in 1997, you would have to retake English 101 again.

Yes, there are other programs in the area, but SWIC is FAR, FAR cheaper. And, if you are going to live in Belleville, you won't find one more convenient.

I hope you find this information helpful and feel free to ask me any questions if you need me to clarify anything.

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16 Posts; 969 Profile Views

Psycheab---

I can't thank you enough for that info!! I have never taken a college course so I will be starting from scratch. One more question, what was your clinical schedule like?

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53 Posts; 2,797 Profile Views

I am so sorry it took me so long to respond to your question!

Your first semester in the program is very light clinical wise. You go one day a week for about 6 hours. In addition to that (and classes, of course) you have lab time where you start learning things such as how to properly move patients, how to give baths, make beds, etc. That takes up a few hours a week. Oh, and that first semester (clinically speaking) you are with patients in the nursing home.

The second semester is split between OB and Med/Surg. Half of the semester you are on the OB floor, so you'll be taking care of babies and the women who have just given birth. And if you're lucky, you may get to either see a C-section or be in the room when someone gives birth. Not everybody in my class got to see either -- it just depends on what is going on on the floor that day. The other half of the semester you are on the Med-Surg floor dealing with a variety of patients and this, I felt like, was truly a test of whether or not you've got what it takes to become a nurse. The teachers really start quizzing you about subject matter and expect you to be on your toes! Your clinical hours double from the previous semester; whereas you were only going in one day a week, you'll be at the hospital twice a week.

The third semester is split up, with one half being Psychology and the other Cardiac. While you are becoming more accustomed to your role as a (student) nurse, this is probably the toughest semester subject wise. Cardiac weeds out quite a few people, so even though some might think "oh, we're second years now, we can relax a little" that is not the case. I think I studied harder than ever that semester. With cardiac, you are on the telemetry floor, taking care of people with cardiac issues. And with psych, you are going into the mental health hospitals and seeing that side of it. I found it fascinating. Again, you'll be in clinical twice a week, although they do have the option of doing one 12 hour clinical and just getting it over with in one day a week.

Finally, fourth semester, the clinical schedule is fairly the same, twice a week or the 12 hour/one day a week. I have to say, I'm drawing a blank because I can only remember that the first part of the semester is endocrine and the second is....that's where I'm drawing the blank. I think it's pretty much whatever is left -- GI stuff, eyes, ears, skin, etc. Anyway, you start to see that light at the end of the tunnel by then and you're just so happy that nursing school is almost over!

Sometimes throughout the 2 years, there are extra little clinical hours you must do. One day with sat in with a school nurse to see what her day was like. Another time we were assigned to either a hospice or home healthcare nurse. We had to do at day at the local health department/clinic and sit in on well-baby check-ups and give immunizations. We attended a meeting at the local nurses association and so on.

Let me know if you think of anything else!

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16 Posts; 969 Profile Views

Thank you so much for all the info! I'm trying to figure out how much of my time every week will be spent at the clinical site and in class. I know I will also be spending hours studying at home, but how much of your time was spent in class?

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9 Posts; 727 Profile Views

Hi!! I just wanted to say thankyou to the two people who responded to this thread in such detail. The information is great! I was recently accepted into the SWIC nursing program this past April and I start...tomorrow! lol. Summer school nursing calculations...fun fun. Thanks for writing all the information on clinicals and different semesters. We had our first orientation a month ago and it was the MOST uninformative orientation I have ever had. They said absolutely nothing about the nursing program lol. How does that work...? Anyway thanks again!!

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53 Posts; 2,797 Profile Views

Congrats to the 2 of you starting the nursing program at SWIC. Please feel free to ask questions as they will surely arise -- and you must be flexible with your schedule as you really get into the program. It seems like they will drop things on you at the last minute sometimes and there were times where it seemed we honestly didn't have a clue what was going on. All I can say is take a deep breath, stay organized, and take it one day at a time!

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AshleyH2010 has 1 years experience and specializes in Med-Surg and OB (School Clinicals).

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I am moving into my second year at SWIC and I know it seems so confusing at first, but it will all work out! Stay positive and make loooots of friends! And I know we will be doing an orientation soon so that the first and second years can get to know eachother, which will be great for you because then you can ask us all your burning questions, hopefully that will ease some nerves!! Good Luck

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8 Posts; 828 Profile Views

i just wanted to say thank you psycheab for being so informative about the swic program. i have a few questions about the clinicals. you had stated the first few semesters clinical times are only once a week. do you remember clinicial times normally fall on. i ask this because i work evening 5 pm and debating if i should quit my job so i am able to make the clinicals. i have a desk job that doesn't require mental strain so i am able to study throughout the program if i am accepted.

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9 Posts; 727 Profile Views

Hi, I'm in the nursing program right now just finishing up my summer semester. For my class our clinical hours are during the day and they are 4 hours (for the first fall semester that is). But in another class one half of the semester they are in the morning and the other half they are in the evening starting at 5. So I guess it depends on the class you are in, but I'm getting the feeling that you might not know what your clinicals will be before you enter the other semesters. They told us that they are usually during the day but they can be nights & weekends too. Just depends. Hope this helps!

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