GCU Fast Track BSN program - what to expect?

  1. Hey all!
    I've just recently received my acceptance letter in to GCU's Fast Track BSN Program and am wanting feedback from students who have completed the program or are currently in it. More speficically what to expect as far as hours and how the course schedule pans out?
    And if you were able to work while completing the program?
    I currently work part time at a hospital and need to keep my job here while in school but am concerned about time constraints and hours.
    Thanks for any feedback or input!
    Liz
  2. Visit eschroedero profile page

    About eschroedero

    Joined: Apr '09; Posts: 3; Likes: 5
    Diet Technitian; from US
    Specialty: none

    15 Comments

  3. by   rn.bound.in.az
    being someone who's made it into the program (congrats) that I'm going to apply for...do u have any advice for someone on the community college track before applying? pls & thk u
  4. by   rn.bound.in.az
    being someone who's made it in the program (congrats!) that I'm going to apply for...do u have any advice for someone on the community college track? pls & thk u
  5. by   eschroedero
    Quote from rn.bound.in.az
    being someone who's made it into the program (congrats) that I'm going to apply for...do u have any advice for someone on the community college track before applying? pls & thk u

    Thanks for the congrats!
    In the acceptance letter i received they said that this round was extremely competitive and everyone who was accepted already has a bachelors degree. So i don't really have any suggestions other than to apply, keep applying (even apply to other programs), keep doing classes, and put yourself on the community college list as a back up. If you are dead set on GCU's fast-track i would also suggest trying to get a Bachelors in another degree if you can. I have mine in Dietetics and it was weighed extremely heavily in the acceptance process (per my nursing advisor at GCU). Best of luck to you!
  6. by   eschroedero
    i found the answer to my own question, so in case anyone else was wondering:
    Quote from missbehavin
    it changes each semester usually 3-4 days on campus including clinical. to break it down it is usually one or two days of class 4-8hrs (rarely is it 8 hours) each. one to two days of clinical usually one twelve or 2 eights. most classes are 8 weeks, so you only take 1-2 classes at a time. after completion of the second level (of five) the pace begins to slow. for level 5 we have one day class (5 hours) and 2 12hour clinicals.

    to be more specific about 40% of the classes are done in the first 2 weeks of the semester, before clinicals start. you will go to class 3-4 days for those first weeks. when clinical starts it cuts to 1-2 days of class plus the 1-2 days of clinical.
    they do try hard to keep the days the same throughout the program, or at least give you ample notice if the days will be changing.
    and
    Quote from missbehavin
    i am currently a level 5 (of 5) student at gcu. i am in the st. joseph fast track program. are classes are on st. joes campus, and almost all clinicals are there too. here are the program stats.

    we have programs in tucson (that require contracts with hospitals), on campus/traditional, fast-track at st. joes and john c. lincoln.

    1. fast track is 5 semesters (year-round). i started sept. 07' and graduate may '09 (20 months). most classes are 8 weeks in length, a semester is 16 weeks.
    2. we have clinicals throughout the whole program. (including community health, home health, and leadership/management/practicum). hours vary sometimes 8hr, sometimes 12hrs per shift. usually 2x week.
    3. the program is expensive, but worth it. st. joes pays a portion of our tuition (so it is cheaper than the traditional program, and slightly less than asu). we do not owe st. joes anything, they give us incentives throughout the program in hopes of retaining us.
    4. we have no waiting list, each round of admissions is new. apply early, sometimes the fast-track does not fill up. people are scared of it, but it really isn't that accelerated, we just do not get much of a break (ie: one week in summer, 2 in winter, and 1 for spring break).
    5. you can get partial tuition assistance if you extern at st. joes (but then you owe 1 to 3 yrs depending on how much you take).
    6. i started at a community college (a good one), our training is very similar. most of the community colleges here are great, but with the wait list it can take almost as long to get an adn as a bsn. just depends if you want to go on or not. i know i want to be an np, so i went bsn. it is a personal choice. many hospitals will no longer payoff bsn so dont count on a rn-bsn degree for free. i think az community college grads are at the same level clinically, as all other new grad bsn rns (the skills are the same). we have a few more classes/hours/book knowlege (like management, coummunity/public health ect.)
    7. yes, gcu is a christian university. sometimes we pray before or after class but you are not required to do so. we have all religions, including atheists in our class. we do have one book about spirituality in nursing. they do make a emphasis on assessing your pts spiritual needs, but as a rn you are suppose to do that anyway. as for pre-reqs you have to take 2 religious based classes ( world religions counts, and most other phi/rel courses do too). we do not have to attend church like the non-nursing programs do.
    8. if you have a previous degree, they waive some pre-reqs.
    9. gcu is very supportive, and will do anything to help you along the way. our ceo, and dean are both rn's. (fyi ceo of st. joes is rn as well). however, they are still transitioning and growing, this means things can get confusing, and you have to stay on top of your own stuff. but i found asu to be the same way.
    10. you will write a lot of critical thinking papers (they are kind of like a huge care plan). they will be 20-40 pages long in apa format. sounds scary but they ease you into it. you will feel very prepared for masters level course work.
    11. since we have a rapport with the hospital, we have gotten to see nontraditional nursing school clinical areas as well. we have been to barrows neurological or (amazing), interventional radiology/specials (very cool), pacu, pre-op, nyicu, peds cticu (congenital heart floor, great area). outside the hospital we did hospice, home health, schools, jails, cp/rehab clinic, homeless shelters, and the option of parish nursing. (these are all areas you dont always get to see in other programs). plus, the normal clinical areas like med/surg, geriatric, cardiac, peds, ob, mental health ect.

    hints: get an extern position (most pay, some like jcl offer full benefits). apply in 1st or 2nd block. it will help you clinically and teach you time managment. plus, it is easier to get a job in an area that you like. for example if you like icu, extern in telemetry for one year. then when you are a senior transfer to the icu of your choice (or ed). you get six months there before you graduate, and can make your transition to rn easier.

    thanks everyone. i hope this was as unbiased as possible. i started down the adn route myself, and did all pre-reqs at community colleges (it saves you tons of money). i feel very well prepared to start my career.
    Last edit by eschroedero on Apr 30, '09 : Reason: New found information from other member
  7. by   rn.bound.in.az
    wow! all that info u found was extremely helpful so thank you very much for posting it. & good luck with the program. I can only imagine how exciting it must be
  8. by   MTTMPE
    This was good info. I will be applying for the program. I'm glad i found this.
  9. by   preemie1982
    yes i agree with eschroedero on the previous post. i have all my pre-req's done and am starting the fast-track bsn at gcu this spring. i did all my pre-req's at the community college and have over 1/2 the bsn done with. i have been on the cc wait list for over 3 semesters and have gotton no where. i also have interviewed for the banner nurse fellows 3 times and am a banner employee and still haven't got in. all in all it has been a waste of time for me through the cc and they try to weed out people left and right and do not want you to succeed.
  10. by   CateJohnson
    Anyone have advice on how to get in. I am apply for fast track may of 2010. I hear its so hard to get in. I am a military personal and am on the GI Bill, which is a pos, however I am a 3.0 2.5 student and my Net score are 70's and I am not allowed to retake sense they no longer are using the Net... Anyone have any advice or ideas to how they do this.... I am now going to GCU to finishes my BIO and Chem classes hoping that helps as well.
  11. by   MTTMPE
    Hello CateJohnson, I hear you on the GPA, can you retake some of your classes to boost your GPA? I went back and every class i got a C on i redid them. You can only repeat two classes. I heard that the Fast Track was highly competitive as well but might have a chance because the economy ( people don't have the money to pay for the school) It all depends on who applies. Plus alot of program has changed. They got rid of the military discount. I tried to get into Patho and Nur 207? and it was over 4500. I was shock. I wanted to use my top up and TA but, i don't want to use my MGIB. Any Hoot, i have a GPA of 3.2. I had to apply for 2nd degree program. Which was a different type of program for people who have already recieved a degree. You would be surprise how many military people go to the nursing school there. I can name about 5 people. I stay in touch with them thru their journey.
  12. by   CateJohnson
    Well good news! I am attending GCU I am a "freshmen" Under 24 credits and have a spot resevered for me for May of 2010 as long as I get the Teas or Net done by Jan 15th. It was just the best way for me! I am using my GI Bill so I get the discount. And so far I love this school. Teachers are nice and seem to be understanding. But we will see as school goes on. I do like the fact classes are only 8 weeks here. So I can finishes the rest of the classes needed to be able to start on time!! I wish you the best of luck and yes money plays a part in most peoples reasons to not come here. However as I see it you can't put a price tag on a dream... and they have grants here too...
  13. by   MTTMPE
    I'm so proud of you and I really hope that you make it. How is the A&P there? I need to take that and patho. I was so upset that i have to wait. but, i will make the next board.
  14. by   CateJohnson
    What do you mean you have to wait? What board? I found out that Chandler/Gilbert gives the Teas and I am going to take it very soon. Just hard sense I have classes, and fridays are test days. The classes so far are very good, laid back but cut and dry on what to do. Now it is only my first week, but classes are 8 weeks long and I love that fact, plus we get to cut on REAL cadavers which is soooooooooooooo cool to me! LOL I am in Patho as well, its 16 weeks tho, but either way all is okay! If I can handle 19 credits this fast I know that I will be okay in the fast track! I wish you all luck but I still dont know what you are talking about MTTMPE...

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