Any National University of San Diego RN Alumni out there?

  1. Hello! I'm currently taking the prereqs to apply to the nursing program and have done extensive research. There's one thing missing- feedback from alumni. I've scoured for alumni from National University of San Diego BSN prog but I haven't found had any luck . If you are an alumni please let me know how your experience went. Is there anything you wish someone told you before you began the BSN program? Is there anything you'd change? What was your favorite thing about NU? What was the most challenging and how did you overcome it? Please pass on your words of wisdom. Tips on TEAS, Essay, NCLEX... all feedback is welcome. Congrats on becoming an RN! :bowingpur
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    About nurturebynature

    Joined: Jul '11; Posts: 4; Likes: 2
    from CA


  3. by   lrobinson5
    I didn't go to NU but I did very well on the TEAS test by getting the review booklet and getting the online practice assessment. (I think it was about $40 for both) Good luck
  4. by   nurturebynature
    Thanks for the reply. How long did you study for the TEAS? I'm sure it's different for every one, but I'm curious If I need to study for a month or six months?
  5. by   lrobinson5
    I don't remember how long I studied... Just pretty much made it through the whole review and took the practice test the weekend before the actual exam. Definitely study as much as you feel will benefit you and you will do fine

    Good luck!
  6. by   maiday
    Hmm... Well I imagine if people answer, you'll have many different viewpoints. I graduated May 2011 from NU and I just got a job offer for Scripps Memorial Hospital for the PCU (progressive care). I'll start next month.

    I actually really liked NU. Good: the classes go quick, some teachers are awesome, you really get to know your classmates, lots of clinical hours, good reputation in the hospital

    Bad: classes go quick, some teachers are horrible, no preceptorship, no opportunity to work as a student nurse, expensive

    Yes, classes go quick is good and bad. It's good because things move and you don't get bored. It can be bad though because in a semester long class you may find it easier to learn the material better. At NU, sometimes you feel as though you're learning for a test, not for life... does that make sense? But it's up to you what you learn to a certain extent.

    Having a preceptorship or possibility for externship would be a benefit because I feel students learn so much from those experiences. But in the end, I knew I would not have an opportunity like that so I got a job as a CNA and that helped me have my foot in the door at Scripps.

    Some teachers at NU are amazing!! Really great. But on the other hand, some it's hard to believe they're allowed to teach. But again, classes are only 2 months

    No advice about TEAS or essay because things have changed since I got accepted. NU does the ATI... Not very fond of it, the program is okay, but Kaplan would have been better. The ATI is a program that is "included" in NU's program (you actually pay for it with your orientation fee). It's supposed to help you pass NCLEX and I passed NCLEX on the 1st try so I guess it worked. However, for that money, I would've rather just taken Kaplan.

    So, overall, I liked NU. I graduated in only 2 years with my BSN from an accredited college and already found a job in my first choice hospital with my first choice specialty. I have said this before, but it bears repeating. NU is not a state school, it's more like a University of Phoenix. This was perfect for me. If you are young, have the time and money to wait, go to a 4 year or wait for Palomar or something. That was simply not the best option for me.

    Good luck!!
  7. by   nurturebynature
    Excellent feedback. I did look into Kaplan but since it's not WASC accredited (it's a vocational school), I might have trouble with transferring or furthering my education later. NU is fully accredited, although it is a private school.

    I'm about to be 30 years old and want to have kids soon but also want to accomplish this goal of becoming an RN that I've had for so long.

    Anyway, thanks for your time!

    Best wishes!
  8. by   maiday
    Oh, sorry, let me clarify. I meant Kaplan for the review course. No, I would not personally recommend Kaplan as a school (due to the accreditation issues). NU uses ATI for their review course for NCLEX. Some schools use Kaplan, some just do their own. Some of my classmates paid $500 for the Kaplan review course and they really liked it.
  9. by   Av03
    Hello. I happen to be an alumni at National. Like you, I went on this site to look for information and did not come up with anything. The person who commented on National University's program did not mention the need to pass ATI comprehensive exams for each course. I believe the change did not apply to her cohort. Anyhow, this is not a big deal since nearly all schools require you to pass ATI for each course.

    I agree that it is nice to have a 2 month course for classes with a clinical component. However, this sets up a student for short-term memory learning. The things you learned from year 1 is long gone by the time the second years rolls around, unless you do continuous refreshment of stuff you learned previously. As for the class...nearly all of them are structured in a way where the professors just read off of powerpoint slides. It's up to you to do extra learning outside of the classroom. If you don't mind this teaching style, then go ahead and go with NU.

    If I had to do it over and I had a choice, I would definitely go with a State program. I'm sure this is the case for 99% of the students at NU. It was the only program we could get into at the time.

    If you happen to get in...I would say make friends with everyone, but keep your study circle to about 5 people. It will help you focus and will help everyone motivate each other to do well. If you happen to be good at picking up info. and retaining them, keep your knowledge to yourself and your circle. Many students and clinical preceptors may be annoyed by a student that thinks they know it all. Of course, show how smart you are if a person directly asks you a question....

    With how hard it is to find a job, I am thinking of continuing my education. So good luck to you and to all others interested in going to National University or any other universities.
  10. by   jennabee18

    I'm not an Alumni, but have applied for the july april cohort and am waiting to hear from them. Have you applied yet? If so, have you received your email yet about the TEAS test date? That's what i'm waiting on. I am in your same position, I am only 22, i wish i would have started at a state school right away but instead i received my A.S from a JC. I can't apply to state schools or a J.C because my science gpa (A&P, MICRO, CHEM) is only a 2.33 instead of a 2.5 Though my overall GPA is 3.0, i still am ineligible to apply. its very frustrating!! so instead, i am applying to NU. In a last resort, i am attempted to just go to Kaplan. I have heard that it is a decent program, and that the local hospitals actually like nurses that went there. But i too am afraid of not being able to get into a Bridge BSN program because they aren't accredited by WASC.
  11. by   Sopheap
    Hi Maiday.

    After reading your post I feel like you had great success and did what you needed to get to where you are now. I would like to get some advice from you if possible.

    I have to take my TEAS exam in one month and I have been studying. Let's assume I get accepted and start in July 2012. I work full time right now and I am not sure if I can afford to quit. Did you work full time and how did you juggle that? Were most of the classes in the evenings or day or weekends? How many days a week were the classes and how long? Any insight would be great.

    Congrats to you in your new field.

    Also if any has any advice on balancing work/school please let me know.

    Thanks so much.
  12. by   Sopheap
    Thanks Swede for replying.
  13. by   alibean
    Quote from nurturebynature
    Hello! I'm currently taking the prereqs to apply to the nursing program and have done extensive research. There's one thing missing- feedback from alumni. I've scoured for alumni from National University of San Diego BSN prog but I haven't found had any luck . If you are an alumni please let me know how your experience went. Is there anything you wish someone told you before you began the BSN program? Is there anything you'd change? What was your favorite thing about NU? What was the most challenging and how did you overcome it? Please pass on your words of wisdom. Tips on TEAS, Essay, NCLEX... all feedback is welcome. Congrats on becoming an RN! :bowingpur
    Hi naturebynature, your situation sounded so similar to mine, I was hoping you wouldn't mind sharing with me a bit about your BSN experience at NU San Diego thus far? It would be greatly appreciated! I am married, turning 30 next year and very much want children soon. I knew I wanted to complete my BSN before starting my family (for so many reasons), not to mention this could be my last chance. I don't have a lot of time to waste (i.e comm college wait time or RN-BSN). Currently I have been accepted into Mt St Mary's Pre ADN program. I met with the advisor this week and she said I would not be able to transfer to the BSN at any time and that I would have to continue with a BSN at another college (and most require 1-2 years of Nursing exp!). Because of this and my ultimate goal of NICU Nurse (I would take OB, L&D) I am now back to NU Los Angeles. There have been great reviews and also some pretty terrible ones. A guy at my local NU info center has been so wonderful to me. However, like you, I have not been able to find any feedback from NU alumni; where they are now, how their journey was getting there, did they suffer with no preceptorship (my greatest concern). Have you heard of any alumni working in specialties or being accepted into new grad programs such as Cedars/KP/CHSD/CHLA? As I touched on, my dream is to work in the NICU. I feel not having a preceptorship really hurts my chances at this specialty. Sorry for the rant but my main question to you is, considering the experience you have at NU thus far, how do you find NU students are viewed against MSMC/UCLA students etc. Which hospitals do you complete your rotations? With a NU degree would I be a contender for new grad programs in the NICU etc? Would you steer me toward an Associates degree at MSMC at all? I am still skeptical of the whole ADN vs BSN debate. I am not afraid of full time, hard work and I am not looking for a social life. I just want to make sure I can get a great job once I'm done. Thank you so much for reading this and I wish you the best of luck with your degree. Maybe see you around.. ! Best
  14. by   sd-ace
    Hi there. I went to NU, but I didn't have to take the TEAS to enter the program. I started in 2009 and there was little competition then for entry. I have a BS degree from SDSU and worked in a related field for nearly 10 years before starting my journey into nursing. The program was extremely unorganized in some areas and ok in others. Clinical times and dates were always changing enabling staff to use the "nurses have to be flexible" adage over and over again. Back then, ATI was just a supplement to the classes and we took a test at the end of each final for extra credit based on score. I'm hearing now that the ATI is a requirement for passing each class. It was changed because the NCLEX passing rate was so low. Also, most of the clinical and lecture instructors were fantastic with the exception of a few...this is the case for any school though. Clinicals are held all over San Diego which is a plus. Students are exposed to different hospital systems. I chose the "night" cohort which worked out great for family time and I preferred the two 12 hour days a week clinicals as opposed to 3 or 4 eight hour days at a different school.

    I think the worst part was the fact that NU doesn't provide a preceptorship as part of their curriculum. This is a great disservice to students esp. when we pay so much for the program. When I was there, NU contracted through Southwestern to take a class that enabled students to find "preceptorships" on their own. It was discontinued though during my class. Not sure if anything else was started after that. For any NU students, I would definitely encourage finding a job working as a tech or NA while in school. At least you are able to network and already work for a potential employer. It's one foot through the door. Most of the students from my class found full time work in hospitals by doing this, but this was over a year ago.

    I've heard that NU students are viewed as being more mature and hard workers (most of us were older with second degrees), but the managers who hired me specifically mentioned that they know NU students don't have a preceptorships and they tend to shy away from these applications. I felt somewhat prepared for "real life" after attending NU, but no school can prepare you for the idiosyncrasies of daily bed side nursing no matter what. Now that competition is so fierce for jobs, getting in and out of a BSN program quickly is key, but you must maintain a very high GPA (3.6 or above) because employers are looking at that as a source of weeding out applicants. Studying 4-5 hours a night is a must and yes, sometimes it feels like short term memory commitment, but you do what you have to. It would be highly impossible to work full time while attending NU. Your grades will suffer as well as other aspects of your life. The program is just way too intense.