Yale GEPN Fall 2010 - page 7

Okay, I know it's early, but Yale is my first choice, and I'm already terrified that I'm going to screw it up. My goal is New England (although I'm also applying to Pace because they have this... Read More

  1. by   Marinara
    Quote from macmac84
    In response to concerns about the program's intensity, as a current GEPN, I can say, yes- the program is very hard. The worst is really the schedule. You will feel like there is no free time, let alone time to sleep. I've had many mornings where the alarm goes off at 5:30 AM thinking "Oh man, I really don't want to get up and spend the next 6 hours in clinical, then have to come home and study all night"....

    That being said, it also comes with a lot of support. You will become very sleep deprived, stressed, and you may cry occasionally, but you have classmates and faculty cheering you on. The instructors are tough, but great. I only know of a few people that left the program (not for academic reasons) and I know those who are struggling academically are given extra tutoring and mentoring. There have been a few stories of mean preceptors, but this is something we will all face anywhere and in the workplace (mean bosses, etc) at some point in our lives. The academics are hard but do-able. It really helps if you've taken A&P and Chem (it helps a lot). You will not get sent home for one bad grade- if you fail an entire class that is a different story- but I've never heard that happening to anyone in our class.

    feel free to shoot any specific questions- and g'luck with interviews!

    Thank you so much for your thoughtful response. It's a relief to hear that the program is challenging but not brutal. I guess my follow-up questions would be about the emotional aspects of the program. I am prepared for the academic challenges and the busy schedule (I am currently working full-time, in class three nights per week taking A&P and Microbiology, and applying all at the same time). What worries me is whether there will be support to teach us how to be excellent health providers without making us terrified that we're going to do something wrong and seriously hurt someone. Since I am changing careers and don't have direct experience caring for patients, I do worry that it might take me time to learn how to do the practical things (doing IV's, taking blood, etc.), and it may not come as naturally as doing the academic work. I am hoping that nursing school will be a nurturing experience where we will learn those things together, support each other along the way, etc. What I've heard, and what worries me, is that some programs are not that way, but instead you are criticized, made to feel stupid, and made to feel anxious about making mistakes. Is this your experience? Do the preceptors understand where different students are coming from and appreciate that someone with an academic background may need time to learn how to do the hands on aspects?
    Another question - since you are currently in the program, how many hours (approximately) do you spend in class and/or clinical?
    Do you have any advice for how to remain balanced, deal with the schedule, etc.?

    Thank you so much for your advice!
  2. by   macmac84
    It's kind of difficult to answer that because there are so many difference preceptors with very different teaching styles and personalities. For clinical, you are broken up into groups of about 6, each group has a different preceptor. Some preceptors are amazing, patient, kind, and nurturing, and others are not so much (yes, some are flat out mean, intimidating, critical, and will yell at their students) But it's pretty much chance who you are assigned to. You will rotate half way through first semester so you only have the same preceptor for 6 weeks before your switch.
    I should note that you won't be drawing blood or inserting IVs your first semester, so you will have plenty of time to "ease into" the very basics like taking vitals, or giving injections- and if you're lucky, inserting a foley cath. Also, they do have lab days at school where they teach you basics and let you practice with TAs and students before you get into the hospital.
    As far as schedule.... It's Monday & Thursday class from 8AM-3PM. And clinical Tues & Wed 6 hours/day or instead you may have a Saturday 12 hr day. Staying balanced is a challenge, but you get used to it. Time management is key and just making sure you get enough rest when you do have time to rest. But you will figure out what is best for you. Try not to over commit (organizations, volunteer, work, etc.) during the first semester. There is so much to do at Yale, but you have to take care of yourself first. Don't worry, if you get accepted just know they aren't trying to fail out anyone and will do their best to keep all their students. That's more than I can say from any other program I've ever been in!
  3. by   hilife808
    Hello everyone. I also applied to Yale and the anxieties are building up. UCSF is my first choice, but I know the competition is tough. I also applied to Yale, Columbia, and University of Hawaii. They all have the same prerequisites, except University of Hawaii doesn't required the GRE and application is not due until Jan. 2 BTW I applied for FNP. What's your specialty?
  4. by   Marinara
    Quote from macmac84
    It's kind of difficult to answer that because there are so many difference preceptors with very different teaching styles and personalities. For clinical, you are broken up into groups of about 6, each group has a different preceptor. Some preceptors are amazing, patient, kind, and nurturing, and others are not so much (yes, some are flat out mean, intimidating, critical, and will yell at their students) But it's pretty much chance who you are assigned to. You will rotate half way through first semester so you only have the same preceptor for 6 weeks before your switch.
    I should note that you won't be drawing blood or inserting IVs your first semester, so you will have plenty of time to "ease into" the very basics like taking vitals, or giving injections- and if you're lucky, inserting a foley cath. Also, they do have lab days at school where they teach you basics and let you practice with TAs and students before you get into the hospital.
    As far as schedule.... It's Monday & Thursday class from 8AM-3PM. And clinical Tues & Wed 6 hours/day or instead you may have a Saturday 12 hr day. Staying balanced is a challenge, but you get used to it. Time management is key and just making sure you get enough rest when you do have time to rest. But you will figure out what is best for you. Try not to over commit (organizations, volunteer, work, etc.) during the first semester. There is so much to do at Yale, but you have to take care of yourself first. Don't worry, if you get accepted just know they aren't trying to fail out anyone and will do their best to keep all their students. That's more than I can say from any other program I've ever been in!
    Thank you so much again for your thoughtful response. Very helpful to be able to speak to someone who has been through it. Of course, I am half tempted to ask you directly - who are the kind and supportive preceptors, and who are the insensitive ones? But I realize that is probably not an appropriate question
  5. by   Marinara
    Quote from hilife808
    Hello everyone. I also applied to Yale and the anxieties are building up. UCSF is my first choice, but I know the competition is tough. I also applied to Yale, Columbia, and University of Hawaii. They all have the same prerequisites, except University of Hawaii doesn't required the GRE and application is not due until Jan. 2 BTW I applied for FNP. What's your specialty?
    I know . . . isn't the waiting awful? But we're all in it together
    I'm applying to the FNP too, and a joint MPH degree. Good luck to all, and enjoy Thanksgiving!
  6. by   MissDetermination
    Hey Everyone!
    New to the post-applied for psychiatric-mental health program. I am super excited but nervous at the same time because my GPA is only a 3.17! Other than that I have stellar letters of recommendation, got a 1140 on my GRE (4.5 writing score), have done research on Huntington's and epilepsy and and currently doing a study on schizophrenia. I feel great about my personal statement, but I fear that my academic past will take me down a few notches This is the only program I am applying to...as a homeowner in CT I am wedded to the area until the real estate market improves and, as I am sure you all are aware, this is the only program in the area that does not require science prereq's. In any case, a few more weeks 'til we receive some initial decisions!!! I can hardly wait! I wish you all good luck!!!
  7. by   WannabePNP
    Quote from Marinara
    Thank you so much for your thoughtful response. It's a relief to hear that the program is challenging but not brutal. I guess my follow-up questions would be about the emotional aspects of the program. I am prepared for the academic challenges and the busy schedule (I am currently working full-time, in class three nights per week taking A&P and Microbiology, and applying all at the same time). What worries me is whether there will be support to teach us how to be excellent health providers without making us terrified that we're going to do something wrong and seriously hurt someone. Since I am changing careers and don't have direct experience caring for patients, I do worry that it might take me time to learn how to do the practical things (doing IV's, taking blood, etc.), and it may not come as naturally as doing the academic work. I am hoping that nursing school will be a nurturing experience where we will learn those things together, support each other along the way, etc. What I've heard, and what worries me, is that some programs are not that way, but instead you are criticized, made to feel stupid, and made to feel anxious about making mistakes. Is this your experience? Do the preceptors understand where different students are coming from and appreciate that someone with an academic background may need time to learn how to do the hands on aspects?
    Another question - since you are currently in the program, how many hours (approximately) do you spend in class and/or clinical?
    Do you have any advice for how to remain balanced, deal with the schedule, etc.?

    Thank you so much for your advice!
    Hi folks,

    Another current GEPN here (PNP specialty, in case you couldn't tell from my screen name! haha.) I just wanted to chime in and reiterate most of what macmac84 has said about the program. It's definitely very challenging, mostly due to the vast quantity of information that you will be forced to digest and be tested on in a VERY short period of time. But in an accelerated program, that comes with the territory. Another thing, I would STRONGLY recommend taking A&P if at all possible before you come here. Though it is not technically a requirement, I really can't imagine getting through the material they throw at you from day one without any kind of a science background whatsoever. It's possible, I suppose, but it is VERY helpful to have at least heard of these concepts beforehand so that you will have established a basic framework for understanding them. My physiology textbook from a course I took last year has been an invaluable resource for me this semester.

    With regard to clinicals, it really does come down to the luck of the draw as to who you end up with as a preceptor (clinical instructor). I know people in the program who have had a whole spectrum of experiences... which I will admit has been a bit frustrating to me. You'll quickly learn that just because someone has the clinical knowledge themself doesn't automatically translate into their being a good teacher/being able to effectively transfer the knowledge to others. But, on a positive note, I do believe that for the most part, it evens out in the end. As macmac84 mentioned, for the first rotation (which is traditional, hospital-based "medical-surgical" nursing), you'll spend 6 weeks at one site with one preceptor, and the next 6 weeks at a different site with a different preceptor. Speaking from my own experience, I wasn't totally thrilled with my first site, but looking back it was actually a good, low-pressure environment to learn the basics (believe it or not, in the beginning it can be a challenge just learning to take vitals, interact with patients, etc.). And I'm a lot busier at my current site and feel that I'm getting good exposure to different skills/procedures (I even got to insert a catheter - yay! It's funny the things you'll find exciting in nursing school... haha.)

    Finally, just in case anyone is curious about notification dates... I remember receiving an email last year on December 9th notifying me of my interview status. And I received my acceptance letter via snail-mail on February 14th. Of course, I have no idea if the dates will be similar for this year's admissions cycle, but I remember scouring these message boards for approximate dates last year when I was obsessing over my application, so I thought I'd just throw those out there!

    Ok, that's it - feel free to fire away with specific questions if you have any.

    Good luck to all and happy holidays!
  8. by   maziemoo22
    I just wanted to say thanks to all of you, you have been extremely helpful!
  9. by   MissDetermination
    I agree, you have all been so helpful!!! Can any current GEPNs provide some insight regarding the types of questions asked in the interview? I am sure they vary by specialty, but in general, some interview do's and don'ts would be beyond helpful....Have a great day everyone!!!
  10. by   Minibunch
    Hi Everyone

    New to this thread! I have also applied to GEPN for the FNP track. I am nervously waiting to hear about interviews! Thank you to all the current GEPN's for posting information, it is very helpful to get that insight. I wish everyone the best of luck, and hopefully we will find out soon....
  11. by   WannabePNP
    Quote from MissDetermination
    I agree, you have all been so helpful!!! Can any current GEPNs provide some insight regarding the types of questions asked in the interview? I am sure they vary by specialty, but in general, some interview do's and don'ts would be beyond helpful....Have a great day everyone!!!
    I don't remember a whole lot about my interview... which I guess means it couldn't have been too traumatic! You will be interviewed by a faculty member in your chosen specialty, so first off I'd recommend doing a bit of research beforehand and finding out a bit about the person, their research interests, etc. Then when you're asked if you have any questions about the program, one of your questions/comments can pertain to that. It never hurts to show that you've done your homework! I'd say the main thing is just to be able to provide an honest and convincing explanation of why you are applying to this program specifically (know something about what makes Yale unique), why advanced practice nursing (and not medicine, other health professions, etc.), and also the reasoning behind your specialty of choice (why FNP, PNP, etc.). If you can cover those points comfortably, I'd say you'll be in good shape. I'd also recommend trying not to ramble on too much (which I can tend to do when I am nervous), and keep your answers succinct but thorough. Oh, and it would also probably be good to have a basic idea of where you see yourself career-wise in 5-10 years.
  12. by   MissDetermination
    Wannabe, thanks for the advice. When you say that you are interviewed by a faculty member, is it usually the director of the program? Are you told ahead of time who you will interview with? I read on a previous GEPN forum that one person tripped up on a question regarding "why advanced practice nursing and not an RN" (an was not accepted to the program)....this question worries me and I am not sure how to answer because I do not know much about the difference between the two careers beside schooling and prescribing privelages. Anyone have any thoughts??
  13. by   WannabePNP
    Quote from MissDetermination
    Wannabe, thanks for the advice. When you say that you are interviewed by a faculty member, is it usually the director of the program? Are you told ahead of time who you will interview with? I read on a previous GEPN forum that one person tripped up on a question regarding "why advanced practice nursing and not an RN" (an was not accepted to the program)....this question worries me and I am not sure how to answer because I do not know much about the difference between the two careers beside schooling and prescribing privelages. Anyone have any thoughts??
    Yes - I should have mentioned that you will be informed of which faculty member you will be interviewing with in the same letter/email that notifies you that you have been selected to interview. And no, it will not necessarily be the director of the program - it can be one of a number of faculty members within the specialty.

    As to how to address the question on choosing advanced practice nursing over RN, I recall reading the same post you mentioned above. I believe the person felt that she ended up devaluing the RN role in trying to explain why she wanted to become an NP. Should you be asked this (I wasn't), I would just focus more on why you WANT to become an NP over why you're NOT looking to be an RN... but to do that, you'll need to be well-versed in the differences between the professions. Otherwise, how do you even know you want to become an advanced practice nurse? Yes, there is additional education involved and prescribing privileges, but beyond that the roles are quite different (depending on specialty, of course). For example, in the PNP/FNP realm, an NP will serve as a patient's primary care provider, with duties similar to that of a family practice physician or pediatrician. I am not as well-versed in the psychiatric/mental health NP role, but I would assume the role there is equally as different from that of an RN. One thing I would mention, though, is that regardless of your ultimate job title, you will always be a nurse first and foremost. That means that you will approach your practice from a perspective that values disease prevention, health education, and a more wholistic overall view of the patient (a person, not just a disease). Hope that helps.

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