Published Feb 27, 2014
I am a graduate of the Creighton ANC (accelerated BSN) Program, and wanted to give a review to those who may be considering it. A little background on me is that I am a male non-traditional student from the West Coast, and going into nursing was a career change for me. I chose to go the accelerated route as to minimize the time I spent in school and away from work, so I got my first degree while working more than full time while completing a B.S. part/full time that took me just about 4 years, which I got a 3.96 GPA in.
CU was originally my back up school as I had my sights set on programs like Columbia and UPenn, but since CU admits on a rolling basis, and even admitted me before my graduation (I only graduated with my B.S. one week before my start date for the ANC class), I decided to apply there instead of waiting an extra 9 months to start at my target schools.
I can honestly say I am not aware of one single person in my class who was happy with the program, and many of us applied for the same convenience factor, or because some were from Omaha and did not want to move for school. As far as attrition rate goes we started with 57, lost 6 the first semester, 1 the second, and 1 the third, so it stood at about 14% (I mention this as attrition rate was mentioned in a recent CU thread).
As far as the education goes, the program seemed unorganized, and frustrated most of us, but to be fair I don't have anything to compare it to. All the classes were taught in "Care" blocks vs. traditional classes such as OB, Med-Surg, and Psych. How it worked is one class could have up to 16 different instructors (so a 3 hour class could have 2 or 3 different instructors lecturing), and each would lecture their particular specialty, write their own test questions, etc. The confusing part is how everything bounced around, for instance on one exam you might be tested on high risk births, 1/2 the cardiac content, pediatric oncology, mood/affective disorders, and renal disorders. The next exam it might be neuro, second 1/2 of cardiac, personality disorders/schizophrenia, and 1/2 of respiratory. These are not actual examples of exams, just to give an idea of the confusing way in which the material is taught. Psych, OB, and the majority of the content was taught in near random order over the course of 2-3 semesters. For the most part you were not actually even taught the test content either, just the basic principles, and it was up to you to figure it out/learn it on your own. For major papers you were also assigned near random graders, who may even be a non-instructor (she was a course facilitator) on another campus as happened to me.
One word of warning is that this truly is a Catholic School, and while from my limited experience of Jesuit schools on the West Coast who tend to be fairly well diverse (ethnically, culturally, and religiously), CU is not this way. If you are very conservative, you may fit in well there, but otherwise I would be wary. I consider myself middle of the road politically, am in no way conservative in my beliefs, am not religious, and came from a very large West Coast city, so I was used to a very different lifestyle (my high school had over 1/2 the student population of CU, and my prior college had over 60k students). Don't get me wrong, I am very professional, and actually ran a successful customer service business for over 10 years which I sold upon entering nursing school.
However, I felt out of place at CU much of the year, and even felt unwanted by many of the faculty, who seem to have this elitist air about them, feel CU to be the best of the best, and seem to dislike those that are not like them (there were also a few excellent instructors, but the bad outweighed the good). They refuse to put males together in clinicals (something that bothered me), and I was even told a few times as a male I could not take female patients (by a few different instructors), which made me feel discriminated against. I was also surprised to find that out of the 60 something faculty at the College of Nursing there were no male employees what-so-ever except for the one IT guy. The males who were married, and fit the typical conservative Catholic mold did not seem to have any problems though, so I think the issues me and a few other males encountered had as much to do with us not fitting that mold as being male.
In the end I did graduate, I did pass my boards, I got a good job immediately upon graduation (CU has a decent reputation regionally), and the time commitment was manageable, though you do stay busy (equiv of going to school full time and working 20 hours a week I would say). They made some changes to our cohort in structure, and some of the instructors were brand new (some were post-doc's who did not even know the content). Also, talking to people from other cohorts, many of them did not have all the same problems we did, and some of them were even happy with the program (particularly those in the traditional program).
CU is very easy to get into, especially if you want to go to the Hastings campus as they do not turn anyone away as long as they meet the minimum requirements. So if the school seems like a good fit to the type of person you are, or you want the ease of their admission process, CU may be a good option for you. Omaha is actually a pretty nice city, there is virtually no traffic, a lot to do for it's size, it has character, and is cheap to live in. But, Omaha also has many other options for nursing schools, including a couple of other ABSN programs. Hind sight is always 20/20, and if I was to do it over again in no way, shape, or form would I ever apply to Creighton even as a back up school; In Omaha I would look into the UNMC program over Creighton.
I am a current student at Creighton University (began Fall of 2013) and fully agree with said above. ...if you are a top student coming from a top university...do not come here. If you have specific questions, I will be more than happy to answer them. You can reach me at [email protected].
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