Jump to content

2014 Direct Entry MSN Applicants/Survivors

Posted

Admittedly, this is a bit early, but I'm planning on applying 2013 Fall for next year and was wondering if anyone else here is? Or if anyone here is in a direct entry MSN program and wouldn't mind answering some questions?

I am hoping to do CNM

Thank you

Emily

I'm applying right now, and I definitely don't mind giving you advice about the application cycle! It's never too early to start, so that brings me into my first piece of advice.... DEFINITELY start early, because you'll probably end up writing 4-5 different versions of your personal statement by the time you actually submit it. Also, start thinking of things you can do to build your resume and make it awesome so that when October 15th rolls around (the first school's deadline, I think Penn's was October 15th this year), you'll be adequately prepared to submit and be a competitive applicant! As a CNM hopeful, experience in L&D as a volunteer, or shadowing, would be looked upon favorably. Or at a midwifery school, if you have any in your area! And so would training as a doula, if this is at all possible for you. And for the BSN portion, any experience with the underserved is awesome as well (aka, volunteering for a free clinic). Basically, any health care experience is good, but these things are GREAT and will really give you an idea of what it is like to work in healthcare, and in your field!

Also, look at prereqs for schools and make sure you meet all of them, and if not, make arrangements to take them over summer and/or fall if necessary! For example, Emory's program really appealed to me, but they wanted you to take chem 1 and chem 2 and I only had chem 1, and it was too late to try and take chem 2. I think Case Western's program was the same, as well.

Begin studying for the GRE now so you can take it at the beginning of summer. It'll be a huge relief to have that done. Not every school requires it.... Johns Hopkins, Duke, Marquette and NYU are a few that don't, but those that do require it really like to see high scores. This is one area of my application that I wish was stronger, but only Penn required it so I didn't want to take it again. However, if you take it in May or June, and you don't get the score you want, you'll have time to take it over again in September. And take the TEAS as well! It will be helpful if you want to apply to other types of programs (and Emory requires the TEAS anyways).

Let me know if you have any specific questions!

kdiem

Specializes in Midwifery/Women's Health.

Hi Emily, I am a 2013 CNM specialty applicant. What schools are you looking at? I applied to 11 during my cycle (possible another one if I don't hear back from a couple schools by mid-February). I've been accepted to Emory's ABSN/MSN program for the midwifery specialty, but am waiting results from other schools before I accept. I would echo a lot of what Hopefulnurse24 stated. Definitely starting early and drafting some ideas of your personal statement would be helpful. I believe UCSF's application deadline is first (by September 1st ish), but if not then the other deadlines are around mid-October (like Hopeful stated). This means you still have a good 6-9 months to get some good volunteer/clinical/community work if you haven't done so already. And it's really important to finalize your letter of recommendations list and keeping organization. Since there isn't a centralized nursing application, I thought it was quite stressful to make sure all of my letters got in on time (since everyone is so busy!). If you have any questions you can PM me! But this is great that you're starting early :)

I was accepted into the grad entry program for Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL) at Ohio State and will start in June. The application deadline was mix-October and they say that you'll know by the end of January, but I found out at the beginning of December (right before finals - HUGE relief and surprise as I wasn't holding my breath until after Christmas based on the previous year's timeline.)

One of the most beneficial things I did was attend the open house that the CON offered for all of the GE programs. They had three break out sessions so you could hear about the different programs and ask questions to see how they fit your goals. OSU requires the GRE with a "competitive" score which they said was 150 on each section and I believe a 4 on the writing. I was at 148/150 and I think a 3.5 with all A's in pre-reqs (A&P I & II, micro, pharmacology, nutrition) as well as a phlebotomy and comparative religion course in progress, extra classes in patho and developmental psych from other programs requirements, and a first bachelors in athletic training. The CNL program is 2.5 years in length. The first year, all of the grad entry students take their pre-licensure classes and then take the NCLEX. After that year is when you break into the various specialities which are 1.5-2 years more for the MS.

One other thing to look at is if you are required to complete a CNA course and state test before the first day of class. If you don't have it already and have the time to complete it, I highly suggest it. It will end up being one less thing to worry about before you start classes.

Hope this helps paint a slightly clearer picture for you and don't hesitate to ask any questions you might have.

Thank you all so much, that's really helpful.

My situation is a bit unusual ( or maybe I just think so) because I already have two non nursing bachelors and a masters but am doing a later in life career change...The other big issue for me is that I have two small ( under 5 ) kids and a husband who travels for work so I have no idea how I am going to manage a full time accelerated BSN year, plus the 2 that follow- financially, emotionally or child care wise...I'm also new to the US, so that adds a whole other dimension to it....

Right now I am thinking of only applying to Columbia and Yale for CNM, because these are the only two areas my family could ostensibly move and husband still keep his job ( which obviously we need him to!). We currently live in Boston MA and ultimately, that is where we will be, but there are CNM schools in that area...

If there is anyone here ( and I'm sure there are lots) who juggled family and nursing school, please let me know how you did it!

Thank you all again for taking the time to respond!

Emily

queenanneslace, ADN, MSN, APRN, CNM

Specializes in Nurse-Midwife.

I have a Bachelor's - not in nursing. And I did the ADN for my RN portion. Started the ADN program when my littlest was 9 months old.

Two benefits to this:

1) 2 year ADN - since I had all the pre-reqs done (English, psych, sociology, A&P etc) it was only about half-time 9-10 cr per semester.

2) MUCH CHEAPER than the accelerated RN options (MN, BSN, etc)

This is not the quickest route. But a very sane route. And very doable with little kids under the age of 5.

(Sent you this info in a PM, too)

I know that there are parents in many of these programs... But I still think that it would be very, very hard to do with two kids under 5 and a working husband. It may be best to do an ADN program like the person above me said. A lot of the accelerated programs do not allow for much flexibility, either. Your best bet may be to call each school you're interested in, and see what they think and what advice they can offer.

soulshine101

Specializes in Clinical Nurse Leader. Has 2 years experience.

It can be done if this is your passion and you are ready and willing to put in the time. I spoke to a woman who had 2 or 3 kids (can't remember) under the age of 5 and successfully completed an accelerated masters CNL program. You have to look at nursing school like it is a full-time job which means putting your children in daycare from 8-5 Monday through Friday and when your not in class you spend the rest of the time in the library studying. If you scour the boards on here lots of people talk about it and have great success stories. The biggest advice I would give to you is TIME MANAGEMENT. I think you could definitely succeed in a nursing program given your circumstances if you diligently apply yourself.

I agree with all the post above about researching and spending time writing an essay that tells your story. The essay is the one chance you get to market yourself so write, rewrite and revise until its perfect. Also, be sure to answer the questions asked in the application. The last thing an admissions counselor wants to read is a 3 page essay that skated by the questions. Don't use the same essay for each school. I would think it would appear obvious if you wrote one essay and then mailed it to three different schools. Research the schools, find out what they are known for, the type of research done in the school, basically get to know the school so you can touch on how that caters to your long-term professional goals in your essays and stick to the word count. My mother is the assistant dean of a school and she always told me even with college essays if the professor and/or application states 500-750 words then don't type 400 or 800. Stick to the count. it shows you can follow directions.

I had the GRE waived for the school I applied too so I don't have a lot of feedback in that department. A lot of schools weigh heavily on the essays and recommendations. Make sure whoever writes it for you actually knows your potential and can speak to your strong suits. I was so thankful to have such great people to write mine. :)

I urge you to move forward with this passion, explore it, and I think you will be fine. Obviously, based off your previous background with two bachelors and a masters that you are well equipped to handle the challenges.

As others noted, you can get your associates in nursing, however based on research a lot of hospitals are looking for graduates with a bsn or msn. I recommend before deciding that route that you research the hospitals you may want to work and the hiring rate for adn's. The last thing I am sure you want is to graduate with an adn and not be hired anywhere quickly!

Best of luck to you!

Wow, thank you all SO much! There is so much great information here! Queenannelace, I'm sorry I don't know why I didn't get your PM yet, but will reply when I do, thanks for taking the time out to respond!

I say this with the greatest respect for people who went the ADN route, that it is not really for me; because I'm very, very certain I want to be a midwife and not really work in a general nursing capacity ( although of course if this experience helps in the short term, I am not averse to it). I'm not from the US and I'm basically the equivalent of a CPM in my country but my credentials are not being recoignized at par and from what I hear, the job options in MA for CPM's are limited ( if you need to make a living doing midwifery, which I do). So at the risk of sounding callous, I'm basically trying to figure out a route that gets me the training and back out working as soon as possible.

Soulshine, thank you for your advice- I think that is really sound, looking at it as a job. Putting my kids in daycare ( other then the insane cost) is I guess some sort of possibility. The worry I have is if my partner is out of town ( as he often is) then if there is a kid emergency etc, how does one resolve that....do you know if DURING school you have to do irregular hours in clinicals? nights etc?

You've all given me something to think about and I think now I can ask questions to the schools in particular in regard for eg to child care...

I would also love to hear from any nurses of color what their experience has been...I am hearing mixed things about how it affects your chances of getting in to school, work etc. Sadly...

Thank you again!

Em

soulshine101

Specializes in Clinical Nurse Leader. Has 2 years experience.

Wow, thank you all SO much! There is so much great information here! Queenannelace, I'm sorry I don't know why I didn't get your PM yet, but will reply when I do, thanks for taking the time out to respond!

I say this with the greatest respect for people who went the ADN route, that it is not really for me; because I'm very, very certain I want to be a midwife and not really work in a general nursing capacity ( although of course if this experience helps in the short term, I am not averse to it). I'm not from the US and I'm basically the equivalent of a CPM in my country but my credentials are not being recoignized at par and from what I hear, the job options in MA for CPM's are limited ( if you need to make a living doing midwifery, which I do). So at the risk of sounding callous, I'm basically trying to figure out a route that gets me the training and back out working as soon as possible.

Soulshine, thank you for your advice- I think that is really sound, looking at it as a job. Putting my kids in daycare ( other then the insane cost) is I guess some sort of possibility. The worry I have is if my partner is out of town ( as he often is) then if there is a kid emergency etc, how does one resolve that....do you know if DURING school you have to do irregular hours in clinicals? nights etc?

You've all given me something to think about and I think now I can ask questions to the schools in particular in regard for eg to child care...

I would also love to hear from any nurses of color what their experience has been...I am hearing mixed things about how it affects your chances of getting in to school, work etc. Sadly...

Thank you again!

Em

The University of Virginia Dean is on these boards and will have better insight to your questions. Hopefully, he will see this board and offer some sound advice. I am not sure how clinicals will work at your school of choice but at UVA and the program I am starting you do the clinicals with your preceptor and based on their schedule, so I guess it probably varies. I have heard some shifts are 7-7 which can fall either day or night, and 3-11. So I don't know really. I think it varies. If you have any friends in that area that you can rely on for emergency situations that will help and if the school you decide requires you to relocate, move early so you can establish friendships with other mothers as a back-up plan.

queenanneslace, ADN, MSN, APRN, CNM

Specializes in Nurse-Midwife.

EmmKay -

I sent you an email to the email address you gave me in your PM. Check your junk mail folder?

queenanneslace, ADN, MSN, APRN, CNM

Specializes in Nurse-Midwife.

I'm basically trying to figure out a route that gets me the training and back out working as soon as possible.

The direct-entry route will do that. But it's very expensive. I think that's the biggest drawback.

Thanks for starting this chat!

I am also looking to apply this Fall for a program starting next year but am worried I'm rushing things. Right now I am full time in the legal field, and am dealing with prereqs. I've done Stats and Human Growth and earned A's in both. I'm in AP I and Nutrition now, and need to take AP II, Micro, and Chem for the schools I'm interested in. So, here is my question: I can either rush through prereqs and take an accelerated AP II during the summer along with the GRE, Micro in the Fall (when I am submitting my apps) and Chem in the Spring before school would start. OR, do I give myself another year to bulk up my application and take AP II in the Fall, Micro in the Spring, and apply in 2014 Fall for programs starting in 2015. I have a strong ug gpa (3.75) but its not in anyway related to health/science. I also just signed up to start volunteering at a hospital, and hope to also shadow a few NPs. Interested in Women's Health/Midwife.

kdiem

Specializes in Midwifery/Women's Health.

Hi Legal, I think it might be a good idea to take your time with prereqs, especially the AP series. Schools like to see that you performed well in those classes. Also it wouldn't hurt to give yourself more time to study for the GRE. I applied for mostly midwifery programs for the past cycle and a couple women's health NP ones (will begin school this summer). I know that as with any other nursing specialties, they want to make sure you have experience and exposure to the specialty you're interested in. During my interviews, it was very helpful to have concrete examples pulled from my volunteer/shadowing experiences. These experiences can also help you with the essay portions. If you can do some kind of clinical research, that would make you an extra well-rounded student. It would be a great plus if you could have nurses writing your letter of recs, so the NP's would be awesome to ask for letters. Let me know if you have any other questions!

Thanks for the nod, soulshine.

Each school conducts their clinical education in a different manner. Most ABSN programs offer traditional clinical groups (6-10 students going to one unit together with one clinical instructor). These are offered as set times every week (Thursdays 11a-7p, for example). Most ABSN programs have an immersion practicum (1:1) with a RN as a synthesis capstone at the end of the program where you usually are there 25-35 hours /week working the same hours that your preceptor works. Your clinical site may vary from term to term.

Our ME program is very different -- all 1000 or our clinical hours are 1:1 with a working nurse (from 10-20 hours per week depending on where you are in the program). In our program you need to have the latitude in your schedule to be able to be on the unit when your preceptor works, so we compact all of our classroom experiences to two days (Th/Fri) to leave the other 5 days open for clinicals. We are also fortunate that nearly all of our clinical experiences are at the UVa Medical Center (a level-1 trauma center 200 yards away from the School of Nursing). I know students in Baltimore who drive 70+ miles for clinical experiences; it is very convenient that nearly all of our clinicals are a block away.

We have many students with families in our program; one recent grad had 5 kids under age 15. The key is a good support structure - having someone who can be there to take over when you have clinicals, a paper to write, or just need time to get away. I do not recommend undertaking anything as demanding as an accelerated nursing program if you have kids and no support structure. We've also had students give birth while enrolled.

I echo the above comments to prepare early. The essay will need multiple drafts. You should also give your recommenders at least a month to work on their letters. We readers can tell when a recommender is rushed. We also note when material comes in; thanks to computers everything is time-stamped nowadays. Have all of your materials (essays, applications, transcripts, etc) submitted before the deadline day.

Lastly, take your time on things. If you would be a better candidate in 2014 than in 2013, wait. Nursing is not a race. No one gives out toasters to the speediest completers.

mzaur

Specializes in Mental Health.

Hi everyone,

I hope this is the right place to post this. I am looking for some advice on my competitiveness for direct entry programs. I plan on applying to BC, Northeastern, MGH, Yale, and a few others (haven't finalized). For the last 3 years, I have been focusing on clinical psychology as I planned on going for a PhD. I worked for two years as an intern under a clinical psychologist in a mental health clinical for the cognitively disabled, as well as assisting with research in 2 different psych labs (two conference presentations). One of them was clinical focused, where I was lab manager, and I administed many clinical assessments for a study on anxiety disorders. Through this I realized that I did not enjoy research very much and prefer to work in direct care setting. The Psych NP is perfect for my goals. I have a decent cumulative GPA of 3.3, but last 5 years my GPA is 3.8 (rough freshmen year). My GRE scores were 1450, and I am taking pre-reqs now. I just don't know if my psychology background makes me a competitive applicant for PsyNP direct entry MSN programs? I am debating whether to volunteer in a hospital this summer before applying in the fall. Will admissions look over me since I never worked in a hospital or medical setting? Do you guys think I have a good shot?

Thank you!

Edited by mzaur

mzaur

Specializes in Mental Health.

Also, do you guys think its ok if none of my letter writers are nurses? All 3 are psychologists in my case. 2 are professors that I worked for as a research assistant and one is my supervisor from my mental health clinic internship. I am hoping that since I am applying to psychiatric specialty, this will be ok -- I don't feel comfortable asking my pre-req teachers for letters because I don't really talk to any of them, but I could if it would make a difference

I think you're incredibly competitive, especially with your experience and GRE scores! You'd be an excellent candidate and wonderful nurse and nurse practitioner!