Anyone doing the accelerated BSN???

  1. Hey Ya'll!

    I'm going to be applying to an accelerated BSN program, but was wondering if anyone else has been through any accelerated programs??

    I'm the mother of two little babies (1 and 3 yo), so I'm wondering how I would juggle it all....getting a little anxious about it, really.

    Any insight or experiences anyone would like to share, especially the parents out there, I would really appreciate it.

    Main question: How many hours per day/week did you spend studying outside of class to earn what sort of grades? How did you juggle everything??

    Thanks a bunch!
    Carla
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    About np_wannabe

    Joined: Sep '06; Posts: 319; Likes: 25
    Full-time Momma

    14 Comments

  3. by   Megsd
    I'm in the first quarter (of 5) of an accelerated BSN program and so far it's not THAT bad. I am single and without children, but there are several mothers in my class and as far as I can tell, they are still doing well. There are 24 of us currently and we have not lost anyone after 3 exams.

    The thing about accelerated programs is that they're, well, accelerated. We have lecture 3-4 hours at a time, 3 days a week, and clinical the other two days a week. I spend a LOT of time studying... probably 4-8 hours a day, depending on what's going on. I've gotten 92s on my first 2 tests and a 95 on my test yesterday, so I'm pretty pleased.

    BUT I do make time to do fun things for myself, and spend time with my friends. A group of us in our program joined an intramural volleyball team and play every Thursday night (which is great stress-relief after clinicals all day).

    I still have days where I look at my planner and ask how I am going to accomplish everything, but somehow I do. At least in my program, the instructors KNOW what other classes you're in, they KNOW when your other tests are... we've actually been let go from class a little early so we have more time to study for a test the next morning (or when all 24 of us are glossy-eyed and they know we can't absorb anything they teach us at that point). It's a very supportive atmosphere and despite the hard work, I am absolutely loving it.

    Hopefully some parents can give you a little more relevant advice, but that's my take on accelerated programs so far. Good luck with your application!
  4. by   np_wannabe
    Thanks Megsd.

    I'm really second-guessing myself right now (and should be studying for the GRE--required with application)!
  5. by   Megsd
    Trust me, when I got into my program, I had about a week of "Yay! I got into nursing school! Yay!" Then it morphed into "What the heck did I get myself into?" I still have days where I ask that, because you learn so much so fast, and then you go to clinical and feel like you don't know a darn thing. It's a very humbling experience, really.

    Just believe in yourself and remember that lots of other people go through these programs and survive (and get jobs!) and so shall we.
  6. by   michar
    I'm in a 4 semester BSN program.

    My kids are 8, 6, and 3. My classes are morning/early afternoon so I am left with the little one's nap time which happens to run until the older ones get home from school.

    I get them in bed by 8-8:30 and then I do homework again until it's done.

    I'm also an EMT, so a lot of the skills we are covering this semester I know how to do (tomorrow is the first day of things I've never done) I end up using my 2 lab days to do homework for my other classes as well.

    Honestly, I'm frightened for clinicals because I can't use those days as catch up.
  7. by   np_wannabe
    thanks michar.

    and are you also spending 4-8 hours/day studying? UF's program is also 13 months.
  8. by   aureliey
    Quote from np_wannabe
    Hey Ya'll!

    I'm going to be applying to an accelerated BSN program, but was wondering if anyone else has been through any accelerated programs??

    I'm the mother of two little babies (1 and 3 yo), so I'm wondering how I would juggle it all....getting a little anxious about it, really.

    Any insight or experiences anyone would like to share, especially the parents out there, I would really appreciate it.

    Main question: How many hours per day/week did you spend studying outside of class to earn what sort of grades? How did you juggle everything??

    Thanks a bunch!
    Carla
    I am in the 2nd semester of an accelerated program, and it is alot of studying and courseload. Plus clinicals, where we have to do care plans, notes, etc. It seems like every other week there's a test in some course. It's fast paced because there's alot of material covered in a short amount of time. So you really have to set aside time to study. I don't have kids, and find myself very stressed with this program. But everyone is different, and some can handle it better than others, esp. if they've already had a healthcare background and know some of the basics. This was a complete career change for me, so I had to learn very new and different things. The tests can be tricky since nursing schools tend to like testing like NCLEX questions, where more than 1 answer can be correct.

    Yet, I do know several people in my class have kids. I don't know how old they are though, I think this can make a difference, depending on how much time you need to dedicate to the kids.
    But if you have a VERY supportive spouse, I think it can be done. I do know a couple women dropped out of the program since they couldn't keep up, and had to juggle home responsibilities. One of my classmates has 2 teenage kids and she says they help her husband prepare dinner, and they do the laundry, so she is able to study.
    So you really need help around the house, in order to get thru this program. It's stressful for people with no kids, so I can just imagine how much more stress can be involved for those with kids. Unless you have alot of help, and support.
    We can't get under 80 for most tests, so that's another stressful factor. I just wanted this program since I wanted to get thru it faster, but truthfully it's not for everyone. During our orientation, we were given worksheets about how to relieve stress, and told about the counseling office where we can get help dealing with stress and juggling responsibilities. They did recommend that we not work at all, if possible, since this program is very intense, and even though some people may manage to pass by cramming, they won't be able to pass the NCLEX if they don't learn the material enough.

    But if you think you can have support from your spouse or other family members, then try it. But remember you have to dedicate alot of time to this type of program. I haven't had much of a social life since I started, and I don't even had kids.
  9. by   michar
    How much time I spend studying totally depends on the material.

    I didn't do anything at home when we talked about vitals and did our "measurements" pass offs. I spent twice as long tonight doing our pre-lab assignment (ng tubes, decompression and lavage etc) because these are things I am not at all familiar with.

    I also expect that I'll spend several hours in the lab tomorrow instead of just my required time.

    With my schedule, I can get 7 hours of studying in on the day I'm at school the longest and be in bed at midnight. I've done that a lot with papers, projects, presentations.
  10. by   decartes
    I am in the 3rd of 4 semesters in an accelerated BSN program with a wife and a 19 month old. I try to balance family and study time as best as I can and it can get frustrating. Thanks to a good support group, I have 1.66 semesters to go. I study when the wife and kids are off to sleep at 8 PM and any other time I can squeeze in.

    Your support group (husband, kids, etc.) will be very important for your success through an accelerated program. Therefore, include them in all of your planning so that they can be prepared and have some understanding for the hardships that you will be put through.
  11. by   np_wannabe
    Thank you so much for all of your responses. Fortunately, I do have a VERY supportive husband. He is adament that it's better for US to tough it out for one year of accelerated BSN than for me to go the ADN-BSN-NP route (which may not be AS stressful as accelerated, but is certainly the longer route.)

    Can you give me a ballpark figure of how many hours/week you spend on school work (outside of class)?? It would give me a clearer picture of what I can expect my life to look like.

    Thanks again.
    Carla
  12. by   Sunshine0425
    Well, I am in an accelerated ASN program. It is nine months(two semesters) I have a previous degree so after I finish this program I will do a RN-MSN program. I am telling you as a wife, and mother it is doable. It is EXTREMELY time consuming though. A general day means being in class from 9-4 then coming home, spending time with my family and at 8 sharp, my husband has our child, puts her to bed and I study between 4 and 5 hours almost every night. This month, it is so crazy. The only days we have off during the week is Thursdays. Sat and Sun are clinical days for us. November and December look much better with Mental health and Med Surg I. Fundamentals and Pharm are very time consuming because they cover so much basic info. Good Luck and if this is your dream, go for it and don't look back.
  13. by   np_wannabe
    Thanks, Sunshine!

    That does sound like a good balance: dinner and a good chunk of time with the fam, then a good chunk of time for school. It gives the impression that you are "clocking in" at 8pm and your husband is "clocking in" for household duties, and I like that.

    I can work with that.

    That is encouraging.

    Thanks again.
    Carla
  14. by   aureliey
    Quote from np_wannabe
    Thank you so much for all of your responses. Fortunately, I do have a VERY supportive husband. He is adament that it's better for US to tough it out for one year of accelerated BSN than for me to go the ADN-BSN-NP route (which may not be AS stressful as accelerated, but is certainly the longer route.)

    Can you give me a ballpark figure of how many hours/week you spend on school work (outside of class)?? It would give me a clearer picture of what I can expect my life to look like.

    Thanks again.
    Carla
    It really depends on the particular program you are applying to, and the curriculum. Do you have a program in mind, and have you see the course requirement list?
    You mentioned that you have to take the GRE, so this most likely means it's a program that is an accelerated BSN/MSN, which means you take some credits that are Master's level. So you can have a head start on a few classes that are graduate level, if you want to go back for your Masters. This can make the program a little harder too, since master's level classes can be more demanding and more study time.
    What was your major in college? If it was bio or chem, or anything health related you may have an easier time.
    However, most of the Accel. programs have several prereqs that you need to take before entering the program - such as Anatomy & Phys. I or I & II, Chemistry, sometimes Organic Chemistry in some programs, Microbiology, etc. etc. and they have to be taken usually within 5 yrs time of applying to the program.

    Studying time all depends on the person, for example, some people can memorize and understand Pathophysiology easier than others, so they may need to study less hours, than a person who struggles with it. It also depends on how many courses you have, and how much homework, and papers you have to write.
    I would say personally I study at least 2-3 hrs a day. There are times I study less though, and I take at least 1 day off. But during times when there are final exams that are cumulative, I can study more hours. Plus, if I have papers to write, that increases the time spent in the library researching, writing, etc.
    It's really a program where you have to dedicate yourself fulltime, and best to have no job outside the home. When it's fast track like this, a test can cover more than 10 chapters at a time, in some cases. So it's alot of reading/studying.

    If you have little ones at home, you may consider staying at the library studying, unless you have a private place at home where you won't be disturbed or your kids won't seek your attention. I know that even if a spouse is helping, sometimes a 3 yr old just wants his/her mother. I see this all the time with my sister who has a child that age. They need alot of attention at that age.

    Maybe you can look at different programs and see the requirements. Some are 12 mos, some 16 mos, it depends where you are located.

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