Well, I had my first day of class in my evening/weekend ASN program today (with another 8 hours to follow tomorrow). I've got to say how impressed I am with the two instructors who will be teaching us -- smart, funny, and just plain nice to be around! We've got a lot of work in this particular program versus the day program; everything is compressed, so we'll be covering about 2 weeks' worth of material in each week, but I think most of us are up the challenge. Tons to read, lots to do, but very clear expectations were given to us, and I'm really looking forward to the next two years.
I'm one of those non-traditional students: not a kid, lots of life experience, a background in massage and post-rehab exercise training. Not much really scares me anymore, and I rarely let things deter me when I make up my mind about something I want. Just remember, all you new students, you've made up *your* minds as well, so try to enjoy each moment of the journey for what it is, and savor the goals you achieve along the way!
One thing I'd like to share with anyone who's feeling a bit overwhelmed by all the reading ahead of you and not sure of how to proceed: Perhaps you were given (as we were) a list of core knowledge/abilities you'll be expected to grasp for each unit you study. If not, you'll find something like that at the start of each chapter you read. One of the things I find most helpful in studying is to convert those statements into brief essay questions, then "test" myself on them to see just how well I'm understanding the material. When you get used to testing yourself this way, it removes some of the dread you can feel when the *real* tests roll around -- plus you pick up communication skills by clearly explaining just what each concept is. Our tests will be in multiple-choice NCLEX format, so really understanding the rationale behind your choice can do wonders when you have to find the one best answer on your tests.
Best wishes to all new and returning students! Keep a cool head, take good care of yourself (which includes a special treat or two now and then), and look at each day as a challenge, not an obstacle. There's nothing you aren't ready to handle -- just look how far we've come already!
Aug 24, '02
Hi, dianacs! Man, I thought my weekend classes were long....12 HOURS BOTH DAYS???? *shudder*
I would say that the vast majority of people in my 43-person evening/weekend class would fit into the "non-traditional" category: some in their 20's, most in their 30s to 40s. This is only the second year they've offered the evening/weekend option. As I understand it, the evening students did much better than the traditional daytime students last year. Of course, I think the fact that we tend to be a bit older may have something to do with it.
In order to keep its accreditation as a 2-year ASN program, a school must have a certain percentage of its students complete their ENTIRE education within that 2 years. That means if you don't have your pre-reqs done, you must complete them along with the nursing curriculum. I know of several students who attempted this last year and were forced to drop because they just could not handle the heavy workload and competing priorities of all their classes. Every one of them was 19 or 20 years old. But the cool thing is, they all recognized that they weren't ready *yet* for such an experience and have decided to just complete their pre-reqs before entering again next year. I'm proud of them that they saw this as a temporary detour, not an ego-shattering experience. (Hey, *I* certainly wouldn't want to give it a try -- I respect them for doing so!)
I'm glad you found the right program for you, and that your school has found a way for BSN students to attend evening/weekend classes. I am at one of only 2 schools in the Twin Cities to offer such a program (both ASN). As I must continue to work full-time (single, sole income), this is the only workable option for me.
Good luck to you!
Last edit by ats on Aug 24, '02