Grant MacEwan or University of Alberta

  1. Hello,

    I am a high school student planning to get my BScN here in Alberta (I plan to begin a program within the next couple of years). I am still, however, undecided which school I want to attend but I am seriously considering two - Grant MacEwan (their new BScN program) and the University of Alberta.

    For those who have attended either of the nursing programs of these schools or knows a bit about them, can you please provide me with the pros and cons of each?

    Thank you.
  2. Visit Just A Wanderer profile page

    About Just A Wanderer

    Joined: May '07; Posts: 119; Likes: 15
    from CA


  3. by   Fiona59
    I work with both of their students. Prefer the GMCC bunch over the UofA students.

    GMCC for a while was harder to get into than UofA. But GMCC seems to prepare better hands on nurses and their skills are slightly better than the Us.

    Having said that it won't count for much in a couple of years because the instructors all change frequently. I rarely see the same clinical group leader twice.

    So you would be in Grade 10 or so?

    Good luck.
  4. by   Just A Wanderer
    I'm a grade 11 student by correspondence, actually.

    Thanks for replying! I've been hearing a lot of good things about Grant MacEwan.
  5. by   Creamsoda
    I did the transfer and graduated in 2005. I liked grant mac way better. AT the time I went to school, both schools were doing "context based learning" which I as well as many others thought was a complete joke. Macewan I believe has got rid of that aspect of the program and are back to a traditional style of teaching, where I beleive the U of A still does it. So seeing as how grant mac doesnt do CBL anymore, and has a degree program, if they would have offered it at the time, I would have stayed. I didnt like the U of A so much, definately less hands on.

    Context based learning in nursing is where you get different will be a patient profile, and your group has to brainstorm ideas relating to the scenario, so then different people will go home and research different aspects such as pharmacology to that particular situation, someone else will research what the disease process is, someone else will research the psychosocial aspects ect, then everyone comes back to the group with the research and presents it. It doesnt sound like it should be too bad in theory, but I was a huge waste of time where often the group would be focusing on the wrong part of the scenario and not realize it, or someones research would not be correct ect. We all just learned to just read the textbook as that was what we are tested on anyway. The point of all this is, is Macewan doesnt do CBL anymore which is great so I would definately look there first.

  6. by   Just A Wanderer
    Thanks for your input. The U of A's teaching style is one of the things I'm worried about, actually. Some time ago, I chose the U of A BECAUSE of their Context-Based Learning since I'm doing high school by correspondence and I'm used to studying by myself. However, a few people have told me CBL really wasn't that good and that the Grant MacEwan students get more hands-on experience, which I'm looking for.
  7. by   NotReady4PrimeTime
    I work with new grads from both programs. I will say that I can usually pick out the U of A grads for their lack of clinical skills and their sense of superiority over the rest of us mere mortals. The look of absolute astonishment they give me when I reveal I have a diploma and not a degree, and have no intention of ever obtaining one is pretty funny! "But you know so much! And you can do so many things!" Gee.

    A couple of friends of mine did the post-basic baccalaureate at U of A, graduating in 2005. They were definitely not impressed with CBL and felt it really taught them nothing.

    One caveat about GMCC though has to do with their accelerated program. There is virtually NO pediatric content taught and no pediatric clinical either. The entire purpose of the program is to turn out med-surg nurses in as short a time as possible.
  8. by   Just A Wanderer
    Thanks for the reply. I'm looking into Grant MacEwan even more now! I definately want to be in a nursing program that offers a lot of clinical experience.
  9. by   ShannonC83
    I'm not a nursing student yet (am thinking about doing the degree), but I took a physical education transfer program at the Grant MacEwan and then then U of A (2 years at each). Just from my experience in that program - may not be completely applicable to nursing - but I can definitely say that if I had a choice of schools I would choose Grant MacEwan WAY over the U of A. I found the classes to be much better, the profs were more personable, and the whole college is just a lot nicer.

    To me it seemed a lot like the U of A just wanted their money and then you were left to fend for yourself. There are some advantages to the U of A though (more student groups, bigger campus if you want the whole 'university' feel and so on). If you are doing high school by correspondance though, I would likely think you'd be more suited to Grant Mac because the class sizes are a lot smaller. I came from Beaumont (small town on the south side) so I was used to a really small high school. I think that made the transition to university a lot easier - since Grant Mac was a lot more like my high school was compared with the U of A.
  10. by   Just A Wanderer
    Class size is somewhat of an issue for me - I prefer small class sizes. I haven't attended a "normal" school for almost six years now so I don't want to be too overwhelmed to the point where I'm stressing out bad during the first couple of days. I mean, I know it's normal to feel stress concerning school but I'm planning to take some transfer courses before I even apply to the program so the workload won't be too much for me to handle.

    Thanks for your input.
  11. by   Fiona59
    I've been wondering how you would "fit" into a normal, scheduled classroom setting. It will be a big change for you. How do you tell with interprersonal politics, head games and some very competitive people?

    I'm not trying to put you off, just make you aware of what you are facing. The interviews at GMCC are huge. How do you deal with sitting in a room with large numbers of equally nervous strangers, waiting your turn?

    Oh, and Shannon, the only way to become an RN in Alberta is to go the degree route. The last diploma class will graduate in '09.
  12. by   Just A Wanderer
    Junior high was the last scheduled classroom setting I've been in and that was awhile ago. :uhoh21: You're right, it will be a big change for me but I have been honest with myself concerning how realistic my plans are.
  13. by   ShannonC83
    Quote from Fiona59

    Oh, and Shannon, the only way to become an RN in Alberta is to go the degree route. The last diploma class will graduate in '09.
    Thanks for that information. I had heard that that was the case. Is it extremely competitive to get into GM?

    I'm also sort of wondering about psychiatric nursing. GM offers a 2 year program in that, so is that going to certify you anymore either?

    I wonder where it's easiest to get into nursing (in terms of which school). My GPA from my last year of phys ed wasn't overly high (worked way to much during school) so I have that sort of working against me.
  14. by   Fiona59
    Both nursing schools in Edmonton are extremely competitive and marks oriented. They take the smartes on paper and not necessarily the best person for the job.

    I've heard all sorts of rumours about the Psych nursing programme. It was supposed to be going degree based as well. Having said all that, you have to go to Ponoka. As far as I remember they only ever ran one class at GMCC with all the students staying in Edmonton. Every other year you've had to go to Ponoka. That is one thing I'd really look into. I've known a few people who wanted to do the RPN and the need to move to Ponoka cancelled that dream because they have families and jobs in Edmonton.

    From what I've seen, most people going into nursing are older, not so many fresh out of grade 12s.

    It's all becoming a crapshoot to get into nursing school. Most nurses both RN and PN haven't a clue how the selections are being made when we work with some of the students. The common thread seems to be very high marks in sciences and no people skills...