USM Accelerated BSN???

  1. Has anyone applied for the accelerated BSN program at USM and/or currently attending? If so, is there a waiting list to get in?

    I am currently applying to the acc. BSN programs at USM and UM Ft Kent. I am really not too familiar with the UMFK program either so info there would be helpful as well.

    Thanks everyone.
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    About runner12

    Joined: May '08; Posts: 17; Likes: 2


  3. by   greygooseuria
    There's no waiting list, but they only accept about 25 students a year out of 280 or so that apply. You need a bachelors degree before applying as well as stats and A&P I and II. I am currently in the program.
  4. by   Mainer22
    Jbeau, Did you take the A+P and Statistics classes before applying? I spoke to the academic advisor at USM and she said you could apply by the 10/1 deadline as long as you had completed those classes prior to the May start date...then she told me of the 300 applicants to 20 accepted ratio. I'm guessing that to be accepted into the program, you also took the other "suggested" courses? (microbiology, growth+development, chemistry)? My dilemma right now is to spend the better part of the next year taking all of these courses in order to apply for 10/1/09 and be accepted first time....anythoughts how to be one of the chosen? also any chance that being male will help (everything else being equal) Thanks
  5. by   greygooseuria
    I had stats done when I applied and was in the process of doing A&P I and II. I didn't have any of the additional classes to "improve" my application.

    I was accepted on my first application. I think being a male helped me get accepted, but ya never know. I don't think they can officially say that one way or another.
  6. by   Mainer22
    Would you mind providing me with a general overview of your experiences in the program? ie how intensive the coursework, clinicals, did it prepare you sufficiently for the NCLEX, etc? Thanks again
  7. by   greygooseuria
    Well, I just started in May. I won't take the NCLEX until next August.

    I like the program in general so far. I like many of my professors and the first summer's coursework was far less rigorous than it was initially made out to be. I feel like some of the tests for my nursing classes could have been constructed much better than they were and there are 2 professors that I hope I never, EVER have again.

    However, the pros outweigh any cons I have seen. I get to go to the Dominican Republic in December. there is one who is basically the nicest, best professor ever. I think the "academic advisor" you spoke to, who quite frankly, is AMAZING. She is so organized and her door is always open to listen to students and even if she has never met you, she will know everything about you. That is how good she is at her job.

    I feel like I have learned a wealth of knowledge in just 4 months. I start clinicals next week and I feel prepared for them, even if I am a little nervous. We take ATI exams which gauge our knowledge and are supposed to predict how well we will do on the NCLEX and a large majority of my classmates did well on it.

    The people in the accelerated program are incredibly smart. I feel smart when I am out in the general population, but these people make me feel stupid (in a good way). Cliques have formed, but on the whole, people are very nice to each other and bond over classes and such. I am glad I got accepted and chose to go there, even if I can't wait to get out of this state next year.
    Last edit by Silverdragon102 on Aug 27, '08 : Reason: PM to member TOS
  8. by   Freedom42
    I've had a very different experience at USM. If I had it all to do again, I'd go elsewhere. But there is no other affordable alternative in southern Maine.

    First, I question the admission figures you've been given. I've also been told by faculty on the admissions committee that there are about 300 applicants, but for all undergraduate programs each year. That's both accelerated and traditional BSNs, not just accelerated. There are two tracks offered each year, one in Portland that starts in May, and one in Lewiston that starts in September. To the best of my knowledge, each cohort has 30 to 35 students enrolled in it. In fact, I do know of people who've been enrolled at the last minute after people declined earlier offers of admission. I don't know what percentage of people offered admission actually enroll; schools don't like to talk about that. (BTW, accels are not required to take micro; though it's recommended, I think you can get by without it. Ditto chemistry. Is it better if you take both courses? Sure.)

    Second, I have not enjoyed the same experience as the above poster. I don't know of any student who hasn't complained about poor communication on the part of administration. It's not unusual to find out at the very last minute about where your clinical will take place. (Last winter, one of my classmates was called at 8:30 p.m. by a faculty member who wanted her to know that they'd been unable to find a clinical placement for her; the clinical was supposed to start at 7 o'clock the next morning.) Disorganization seems chronic. I say "seems" because I know that finding clinical placements is tough. But faculty and staff do little to keep students up to date, and students who contact staff managers with questions often complain about being treated rudely (a problem noted by other posters on this board in the past). I will say that this situation seems to have improved over the last six months. They're trying.

    Third, the quality of instruction is erratic at best; it ranges from absolutely terrible to excellent. USM is clearly plagued by the same instructor shortage as other schools; you never know whether you'll be taught by a seasoned professional or a newbie. One of my classes this summer was taught by a grad student who'd only been an RN since September. Clinicals have been especially frustrating. There are no clearcut standards for passing, such as the checkoff lists seen at other schools.

    Am I well-prepared for NCLEX? Yes, I think I am -- but largely due to a lot of self-study on my part. USM's high first-time NCLEX pass rate does speak well of the overall quality of classroom instruction; unlike other nearby schools, it does not refuse to graduate students who are unlikely to pass the NCLEX, even if they've passed their courses.
  9. by   runner12
    Quote from jbeau
    There's no waiting list, but they only accept about 25 students a year out of 280 or so that apply. You need a bachelors degree before applying as well as stats and A&P I and II. I am currently in the program.
    Thanks for the information. I recently applied and I really hope I get in, but of course, that 25 students out of 280 makes me a bit nervous. I took A&P 1 and 2 as well as Micro, Chem, Nutrition, Stats, and so on, and I completed it all with a 4.0 GPA, but my undergraduate was only a 3.0 GPA and the university said that that was the number they look at. That did seem strange that I would get all "A" in my maths and sciences and have the university tell me it didn't matter! USM and UMFK both said it.
  10. by   Mainer22
    I'd agree that GPA would be something for the school to consider, but I can't believe it's the ONLY thing they would look at. Jbeau you wouldn't care to share your pointofview on this would you?
  11. by   greygooseuria
    They look at your total GPA, not just that from your first degree. Ergo, if you took your prereqs post-BA and sent them the transcripts from that, they would add those to your GPA. They do look for an overall good GPA though in addition to your statement. But a GPA from a previous degree is usually a good indicator of how you'll do in I don't see that as a bad thing.
  12. by   Trinh
    Runner 12

    Congratulations about UMFK. I am just finishing up the accelerated program there. My experience has been alot like Freedom's experience at USM. My experience in the program here is that you are responsible for teaching yourself because they cover huge amounts of information in a short period of time and it is impossible for them to cover it all thoroughly in a semester. If you are unmotivated or want to do the minimal you will have a rough time. Doesn't sound like that is the case with you. They also have an instructor issue. New, unexperienced teachers, although it looks like things may be a little more stable when and if you get here.

    A major drawback in my opinion is the length of the program here. I will have been here 2 1/2 years when I'm done! How accelerated is that?! I think they have tightened things up a bit for new students, maybe 2 years? USM being 15 months is a major draw if you ask me. We also have Hesi exams which are brutal but really nobody fails NCLEX if they get through Hesis.

    The clinical experience is lacking due to lack of patients! Did a peds rotation at TAMC and there were no Peds! But it sounds like USM has clinical issues as well.

    One more thing about Ft Kent, rents are cheap and there is absolutely NOTHING to do here so there are no temptations to avoid school work. (I'm from Portland)

    All in all, it's been an interesting ride to say the least, nursing school has been the most challenging thing I've ever done but I've enjoyed parts of it for sure. Best of luck to you. Hope you get accepted at USM.
  13. by   Mainer22
    Has anyone who applied for the May 2009 start date found out if they were accepted yet (or know anybody who has found out)? I was originally told December, and haven't heard anything yet....
  14. by   runner12
    Quote from Mainer22
    Has anyone who applied for the May 2009 start date found out if they were accepted yet (or know anybody who has found out)? I was originally told December, and haven't heard anything yet....
    I also applied for May 2009 and still haven't heard anything. I applied September 6, and the school told me not until after x-mas will I hear anything.