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OU trad. Bsn program-help me "pass it forward"


Brand new to this board and hoping for some advice on the traditional BSN program at OU HSC (OKC). I'm applying to OU HSC (OKC) for Fall, 2011 traditional BSN and don't know anything about the program except the information on the school's website. It would be wonderful to hear an honest assessment from someone in (or who has graduated from) the program. I guess this is probably the biggest decision I've had to make in my life and, in some ways, I feel clueless about how to assess the pros and cons of the program. I would appreciate (beyond words!) anyone who has attended the traditional BSN program offering their opinions about the school, the community, the clinicals, the faculty, the lifestyle or anything you think would help a 20 year old wannabe BSN/RN to make a better decision. . Thank you and, when it's my turn, I promise I'll "Pass It Forward".


I'm a new student in this program, seven weeks in, and I long for a time machine daily. I would NOT do it again. It's incredibly disorganized, 4/5 of my professors are rude and disinterested in teaching (did the reading, but don't understand something? don't ask -- they'll just tell you to do the reading, assuming that you're lazy and stupid), and there's very little in the way of practice time, skills labs, or clinical experience. They basically handed us a stack of books and a list of exam dates and told us to buzz off. The program's passable for book-learners (my style), but there's virtually nothing for auditory learners (NO lectures!), and the same for learn-by-do-ers. They say it'll get better, and it's not getting better.

Word is that the program almost lost its license/accreditation to teach nursing a couple of years ago, though of course they deny it. Worst NCLEX pass rates by far of all the OU campuses, and I see why. I went to OU in Norman, live in OKC, had worked at the HSC, and didn't want to move, so I chose to stay with OU (and its reputation), but I would strongly encourage you to ignore that. OU grads evidently have a reputation for being the least prepared students from area programs, and it's mostly UCO grads (who get tons of clinical experience, very few campus classes, and [at least the ones I've heard from] are very happy with the program, learning and thriving [there have been a disturbing number of sobbing breakdowns from my fellow students -- it's rare that you're in this program and haven't come unglued at least once, by all accounts I've heard]) working at the OUHSC hospitals.

It's too late for me to transfer (for personal reasons, I have to be out in two years, so I can't lose a year), but lots of people are sucking it up, calling this year lost, and planning on applying elsewhere for next year. I feel like I bought a pig in a poke -- the other HSC colleges have great reputations, and it turns out that OUCN is skating by on that. It's too late for me, so I have to spend the next almost-two-years struggling through an inferior education that even OU Medical Center doesn't want to hire, but please call around. Talk to friends. Nurses. Find people with no OU affiliation (or who have experience with OU, or OU and another area program), who will be straight with you. Use the grapevine for everything it's worth. Call area schools and ask what their program is like. (Ours turns out to be 80% online, which was not disclosed in ANY of the materials, nor on the website. I did my research, and I didn't come up with that. I wouldn't have chosen it intentionally. I don't know about anybody else, but if I were a patient and knew my nurse had gone to school online, I'd be mighty unsettled.)

In short, this is a big decision, it will affect at least your first one or two post-grad years heavily (both in terms of poorer employment prospects and the personal cost of being less prepared, to say nothing of the possible cost to patients), so I behoove you, look at all area programs very closely. Ignore college names, ignore prestige, talk to people and think about your education. Good luck.

Edited by jezebelle
to add more paragraph breaks!

well, thank you for the information jezebelle. i do have a couple of questions if you find the time to respond. you mentioned that the program may produce less than desired results when it comes to work opportunities after graduation. have the problems you've mentioned known to potential employers and/or graduate nursing schools? i would like to go to grad school and so school reputation is important. i guess, more than anything, is the lack of teacher/student interaction. i learn best by being involved, seeing and participating in class. what you have said is, of course, a cause of concern to me. at the same time, it's extremely important and helpful. i have never done it, but i understand you can private message if both people are signed up for it and you have at least done 10 or 15 posts (maybe more). would you mind if i try to private message you? thank you.

Silverdragon102, BSN

Specializes in Medical and general practice now LTC. Has 33 years experience.


Site requirements are 15 or more posts to be able to send a private message


Just wondered if you still visit here?


Just wondered if you still visit here?

I go in spurts. :D I can't PM, but feel free to hit me with your questions here, if you don't mind the public thing. I'm inclined to talk here, anyway, just so that if somebody else comes along with a similar question/concern, they can read too.

As far as grad schools, I haven't heard much there -- I've heard from/about mostly new nurses and hospital staff re: which programs they prefer to get new nurses from. The word on the units seems to be that OUCN students aren't nearly as well-prepared as students from the other upper-tier area schools. I'm concerned about grad school, but am 1/3 of the way through the program and couldn't have transferred out anyway, for personal reasons, so I'll have to deal with any trouble as it comes.

I've heard from several sources that a lot of the UCO students are really happy with and doing well in their program, and that they get a lot more hands-on time than we do. We get one two-hour skills lab and an eight-hour clinical day per week, but the UCO students are reportedly rarely on campus, usually at the hospital, working on their nursing skills. I can't say how well they do didactic, but I do feel that we don't get nearly enough practicum. We're told that while in school, we're learning the procedure for things, practicing them once or twice, then sort of actually getting to DO them only when we're out of school. That doesn't sit well with me, and the friends and family I've disclosed that to were uncomfortable with the idea, as well, from the perspective of patient/family.

About a month into the spring semester, some things have improved. There's a LITTLE more lecture, but not much. It's still tons of reading, very little practice. One class just meets in clinical groups for skills lab and clinical, two classes are one two-hour lecture a week, at best, and one meets about once a month. Still mostly online, primarily Powerpoints, some recorded clips and lectures. I do okay with it, but I don't think it's ideal. Lots of students are feeling more confident, but there are still quite a few really struggling, and I still don't think the program remotely suits the learn-by-doing student. We lost about 25% of the class during/after first semester.

If a student was considering OUCN, I'd actually recommend strongly considering the OCCC/OU collaborative route -- the students coming from OCCC do their first year there and second at OUCN, which doesn't seem like it would help much, but they really do seem to be happier with their program than we are with ours.

Anyway. Hope that helps some!

Edited by jezebelle

I had to read you message twice --- did you mean to type that 25% of you class has dropped out?

I'm speechless . . . do you have any idea if this dropout rate is typical?

...did you mean to type that 25% of you class has dropped out?

I'm speechless . . . do you have any idea if this dropout rate is typical?

Affirmative. Dunno about the average washout rate.

Did you attend OU?? I was accepted for this fall, and after reading all of these comments I'm getting a little worried.

Congratulations on being accepted! I attended OU Freshmand and Sophomore years and loved it. I also got accepted to OU nursing school and seriously considered going. But I grew up in Texas and when I got accepted to Univ. of Texas Nursing I decided to go back home. OU is a great, great institution with amazing people. I don't know much about the nursing school at OU. There was a girl in my sorority at OU who went there and seemed to like it. I knew nothing about UT nursing before I went there. I got a great education, clinical experience and I have the job I have always wanted in a NICU unit in Houston. Congratulations again...we are in profession that gives us the opportunity to do great work for people. Nursing school can be a grind and, from my own experience, I sometimes felt overwhelmed. You have to reach inside and really want it because, to be honest, it's hard. But I love my job and I'm so glad I stuck with it. Best of luck to you!

Thank you for your response. I'm also a Texas girl. We moved to Oklahoma for my husband's business. Congratulations on your completion and job!!

I for one think OU is a great school. I can't completely relate with jezebelle but I can agree that we probably don't get as much practice doing skills as the other schools but that you can learn in no time. They want you to be critical thinkers which is why it is a tough program hence the dropout rate. You can teach anybody to put in a foley or start an IV but critical thinking and assessment skills is what you get from class. I got a nurse tech internship where you can easily make up for the lack of skills practice in one summer. If not, these are basic skills you can learn in a month or two after you start work. And as far as employment after goes, I and other students I know were offered jobs before graduation while we were still in school AND they helped with tuition if you signed a contract early. Study hard take it one day at a time and you will be fine.

Awesome!! This was a relief to hear!! Thank you for the info!

No problem. Feel free to ask any other questions.