2014 Direct Entry MSN Applicants/Survivors - page 2

Admittedly, this is a bit early, but I'm planning on applying 2013 Fall for next year and was wondering if anyone else here is? Or if anyone here is in a direct entry MSN program and wouldn't mind... Read More

  1. by   kdiem
    Hi Legal, I think it might be a good idea to take your time with prereqs, especially the AP series. Schools like to see that you performed well in those classes. Also it wouldn't hurt to give yourself more time to study for the GRE. I applied for mostly midwifery programs for the past cycle and a couple women's health NP ones (will begin school this summer). I know that as with any other nursing specialties, they want to make sure you have experience and exposure to the specialty you're interested in. During my interviews, it was very helpful to have concrete examples pulled from my volunteer/shadowing experiences. These experiences can also help you with the essay portions. If you can do some kind of clinical research, that would make you an extra well-rounded student. It would be a great plus if you could have nurses writing your letter of recs, so the NP's would be awesome to ask for letters. Let me know if you have any other questions!
  2. by   UVA Grad Nursing
    Thanks for the nod, soulshine.

    Each school conducts their clinical education in a different manner. Most ABSN programs offer traditional clinical groups (6-10 students going to one unit together with one clinical instructor). These are offered as set times every week (Thursdays 11a-7p, for example). Most ABSN programs have an immersion practicum (1:1) with a RN as a synthesis capstone at the end of the program where you usually are there 25-35 hours /week working the same hours that your preceptor works. Your clinical site may vary from term to term.

    Our ME program is very different -- all 1000 or our clinical hours are 1:1 with a working nurse (from 10-20 hours per week depending on where you are in the program). In our program you need to have the latitude in your schedule to be able to be on the unit when your preceptor works, so we compact all of our classroom experiences to two days (Th/Fri) to leave the other 5 days open for clinicals. We are also fortunate that nearly all of our clinical experiences are at the UVa Medical Center (a level-1 trauma center 200 yards away from the School of Nursing). I know students in Baltimore who drive 70+ miles for clinical experiences; it is very convenient that nearly all of our clinicals are a block away.

    We have many students with families in our program; one recent grad had 5 kids under age 15. The key is a good support structure - having someone who can be there to take over when you have clinicals, a paper to write, or just need time to get away. I do not recommend undertaking anything as demanding as an accelerated nursing program if you have kids and no support structure. We've also had students give birth while enrolled.

    I echo the above comments to prepare early. The essay will need multiple drafts. You should also give your recommenders at least a month to work on their letters. We readers can tell when a recommender is rushed. We also note when material comes in; thanks to computers everything is time-stamped nowadays. Have all of your materials (essays, applications, transcripts, etc) submitted before the deadline day.

    Lastly, take your time on things. If you would be a better candidate in 2014 than in 2013, wait. Nursing is not a race. No one gives out toasters to the speediest completers.
  3. by   mzaur
    Hi everyone,

    I hope this is the right place to post this. I am looking for some advice on my competitiveness for direct entry programs. I plan on applying to BC, Northeastern, MGH, Yale, and a few others (haven't finalized). For the last 3 years, I have been focusing on clinical psychology as I planned on going for a PhD. I worked for two years as an intern under a clinical psychologist in a mental health clinical for the cognitively disabled, as well as assisting with research in 2 different psych labs (two conference presentations). One of them was clinical focused, where I was lab manager, and I administed many clinical assessments for a study on anxiety disorders. Through this I realized that I did not enjoy research very much and prefer to work in direct care setting. The Psych NP is perfect for my goals. I have a decent cumulative GPA of 3.3, but last 5 years my GPA is 3.8 (rough freshmen year). My GRE scores were 1450, and I am taking pre-reqs now. I just don't know if my psychology background makes me a competitive applicant for PsyNP direct entry MSN programs? I am debating whether to volunteer in a hospital this summer before applying in the fall. Will admissions look over me since I never worked in a hospital or medical setting? Do you guys think I have a good shot?

    Thank you!
    Last edit by mzaur on Mar 7, '13
  4. by   mzaur
    Also, do you guys think its ok if none of my letter writers are nurses? All 3 are psychologists in my case. 2 are professors that I worked for as a research assistant and one is my supervisor from my mental health clinic internship. I am hoping that since I am applying to psychiatric specialty, this will be ok -- I don't feel comfortable asking my pre-req teachers for letters because I don't really talk to any of them, but I could if it would make a difference
  5. by   hopefulnurse24
    I think you're incredibly competitive, especially with your experience and GRE scores! You'd be an excellent candidate and wonderful nurse and nurse practitioner!
  6. by   legal->nurse2b
    Thanks for the feedback. This is something I really want, so I want to do it right, but I also just want to do it already! After thinking about things, I am now preparing to quit my full time, non-medical job and take A&P II and Micro during the summer (the community college has 2, 6-week accelerated semesters during the summer). I have saved up so I can work part time in some type of medical setting (I'm thinking receptionist at a medical office/hospital- any other ideas?) and can hopefully transition back to full time after all the applications are done. Right now I am volunteering 4 hours a week at a hospital ER but would probably up that a bit, and try to schedule substantial shadowing opportunities. Is this too little, too fast for applying in October of this year? I just can't imagine waiting a whole other year!
  7. by   mzaur
    I am doing the same thing this summer. AP2 and Micro each in 6 week terms. It will be really tough!! My AP1 teacher told me yesterday that she taught AP2 in 6 week summer term and it was brutal. She does not recommend it for anyone who has kids or works. I think it won't be too bad but I'll definitely have no life since getting an A will require constant studying. Best of luck to you!
  8. by   fancyeyes
    Does anyone know of any entry programs (for people with a BA in non-nursing) in CA that lead to a Family NP? My stats aren't that great so maybe one that's a bit easier to get into? Would it be wasting time to get a masters in CNL and then do a Family NP certificate afterward?
  9. by   kdiem
    Hi Fancy eyes, I know there's the UCSF and Samuel Merritt programs that are direct entry's and made for students with non-nursing bachelors. I know both are very competitive but it wouldn't hurt to give it a try, especially if you have experience in the field.
  10. by   legal->nurse2b
    Well, I've started my hospital volunteering, just 5 hours a week in ED, and so far so good. I definitely feel in the way, but I am excited and feel like this is what I want to do. I just wish I had the skills and knowledge to be helpful! But, until then, I see hours of making beds, refilling medical supply carts, and cleaning medical equipment in my future. I think this will lead to some good shadowing opportunities, though, so I am staying positive!
    Has anyone tried to shadow a doula? I am not having much luck (yet) finding a NP to shadow, so I was thinking of branching out.
    Also, how terrible is this: I can't register for summer classes until May 1, and they start May 15. BUT, if I am able to get the two classes I need (AP2 and Micro), I will need to quit my job ASAP in order to handle the accelerated course load. BUT, of course, that turnaround between registering and when classes start isn't quite 2-weeks (the standard notice you are supposed to give at my job when you are leaving), so I am worried I might totally burn bridges with my current employer. Not terrible, because I wasn't going to ask them for a reference anyways... but still. Not exactly how I wanted things to turn out.
  11. by   kdiem
    Legal nurse -- do you now of any doula programs in your area? I think if you're interested in being a midwife, having the doula experience will put you on top. I volunteered as a labor coach -- very similar to a doula and was able to really confirm my passion for midwifery while doing so (my essay was revolved around these experiences). At the UCSF program, I think all applicants accepted this cycle were all doulas at some point. I don't think it's enough to just volunteer in the ED since it's such a broad scope of care. For midwifery they want to make sure you have experience in the labor an delivery floors or shadowed midwives/women's health NP's. Let me know if you have any questions!
  12. by   legal->nurse2b
    Hi Kdiem,
    Great advice! I just started cold-emailing doulas in my area (DC) to see if they allow shadowing. Unfortunately, there are only 3 birth centers in my area, and two said 'no'- one was booked with interns until 2014! Still waiting to hear back from the other one. I'm hoping an independent doula will take pity on me and let me attend. How did you break into that world??
  13. by   kp32
    Hi legalnurse 2 b and everyone...I'm wondering which hospital you are volunteering at, and or if you can recommend good places to volunteer in the East Bay or SF. I am particularly interested in Women and childrens health, L and D, and palliative care. Thank you!