Congratulations on being accepted! I went to UMSL and graduated from their Accelerated Program a few years ago. It was great because I was done in 15 months, but it is extremely, extremely stressful. A few days before classes start, you will have orientation in which they go over some things for classes, you can meet your classmates, tour the school again, and order your uniforms.
The first semester you have classes like Health Assessment and Pathophysiology (If I remember correctly). You have lab hours in which you learn how to assess patients and practice on a lab partner. You learn how to take manual blood pressures, auscultate lung and heart sounds, etc. You test out on a full body assessment on your lab partner at the end of July. During these first few weeks, in addition to classes and Health Assessment Lab, you have another lab as well (I don't remember which particular course this is for). During this lab, you learn nursing skills and practice on lab dummies, such as IV insertion, Foley catheter insertion, wound care, NG/G-Tube care, checking blood sugars, and even making a bed with a patient in it. In this lab you have quizzes each week, in which you have three chances to pass. If not you can fail out...but do not let this scare you...I only know one person who did and she did not try or study at all. And the students really help each other out. In the first semester, you start clinicals the last four weeks, which is different from the traditional course because they do not start clinicals until well into their second semester. But because it is accelerated, they kind of have to throw you in there. In this clinical, you honestly do not do much. You are assigned a patient and assess them and give them a bath really. The first day, we were even assigned a partner because everyone was so nervous. You also start with care plans when you start clinicals and have to go up to the hospital the day before to look up patient info so you can work on your care plan, which involves the nursing diagnosis, the medications, medical diagnosis, etc.
And then you get a couple weeks off at the end of August and it starts again...
Second semester has classes like Pharmacology, Med/Surg I, and Psych. In this semester you have clinicals at a hospital for Med/Surg, as well as a Psych center. You get to sign up for hospitals by picking numbers; this way people can pick where they want to go if it is still available. You are assigned a Psych place. You have lab where you continue to work on skills, such as central line dressings and blood draws. Med/Surg clinicals work the same way as before, except now you can do a little more. You go up the afternoon before and look up your assigned patient and work on the care plan. The next day you work with the nurse and assess patients and give medications when it is your day. Psych clinicals are different because you do not go up the day before. You are assigned a patient and work on the care plan while there because it is all on lockdown and unsafe to go up alone the day before. During second semester, you also have a day on "Simulation Sam," in which the teacher manipulates the simulation dummy as if he were a real patient and you must work with your fellow nurses to delegate, assess, and find out what is wrong with him.
Then wonderful Christmas break...There are internships/externships available, but only a handful of people in my class took advantage of them because we relished our break so much. The traditional course people were the ones who took advantage of them mostly.
Third semester has classes like Med/Surg II, OB, and Pediatrics. Again they use a number system to pick hospitals. You have a day with "Simulation Sam," but you also have a day with a simulation pediatric child. Clinicals get more intense and you are expected to do more. It was not until this semester that a lot of us nursing students did our first real IVs, Foley caths, etc. You have clinicals for Med/Surg II throughout and then OB and Pediatrics is split. So you have six weeks of OB and then six weeks of Pediatrics.
Then you have a few days off and will have a meeting about placement for your senior hours. They place you for this according to preference and class placement. I was somewhere in the middle of my class, but still ended up getting my preference hospital and floor for my preceptorship.
Last semester has Senior Synthesis, Leadership and Management, and Community. During Senior Synthesis class, you review material and prepare for the N-CLEX. Clinicals for this include your preceptorship in which you will be placed with a nurse and need 180 clinical hours. During this, you really learn to take on the role of the nurse. You also have clinicals for Community, in which you are assigned a particular community (such as Delmar, Imperial, Central West End, ect.), again picked by numbers and preference. You have a project or presentation to work on for the community like a free health promotion day at a community center or a drug free program at a school. You also have a big paper and health packet to complete that includes the health statistics of that particular community.
For every class, passing is a 76% (although they were talking about raising it when I went there). The accelerated class is very competitive because everyone is used to being the best and having a 4.0. As was I. But by the second semester, I was kind of like...Oh, screw it... B's are fine. Haha. So it is tough. They cram a lot in, in a short time. That being said, I also made some great friends because it is such a good bonding experience as well. I actually find myself missing nursing school! As far as your question about graduations...I went out of town the first weekend after nursing school started for a graduation. I had homework and a test to come home to already, but I just took it all on the plane with me and studied whenever I had time. Oh, also...it's possible that you could have homework due the very first day, so be sure to check online. They do not just give you the syllabus and let you go the first day...they dive right in. This was also a few years ago, so some of this could have changed. Good luck and let me know if you have any questions. I'm sure you'll do fine!