Feel free to ask as many questions as you want...I'm so happy to help! :-) For me, fall semester was a bit busy just because I also work at a hospital as well. I took 10 or 11 credits I think but the U does offer a 13-credit exemption if you are taking less than 13 so you only pay for what you are taking, rather than paying for those extra credits you aren't taking. Do you have other classes to take besides your nursing classes? If you do, I would maybe recommend trying to get some of those in during sophomore year since you start your clinicals and all of that fun stuff your junior year. The only extra class that I had to take outside of the nursing program was an upper division writing class through the Twin Cities campus, but I took it online. We do go up to the Twin Cities campus a few times throughout the semester for different things. For example, this semester, we went to the Twin Cities for our Application of Genetics in Nursing class and then we also sat in lecture with our Twin Cities classmates. Other than than, your classes and clinicals will be in Rochester. :-)
As far as extra time outside of the program, I felt like I had a pretty good balance between school time and personal time. I also work but I still felt like it was manageable. It really all depends on what you can handle if you do decide to work. I worked about 25 hours per week during fall semester and then I cut back to about 20 per week during spring semester. It's all about time management and what you can handle. You'll do great! Many of my classmates live in Rochester or in the surrounding areas so they don't really commute much but I have a few classmates who do live in the cities and they always went back home most weekends and then came back for class, which is totally okay! It's important to spend time at home with your family and friends. They will be an awesome support for you during school.
Spring semester picks up the pace a little more because we start putting the pieces together from first semester courses and also applying them to the new skills we learn in lab. This semester I was only on campus one day. I had my second lab course in the morning and then Nursing Care of Families I course in the afternoon. (In my first post, I meant Nursing Care of Adults I, not Nursing Care of Families.) I also had an online Application of Genetics in Nursing class and an online upper division writing course. I think I had 11 credits this semester. This semester was super fun because we really started delving into the fun nursing skills like injections, IV's, medications, trachs, etc. It's really important that you learn your material in first semester because it all builds into second semester. It's amazing to see how much you learn in one year and how you can put the pieces all together! I think all of my classmates and I were really happy to see the progress we have made from day one until now.