This is a little late for the original poster but if anyone else is wondering...
BIO-Fall 2012 RN graduate from Gulf Coast Sate College
1. The HESI A2 is a huge part of your exceptance as well as the HESI Exit exam for graduation. You can make straight A's the entire 2 years but if you don't pass HESI exit, you don't. Just for reference, I scored a 94%. My GPA was a 3.81 when I was excepted. I had all courses completed except 2. DO NOT TAKE OTHER CLASSES WHILE IN THE PROGRAM. YOUR GRADES WILL SUFFER! The lowest accepted GPA in our program that I know of ( I didn't poll the class but as time goes on, people start asking questions.) was a 3.2. I graduated from the program with a 3.03.
2. I was told by my advisor that Health Math & Med. Term. classes are highly recommended but not required. Health math is a waste of time/money. They will teach you everything you need to know in order to pass the math validation tests in one day at the beginning of the program. Med. Term. is a great course for anyone who has not worked in the medical profession & teaches you much about root words and breaking down diseases based on their Latin meaning. A great gift to have for the entire program.
3. Don't buy books from the school. Find a past student to quiz on what books to use. They give you a huge book list at the beginning of the program with ALL KINDS of reference materials. You may think you need them but you will not use them. You will not have time to use them. The only thing I used outside of a few select required materials was an additional NANDA book. If you don't know what that is, you will soon find out.
4. The first semester here is terrifying. I promise you---if you can make it through the first semester, it's all downhill from there. Don't get me wrong, this is a very rigorous program. You will suffer, your family & friends will forget what you look like, & your adopted family (fellow nursing students) will be the ones you have (study) dates with. BTW, no matter how much you like to study alone, study with others for nursing school. Everyone sees things differently here & it helps a great deal to bounce ideas & theories off one another.
5. Financially, this was one of the toughest times of my life. You will need help supporting yourself. HINT: Workforce Training on campus is a wonderful resource for books, scrubs, stethoscopes, monies, etc. Use it if you qualify. Apply ASAP! The college & both hospitals have tons of scholarships, apply for them. Many students don't know about them so they often go unused.
6. The tests. Wow. They are very different from other tests. Get a Saunders Comprehensive Review book & a Med-Surg. Reviews & Rationales. These will be your guides. These were used as a quick reference guide to any & everything. I took them everywhere with me...clinicals, class, grocery store, car rides, etc. They are quick & to the point which makes them very readable. The required texts that they want you to buy are so big and intimidating. If you study these 2 books for the entire 2 years, you will pass HESI exit exam. Hesistudy.com was also an amazing tool to help get used to the questions.
I hope this helps... If anyone has any additional questions, please feel free to ask. I wish I had had someone to tell me these things when I got accepted into the program. Good night & good luck!
P.S. If you didn't get a letter when everyone else got there letter, do not fret! A couple of students didn't get their letters until 3 weeks before school started. If this happens to you, life is going to be very crazy for a bit. Go ahead & get your TB test & CPR class completed as soon as possible. TB is required every year & CPR is good for 2 years. If you fall behind with these requirements, you will not be allowed to attend clinicals. If you miss more than 2 clinicals, you are out of the program. No exceptions!
FYI-there were over 200 applicants for Fall 2010. 50 got accepted. It's safe to say that all or at least as many as possible of the pre-reqs should be completed.