Damn I haven't posted in a while. I remember joining this forum as a venting strategy after accepting my first Stepdown RN position out of nursing school (2013) and absolutely hating it. Here I am in USAGPAN living the effin dream. As Joe Walsh says: life's been good to me so far. And certain fingers up to the doubters, btw, cuz we're out here doing it anyway.
Another direct commission, current Phase I student here (FY 19 represent). I like to think of myself as an underdog (who was refused by 9 civilian programs and accepted only by USAGPAN / I say hooah). Don't let my man Bhebe55 spook ya, yes it is a lot of work, but we have had a lot of fun, struggled together, and learned a lot in the process. I will gladly answer your questions, tridel, and if anyone else has anything please don't hesitate to ask here or PM me. I'm extremely grateful to the help I received from my predecessors and am glad to hand down any help that I can.
How has your experience been thus far?
My experience is relative only to my desires. My goal is to be a CRNA and to serve my country - I'm accomplishing both of those goals satisfactorily and I couldn't be happier.
At this point you would be in 2nd semester correct?
Correct, but "semester" might not have the same meaning as you expect. There aren't typical "breaks" between "semesters," as the next classes are just gradually worked into the curriculum. USAGPAN Phase I is designed to be an onslaught of academia to prepare you for Phase II, an onslaught of practicum.
Are your classes solely GPAN students or are there other specialties mixed in?
The program is taught entirely as one entity, in one classroom: USAGPAN. No other specialty. I spend every day with my 23 Army SRNA colleagues. What I love most about my class is this: 17 of us started talking to each other about this time last year (direct commissions), commiserated about the application and "scrolling" process, and then continued to bond after we met up at our report date in January. I can confidently say now that I love these folks (although they often drive me crazy) and truly appreciate the value of selfless service.
How much homework and how much class time do you average?
Yeah we have about 2-3, 2-hour classes daily paired with 5-6 hours of study time after class. Like Bhebe said, 9-12 hours total daily x5. Actual physical homework isn't quite as prevalent as in undergrad, but you're expect to have a conversational understanding of the concepts for class as you will be grilled. More importantly, you will be expected to function independently as an anesthesia provider in a deployed setting to save our soldiers and allies.
Do you wear uniforms on campus or dress as other students do?
Uniform is the ACU.
Are there civilians in your classes?
We're all soldiers and officers in the United States Army.
Do you have to do daily reporting?
When there is class, you are required to report. It's nothing crazy like some formation then you fall out to classroom, but you're expected to be in your seat at 0745 for class every day. If you're not well, you have to go to sick call and be evaluated. My people would refer to this type of practice as "no ***" - being a student in USAGPAN is your military occupational specialty.
How about daily PT?
PT is not conducted daily as a group in USAGPAN, but you are expected to physically prepared to participate in group PT sessions once weekly, a diagnostic PT test monthly, and a record PT test every 6 months. Do not neglect exercise. In this program, you are a soldier. Absolutely research the APFT (push-ups, pull-ups, and two-mile run) and the ACFT (more intense, functional physical fitness test that will be officially replacing the APFT in 2021). As a general rule, I'd say be able to do 40 pushups and 40 situps or more in 2 minutes, and be able to run 2 miles in 17 minutes or less. If you can't perform in PT for the program you won't be kicked out immediately, but you will be ridden (not comfortable) until you succeed.
How often are y'all meeting for (Military) administration duties?
For USAGPAN, outside of DCC and BOLC, nothing. I'll have to get back to you once I finish Phase II, though.