Okay It’s time for an update. It’s been a while. The last time I updated I was in my 1st of semesters. Now I am in my 4th of 5 semesters. I have 2 months left in this semester. There was a huge change at the end of my 3rd semester. The program went from using the ATI program for learning resources and testing and now they are using the HESI program for learning and testing. They do still use ATI for the entrance exam. This was a bump in the road for many students because the programs are very different. I made it through the change and I think that the change was for the better overall. I still think that this is overall a good program but it has not been perfect. Over my time in the program I had seem MANY students fail out. This is for different reasons. Some complain that there is not enough support for students. Some complain because the program is literally self taught that they need more resources such as lectures or videos. Other were too busy to student or were unable to balance their personal lives with the high demands of the program. The one thing that has helped me get to this point is making enough time for studying and reading. It definitely is challenging at times. But I have a 8 months left to finish the program. It’s coming fast but it feels like a world away.
Clinical rotations have been both good and bad. Ive had to travel over an hour for some locations and for others only 20 minutes. I have had to do both day and night shifts. I have had nurse preceptors who like to have students and welcomed me and others who didn’t want anything to do with me. When I had preceptors who didn’t want a student, the school and clinical educators was very helpful in placing me with a different nurse. Clinical rotations are different with WGU than they are with other school. Based on my understanding of other programs, there is a clinical instructor from the school attends the clinical rotations with the students. At WGU, we have Clinical Instructors who actually work for the education department with the hospitals that we have students placed. They assign us to a clinical coach/ preceptor, which is the nurse that we work with on our clinical shifts. We meet with our Clinical instructors several times during a rotation to discuss varying aspects. If we have a problem with our clinical preceptor, then we can talk to the instructor and they can try to help us.
I have heard updates about different areas..I hear that in California there is a temporary hold on applications and they are not currently admitting new students. I heard a similar thing about Houston but I’m not sure if it’s true. I also heard that Houston opened their own simulation lab for students. Historically WGU has rented the labs of other nursing programs for the students to have simulation practice but now in Houston all students will go to the WGU lab and labs will no longer be on weekends, they will be Mon-Fri.
I wanted to talk a little more about the program being self taught. After the 1st semester, you are provided with the course which walks you though everything you need to know to know complete the program. You read through the course and it directs you to what chapters to read or what activists to complete. It is your job to read though all of the resources and get the information in your head. Most of the course don’t have video lectures to walk you though the information. You can call or email the course mentor for guidance or speak with someone in student success but ultimately every student must figure out their learning style and how to best get the information in their head. Many students in addition to myself have used outside resources like the NCLEX review book and YouTube videos to solidify the information. It’s hard to know what information you need to know because all out exams are made by a 3rd party company (HESI) and there is no real way of knowing what they will be testing us on. I have found that the Hesi test are pretty comprehensive and cover a lot of information which means that we need to know as much as possible to pass the test. With HESI we have earn a 850 to pass the test. If we fail, there a remediation and a opportunity to take the test again. If we fail again, we have to submit a request to take the test a 3rd time. After the 3rd time, a student may have to repeat the course and be placed in another cohort. Sometimes it happens after the 2nd try depending on how much time there is left to complete the course. So if you choose this program just know that there is not hand holding here but with hard work and focus you can pass the classes.