Questions about Winston-Salem State University SON

U.S.A. North Carolina


I am a second-degree student who is considering attending an accelerated program at Winston-Salem State University (WSSU).

Does anyone know about this school's reputation of preparing its students? I am interested in hearing from people who have attended this school; live in the area; or have worked directly with nursing students from this school; or those who have colleagues who have attended this school.

I am also interested in any information about nursing in the Winston-Salem area in general as well as info about Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center and Forsyth Medical Center.

Any information is greatly appreciated.


10 Posts

I just graduated from UNCG (YAY!) but I did my final internship (clinical) at Baptist hospital. Many of my friends will start working there soon and my experience was good and what I've heard is good. As for WSSU's accelerated program, I did work with a few nursing students while doing my last rotation. From what I gathered, they were satisfied with the program, however, some told me that they were concerned with how much information was covered in such a small amount of time. I know this wasn't much info. but I hope hope this little bit helps some! Good luck!


35 Posts

Thanks so much for the information.

I heard some good things about Baptist Hospitals and am looking forward to visiting the agency myself. I am so excited about going back to school to become a nurse. One more prerequisite in the fall and I am done.

Thanks again.


2 Posts

I am a graduate from this program and would not suggest that you go there. They have MULTIPLE problems and the dean of the school is being replaced soon. The last few semesters have been chaos to say the least. I would wait and see what happens with the program- I graduated from the program and did a lot of self learning while suffering years of inconstancy. :angryfire GOOD LUCK- nursing is a great field. For the record...Baptist is a GREAT facility and a great place to work!


1,378 Posts

I just graduated from UNCG (YAY!) but I did my final internship (clinical) at Baptist hospital. Many of my friends will start working there soon and my experience was good and what I've heard is good. As for WSSU's accelerated program, I did work with a few nursing students while doing my last rotation. From what I gathered, they were satisfied with the program, however, some told me that they were concerned with how much information was covered in such a small amount of time. I know this wasn't much info. but I hope hope this little bit helps some! Good luck!

My feeling is in general that these accelerated BSN programs do NOT give you the background needed to be a competent nurse (at least right away). There is too much to learn for a short period of time. I am not talking about any program in particular, but accelerated programs in general.


65 Posts

i have a friend that at work with that went through this program.....she was in the first graduating class....her response to your question was that "even though it was somewhat unorganized, she would do it again". she stated that it was very demanding but that she felt that she was prepared adequately.

i completed my bsn via wssu at a satellite campus last may and had no fact, i would recommend them! best of luck in all your endeavors!


65 Posts

forgot to include that i have worked at both forsyth medical center and north carolina baptist hospital (still there presently) and both are great facilities! only major difference: one is academia and the other is private. :rolleyes:

rjflyn, ASN, RN

1,240 Posts

Specializes in Emergency.

Lived in WS for 4+ years. Both hospitals are about the same size. Actually Forsyth bed wise is the largest hospital in NC or it was when I worked there. As far as nursing FMC recently obtained magnet status. Pay wise Forsyth tended to offer experenced nurses a little more money, they gave me credit for my 10 years as a hospital based paramedic- Baptist didnt. At the time both hospitals were paying sign on bonuses for 2 year commitments. I had friends at both hospitals because of this- people played the bonus game- Baptist paid theirs up front by the way. So at the time alot of people were switching hospitals.

Also you check but Baptist/WSSU had a program where they pay for your education with a commitment to work there for a period of time.



11 Posts



8 Posts

I am a 2005 graduate of the WSSU Accelerated Program and have been working at Baptist for two months. We are the third accelerated class to graduate from WSSU. Prior to our class graduating, there were approximately 35 previous graduates at Baptist. We are under a bit of a spotlight there since we are from a new program and we are all working there.

At the orientation for the program in late 2003, we were told that we would have no life during the program and as the dean stated "we will own you for the next thirteen months". This was exactly the way it was. A typical week had at least 3 days of 5+ hour lectures and clinicals were often 12+ hr/days at least twice a week. Per course, our clinical hours generally exceeded the state requirements by 20% or more. Add to this a huge amount of reading, often on additional material not covered in lecture; papers, projects, and more extensive care plans requirements than I have seen from friends in other BSN or ADN programs. There are few accepted excuses from class and almost none from clinical. Illness or childcare is not even considered.

I think it is important to note that the accellerated program is quite separate from the "traditional" BSN program there. My impression was that the traditional program was more organized and had more consistent faculty.

No entry nursing program makes one an expert, it just creates a foundation the way for a long path of learning. However, the question of how prepared we are as new nurses is an obvious one and has been a concern of mine. During my interviews for a position at Baptist, I had the opportunity to ask this question to a few unit managers. I have repeatedly heard that the WSSU accelerated graduates have shown to be as prepared or more prepared than the "normal" BSN graduate. From a personal standpoint, a relative was recently in a Baptist ICU post surgery. Her first two nurses were previous accelerated graduates and they appeared very competent.

Just this week an instructor from a local ADN program told me she was hearing very positive comments in the hospital about the WSSU accelerated graduates. An intangible but important point is that most of the graduates of this program have had extensive career experience, often with more earning potential than nursing. While our past experience was seen as a detriment not to be mentioned during the program, in the working world it will help us be better employees and better future leaders.

As for the negatives... from the start of our program it was amazing how disorganized it was. Our initial books arrived two weeks after the start of a four week class; throughout the year instructors were recruited at the VERY last minute to teach lecture or clinical; a lecture pace so fast and classes so long that classmates would get mad at each other for asking questions; an administration rooted in the philosophy that students are blank slates and have nothing to offer, especially those that had previous experience. I loved my first college experience 20 years ago and maintain faculty relationships to this day. Thus I started the accelerated program naively excited to be back in an academic environment. I learned some basic history of the university. I even bought a T-shirt. However, there was no time or effort made to integrate the program with the university. My departing feelings of WSSU are mainly relief that the stress and frustration is over.

The administrative atmosphere was very much one of intimidation and belittlement ( I do not say this lightly). Our class was an adult group with the average age well over 30. Throughout the year it was emphasized how nursing was "totally different" and our past work experiences "meant nothing". In a meeting late last year with the dean and program director, a classmate brought up a clinical instructor that was quite rude and disrespectful to students (we generally had very good instructors). In response, we were told how brutal the nursing working environment would be and we had no room to complain. We were told that we could expect our co-workers and managers to be fifty times worse than any clinical instructor. I found the negative statements about nursing to be bizarre and indicative of their opinion of nurses.

Luckily, I can say our instructors did not share this view. The WSSU faculty were generally good, well prepared and in one case, extraordinary. The only truly bad instructor we had was part time and as I understand, will not be teaching there in the future. I hope the coming change in administration is overdue and hopefully will create a more enlightened and pleasant environment for the faculty.

To sum up, I feel prepared to start nursing, but know I have learned just a small part of what I will need. The accelerated program was the most stressful period of my life and I would tell anyone considering it to expect no less. I say this coming from a former career where I dealt face to face with very stressful manufacturing situations all over the country and internationally, usually by myself.

The WSSU accelerated program was unnecessarily disorganized, but ultimately not lacking in clinical or classroom content. It is not a program to be in if your goal is to enjoy learning, but it was effective. Out of the forty in the class, only one did not pass the NCLEX on first sitting. I would do it again, but I would keep my head much lower, not question, don't offer as much help, and try to be as anonymous as possible. Ironically, this was the good advice given to a group of us early on by a few finishing students in the first class.

The "real world" of nursing has been far more pleasant and less stressful than the accelerated program was. In my short time as a working RN I have found the management and RNs I have worked with quite helpful and encouraging. I soon will be going "on my own" without a preceptor and while I have much trepidation I know I will have support if I need it.


Do you know anything about how the applicants for WSSU's accelerated bsn are chosen? I applied to the class that just started last January, and was not accepted. I was told that approximately 15 students had all the prereqs completed, and they were automatically accepted. The rest of the applicants were chosen by a "random pool" and gpa was not considered if you had the minimum gpa (2.0). I find it hard to believe they would not want the best applicants for the program. I was told that for the January 2006 class my application would have priority status because all of my prereqs are complete, but it a lot of people also have their prereqs complete than I am back to random luck of the draw. What are your thoughts on this?

Thanks in advance


11 Posts


wow...thanks for all that info. I have my bachelors and am also considering Winston Salem State. Do you live in Winston...I am a little worried about all the drive time as I live about 1 hour away...near Statesville, NC??

I have an appointment with the accelerated program director on August 16 for next years program.


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