Texas Tech and Texas A&M Accelerated BSN

  1. I was wondering if anyone is currently in, or has already completed the accelerated bsn program at either Texas Tech or Texas A&M. I am from Michigan and have been thinking of moving down there and these were two schools I was looking at but I don't know anything about them except what they have on their websites. I guess I'm mostly interested in how well the programs are organized and what you like/don't like about it!
    Thanks so much!!
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    About JordanN713

    Joined: Nov '09; Posts: 10; Likes: 2

    17 Comments

  3. by   tumoriscancerous
    you should, if possible try attending a prospective nursing students meeting. i went to the one at A&M, but its been awhile and i all i can remember is them saying the accelerated was difficult and you really had to be on top of your game and a job is not recommended, but i figure that, that is with nursing school in general...
  4. by   JordanN713
    Yeah, I've been to an informational meeting about an accelerated program at a school around here and they said the same thing, I already know about the accelerated part, I'm just more interested in the schools. I'm not sure if I would have a chance to get down there and attend one but maybe this summer I could figure something out. Thanks!
  5. by   RN2BENAUSTIN
    Hi there - I can tell you what I know. I was accepted into both Texas A&M Eline and Tx Tech 2nd degree BSN and I have chosen to go with Tech. My impression of the Eline program was that it lacked organization, the clinicals were limited and would require travel to Corpus or College Station at times. If you lived in College Station or nearby, it would not be a problem. I was first told it could be completed in 18 months but after I was accepted, I found out the average was 2.5 years due to the clinical situation. A&M has a great reputation and if you lived in Corpus or College Station, I think the clinicals would not be a problem. Its self pased which is a positive also. Its also not as competitive to get into.

    Now onto Tech.. I cant say enough positives so far. Its competitive and intense but I feel like its very organized and the instructors and program administrators are awesome. Its a 1 year program, you have to agree not to work or volunteer for that year. You are in clinicals for 24 hours per week and take about 24 course credits per semester for 3 semesters. The program is based in the Austin area as well as El Paso.

    Let me know if you have any more questions.
  6. by   JordanN713
    When I was looking at Tech's website it looked like the classes were all online and then the clinicals could be done in maybe 5 or 6 different cities. Is that what you are doing, in Austin? My preference would definitely be the Austin area.
  7. by   RN2BENAUSTIN
    Yes, thats correct. The didatic's are online and clinicals are in Austin. The semester starts with a 5 day boot camp in a clinical setting. Its not self paced, there are assignment due dates and assigned practicums in the clinical setting. They encourage comradery and study groups as well as a counselor that is there to help you prepare for the tests and make sure you are not falling behind.

    And I need to make a correction - there are other cities that have varying start times throughout the year. El Paso and Austin always start in January.
  8. by   Lexis86
    I am planning to apply for the Tech 2nd degree program this fall. Can you tell me anything about the acceptance process? It is really the only program that is feasible for me, due to the online classes, and I am so nervous that I won't be accepted. Any advice about the program would be much appreciated!
  9. by   RN2BENAUSTIN
    If you look at the website, there is an application tab that will tell you all about the process, there is also a tab for pre reqs. You will see that Tech requires you take a CNA class as a pre req - if at all possible I would recommend doing that and getting some experience between now and then. Try to maintain a decent gpa, especially in the Sciences.

    After the application, you wait to see if you are invited to interview. My interview was with 4 people and I was a bit intimidated by it. But, I just felt so nervous because I had so much riding on that interview. And it took about a month from my interview to get the news that I got in.

    I hope you are able to get in, good luck and let me know if I can answer anything else.
  10. by   greenee313
    What kind of questions were you asked in your interview? I have an interview with a different school and was curious as to what kind of questions I may get asked. Thanks in advance for any pointers or help!
  11. by   MMayo
    I am a nursing student in the central texas area. San angelo state University, Texas A&M, and Texas Tech are all new programs. I would assume that instructors are in short supply and organization is chaotic. My question to you is what do you want to do with a BSN? If you want to be a hosptial staff nurse, then a AN ADN will serve you best. If you plan on Administrative nursing, infection control, nurse liaison, then the BSN will open those opportunities to you easier. If you are power hunger and want to control the lives of thers as a Director of Nursing or Chief (King/Queen) Nursing Officer or infection control, then you will need the BSN for the MSN.
  12. by   RN2BENAUSTIN
    Wow - talk about close ended questions - I'm super organized to the point of annoyance and I have very little tolerance for lack of organization. With 3 kids and doing a program like this, its necessary! I can assure you this program is neither chaotic nor disorganized. And remember its a very expensive program so the professors are top notch, they are always available to us. They even give us personal phone numbers and will accept calls at any time. Its pretty amazing.

    Now, onto your question - since I have a bachelors degree it was actually faster for me to go this route. Our community college has a screwy time frame for applications, so this program will allow me to have a BSN faster. Plus I I plan on getting my NP license next. This is a second career for me, something I have always wanted to do. Before making any harsh statements, consider the various paths there are to this wonderful career. I would never ask you, why stop at a 2 year degree - why not broaden your horizons? Because, honestly...its not my business. I am doing whats best for me and my family and I'm sure you are doing the same.
  13. by   RN2BENAUSTIN
    Sorry Greenee313 - I just saw your question - I was pretty nervous in the interview. But I will tell you that I know the standard "why do you want to be a nurse?" and then for this program they asked about computer skills and stress management. But I know they switched up questions for various applicants - the important thing is to be yourself and let them see the genuine desire you have to help others. Good luck!
  14. by   healthstar19
    Hi,

    I am currently in the TAMHCS Accelerated Nursing program. This is a very honest and critical review. I just completed my 1st semester here with a 3.89, but it was a lot of hard work, self studying and tears. To be honest, I sometimes regret being in this program in particular because it has been so costly, disorganized and unprepared. When I started the program, they scared the class into buying a Dell business laptop that cost over $1,000. They said that by buying this laptop we were guaranteed to have our laptops fixed on the spot if we had any problems with taking our exams online, hardware and software problems, etc. Also, they stated that if we were to get a laptop outside of their recommendations that they were not going to help us fix it versus someone that has the school laptop. So, I rushed and bought this laptop. Within mid semester, I noticed I did not have to buy it because students that did not have the recommended laptop were having less problems than those who bought the Dell comps. They were also getting services done to their laptop. So, this so called "recommendation" was a scare to students to buy it, so that they can get some commission. Even though they swear they are not getting any commission for it, we still had to order it using a TAMHSC id number, so obviously they were getting something out of it.

    Next, financial aid was a joke. You literally did not know whether you were going to get funding or not until maybe the day of class. For instance, my class that entered now in Jan 2010 we were already in our 2nd week of school and still no funding! I kid you not! Many people had to scramble for loans and assistance last minute because the estimated tuition cost that they had given us during our orientation conference in the beginning of December was underestimated by almost $3000! It just boggled my mind that if we have such a shortage of nurses, why don't nursing schools get funded more? Well, my tuition cost was paid through all loans, not one grant or scholarship. The loans that were processed through the school weren't even enough to pay my tuition cost. I was one that had to rush to get money. If you decide to be in the accelerated program, there is no room for part time jobs to make a little extra money. So many of us had to increase our loan amount ,which wasn't successful for most of us because you can't increase your loan amount to more than what the tuition cost. Many of my other friends in nursing school such as Prairie View, UT and others said that they received refund checks from their financial aid dept that helped them out throughout the whole year. Our refund checks were not enough to survive on for a semester. On top of that, books were so costly! Other nursing programs, they give you the books, it may be included in your fees and all but they were not much. For example, for Prairie View, the books were included in the fees and they totaled to be $180 or so because these books were passed down to classes. At TAMHSC, books for one semester cost me well over $500 and then I bought supplement study books that were over $150. These supplement books were not even included in the required booklist, I bought these books as soon as I noticed that my required books were not helping me. We suggested that the professors make the supplements that we had bought required or at least mention these books to the class, but they said that the required books are more appropriate to the subjects.

    The professors and facility are really nice but they are lost in what they are trying to accomplish. Since this program is new, everything was last minute and poorly organized. Many of the professors do not know how to teach. Many of them prepared slides and read straight from the slides. I did not know I was paying for a professor to read slides for 4 hours straight? I could have easily gotten a lot more done staying at home and doing some self studying. To be honest, its not that I do not want to give credit to my professors, but everything I know is from my self studying. I know we are all adults and we should know how to study on our own, so why is that I am paying massive amounts for someone to read slides? All our tests at the beginning were taken on our laptops, which was ridiculous people were having technical problems left and right, choosing wrong answers by accidentally clicking somewhere else, ect. Again, with all the money put into this program, we should take our exams in the computer lab. We tried to suggest this to them, but they never listened until they decided on our last round of exams to make the test paper. Also, our tests were also curved because the questions were asked in such obscured ways, or they were multiple answers, etc. We were always quick to defend or discuss a question we though was unfair. Many times professors appreciated this and other times they were frustrated with it. Also, I am a very moderate person with moderate beliefs, but for some reason, this school seemed somewhat religious and conservative (sometimes in their teaching).

    The overall grading process on the two main courses was unfair and in a way an attempt to fail people. So, there are 4 exams, 1 final, projectS (more than 1) and quizzes. The way we would think to grade overall is average it all out according to the percentage each had, right? WRONG! The way they did it was by averaging out the 4 exams and 1 final first. If your 4 exams and final did not average out to a 70, then they wouldn't add on the projects, quizzes because they said that if you didn't have a 70% on exams, you were not likely to pass the NCLEX exam. Way to get your spirits down...So the grading was done on two parts, first they averaged out all your exams and final, if that was a passing grade then they average in the rest of the projects and quizzes to come up with your actual grade. Next, they also DO NOT ROUND! My old roommate was in TAMHSC nursing program but transferred out because she got a 69.97 on her exam average only (her overall grade with everything included would have been a 82%) and it was D and she was kicked out of the program, no probation, no remediation program, nothing....and she wasn't even allowed to reapply to the TAMHSC ever, which was stated in her exit letter that I personally saw. In all of her other classes she got all A's and 1 B and in this one class where the professor just read the slides she got the D. She is now in Pennsylvania University Nursing program where she is doing way better pursuing a masters on a full ride scholarship from the the school. If the program had a remediation program for the first semester, they would have noticed her potential, but the remediation program is only offered for the 2nd semester. They are basically just trying to weed out people and they claim they "care" about the success of their students.

    The HESI finals exams ( which resemble the NCLEX-RN) in each class are out of this world. There is absolutely no way to studying for these finals except to practice on seeing questions after questions and just answering them and reading the rationales. The professors give you a "blueprint" or an exam review sheet, but its still so vague and broad. And they claim they can't tell you whats on the exam because they haven't seen it, they have only seen previous ones and it changes all the time. I am a very organized person that likes to have everything planned on how to study for classes. My organization was thrown out the window! All I did for these finals was the the practice exams over and over again, remember key drugs (which was like over 150 drugs or more), and studied with classmates. There was a review HESI Book that WAS NOT helpful in preparation for the final, only the CD was help because it had 150 questions. On one of the finals, I got a 99.99%! And guess what? Still got a B in the class, because the exams were written so poorly that they brought me down to a low B.

    I know some people rely on statistics on admissions or class size so here it goes. My class consisted of 33 students ( 10 students are going to the new Round Rock, TX location and the rest are in College Station, TX) In that class, there were only 2 African American Students, 2 male students, 1 Hispanic student and the rest Caucasians.

    I know this may seem like I am bashing my program right now, but I wish someone had spoken the truth in these blogs or I wish I had the opportunity to talk to a current student. I would have definitely applied to another nursing program that was less costly, well funded with grant, organized and more professional in their teaching/exam techniques.

    My best advice to those applying to nursing school is to make sure to find out the tuition cost (of all years to make sure there hasn't been any extreme changes), ask about how THEY will help you prepare for the finals in class, not how a CD or a Book will help you, because you are paying for the education that these professors are providing you with, not a CD or book. If that were the case, then tuition should be more affordable. Looking back at it, I would have definitely applied to another (affordable,organized) nursing program (such as UT, PV, ect). But I have invested so much time and money into this program I have no choice but to finish it. I hope whoever reads my review understands that these are things that I wished were mentioned to me before I applied, this would have really changed my decision.

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