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VCU Accelerated BSN Summer 2015 Hopefuls

Virginia   (12,935 Views | 22 Replies)

1,423 Profile Views; 19 Posts

Hello,

I'm curious about other people applying for the accelerated BSN program that starts in May 2015. I found the threads on this website about the 2014 applicants very helpful and with the application deadline for next year coming up, I figured I'd start a thread. I'd like to know what this years applicants are going through and any insight that those who are in the program (or have graduated) can shed.

I'm currently a senior at George Mason University finishing up a double major in biology and forensics. My GMU undergrad GPA is pretty low (3.16). I started school at a community college, got an associates then transferred to GMU. I've subsequently returned to community college to finish a couple of prereqs. A few of questions about what the program is like.

Question 1: Whats the program like (general impressions)? I loved the atmosphere when I first visited the campus and the (often referenced) seediness of Richmond doesn't really bother me too much (at least from what I've seen). But what are the people like generally (in the hospital, teachers, fellow students, differences between traditional and accelerated students??

Question 2: I often took 18-21 credits a semester when I was at GMU, so I'm used to heavy academic workload. But what is the workload for the ABSN program like? I heard some people can get jobs as techs (or something) at the hospital starting the Fall, but how doable is that.

Question 3: living recommendations: I live too far from Richmond to commute and am looking into living near or at the city. does anyone know anything about living options?

In addition, if anyone has questions about the application process, I'd be happy to help if I can.

Thank You (to anyone who gives feedback)

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85 Posts; 2,949 Profile Views

Hey Ph33rbenkthankslol,

I applied for the May 2015 ABSN. I will be coming from out of state (North Carolina) and obviously can't commute hahah. I'm also curious to know about living arrangements. Do most students live off campus or try to live on campus. In previous threads there have been ABSN students that shared housing off campus or just commuted from home.

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19 Posts; 1,423 Profile Views

Yeah, I dunno, one of the things I like about Richmond is (as far as I know) the cost of living within the city itself is pretty low. I live too far away to commute, so I'm hoping to find a place to rent, probably near the inner city.

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97 Posts; 3,922 Profile Views

Hey @Ph33,

I started the thread last year for the 2014 hopefuls, and I still check periodically... so I'm happy to help answer your questions as best I can!

Question 1: The accelerated program is intense, but manageable and an amazing learning experience. Since VCUHS is a teaching hospital, anyone that works there is expected to teach at some point in their career there... that being said, there are still some that are less willing than others to teach, but this can definitely be managed through your clinical instructor. The teachers and clinical instructors are great! They are eager to help you succeed and are willing to meet with you individually, review tests, accept educated challenges to test questions for points back, etc.

Traditional students typically don't have a Bachelor's degree in something else, so they are usually a little younger than the accelerated are. Their program has summers off, but also takes 2.5 years once they enter the nursing program as sophomores. The nursing classes are all the same between both programs, but the timing is a tad different. The VCU SON website has sample curricula for both, if you're interested in seeing the differences. Your summer semesters will just be accelerated students, but for fall and spring, your accelerated class is split in half (as is the traditional), and you take some classes with half the traditional students (75 total students per class; 45 accel and 30 trad) and some classes with everyone (150 total students; 90 accel and 60 trad).

Question 2: I also took 18-21 credits in my first degree... trust me when I say it would not be a great decision to add on additional classes. Actually, with it being a "cohort" system, you can't take any nursing classes sooner than they are scheduled on the curriculum. Between class and clinical, you're occupied 40 ish hours of the week without studying or having a life (especially the summer... you can sometimes manage your schedule to swing a day off during the week for fall/spring semesters). The part time job you're talking about is called a care partner which is essentially a CNA. The VCUHS periodically puts up a "care partner for nursing students" application... I know a couple of people from my class that started this part time in August and a lot of us will be starting in January. You are eligible after completing 202 in your first summer semester. The hospital is extremely flexible with your schedule since they know you have school and other responsibilities. The floor I will be on has a 16 hour a month minimum. It is definitely doable... I'm going to try and do 12 hours a week next semester since I will only have 3 classes (2 of which have clinical).

Question 3: I moved to richmond from northern virginia. After I found out I was accepted, we created a facebook group page, invited people from here, somehow word spread and bam... lots of potential roommates! I found both of my roommates through our facebook page and it has worked out wonderfully! As far as places to live IN richmond, look for apartments in shockoe bottom, the fan or carytown. These are all pretty darn close to campus and reasonably priced when you have 2+ people. We found our apartment through craigslist. It's 0.9 miles from campus, the vcu bus stop is 2 blocks away or I can walk in nice weather. Also, I thought I would be a little more scared about living in richmond given some of the negative things about crime and whatnot... and I was wrong. I don't have any issues walking alone or with my dog.

If you do not want an apartment, I know that you have the option to live on campus, as well. Forgive me because I can't remember the name of the dorm that is closest to VCU SON, but a couple people from my class lived there, no problems!

Please let me know if you have any other questions! I'm happy to answer them as best as I can :) Good luck!

Allie

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97 Posts; 3,922 Profile Views

@biochick - yay NC!!! My bachelor's degree is in Biology from High Point :p

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19 Posts; 1,423 Profile Views

Hey @Ph33,

I started the thread last year for the 2014 hopefuls, and I still check periodically... so I'm happy to help answer your questions as best I can!

Question 1: The accelerated program is intense, but manageable and an amazing learning experience. Since VCUHS is a teaching hospital, anyone that works there is expected to teach at some point in their career there... that being said, there are still some that are less willing than others to teach, but this can definitely be managed through your clinical instructor. The teachers and clinical instructors are great! They are eager to help you succeed and are willing to meet with you individually, review tests, accept educated challenges to test questions for points back, etc.

Traditional students typically don't have a Bachelor's degree in something else, so they are usually a little younger than the accelerated are. Their program has summers off, but also takes 2.5 years once they enter the nursing program as sophomores. The nursing classes are all the same between both programs, but the timing is a tad different. The VCU SON website has sample curricula for both, if you're interested in seeing the differences. Your summer semesters will just be accelerated students, but for fall and spring, your accelerated class is split in half (as is the traditional), and you take some classes with half the traditional students (75 total students per class; 45 accel and 30 trad) and some classes with everyone (150 total students; 90 accel and 60 trad).

Question 2: I also took 18-21 credits in my first degree... trust me when I say it would not be a great decision to add on additional classes. Actually, with it being a "cohort" system, you can't take any nursing classes sooner than they are scheduled on the curriculum. Between class and clinical, you're occupied 40 ish hours of the week without studying or having a life (especially the summer... you can sometimes manage your schedule to swing a day off during the week for fall/spring semesters). The part time job you're talking about is called a care partner which is essentially a CNA. The VCUHS periodically puts up a "care partner for nursing students" application... I know a couple of people from my class that started this part time in August and a lot of us will be starting in January. You are eligible after completing 202 in your first summer semester. The hospital is extremely flexible with your schedule since they know you have school and other responsibilities. The floor I will be on has a 16 hour a month minimum. It is definitely doable... I'm going to try and do 12 hours a week next semester since I will only have 3 classes (2 of which have clinical).

Question 3: I moved to richmond from northern virginia. After I found out I was accepted, we created a facebook group page, invited people from here, somehow word spread and bam... lots of potential roommates! I found both of my roommates through our facebook page and it has worked out wonderfully! As far as places to live IN richmond, look for apartments in shockoe bottom, the fan or carytown. These are all pretty darn close to campus and reasonably priced when you have 2+ people. We found our apartment through craigslist. It's 0.9 miles from campus, the vcu bus stop is 2 blocks away or I can walk in nice weather. Also, I thought I would be a little more scared about living in richmond given some of the negative things about crime and whatnot... and I was wrong. I don't have any issues walking alone or with my dog.

If you do not want an apartment, I know that you have the option to live on campus, as well. Forgive me because I can't remember the name of the dorm that is closest to VCU SON, but a couple people from my class lived there, no problems!

Please let me know if you have any other questions! I'm happy to answer them as best as I can :) Good luck!

Allie

Thank You So much for the reply, Super useful information, Thanks. I do have one question: can someone apply for BOTH accelerated and traditional BSN programs?

just wondering

Thank You

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97 Posts; 3,922 Profile Views

I honestly have no idea... I don't see why you couldn't apply for both. If you're truly interested, I would call the school of nursing and see what they say!

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177 Posts; 4,463 Profile Views

If you live in Northern VA, are you applying to the accelerated BSN at Mason as well? Just curious. It seems to be a truly accelerated program as you can do it one year. I don't know much about either program, but looked at them both and VCU's accelerated BSN would take nearly the same amount of time as the plan I went forward with.

I already have a degree as well and went the community college route (there is no accelerated option locally for me and I can't leave my area). Not counting pre-req's, I will be able to get a BSN through ODU's online program at the same time as doing my community college ADN. Just started Nursing school this past August in 2014, will get ADN in May 2016, and BSN in August 2016.

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6 Posts; 628 Profile Views

Hi PVCCHoo

How is the program going so far? I am in the process of applying for 2015 and have considered doing the concurrent program as well.

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19 Posts; 1,423 Profile Views

If you live in Northern VA, are you applying to the accelerated BSN at Mason as well? Just curious. It seems to be a truly accelerated program as you can do it one year. I don't know much about either program, but looked at them both and VCU's accelerated BSN would take nearly the same amount of time as the plan I went forward with.

I already have a degree as well and went the community college route (there is no accelerated option locally for me and I can't leave my area). Not counting pre-req's, I will be able to get a BSN through ODU's online program at the same time as doing my community college ADN. Just started Nursing school this past August in 2014, will get ADN in May 2016, and BSN in August 2016.

Thank You for bringing this up. In fact as I re-researched Mason again, there may be in fact several advantages to GMU. Your right in that their program is only 3 semesters long (fall, spring and summer) while VCU is 5 (summer, fall, spring, summer, fall). Good luck with your route your taking. out of curiosity are you planning on applying for Mason? if so do you know what the tuition cost is (their website indicates they might be allot cheaper than VCU)?

Thank You,

Ben

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177 Posts; 4,463 Profile Views

@Mom - it's going good so far. The PVCC coursework takes up most of my time, but you have to keep up with ODU online as well as their are deliverables due nearly each week. I had straight A's in pre-reqs and it doesn't look like I will be able to keep that up. I also have a family and work full time, so it can be done.

@ the op - I did not apply to Mason. The only other program I applied to was UVA's masters entry. As for tuition, no clue. I would I magazine they are comparable since they are both state schools.

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39 Posts; 1,573 Profile Views

@PVCCHoo - is it difficult to get into the ODU concurrent program that you are in? i am interested in going the route you are going and i was wondering if admission is pretty much guaranteed as long as you are attending a community college that works with ODU. i know blue ridge in weyers cave said they offer their students the option to get their BSN at ODU too. assuming you receive some sort of financial aid, did you find that attending two different schools disqualified you from financial aid at one school or both?

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