George Mason Accelerated BSN 2009 - page 6

Is anyone in it or has anyone been in it so that you may answer some of my pressing questions? Pleeeeease respond!!! :eek:... Read More

  1. by   mew56
    If there are any current or past Accelerated nursing school students (or even someone who knows a person) that could give some insight what day to day life is like in the program, I'd really appreciate it! I heard its 7 to 7, but I'm not sure if that is true.

    I'd also like to know how writing intensive the program is, and if there are many big projects like presentations + long papers.
  2. by   Pixie.RN
    One of my coworkers looked into it, and they told her they highly recommended a person doesn't work during the program, so she wasn't able to do it (single mom, two kids to support). I hear it is pretty intense and time-consuming.
  3. by   julesjmf
    Hi guys, I'm in the program now, so I can try to answer a few of your questions, although they supposedly make changes each year, so I can't promise things will be the same for you guys.

    First semester, you take a LOT of credits, it's stressful and I think it would be difficult to work during this time. Several people in the program who have worked as nurse tech's or had some part time job before the program were able to work every once in awhile, picking up shifts. But unless you have a flexible boss I'd say it would be hard. Some people work a full "part-time" job (~20 hrs) but I honestly don't know how they do -- I think their grades may suffer and I know they are exhausted and stressed out.

    Second semester is a little lighter, but I still think it would be hard to have a regular job.

    First semester we had classes three days a week, from 7:30 to around 3 or 4. All of our classes start at 7:30 except for one class this semester, so definitely prepare yourself for that start time. We had clinical (on a medical-surgical unit) one day a week which is from 6:30-3ish. Most of us were at Inova facilities for that clinical. We had one day "off" a week. It was great to have the day to schedule doctor's appointments, do the grocery shopping, etc, but there is so much to do and so much sleep to catch up on, I would not recommend trying to work that one day off.

    There is a two week January "term" where you take Community Health. Our class was actually online so we met once the first week and once the second week for tests.

    Then the spring semester, you have clinical 2 days a week (again 6:30-3ish, but it varies slightly depending on where you are placed which could be anywhere). This semester you have 3 different clinicals, each for 5 weeks (2 days/wk) -- psychiatry, maternal/child, and pediatrics. Your peds clinical will likely be at Georgetown or Children's Hosp, both in DC. Most of the other clinicals were around the inova fairfax area.

    We are wrapping up the spring classes now. We start the summer with a week of lab time and then go into our preceptorship for five weeks -- the preceptorship is basically an internship where we work the same 3x12 hr shifts/wk with an assigned nurse at one of the area hospitals. You will work whatever hours they are scheduled, so this may include nights and weekends and will be 12 hr days. I still don't know where I am going so I don't have much more information on that.

    The last part of the summer (the last 5 weeks), we have clinical on Tuesdays and Thursdays (6:30-3 again??) -- this is your community health clinical. We will be placed all over the area and don't know our spots yet.


    You don't have any say over your schedule/clinical locations in the fall and spring, but you can let the program know if you want to be carpooling with anyone so they will put you together. No hurry on letting them know, though.

    We gave a list of preferences for our preceptorship and community health clinicals this semester but I"m not sure how well that will work out. You don't need to worry about that yet.

    Registration will take place in August when you come to campus. Don't worry about it, they will let you know when you need to do it.

    As for the classes/presentations/projects, most of the classes have at least one project or presentation and I think most people do well on them. Sometimes they are group, sometimes individual assignments. All of the tests are multiple choice in NCLEX style and they are much more difficult than a regular multiple choice question, so the tests do require a lot of studying -- especially for your 319 pathophysiology class (which includes pediatrics, OB & psych) in the fall and for your 419/adult pathophysiology and 334/pharmacology classes in the spring.

    Communication and organization are not always what I'd like them to be with this program so if you're Type A like me, just take a deep breathe and be prepared to not always know things in advance.

    Ok, I've procrastinated on studying for my exam long enough -- hope this information was helpful!!
  4. by   julesjmf
    Oh I meant to mention that you do not have classes during the preceptorship period in the summer, but you do have a class during the last part of the summer when you are in your Community Health clinical. We are done on August 6th!!!!
  5. by   mew56
    Wow, julesjmf, I wasn't even hoping for such a thoroughly written answer so that is awesome you took the time to write that all out. I greatly appreciate it!

    The 4 days a week sounds great, I was afraid I wouldn't be able to take care of everyday life tasks.

    If I could ask you a couple more questions that would be great. I was wondering how you like the professors. And if there is anything I could study during the summer to start preparing for fall.

    Also, one of the things I am concerned about is how this program is 12 months when most accelerated are more often 15 months. I know you haven't finished the program yet, but do you feel like you will be prepared when you graduate?
  6. by   mew56
    I almost forgot. What color are the scrubs? I'm -really- hoping its not the white pants. And is there any dress codes for clinical in terms of shoes having to be a certain color.
  7. by   vwde
    Julesjmf and I are in the program together...

    The scrubs are hunter green top and khaki bottoms, though I heard there's a chance they'll change back to white bottoms so don't run out and buy anything yet. The shoes are white - no sneakers, holes or emblems. Again, all of the info julesjmf and I have is current but they are likely to make some changes so don't set anything in stone yet.

    As for being well-prepared nurses, we have all asked the exact same question. Stay tuned for the answer. I figure we're not going to know what we don't know (or how we haven't been prepared) until we get jobs and can compare our preparation to other programs.

    Lastly, I know jules recommends you don't work. I strongly second that. This program can really overwhelm you if you don't have good time management and don't read ALOT and study ALOT. There are 'A' students who are no longer 'A' students in this program. That's not to scare anyone, just to enlighten. It can definitely be done.

    My best advice: since you asked what you could do this summer, volunteer/work at a hospital!!! That's the common theme I've seen. The more medical experience you've had (even hearing terms, seeing things, etc.), the better off you'd be in almost every class. Also, read, read, read. Don't take shortcuts. This program really (no one will tell you this) relies on you to teach yourself a lot. There's simply not enough time to teach you everything you need to know. You have to be proactive and read the assigned readings on your own. Believe me, that day off will become a day of reading/studying. Try and get all social/personal/occupational obligations out of the way this summer. You're going to want all that time for yourself during this year.
  8. by   mew56
    Thank you vwde, your post is very helpful as well.

    I personally never had plans to work during the program, since I've always heard how tough accelerated programs are. I also already volunteer at a hospital but I also plan to volunteer as a EMT during the summer so hopefully I'll get some useful experiences.

    I was wondering do most people who start the program stay in the program, or do many have to drop. I'm not sure how many students are in the GMU but I know it has more than some other programs I've looked at.
  9. by   calledtodo
    Make sure you are fully prepared to dedicate all of your time to the accelerated program. You won't have much time for anything else except studying. There are those that can keep up with the program and those that can't because they didn't realize it would be as fast paced. Look at how may credits you are comfortable taking in a semester. With accelerated programs you take alot of credits, clinical, lab etc. It can be done but you have to fully dedicate yourself. You have to give up many things. Ask youself if you are prepared to do that.
  10. by   iheartpink
    Most people are still in the program. We lost a few along the way b/c the program has a policy that if you fail a class (which means <73%) you are sort-of suspended until the next year where you can retake the class. Fail 2 and you are out. We picked up some people from last year that failed a class. I think as of right now there is like 48 people.

    Good luck to everyone. It can be quite frustrating with the lack of communication (and more... which you will find out on your own ), but hopefully a BSN in 12 months will be worth the drama.
  11. by   mew56
    Was the drama due to the instructors or the students? I heard that in other programs students can be backstabbing but I was hoping that wasn't the case in GM.

    Could you elaborate more on what was frustrating, other than the lack of communication? I'd like to mentally prepare myself for it this coming fall.
  12. by   calledtodo
    Quote from iheartpink
    Most people are still in the program. We lost a few along the way b/c the program has a policy that if you fail a class (which means <73%) you are sort-of suspended until the next year where you can retake the class. Fail 2 and you are out. We picked up some people from last year that failed a class. I think as of right now there is like 48 people.

    Good luck to everyone. It can be quite frustrating with the lack of communication (and more... which you will find out on your own ), but hopefully a BSN in 12 months will be worth the drama.

    I am not sure what the programs work is like but at NVCC if you get less than a 78 you are out. Many people at NVCC get 76, 77.4 etc and are kicked out.
  13. by   ammarac
    Hey everyone.

    I will be starting the 2nd degree accelerated program in Fall 2010 at GMU as well.

    I called the nursing department regarding how the schedule will be and where should I live etc but I just wanted to know more about the commuting, driving, traffic and where I should look for an apartment from current nursing students.

    I'm 23, married and have a 16 month old that I have to find a daycare for. The child development center at GMU has a 6 month waitlist as well as Fairfax Hospital where my husband will be working.

    When I called the nursing department, they said they made a few changes this year. All classes will be held at the fairfax campus and most of our clinicals will be at Fairfax Hospital in Falls church.

    Would it be more convenient for me to live in fairfax really close to the school or in falls church really close to the hospital. I'm coming from Southern Jersey from the suburbs where we dont even have sidewalks so I'm really terrified about DC/ Virginia traffic and rush hour!!

    Since Julie mentioned we have classes 3 days a week on campus and one day at clinical would it be better to just live in Fairfax?? We visited the area and Fairfax seemed like the suburbs while Falls Church more like the city which I would love since I'm originally from San Francisco. I'm s0 confused since falls church is 13 miles away from gmu and it would take 30 minutes to get to school without traffic according to the gps. is it worth it. Where do all of you live??

    This wouldnt be really an issue if I wasn't really scared of driving in a new busy area ( i had a bad car accident 2 years ago and therefore terrified).

    Does anyone take the bus? public transportation?

    Are there any mothers in the program? From the sound of it its sounds so intense and I'm feeling really happy I got in but overwhelmed at the same time. any advice. I hope I can managae school, being a mother, and wife all at the same time..

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