Are you researching nursing programs online and finding the massive amount of information that exists out there to be overwhelming? You know you want to go back to school to be a nurse, but where do you even begin? And how do you really discern what a nursing program is like?
Our simple answer: Go straight to the source, of course! That’s why for this blog post, we’re letting our former students do the talking. Below you’ll find accelerated nursing program reviews from Marian University ABSN alumni. They give the inside scoop on everything from the admissions process to their experiences during clinical rotations.
We’re not kidding when we say our accelerated nursing program moves fast. In fact, because our admissions advisors are as motivated about your future as a nurse as you are, the rapid pace starts before you even enroll in the program. That’s something Shelbi Auman, ABSN Class of 2017, appreciated:
“Within 24 hours of me chatting with someone on the Marian website, I got a call from admissions,” she says. “She answered all my questions. We talked on the phone tons of times, exchanged tons of emails and still do to this day. When I see her, she’s still friendly and personable, which I think is awesome. It’s not just an automated robot behind the phone. It’s a real person.
“It was a quick and easy process, which was surprising to me. I was very impressed.”
Shelbi wasn’t the only ABSN alumnus who was impressed with our admissions process. Lindsay Degnan, ABSN Class of 2015, found her admissions advisor to be an invaluable resource, too.
“My advisor was always available to me. She always responded to my emails quickly,” she says. “She made me feel like I could get everything done, get to this program and be successful, and start when I wanted to start.”
One of the more distinctive aspects of the Marian University accelerated nursing program: students complete their core nursing course online via an interactive e-Learning management system. From digital natives to nervous newbies, many of our former students say they preferred the convenience and flexibility of online learning.
Says Amy Puckett, ABSN Class of May 2017:
“With online learning, if I need to go back and listen to something I can. The great thing is, I can do it with my dog on the couch in my PJs any time, and it works with my schedule. … I don’t feel like there’s any deficit in not being in the classroom. When I see the name Marian now, I think of a great, innovative online organization.”
A self-described “older student,” Dan Francis, ABSN Class of 2017, was new to the concept of online learning when he started our ABSN program. Once he learned the ins and outs of the e-Learning management system, he says he actually preferred it over a traditional classroom setting.
“Most of my undergrad and other schooling has all been ‘old school.’ We didn’t have online classes. …For me it’s brand new, but I love it,” he says. “It’s a process that makes things easier and allows me to have time for other things, because we are focusing on school but there are other things to life.”
Besides online courses, the skills and simulation labs that take place at our learning sites help our accelerated nursing students gain the confidence to practice their skills in a mock medical setting before engaging with real patients during clinical rotations.
Adanna Williams, ABSN Class of August 2016, explains how our blended approach to nursing education worked out for her.
“You have assignments to complete before you come into skills labs and videos you can watch about the skills you are learning the next day. Say, a head-to-toe assessment — you read about it in the book, then you demonstrate it back to the instructor.
“It definitely was woven together. After we finish with a skill in the lab, we do it in the hospital. When we finish doing it in the hospital, instructors test us on it.”
For Ruth Lamb, ABSN Class of December 2016, learning the practical skills that would apply directly to her eventual job as a nurse gave her peace of mind.
“In nursing, everything you learn in your textbooks and clinical you actually do in real life. As simple as how to spike an IV bag and set up an IV pump is what you do in real life. How you listen to a heartbeat is how you do it in real life. Everything is exactly what you do in real life, and that is critical.”
Another unique aspect of the Marian University ABSN program? Students start their clinical rotations their first semester, giving them ample opportunities to apply their theoretical knowledge and clinical skills in the real world. Many students, including Lindsay, even say the diverse clinical experiences afforded to them as part of our program helped them figure out what nursing care specialty appealed to them most.
“There are a lot of different clinical rotation options. You get to do an OB clinical, we get to see psychiatric floors, and we spend a semester working in critical care and acute care,” she says.
“When I graduated, I had an idea of what I wanted to do, but I knew I would be successful wherever I ended up because I had experiences in all those different places already during clinicals.”
Recent graduates of our accelerated nursing program also tell us repeatedly how much knowledge and support they gained from working with the clinical instructors at St. Vincent and Saint Thomas Health, our respective clinical partners in Indianapolis and Nashville.
Allison Clark, ABSN Class of 2016, had this to say about her clinical instructors:
“The clinical instructors have been open to their students and care about whether I do well and whether I feel prepared to be a nurse. They are always asking, ‘Do you feel comfortable with that? What don’t you feel comfortable with so we can make sure we practice that?’ I appreciate that because it’s scary getting to the end and thinking, ‘What if I don’t know what I’m going to be doing? What if I feel like I’m not ready?,’ because there’s a lot of responsibility that comes with nursing. I’m thankful for the time and care they put in.”
Our ABSN program’s supportive culture isn’t just limited to our clinical instructors. Many students describe the camaraderie that develops with fellow members of their cohort as instrumental in their ability to thrive through the rigors of our accelerated 16-month nursing program.
“The program is a thousand miles an hour, I will say that, but it is so good,” Amy says. “I can’t express how great the other students are in my cohort; we are all so supportive of one another. The classwork, it is hard, and it is tough. I have tons of friends who went through nursing, I’ve worked with nurses, and they all say nursing school is difficult. But everyone here, from the office staff to our clinical instructors to our didactics, have been so supportive.”
Ready to join a supportive, rigorous learning environment that prepares you for a successful nursing career? Contact one of our admissions advisors for more information about how our 16-month Accelerated BSN program can help get you there.