Are you ready to transition your career to nursing? Watch this virtual info session with our nursing faculty as they talk through our innovative online Accelerated BSN and Master’s Entry in Nursing Practice programs.



  • Diane Salvador, Executive Director of Nursing and Health Sciences Department
  • Laura Brennan, Accelerated BSN Program Director

Runtime: 48 min
Date: Oct 27, 2021

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Katie Macaluso: Good afternoon. Hello everyone. Thank you so much for joining. We're going to give you all a quick minute here to enter the session and connect to audio. So I'm Katie Macaluso. I'll be your moderator today. We want to thank you for making time in your schedule to join us virtually for today's presentation, Pivoting Your Career to Nursing, hosted by Elmhurst University. We're looking forward to sharing more about the university and the two online accelerated nursing programs in just a few moments here. So I see that we've still got some people joining, but as I said, we're going to go ahead and get started.

We'll go ahead and move on to some of our housekeeping reminders here. So we are recording this presentation. So you'll be able to go back and view it again at any time if you'd like. Just as usual, a reminder that all participants are muted, so we can't hear you. But if you have any questions during the information session, please use that question and answer box at the bottom of your screen, and we'll save time at the end of the presentation to answer those questions. So here's a quick look at our agenda for today.

We're going to be touching on the career outlook for nurses, and then covering Elmhurst University and an overview of Elmhurst's online accelerated nursing programs, including the accelerated BSN and the master's entry in nursing practice. We'll also save time for the application process and requirements, and then any questions that you all have at the end, during our Q& A session. So today I'm really excited to introduce our faculty speakers who have joined us today.

With us is Diane Salvador, who is the Executive Director of the nursing and health sciences department. She brings more than 40 years of nursing experience to the role, including both clinical practice and educational positions. She's a recognized presenter at national and international conferences and her research focus is on healthcare leadership and finance and rehabilitative nursing. And then joining Dr. Salvador today is Laura Brennan, the program director for the accelerated BSN program. Professor Brennan's career includes experience in nursing management and education, and her specialty area is adult health nursing.

She has had extensive experience helping students to prepare for the National Licensure Examination and also serve is a faculty member for a National NCLEX preparation firm. And then finally we have Laura Minarich, who is our program director for the master's entry and nursing practice program.

Dr. Minarich is a family nurse practitioner and a certified clinical nurse leader with areas of interest and pediatrics and primary prevention for the family community. Unfortunately, we did have a schedule change and she's unable to join us today, but Dr. Salvador will be sharing more detail about the master's entry and nursing practice program in her place. So thank you again to all of you for joining us today. We want to go ahead and take just a quick minute to learn a little bit about you. So please watch for a poll to pop up on your screen here.

I'm going to send that out right now. So you should receive that. We just want to get to know you a little bit, find out what industry you're currently working in, as well how many years of work experience you currently have. And there's no wrong answer or right answer here because the programs are second degree programs. So they do draw a variety of student backgrounds. I see a lot of your answers coming in, so that's great too. I'll give you guys just a moment to respond. All right, last call.

Looks like we've got almost everybody here, 77%. So I'm going to go ahead and end this poll in just a moment here. Perfect. Great. So I'm going to go ahead and share these results, just if you're curious. We've got a good mix here. Definitely a number of people who are already in that healthcare space, but also seeing some variety of counseling and business or professional roles, and some other current students, stay- at- home parent or caregivers. So great to see such a diversity of experience here.

And then you can see too, this doesn't surprise me either, we've got people coming in from all different tenures of years of work experience too. So great to see all of you on here. Hopefully we'll be able to answer all of your questions. I'm going to go ahead and switch to our next slide here, which is just kind of a confirmation if you're in the right place today. So today, hopefully all of you are interested and passionate about becoming a nurse and you're interested in pursuing an accelerated program that's going to allow you to fast track earning your BSN or MSN degree.

You already have a bachelor's degree in a non- nursing discipline, so not a BSN. And then you would currently not be working as a nurse and live in one of the seven states that are currently supported by the online program. So that's Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Minnesota, Missouri, and Wisconsin. So if all of that describes you, you're in the right place today. And then I'm going ahead and turn this over to Dr. Salvador to tell you or share a little bit more about the demand for nurses.

Oh, whoops. I think we can't hear you.

Diane Salvador: I always do that. We're thrilled that you're with us today because as you can see on this slide, we really need nurses. We need people like you, who are interested in maybe a second career or a different pathway that you want to take right now, because you already have your degree in something else. But we'll definitely need nurses. By 2030, a million nurses will be retiring. So we're going to need all of those nurses plus more, replaced.

By 2050, 22% of Americans will be over 65. And so, you know what that means. As you age, you tend to have more health problems. So you need a nurse and you need someone coordinating that care. Most of the hospitals, I can tell you, it says 94% here, have healthcare shortages. But I don't know of any actually that are fully staffed right now. So the demand for what you're interested in and what you hopefully plan to go into, is there. 

So as we look at the next slide, again, talking about nursing shortages. These are the areas that we're recruiting from. But like I said, you can really count on having a position in a hospital or healthcare facility or a community or any health-related field anywhere in the United States. So all over, we know that there is a shortage of healthcare providers. This slide is a little bit on the conservative side, I think.

7% growth in the rate for new positions between 2019 and 2029. As we get through the pandemic and we are realizing the importance of healthcare providers, I think that number has gone up a little bit. There'll be over a quarter, almost a quarter million new jobs projected in the next 10 years. And again, that's on the conservative side. We are seeing job growth, and registered nursing is the number one job post right now.

So all of these things put together says to you, you will have a job in nursing if you decide to go in nursing. So why Elmhurst Hospital? We know there's a shortage of nursing. We know there's going to continue to be a shortage of nursing, but why Elmhurst Hospital or Elmhurst University. Elmhurst was established in a 1871, so we're celebrating our 150th year this year. This year, we're also celebrating our 50th year of nursing at Elmhurst University.

So we're very proud of our heritage, both in the community and within nursing. It is a private university. It is aligned with the United Church of Christ. And some of the things that that means is that we're very passionate about supporting our community, supporting our students. We're committed to your personal growth, but we're also committed to human rights and social justice. And we have been recognized several times by major publications for the quality of our education and for the quality of our faculty teaching in all of our programs, but especially nursing.

Nursing has been one of the most recognized within Elmhurst University. So Professor Brennan, I'll let you talk about the accelerated baccalaureate program.

Laura Brennan: Thank you, Dr. Salvador. So the Accelerated Bachelor's of Science in Nursing, as Katie had said, is for someone who already holds a bachelor's degree in something else. It doesn't matter what discipline, we don't care what discipline. We'd love to have you from all different disciplines. We have two points of entry each year, which is really nice. Our traditional on-campus program only has one point of entry. But with our ABSN, we admit in August and in January, and technically you don't start till the very end of January for this spring term. And then you go for four semesters.

There are seven pre-reqs needed. So depending on what your previous degree was in, you might have some of those pre-reqs done. You might have to do those pre-reqs. And you don't have to do the pre-reqs at Elmhurst University. As long as it's an accredited college, you can do them almost anywhere. It is 16 months full time. And we really mean full time. It's really difficult to work while you're doing this program because it's pretty intensive. There are 60 credit hours, all nursing, because you'll have all the pre-reqs completed.

We do a lot of clinical, lab, and simulation. And the lab and the simulation are here at Elmhurst. So there's two times in that 16 months that you'll have to come to campus. Our students just finished it a couple weeks ago. And even though it was intense and it was a lot of hours, they loved it. They did phenomenal. It was nice for them to interact with their classmates that they had only been seeing on Zoom. So it was really a great first simulation experience for them and lab experience for them.

But you would do that your first semester and your last semester to come on campus. And we give you information about housing, usually it's hotels, and how to get to and from the hospital. And our simulation and lab is at Elmhurst Hospital. It's not affiliated with our university, but as Dr. Salvador said, we're really committed to our community. So Elmhurst Hospital and Elmhurst University have a very nice relationship.  So our simulation lab is in the lower level of the hospital. And then most of the coursework is done asynchronously.

We have worked with unbelievable educational designers and we've made it very interactive. But every course does offer a one- hour synchronous Zoom session that we expect students to go to. And then clinical is also online. I'm sorry. Clinical is in person. You're not with a clinical instructor. You're with a preceptor from the hospital. We try to put you at a hospital near where you live. It could be kind of far depending where you live, but we try to do it near where you live. And you work with a preceptor each semester.

It'd be a different preceptor. And then your clinical instructor will be online, communicating with your preceptor, communicating with you. And each week, you'll have an online Zoom group, clinical meeting. So even though most of it is asynchronous, your clinical is face to face with patients and with a preceptor. And then each course does have a one hour Zoom meeting each week. And then we do a preparation for NCLEX exam. Once we're done, we know that you'll have all the tools you need, but we also give you a little prep for that NCLEX.

It's a little stressful taking it. It's a wonderful experience that you only want once. And so we're going to help you get ready for that NCLEX. Most of our courses have NCLEX style questions or tests in it to prepare you for NCLEX. We also do what's called HESI testing. It is standardized testing that is evidence- based that helps predict NCLEX success. So you will be constantly getting ready for NCLEX. So here's a little snapshot of what you'd be doing each semester.

And as I said, it's pretty involved. So your first semester we have to give you a little foundation. So you'll take nursing foundations, and that's where you're learning just basic stuff about nursing. And then you're going to be doing a health assessment course learning how to do a history and a physical on a patient across a lifespan. And then in the middle of the semester, you're going to come here for 10 days and do the clinical skills visit where you're going to do some lab demonstrations, you're going to do some simulations. And then, oh, you take a patho- pharm class across the whole semester.

And then after clinical skills visit, you're going to do concepts and you're going to do adult health I, and that's where you really get into your clinical. Thereafter, every semester after that, you will be fully engaged in clinical throughout the semester, as well as taking classes. So our second semester is adult health and mental health, along with pharmacology and research. Third semester, you're getting into, we call child rearing and child bearing. So it's pediatrics and OB, and you'll also be taking a leadership class and a policy finance class.

And then your very last semester, we kind of put it all together. We synthesize it. So you have complex care where you'll be more into the ER or the ICUs. You'll also do community or public health where you're looking at not just patients, but you're looking at a whole community. Maybe you'll be at a school looking at the school- aged children. Maybe you'll be at a factory looking at the factory workers. So it just depends.  Each one of you could be in a different place. Then we also do and nursing ethics class, and we do some test taking strategies.

And at the end of that, you'll also will come back on campus for another clinical skills visit. So it's fast and furious, but we get it all done. And you will not enjoy it while you're going through it, but you'll enjoy it when you're done.

Diane Salvador: Yes, you will not enjoy it while you're going through it. But at the end, you'll be a nurse. And that's your goal. So as far as the online master's entry in nursing practice, it's a little bit different. This is for the person who has a baccalaureate degree in another field, but wants to enter nursing at a different level. This person will be a beginning practitioner also, but we are layering in some master's level competencies in clinical nurse leading, so that it takes a little bit longer.

So we also start this August and January. So we started twice a year. There are five prerequisite courses that are needed. It's a little bit longer, it's 20 months, because it is a master's program. So we're getting all those baccalaureate competencies with your master's competencies, which accounts for the 71 hours versus the 60 for your ABSN. More lab and clinical and simulation hours. You have just one on campus residency for 10 days.

And that's at the very beginning of the program. And I'll show you why in the next slide, but there isn't room on that last semester for you to come back. But you will have that one intensive on- campus residency. Same as the ABSN, most of your coursework is asynchronous, but every course has a required one hour synchronous session that you must attend. And also we have our clinical courses. Even though you're going to be precepted by a clinical in a healthcare facility setting, you still need to meet with the faculty.

So one hour a week, you will meet with your clinical faculty in a clinical group. It's a really nice time because it allows you to meet virtually another group of students and kind of debrief with what's happening in your clinical, and learn from those experiences both individually and together. And that'll be guided by our expert faculty. And then we also have some preparation for NCLEX. NCLEX is a national examination for entry into nursing practice.

We throw terms around all the time and sometimes I think not everybody knows what they mean. So that's a national examination that allows you to practice as a nurse. You can graduate from any program, but that doesn't mean you can practice as a nurse. You have to graduate from a program and you have to pass your national boards, which is the NCLEX, in order to be a nurse. And then the other thing this program does is we'll prepare you to take the clinical nurse leader certification. 

So again, you can finish our coursework, which prepares you to be a clinical nurse leader, and then you sit for those national exams. So at the end of this program, the master's entry program, you will be prepared to sit for two national exams. This is just a snapshot of what that looks like. Again in the first semester, you'll see that we have to start out with the basics. So you're going to have health assessment and foundations, and that's going to teach you the theory behind how to do a health assessment, how to care for a patient.

And then you're going to come to campus for 10 days for that clinical skills visit. And we'll show you a little bit more about what that's going to look like. But it's very intense, it's very busy. After that, you will come back and you will start your foundations in nursing practice. So most of the beginning of this course will just be kind of introducing you to concepts. When you get back from your clinical skills visit, you'll go right into the clinical practice areas. You'll also be taking advanced pathophysiology and pharmacology, and theories in nursing and clinical leadership.

Again, this is a master's program, so it needs a little bit more in depth than our accelerated baccalaureate program. Summer then, if you come in in the spring, summer will be research. You have to understand how to use research to give good nursing care. Epi and biostats, again, that supports research. You have to understand the concepts of those before you can apply research in evidence- based practice. And then you're going to be doing your adult health I and your adult health II clinical.

So these will be clinicals. And just like the advance or the accelerated baccalaureate program, every semester after that, you are in clinical. So then your fall semester, your third semester, you're doing family health nursing, which is pediatrics and women's health. You're doing mental health nursing. And then your theory courses will include management of clinical outcomes and professional perspectives. So again, these are the graduate level leadership type courses that you're going to need to enter the nursing field, not only with your beginning clinical skills, but you're beginning leadership skills, so you can assume those leadership positions.

January you go straight through. So you're not going to get a break here. Spring, summer, fall and January is a very short semester for us. It's a one month. We call it a J term. And you're going to take technologies in healthcare, huge in healthcare right now, technology and how we use it in caring for patients. And then you're going to keep going. You'll be here in the spring for health system and professional perspectives. And again, this is a higher level, higher critical thinking level course that requires you to apply leadership principles and concepts.

And then you're also going to have your two clinical courses, which is complex health and population health. And then you end and graduate in the last semester. And you'll see here, this clinical nurse leader residency is 360 clinical hours. So that's why we can't fit in another residency for you to come back on campus like you do with the baccalaureate program. There's just no time. That's an extremely intense residency. So you're going to get all those practice hours. And then again, we're looking at leadership and systems and organizations and professional perspectives.

And this one is also a prep course for your NCLEX and your CNL certification. We don't like to think of seeing this as teaching to the test because it really isn't. This is just a way to help you learn how to take these particular tests. All disciplines have different styles of testing, and nursing is very particular in how they test. So we want you to understand when you go in to take these tests, exactly what's going to be expected of you.

So we're not teaching to the test. This is just, okay, this is your knowledge, this is how they're going to ask you the question, this is how you need to answer the question. So that's a quick snapshot. And then if you want to compare the accelerated baccalaureate program with the master's entry program, you can see the GPA is a little bit less for the baccalaureate than the masters, which is normal. If you look at any master's program, you're going to need a higher GPA to get into that program than you would a baccalaureate program.

Program length is a little bit longer, but again, you're doing both baccalaureate and graduate level competencies. You have more clinical and simulation hours. Cost is a little bit more. That reflects the higher credit hours and the more clinical. You get prepared for both the NCLEX and the clinical nurse leader exams. When you graduate and pass your exams, you will be a registered nurse when you finish your accelerated baccalaureate program.

And you'll be a registered nurse and a certified clinical nurse leader when you finish your master's entry program. So the ideal student for the advanced... I keep saying advanced, accelerated BFN is somebody who wants to get through it in quickly. It's a year. So you start in the fall and you finish the next fall. The person who would be most interested in taking MENP is usually you want to get your master's degree, and you're thinking that you're more interested in leadership type positions when you graduate. 

So let's talk about the residencies. The residencies, we say simulation a lot. What is simulation? Well, this is a picture of our simulated lab. And the person standing by the patient is actually pretending that she's the nurse taking care of this patient. So our patients talk, our patients breathe. Our patients can, if you give them the wrong medication, you can stop their heart. If you don't ask them the right questions and do the correct assessment, they'll go downhill, they won't get better.

So you can't see it, but behind on the other side is one of our faculty who's actually running the simulation, and will cause the mannequin, it's not a mannequin actually, but the person laying there in the bed, to react based on the decisions that you're making at the bedside. So it really does simulate what you will see with giving patient care at the bedside, in a hospital where you're going to be. We run you through different scenarios.

We'll run you through a pediatric scenario. We'll run you through an adult health. We'll run you through a community scenario so that by the time you're finished with this residency, you'll be prepared to go to the bedside and give care to the patient. And you'll be much more confident than even the onsite programs that we have here, where you go earlier, but you haven't had as much prep. You're also going to be in... There's a lab associated with this too, that doesn't show up on this picture. But the lab is where you actually practice listening to lung sounds, listening to heart sounds, putting in IVs, putting in NG tubes. 

You probably don't know what all those are, but those are nasty things we do to patients in the bed when we need to. But they're technical skills that you need to know how to do, and you need to be able to practice them first. So you get to practice them on mannequins. You get to practice on each other, assessments. We don't make you poke each other. We don't make you put tubes down your throat or anything like that. But you do get to practice doing assessments on each other, which is important. Some of you have never had an experience where you've had to deal with patients in an intimate setting before.

So this kind of helps you get used to touching people. And you're not used to touching people or talking to people and asking questions that really should be taboo if you're not a nurse. So this residency really immerses you for 10 days and gets you all of that experience. And then we set you loose and you're out there in your clinicals. So as far as your clinicals, once we set you loose, we do try to find clinicals in your area.

If you have an idea of where you might be able to do a clinical or where you might have a contact for a preceptor, you can let us know, and we will follow up on those referrals. But we do have to screen and make sure... There's a lot of back work that has to be done, but we'll definitely appreciate any insight you have into that. You will be working with a placement coordinator. So one of the slides before said you will be working with student success support, and that person...

Excuse me. That person is going to keep in contact with you regularly, make sure you're doing okay. They're not your faculty. They're not your scholastic side of it, but you know," How are you doing? Classes going okay? Anything we can do to support you?" And the same thing will happen with your clinical placement. They'll just make sure you're getting in there, you're finding your preceptor, you get the direction's okay. So even though it's online, you're not going to be alone. You're going to have your student success advisor.

You're going to have your clinical placement person. And then you're also going to have all of your online faculty. So you'll have plenty of support and plenty of encouragement along the way.  Online learning at Elmhurst, we take pride. We have gotten awards before for our successful programs. We take pride in our passionate faculty that are dedicated to your success. Again, we have our students support advisors who are there to support you along the way, our clinical placement advisors who are there to help you.

We have clinical placements as close as possible that we can find them, to where you live, so hopefully you won't be driving extended distances. We are fully accredited by our accrediting agency, a national accrediting agency. And we also have a success rate on our NCLEX exams. So we've done this before. We know what we're doing. We love what we're doing. We believe in what we're doing. We need nurses. And so we need you to join us.

Myths and truths. Things that online learning is not. It is not an easy program. It is brutal. I'll just be honest. Because if you're not up to brutal, then don't come. It is brutal. It is fast- paced. It's a lot of work. It does not give you flexibility to work and study. We encourage you not to work. We encourage you to have your finances to a point where you can just be totally dedicated to the program. And I know that's hard. I know that's hard. Most people have to work.

So if you do have to work, it'll have to be not as much. And your work will have to be the flexible piece, not your study and your program here. It is not self- paced. There is a definite start and end date to everything. You have to keep up and you have to be able to do that and be successful. What it is is closely supported. Like I talked about before, the clinical placement supports, the student success supports.

You will have the same rigor that you would have on an in campus, onsite program. We teach exactly the same thing in person as we do online. We just have come up with some more fun ways to teach it online than in the classroom. But it's the exact same content. You will be exactly the same prepared. And you will learn from your coursework that we've spent some time making sure is up to standard, and not only up to standard, but something you want to participate in.

Nobody wants to learn in a dull and boring environment. So as we build these courses out, we try to think of things to make them active and engaging and something that you will want to do to learn from. So I think Nancy is next. And she's going to talk to you about enrollment.

Nancy Hamernik: Yes. Thank you. Well, I'm super excited to learn all that information about both of these programs. And now that we have established that are you in the right place, we've gone through all the details about the program, clinicals, everything like that, we need to go over some next steps. So here are pictures of the four of us on the enrollment team. So we have Amna, myself, Mary Katherine, and Kim. A lot out of you have probably talked to one of us already on this call. It's extremely important that you talk to us. As you can tell, this program has a lot of details, and we need to make sure that you fully understand how this program works, so we can be sure that it's a good fit.

We don't want anyone to be in the wrong program. We want to make sure you know all about it, how it works. And then the four of us will take you through the application process and provide you support on the front end. And so you can see there is that link at the bottom so you can schedule an appointment with us. It's actually a great link because it allows you to have access to our calendar so you can schedule a time that would work best for you. On the next slide, you can see that there are the requirements for the accelerated bachelor's degree in nursing, along with the master's entry program.

The first step is to always schedule an appointment with one of us here on the admission side. From there, we'll go over how to start your application. And we'll always confirm where to send your transcripts. Once we have your transcripts, we'll start calculating your grade point averages, let you know of any missing prerequisite courses. And as already stated, you can take those pre-reqs at any regionally accredited school, university, whatever fits best for you. There are seven pre-reqs for the accelerated bachelor's degree and five for the master's entry.

Once you get through the application process, we will go ahead and get you set up for review, get you the decision, and get you started for classes to begin. 

Katie Macaluso: Wonderful. Thank you so much, Nancy. So at this point, we've saved some time for our Q& A section. I imagine that many of you may have some additional questions that you want to send in. Please go ahead and do so now, if you haven't already. I see a few in here. I did have one question of my own that I wanted to start with Professor Brennan, as you submit your questions. This might apply to more than just the ABSN program, but I wanted to ask, for students who are starting in the ABSN program in this next term, what advice would you offer these new students to be successful in the program?

Laura Brennan: What Dr. Salvador said. First of all, to make sure that you have your life in order, if you will. Make sure that you're not going to be working full time. There's no way you can work full time and do this full time. You just have to have some free time. So making sure that you can afford to do this at the time. And also being realistic of the expectations of the program. So your clinical may be during the day, it might be in the evening, maybe at night, depending on what you work out with your placement coordinator.

So just be realistic that this is going to be rigorous. It's going to be worth it, but it's going to be rigorous.

Katie Macaluso: Very good. Our next question, I'm going to send to you Dr. Salvador. This question asks, what other types of nurses could we choose from by earning an MSN with Elmhurst?

Diane Salvador: Yeah, the master's entry program is beginning level nursing. It's not advanced practice. So when you get your certification for clinical nurse leadership, it's not an advanced practice role. And by that, I mean, it's not a nurse practitioner, it's not a nurse anesthetist. It's not like a peds family nurse practitioner. It's not a specialty. To do that, you would need to go on and get additional certifications, additional education programs.

So both of these are entry level. It will prepare you for basic entry level into nursing. If you want to be an advanced practice nurse, the next thing to do would be to find a program that prepares you for a particular area like the ones I just mentioned. Beyond that, we have doctoral level prepared nurses. So those are mostly again, for advanced practice and advanced roles.

And what I mean by advanced roles is vice president of a healthcare system, nurse leader of like a hospital. So those are the roles that are advanced. Those are the roles that are the practice areas that are advanced. But both of these programs are entry level in terms of nursing practice. It's kind of confusing, I know. We tend to do that in nursing education.

But yeah, it's not advance practice.

Katie Macaluso: Very good. Thank you for that clarification. Our next question is an admissions question. So I'm going to turn this to Nancy. The question asks, can we apply to the program before completing the pre-reqs?

Nancy Hamernik: So that's a great question. And the answer to that would be yes, you can start the application process before all of your prerequisite courses are finished. And then as you finish two of your science prerequisite courses, we would be able to send you up and get you a decision, assuming that you meet the rest of the prerequisite requirements in terms of grade point averages.

Laura Brennan: I just want to add to that. You just have to have your pre- reqs done by the time you start. So you might be in progress with some pre- reqs. As long as they're completed by the time you are scheduled to start, it's fine.

Katie Macaluso: Perfect. And then our next question asks, what is the success rate for the NCLEX exam?

Laura Brennan: Okay. I have that here. So for our master's entry, the last five years has been a 100%, 92, 100, 190. And then for our bachelor, our BSN... And this is all public knowledge. You can Google this, and it lists all the Illinois states or Illinois schools. For the BSN, 90, 88, 93, 87, 90 for the past five years.

Katie Macaluso: Thank you, Professor Brennan. Our next question asks, can students still be accepted into the ABSN program with a lower GPA? I assume that's asking if it's a lower GPA than the stated 2. 8. I guess I'll send that to you too, Professor Brennan.

Laura Brennan: No.

Katie Macaluso: Okay. Thank you. Let's see. Our next question asks, what will the faculty student interaction look like in these programs? How will we get to know our faculty. I can turn that to your Dr. Salvador.

Diane Salvador: Yeah, like I said, every week, you will have at least a one hour live session with your faculty. And then faculty have office hours. You could arrange to meet with them on Zoom or a phone call in between times. And you will also be meeting with your clinical faculty one hour a week on Zoom. So you get to know them. We do activities that we kind of get to know each other by online. But you will be with your faculty quite a bit of the time.

Katie Macaluso: Great. Thank you. Let's see. Our next question here asks, where was that, about clinical placement. Will we go to a different clinical site each semester? Or how often will we change to a different site?

Diane Salvador: Yeah, that's kind of hard to say because it depends on where you are. If you're at a large university medical center that has all the specialties, you might be able to stay there. If you're in a smaller community that might say, not have a psych unit or a psych facility in the community, you would have to travel somewhere else. Some of the smaller facilities don't have peds in OB. So again, you could get your med surge in one place and you'd have to travel someplace else for your specialty.

So it really kind of depends on where you are physically located and the resources in that area.

Katie Macaluso: Great. Go ahead.

Laura Brennan: Can I just add to that? Your clinical placements are really job interviews too. So as you're doing your clinical, you want to in your best behavior, you want to really help out the team because that could turn into a job for you when you graduate.

Katie Macaluso: That's a great point. A follow- up question on the clinicals as well. A couple of people are asking about if those clinicals are taking place on weekdays or if it could be over the weekend.

Diane Salvador: Yeah, it depends on your preceptor. So you work your preceptor schedule. Most nurses now work 12 hour shifts, and they work weekends and they work holidays. That's what nurses do. So you will be with a preceptor and working those hours. Normally it'll be a 12 hour shift. It might be an 8 or 10 hour, again, depending where you are and how they do their staffing. So you'll be working all different shifts, all different times, weekends, during the day.

Katie Macaluso: Very good. This next question asks, how many students are in each cohort? I'm specifically interested in the master's program.

Diane Salvador: We try to keep all of our cohorts small, both the accelerate baccalaureate and the master's entry. So between 20 and 25, maybe a little higher, maybe a little lower.

Katie Macaluso: Very good. Let's see here. Our next question asks, I don't live in one of the states that you said are supported by the program, but I would be willing to move before starting the program. Is that something that would work and would I be able to know before actually moving?

Diane Salvador: Sure. If you're willing to move, then yeah. Yep.

Katie Macaluso: Okay, wonderful. Let's see here. Thank you all for all the questions. This is great. We're seeing a ton of questions here. So, really glad to have all of the interest. Looking to see if we've missed any here. This next question is about the master program as well. If I apply to the master's program and I'm not admitted, can I still apply to the ABSN program? I can turn that to you, Dr. Salvador.

Diane Salvador: Sure. Yep. I'm not sure what would... Yeah, I guess I'm trying to think of what the reasoning behind that would be, but yes, you can apply.

Katie Macaluso: And maybe a good follow- up, this isn't in the asked questions, but if anybody is wondering about the timeline, if they would have an admission decision early enough that they could pivot to the ABSN if for some reason they weren't admitted to the MENP program. I don't know, Professor Brennan or Dr. Salvador, if one of you could speak to just kind of what that timeline looks like from the time they apply with a complete file, to being admitted. About what does that look like?

Laura Brennan: We do that pretty quickly. It's a rolling admission. And so if somebody has all the pre- reqs done, or most of the pre- reqs done, and just has a few left and has easily met the GPA requirements. So it is a 2. 8 for the undergrad, BSN program overall, plus a 2. 8 in the sciences. So as long as it looks like the person's going to meet that, we make decisions each week. It's a rolling admission. So sooner stuff is getting in, but sooner we can make that decision for the BSN. I'm not sure about the masters, so I'll give that to Dr. Salvador.

Diane Salvador: Yeah, we follow the same process. So it's kind of incumbent on you to get all of your materials submitted. Once they're submitted, then we get them and we review them right away. And we let you know about your admission.

Laura Brennan: I would like to also point out too, that the master's entry does have a five year limit on the sciences. And so that may preclude you from going for the masters. Whereas the BSN, we do not have that.

Katie Macaluso: Good clarification. Our next question asks about the clinicals, are they pass/ fail?

Laura Brennan: They are, yes. The clinicals are pass/ fail, but there are clinical assignments that you have. And so those go into the didactic grade. You have to have a pass in the clinical and you have to meet the requirements of the didactic course. So the grade goes to the didactic course. And I want to point out also that for both the undergraduate and the master's, we have a 78% exam average rule in any clinical course. So that it means you have to get a 78% average on your exams in the didactic course in order to pass that, regardless of what your other grades that are non- exam grades.

Even if it brings it up above 78, you have to have the exam average.

Katie Macaluso: Very good. This next question relates to the master's program. And this person is asking if the master's program typically fills up completely. So I'll turn that to you, Dr. Salvador.

Diane Salvador: We generally have seats available.

Katie Macaluso: Very good.

And still time to submit an application as well. Nancy, I can't recall if we covered this already, but just in terms of upcoming application dates, do you want to maybe touch on that too?

Nancy Hamernik: Yeah, absolutely. So Katie is right. There's still plenty of time to complete your application for the spring. That begins January 31st. So what we'll do here in admissions is help you with that process. So get your transcripts, your resume, personal statement, depending on which program you're applying to. We'll get that finished probably by the deadline, probably early December, but you really want to think of Thanksgiving as you're a deadline because of holidays and things like that. It's just a little bit tougher to, if you're asking for recommenders, to get those done.

So obviously sooner the better. You can get decision sooner as you finish your application and things like that. If you are taking pre-reqs, you want to get those done as soon as possible as well, so that you can focus on clinical clearances and getting ready for classes to begin.

Laura Brennan: I also want to add that Nancy and her group can help you with some schools that do offer some online courses for our pre-reqs. So they have some suggestions if you're not sure where you could take a class online for a pre- req.

Nancy Hamernik

Absolutely. Yep. So always speak with us and then we will help you with this entire process.

Katie Macaluso: Very good. All right. Well, at this point, we're going to go ahead and wrap up our Q& A here. We want to thank you so much for all of your great questions. Hopefully we've been able to answer these for you. If you think of any additional questions that you have, we'd certainly encourage you to reach out to our admissions team to learn a little bit more. So I've got this link up, or this URL up on the screen. Again, if you want to go to to go ahead and reach out by email or to schedule an appointment with Nancy or one of the other advisors to talk more through the program.

And then just a reminder that we did record this session and we'll be sending out a recording of it tomorrow. So you'll be able to go back and see more as well. So thank you again so much for joining us. We hope you have a great afternoon and we hope that we can speak with you soon. Take care.