David’s first college experience ended with a bachelor’s degree in marketing. His degree led him to a job where he dealt with medical records for hospitals. That’s when he realized he didn’t want to sit behind a desk anymore; he wanted to work directly with patients. David needed a program that let him earn his Bachelor of Science in nursing quickly and that’s where his nursing school journey at Utica College in Tampa Bay began.
His Career Change
David thought about nursing when he was earning his first degree but ended up choosing marketing as his major. After graduation, he was offered a job at a company that dealt with medical records. That’s when his desire to become a nurse returned.
“I started working for a company that did third-party medical records for hospitals. I literally spent the entire day going through patients’ charts and building reports to send to nurses and doctors,” he says. “I think it helped push me in the right direction. I realized I didn’t want to be sitting at a desk and I would rather be helping the patient than just looking at their chart.”
Before David knew it he quit his job and went back to school to become a nurse.
“It’s a complete 180 from where I was a year ago,” he says.
Why Utica College?
David started looking for a second-degree nursing school. That’s when he found Utica College’s ABSN program in Tampa Bay.
“I never thought that I would ever see myself back in school, let alone getting to something as high-paced as Utica’s ABSN program,” David says. “But I wanted to get into something I could hit the ground running.”
Besides being accelerated, the program was right down the street from where David was living.
It started with a phone call. That’s where David first started talking to an admissions representative who helped him with every step of the process.
“We kept in touch the entire time,” he says. “She was great as far as getting information from her and giving me a heads-up on deadlines.”
David sent in his transcripts from his first college experience and found out he had a few classes he needed to take in order to get into the ABSN program. He enrolled immediately in Utica College’s Prerequisite Priority program (PREP) which allows students to complete the required prerequisites online and gain provisional acceptance into the ABSN program.
“I had never taken an online course until I was doing my prerequisites,” he says. “It was good to get a sense of what it’s like.”
An Overwhelming Beginning
After orientation, reality set in for David. He knew a lot of people in the field of nursing, but he felt a little unprepared for just how fast-paced and rigorous the program was going to be.
“I was just intimidated by the entire program in general from what I originally thought in my head,” he says. “I thought I was going to continue working full time when I started this program and that lasted about a week.”
Once David started to settle in he found the online courses actually helped him focus better on the large workload.
“You have to really manage your time for the most part,” he says. “I think any program is really what you make of it. You put the time in, you’ll obviously do well. If not, you’re really going to struggle with it.”
Working with Real Patients
Before David could work with “real’ patients, he was taught the foundations of nursing in Utica College’s skills and simulation labs, that include working with manikin patients.
“Doing it on a manikin gives you a foundation that you can go off of when you start dealing with a real patient,” he says. “You get an idea of the process and the procedure behind it.”
Once he mastered his skills in the labs, he started his clinical rotations at BayCare. This is where David realized just how much he loves nursing.
“Clinicals have been awesome,” he says. “It’s a completely different world from what I’m used to. It’s a new experience every week.”
The very first clinical David had was with an uncooperative patient. While most nursing students would find this unnerving, David felt lucky.
“After you take a second to talk to them and get to know them, the patient becomes a lot more responsive to you,” he says. “It’s been a great experience so far. I try to get as many opportunities as I can out of it and I learn something different every time I’m there.”
David says his clinical rotations are what really brings the whole program together. “It gives you an idea of what the environment is going to be like once you get into the field. You can read and listen to what the instructors have to say until your face turns blue. But until you actually see what’s going on in the hospital, you don’t have a taste for what’s going on.”
Are you Ready?
To learn more about Utica College’s accelerated nursing program, contact us today. A dedicated admissions representative can help you create a plan to get you on the right path to becoming a nurse.