There are a lot of topics to research when looking to go back to college, especially when preparing to enroll in a second-degree Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program. Prospective students should find out how long a program will take to complete, what educational background is required to get accepted, and how much personal support is needed to successfully finish the program, etc. The answers to these questions can help determine if a program is the right fit, which is why we’ve taken the guesswork out of enrolling in Utica College’s second degree Accelerated BSN program in Syracuse, New York.
We’ve identified five things a prospective student should know prior to enrolling in Utica College’s Accelerated BSN (ABSN) program in Syracuse, specifically designed for career changers. Since you are coming into the program with a prior bachelor’s degree in a non-nursing field, the general education courses you have already taken may transfer in. As a result, you could start the nursing curriculum sooner.
Here’s a look at the five things prospective ABSN students in Syracuse should know.
1. The Utica College ABSN has a rigorous, blended format that is broken into three learning components.
Students take courses through our online e-Learning management system. The lessons are interactive and are provided in video, audio, and scenario formats to appeal to multiple learning styles. Lessons can be reviewed repeatedly until the student fully understands the topic. This component of the ABSN program is the nursing theory foundation that will later be practiced in simulation labs, skills labs, and clinical rotations.
The online portion of this program allows students to complete coursework when it fits into their schedule. However, this doesn’t mean they are not required to meet deadlines for readings, projects, quizzes, exams, and other assignments.
Hands-On Skills and Simulation Labs
In the nursing labs, students learn to apply clinical skills in a controlled, risk-free environment by completing a variety of patient scenarios on high-tech medical manikins. The skills labs enable students to ask questions during the learning exercises and give instructors an opportunity to debrief students on their performance afterward.
The nursing simulation labs serve as a reality check for nursing students, giving them a chance to practice what they’ve learned and gain confidence while doing so. In this environment, students can work closely with faculty to perform high risk trauma scenarios without risking patient safety.
Clinical rotations for students in Syracuse take place in a variety of hospital settings in central New York, giving them access to the area’s top hospital systems. Students learn alongside practicing nurses in real-world settings to care for actual patients.
Unlike some nursing programs, clinical rotations for Utica College ABSN students begin in the first semester of their course of study. As the program progresses, students are expected to use a larger range of skills during clinical rotations. Under the supervision of a licensed clinician, students gain experience in specialty areas that include: Obstetrics and Pediatrics, Acute and Long-term Care, and Mental and Behavioral Health.
2. You may need to take pre-requisite courses before beginning the program.
Our New York ABSN is a second-degree program that can be completed in as few as 16 months of professional nursing study; however, prerequisite courses must be completed prior to beginning the nursing curriculum. The amount of time required to complete the program is contingent upon how many prerequisite courses a student has to take. The courses are science and math based, and prepare students for the accelerated nursing curriculum that will follow.
The required courses can be taken through our Prerequisite Priority Program (PREP). Through PREP, students can take the courses entirely online (even those with labs), and seamlessly transfer credits. Plus, students who take courses through PREP are provisionally admitted into Utica College’s second degree BSN program and can begin classes for their target start date if they meet all requirements of the program.
3. Highly experienced clinical instructors are dedicated to student success.
Utica College faculty and staff are committed to helping you succeed as an accelerated second degree BSN student. While a portion of the curriculum includes online courses, students are not on their own while learning. Students interact with instructors in their nursing labs while also participating in clinical rotations and taking online courses – which all take place simultaneously.
In addition to the help they receive from instructors, students can find support by reaching out to success coaches and tutors, or by forming study groups amongst themselves.
4. You will be prepared to sit for the NCLEX upon graduation.
At Utica College, we pride ourselves on our NCLEX pass rate. The NCLEX-RN, or National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses, is an exam that all nursing graduates must pass in order to practice as a nurse. The NCLEX is an important performance indicator, and nursing school graduates must pass it before they are legally allowed to practice as a Registered Nurse.
Throughout the ABSN program, we take steps to prepare students for the NCLEX, and as a result, our rates exceed the national average of 87.4%. In 2016, the first-time NCLEX pass rate for the Syracuse program was 97%. Our NCLEX pass rate is meaningful because it shows that our students are prepared to meet the demands and standards of the nursing field. As a Utica College ABSN student, you can have the confidence that our program will prepare you to sit for the NCLEX.
5. Get started sooner than you think.
At Utica College, we have an expanded capacity to meet the growing demand for nurses nationwide. We are currently enrolling students for our ABSN program in Syracuse, New York, and you could be one of them.
We have three program starts per year, which means an increased number of ambitious career changers are able to get started on their nursing education. Plus, students don’t have to sit on a wait list before beginning the program.
If you do not have a previous bachelor’s degree, but are interested in earning an ABSN degree, we also have an accelerated nursing program in the Tampa Bay area. If you have at least 65 college credits, our accelerated BSN program in Florida can leverage your previous academic experience so you can earn a BSN in as few as 16 months too.
Our admissions representatives will help you get started and walk you through the enrollment steps. You could be enrolling in Utica College’s ABSN program sooner than you think.
Contact an admissions representative to take the first steps toward your ABSN degree.