Kristin always knew she wanted to help people, that’s why she went into social work, but after working in a hospital she realized that she wanted to treat the whole person. Since Kristin worked with nurses, she knew that she needed to find an accredited nursing program, but she also needed flexibility, she was pregnant.
Kristin started the ABSN program shortly after giving birth and loves that she’s able to pursue her dream of becoming a nurse while being able to take care of her new family.
Kristin had been out of college a couple years and got into social work, but she really wanted to become a nurse. One of her biggest fears was her age.
“I didn’t really want to go back to a campus where everyone would be younger than me,” she says.
That’s when she found Utica College. It fit her needs for many reasons including the time it would take to complete the Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing program and the personal attention she would receive.
“I wanted something online where I could work at my own pace,” she says. “I liked having a program that if I had questions or if I needed assistance I could just drive over and get the help that I needed.”
Kristin filled out the online form for Utica’s ABSN program and received a phone call the next day. Eventually, she was paired up with her admissions representative, Brenna, who made the process easy to understand.
“Brenna saved the day. She always remembered what I had going on. She had all of my information,” she says. “It was easy with Brenna. She’s awesome.”
Together, Brenna took Kristin step by step through the application process, constantly checking in with updates.
“It was pretty smooth,” Kristin says.
Earning a B.S. in Nursing in 16 months requires a lot of hard work and can prove to be difficult for many students, including Kristin.
“It’s a completely different frame of mind when you’re taking nursing exams and I think a lot of us struggled,” she says.
But that’s where Utica College’s dedicated staff came into play, making sure she and her other classmates had the support they need to succeed.
“The staff is really supportive and they hold review sessions and spend a lot of extra time mentoring and tutoring to keep us on track,” she says.
“My professors are easy to reach and they guarantee a 24-hour turnaround if you have a question or anything,” Kristin says. “You have a small team of support for each student.”
Online coursework allowed Kristin the flexibility she needed because she was going to nursing school while taking care of her newborn son.
“For me, I have a baby at home and to know that I only had to come to lab on campus one day a week and do clinicals on the weekend and I could be home with my son the rest of the week, the flexibility is great,” she says.
Kristin had taken online classes before so she was prepared before starting the accelerated nursing program.
“It’s 2016, I’ve been taking online classes for years now,” she says. “It’s crazy to me that people are skeptical about online learning when it’s the future.”
For those who are worried about the online portion of the ABSN program, Kristin says it’s important to know that at Utica College you have the support to make it through.
“It’s accelerated so you have to be very disciplined as a student,” she says. “Just know what you have to get done and stay on top of it.”
Before students deal with “real” patients, they receive hands-on experience in Utica College’s skills and simulation labs. That’s where Kristin was taught the basics of nursing and learned how to work with patients using manikins that can do almost anything a real patient can.
“It’s not like you do the work in a book and then go to clinical,” she says. “You can get your technique down on a manikin and, for me, it makes me feel a lot more comfortable to get my technique down before working on an actual person.”
Starting clinical rotations can be an overwhelming experience for students, like Kristin. But, with time and experience, it becomes easier.
“My first day of clinical was intimidating because it was a real person that you had to go in and communicate with,” she says. “You can’t believe that they’re actually looking to you for answers. You read it and you know the answer, but whenever you’re actually feeding that information to a person you’re like, ‘Was that right?’ After a while, you get more comfortable.”
While Kristin was intimidated in the beginning, clinicals eventually became the highlight of her nursing school experience.
“After every clinical, I come home and say ‘I want to work in labor and delivery’ then I’ll have a different rotation and change my mind,” she says. “I love clinicals; it’s my favorite part.”
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.
Our ABSN has three start dates a year, so you can begin nursing school whenever you're ready.