Because you have a passion for caring for others and know career opportunities abound for highly skilled nurses, you’re sure you want to change careers to nursing — the sooner the better. But the question remains: How do you sift through all the nursing schools out there to find a quality program to best meet your needs?
That’s where the Utica College ABSN program, called Utica ABSN, comes in. It’s an accredited accelerated B.S. in Nursing program that allows qualified students the chance to complete their nursing degrees in as few as 16 months. And the benefits of Utica ABSN to you as a nursing student only start there. Read on to discover five more ways Utica ABSN can help you get in the fast lane on the road to a new nursing career.
1. A saved seat in nursing school via our PREP program
Before you can enroll as a Utica ABSN student, you must first complete six prerequisite courses. While you can take these foundational science courses at any accredited higher learning institution, it’s often most beneficial to take them online through Utica College’s Prerequisite Priority Program (PREP). Why? Because doing so takes the guesswork out of admittance to nursing school.
Students who take their nursing prerequisites through PREP may reserve their seat in the ABSN program while they work to complete their remaining prerequisites, unlike other nursing schools where students complete prerequisites first then wait for an admission decision on their acceptance into a program.
“PREP was beneficial to me because a lot of the ABSN program is online. It gets you in the mindset that you have to be self-motivated and you got to know some of the other students who’d be in your cohort at the same time, so it gave you a jumpstart in communicating with them,” Utica ABSN alumna Stacy says.
What else makes PREP so great?
- Seamless credit transfers: All credits earned through PREP seamlessly transfer to the Utica ABSN program.
- Financial aid eligibility: Enrolling in at least two prerequisite courses makes students eligible to apply for federal financial aid.
2. No wait list to enroll
Traditional university nursing programs can only start students once (maybe twice) a year. In some cases you could even earn a traditional bachelor’s degree in the time it’d take you to start classes in some nursing schools with a waitlist!
That’s not the case at Utica ABSN: We have the capacity to enroll a high number of qualified students because we enroll three starts (January, May and August) every year. That means if you meet the qualifications to enroll, you can start classes when you’re ready — not just when there’s an opening. Once you complete all the prerequisites, you can earn your nursing degree in as few as 16 months.
“When deciding on a program, I was looking for the convenience of getting in early. A lot of other schools had long waits and told me I’d have to wait at least a year to start. … Utica’s ABSN program was more convenient for me since it had an earlier time,” says Logan, ABSN Class of December 2017.
3. A supportive learning environment
Utica College is a nonprofit institution. Why should this matter to you, a prospective nursing student? For starters, unlike for-profit higher education institutions that report to shareholders, a nonprofit college’s main stakeholder is you, the student.
At Utica ABSN, our main priority is to help you succeed in completing your degree and achieving your ultimate goal of becoming a nurse. Even before you apply, our dedicated team of admission representatives can help you navigate every step of the application process, from gathering transcripts to completing certification requirements.
Then, once you’re enrolled as a Utica ABSN student, you can look forward to that same level of personalized support from everyone you interact with through our program — from fellow members of your nursing school cohort to your lab and clinical instructors.
“The patients, the nurses, the clinical instructors — everyone I encountered throughout my clinical rotations was willing to provide that experience and make sure I got that practice in,” says Dia, Utica ABSN Class of August 2017.
4. A quality nursing curriculum that will ready you for the real world
Additionally, nonprofit institutions often go beyond the practical and technical skills coursework common among many of the programs for-profit institutions offer. As such, you can expect a more diverse slate of courses from a nonprofit degree program like Utica ABSN.
We designed our ABSN program’s blended curriculum not only to meet both New York and Florida state licensure and regional accreditation requirements (which it does), but to equip students with the key skills today’s healthcare employers demand. The Utica College ABSN program curriculum involves three primary components:
- Online courses feature interactive media and animations to not just memorize material but rather to help you understand how nursing theory concepts affect patient care.
- Hands-on patient simulations and skills labs that take place at our program sites serve as the perfect experiential learning components essential for creating confident, practice-ready nurses.
- Students in the Syracuse program complete clinical rotations at various healthcare facilities in central New York, while students enrolled in either of our Florida locations complete clinicals at health facilities local to each learning site.
5. Proven preparation for the NCLEX
As an accredited college, we also more than adequately prepare our students to take the NCLEX, the professional licensure exam all nurses must pass before they can practice. In fact, in 2016, Utica College’s St. Petersburg graduates had an ABSN NCLEX-RN first-time pass rate of 94%, while our Syracuse ABSN graduates had a first-time NCLEX pass rate of 97%.
“Tests are formatted very similarly to the NCLEX, and certain courses have Kaplan tests at the end of the semester, which is helping you prepare for the big final exam (NCLEX),” Stacy says.
While NCLEX pass rates are not a direct indicator of job placement after graduation, they are a testament to a nursing program’s quality. In fact, many past students have reported they’ve felt more than prepared to take the exam and enter the field a practice-ready nurse upon graduation.
“The first opportunity I had I took it and passed with 75 questions,” says Utica ABSN alumnus Lee, now a critical care RN at Tampa General Hospital. “Some of the tests we took here were more challenging, but I’m happy for that because it made me feel comfortable when I had to go take the test.”
Take steps toward your career change today!
Students choose Utica ABSN because they want a top-notch nursing education without having to wait for admission into a traditional nursing degree program. The Utica College ABSN program gives them the opportunity to earn a B.S. in Nursing and enter the field confidently in as few as 16 months.
Bottom line: Our students are bright, motivated and eager for real career change ASAP. If that sounds like you, contact one of our admission representatives. We’d love to help you navigate your path to your nursing future.