Utica ABSN Program: A Day in the Life of a Nursing Student
Our 16-month Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) program enrolls individuals from all walks of life. Some students are recent college graduates, while others are career changers with children. See how a day in the life of a nursing student can vary based on the individual.
While every Utica ABSN student completes the same professional nursing curriculum, which comprises online coursework, hands-on nursing labs and in-person clinical rotations, the way in which they study is different. It just depends on what they have going on at home.
Given the fact that Utica ABSN students complete their fundamental nursing courses online, they have the flexibility to choose when and where they study — and at their own pace. Professor deadlines, however, still apply.
If you’re a morning person who has no family obligations, it might serve you well to start your coursework at 10 a.m. every day. If you have children, you might have to spend your evenings studying. It really doesn’t matter when you study, you just have to have good self-discipline and a consistent routine. And don’t forget to take advantage of the faculty support that’s just an email or call away.
“It’s crazy to me that people are skeptical about online learning,” said Kristin, a 2016 graduate of our ABSN program. “I liked it because I had a baby at home who was breastfeeding and I didn’t have to spend much time away from him.”
Kristin also noted that she liked our ABSN program’s online learning platform. “It was awesome. I never had any issues and could always find what I needed.” Plus, she said her professors were very easy to reach and guaranteed a 24-hour turnaround on providing a response.
Kathryn, a current student in our ABSN program in Syracuse, New York, had doubts about online learning at first, but she has ended up loving it.
I love that I can go home after lab to eat lunch and take a break before getting started on my coursework. If you can manage your time, it’s a great way to go.
-Kathryn, ABSN Program, Class of August 2019
Utica ABSN students are required to attend nursing skills and simulation labs at your respective site location on a weekly basis. And, unlike the online courses, labs run on a set schedule. This comes as a surprise to many prospective students because they assume the program is 100% online, which is absolutely not the case.
“When I applied to Utica, I was surprised to hear that the labs took place onsite. I thought the program was online,” said Chandni, a 2016 graduate of our ABSN program.
“I found it to be a great surprise. In lab, you have a real-life nurse teaching you how to care for a patient. We would learn a skill and then be tested on it three weeks later. So, practice every chance you get.”
During your time in our four-semester ABSN program, you can expect to complete 225 hours of lab time. If you’re a student with children or other important family obligations, it helps to plan for these labs in advance. We see a lot of students who have a solid support network in place prior to entering nursing school. Here’s a breakdown of labs by semester.
|Semester I||Semester II||Semester III||Semester IV|
|Foundations for Nursing Care||Medical/Surgical Care I||Senior Care I||Senior Care II|
|90 lab hours||45 lab hours||45 lab hours||45 lab hours|
No matter your site of enrollment, we stage our nursing labs to look like an actual clinical setting. And, within this realistic, yet risk-free setting, you can practice and hone your skills using clinical task trainers and full-body medical manikins, some of which can talk, breathe, produce a heartbeat and even bleed.
At first, you might think it’s stupid to perform all of these skills on a manikin. Then clinicals come around and you realize you have a lot more confidence working with a real patient.
-Daniel, ABSN Program (Syracuse, New York), Class of 2016
Unlike most nursing programs, we get you started on your clinical rotations during the first semester. Over the span of the program, you’ll log 588 hours of real-world experience in diverse areas of patient care. Here’s a breakdown of clinical rotations by semester.
|Semester I||Semester II||Semester III||Semester IV|
|Foundations for Nursing Care||Obstetric Population||Medical/Surgical Care II||Professional Nursing Trends|
|Populations & Communities||Aging Population||Psychiatric Population||Advanced Medical/Surgical Nursing|
|Medical/Surgical Care I||Pediatric Population|
|84 clinical hours||168 clinical hours||168 clinical hours||168 clinical hours|
You’ll have access to high-quality clinical placements within the local community. And, no matter where you’re placed for your first clinical, it’s normal to feel uncomfortable until you become acclimated with the healthcare facility.
I loved my clinicals.
-Kristin, ABSN Program, Class of 2016
“I was intimidated during my first clinical because you’re communicating with an actual patient,” said Kristin. "You can’t believe that this person is looking to you for answers. Even when you know the answer, you question yourself because it’s the real world. But after a while, you become more comfortable because you have a better sense of what you can and cannot do.”
And once again, if you’re a student with children or other important family obligations, having a support network in place is critical to your completion of the clinical rotations. After all, clinical placements and shifts often vary based on a facility’s availability.
Famous Last Words
As a Utica ABSN student, you should anticipate spending between 40 and 60 hours a week on your education. Some days will be more difficult than others, but it will be worth it when you graduate from the program in 16 months.
“Be prepared to hit the ground running,” said Eddie, a current student in our ABSN program. “It can be overwhelming at first, but you have a lot of great resources here. The staff is really helpful. I’ve also found that teaming up with your peers also helps. You can do this. You just have to stay focused.”
Ready or Not?
Now that you have a better idea of what a day in the life of an accelerated nursing student is like, are you ready to set your nursing education in motion? We can get you started as soon as you’re ready, with three start dates per year. Contact our admission team to learn more.