What is an ABSN program site? How does online nursing school work? If you’re thinking of changing careers to nursing, you may qualify for an Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing or ABSN program. You’ll complete online coursework and visit the ABSN program site to complete hands-on learning experiences.
If you’re considering transitioning to a nursing career, you probably have many questions. What are clinicals? How does online nursing school work? And what is an ABSN program site?
Here, you’ll find straightforward answers, and if you still have lingering questions, an admission representative at Utica University will be happy to assist you. Our Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) program pathway and Transfer BSN pathway are designed specifically for those interested in a career change to nursing.
If you choose to attend one of our program pathways, you’ll likely be at one of our ABSN program sites soon. But before we explore the basics of what is an ABSN program site, let’s take a closer look at exactly what an ABSN program is.
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What Is an ABSN Program?
An ABSN program confers a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Nursing. Traditionally, it takes high school graduates four years to earn a baccalaureate nursing degree. Utica University offers an Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing pathway for non-nursing bachelor’s degree students. We also offer a Transfer BSN pathway for adult learners with some college education. Our admission requirements for the transfer pathway include at least 65 credits from an accredited institution.
But not to worry! You don’t need previous nursing education or experience — your college credits can be in any area. With the ABSN program pathway or transfer program pathway, you can leverage these college credits or non-nursing bachelor’s degree to earn a nursing degree in as few as 16 months.
Although you complete your B.S. in Nursing on an accelerated timeline, you still receive the same quality education as a four-year nursing student and work through the same comprehensive curriculum. If you meet the admission requirements, you may still need to complete some degree requirement courses (previously called prerequisite courses). These courses — in content areas such as statistics, microbiology and anatomy — help you prepare for the nursing curriculum.
If you need to complete some degree requirement courses, you may take them online through Utica University. Doing so will enable you to become familiar with our online learning platform. Speaking of online learning, how does online nursing school work, exactly?
How Does Online Nursing School Work?
Now that you know the answer to the question, “What is an ABSN program?” let’s look at how online nursing school works. Utica University has optimized our ABSN program and transfer path to meet the needs of our adult learners. Convenience and flexibility are essential for busy adults seeking to change their careers, so we’ve taken our nursing classes online.
Our online learning format* lets you choose where and when to take your courses, provided you still adhere to your instructors’ guidelines for turning in assignments and completing exams. Online nursing coursework offers flexibility and may enhance the learning process. With our interactive modules, you can:
- Review the materials as many times as you need
- Complete simulated learning experiences
- Join chat sessions with professors
- Engage with fellow nursing students on discussion boards
Our approach to online learning enables our students to take charge of their education and have more opportunities to review essential nursing concepts. While online learning works well for some aspects of an ABSN program, nursing can only be completed partially online, unlike many other degree programs. You’ll also need to visit one of our ABSN program sites.
*Please note if you are a student enrolled in the Transfer BSN pathway offered exclusively in Albany, New York, you’ll attend face-to-face courses supported by our intuitive online platform.
In Nursing School, What Is an ABSN Program Site?
Even when a nursing school offers online nursing coursework, future nurses still must practice hands-on activities to develop nursing skills. You’ll acquire and polish your nursing skills when attending labs on campus. The campus is also referred to as an ABSN program site.
What to Expect at Our ABSN Program Sites
Now that you know the answer to the question, “What is an ABSN program site?” you may wonder what you can expect there. If you attend Utica University, you can choose from two ABSN program sites in Syracuse or Albany, NY. Let’s closely examine what you’ll do at one of our locations.
Onsite Nursing Skills Labs
When you visit our ABSN program site, you’ll complete a series of nursing skills labs. These provide opportunities to develop your nursing skills. For example, you’ll learn how to perform tasks such as:
- Taking vital signs
- Starting an intravenous (IV) line
- Placing a catheter
- Providing wound care
- Inserting a nasogastric tube
The skills lab provides a simulated hospital experience in a controlled environment that looks and functions like a healthcare clinic. You’ll have plenty of opportunities to practice essential nursing skills and receive personalized feedback from your instructors.
In-Person Nursing Simulation Labs
In addition to nursing skills labs, you’ll visit the ABSN program site to complete nursing simulation labs, also known as “sim labs.” These sim labs allow you to practice delivering patient care. At Utica University, we believe in thoroughly preparing our students to provide excellent healthcare, so we’ve designed our simulation labs to look and function as close to authentic as possible.
Our nursing students have access to high-tech medical manikins. Unlike store mannequins, medical manikins are full-body patient simulators designed to function and respond like patients. For example, they can produce palpable pulses and heart tones and make life-like sounds. You’ll practice everything from patient positioning and transfer techniques to injections and urinary catheter placement on these manikins.
There can be a bit of a learning curve to acquire solid nursing skills — but don’t worry. Making mistakes in nursing sim labs is part of the learning process in preparation for caring for actual patients. Ask as many questions as possible and embrace the critiques from your instructors.
The nursing sim labs occur in three phases:
- Preparation: You’ll meet with members of your cohort and your instructors to discuss the upcoming clinical situation.
- Experience: You’ll participate in the nursing simulation experience, performing the appropriate nursing tasks for that particular scenario.
- Debriefing: Your instructors will debrief you and your cohort, offering feedback and further explanations.
What Are Clinicals?
Much of your nursing education will take place online and at an ABSN program site. However, another critical component of a B.S. in Nursing degree is nursing clinical rotations, often called “clinicals.” What are clinicals?
Clinicals are like short-term internships. For each clinical rotation, you’ll be placed at an area healthcare facility near the Syracuse/Liverpool or Albany area. You’ll start slowly, tackling the more manageable nursing tasks, and gradually take on more responsibility as your nursing education progresses. You’ll have plenty of opportunities to provide direct patient care under the watchful eye of your preceptor (a licensed RN who will supervise you).
Not only will you practice performing nursing tasks, but you can cultivate your bedside manner. You’ll have numerous opportunities to interact with patients and their family members. You can work on developing a calming, reassuring presence and demeanor. In addition, you’ll receive personalized feedback from your preceptor.
Want to learn more? Learn what to expect in nursing clinicals here!
Are You Ready to Pursue Your Nursing Career?
Now that you have the answers to questions like, “How does online nursing school work?” are you ready to start? The admission representatives at Utica University are here to assist you.
Your dedicated representative will review your transcripts, assess your eligibility for the program and answer any lingering questions. Contact an admission representative today to get the ball rolling!