By Jessica B., Utica College Admissions Representative
You’ve stayed true to your New Year’s resolution by taking the first step toward a rewarding new career in nursing. After researching Utica College’s Accelerated Nursing program, you are ready to get the ball rolling. But you have a mix of emotions and still have questions about nursing school.
You’re not alone–having questions and asking with confidence is the first step to becoming a successful nursing student. To help you get started, here are the answers to the top questions I am asked from students, like you, before enrolling into the program.
1. If I want to become a nurse, why should I work toward a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)?
Do you picture yourself working in healthcare permanently? If so, earning a BSN is a crucial move. It opens you up to a world of opportunity including job security, specialization, flexibility, and the chance to help others on a daily basis. In fact, hospital leaders are actively seeking out BSN prepared nurses to promote quality and excellence in patient care delivery in hospitals.
According to The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), BSN nurses are prized for their skills in critical thinking, leadership, case management, health promotion, and their ability to practice across a variety of inpatient and outpatient settings. Studies have found that hospitals with a higher percentage of RNs with baccalaureate or higher degrees have better patient outcomes. This is causing magnet status hospitals to take notice.
In order to take action, hospitals with magnet status are making a point to hire BSN prepared nurses due to the 80/20 by 2020 initiative. This means that by the year 2020, every hospital (magnet status or not) is mandated to have 80% of their staff BSN ready. With this in mind, why wouldn’t you decide to earn a BSN?
2. How soon can I start working in my new career?
Utica College offers two ABSN program locations in Syracuse, New York and the Tampa Bay Area in Florida. The 16-month program has three starts per year (January, May and August), so there is no waiting to enroll. And once you enroll, there is no wasting time – you will feel as though you are already working.
That’s because you will have the opportunity to get started on clinicals during the first semester. We partner with some of the leading hospitals in the Central New York and Tampa Bay, FL, areas to prepare our students with the clinical experiences they need to become successful practicing nurses upon completion of our program.
This is a huge deal that sets Utica College apart from most nursing school programs. This will help you to get over any first-day clinical fears that you may have, enhance your communication skills, and grant you exposure to network with top healthcare professionals on the floor.
Hold on tight – because the program goes by quickly! Although rigorous and fast-paced, students rely on each other, building friendships and forming a great support system. Before you know it, you will have the foundation you need to start changing lives in as little as two years.
3. Can I complete this program with children? How do I manage my time?
Nothing worth having comes easy. If anyone should understand that saying, it’s our nursing students with families of their own. However, they are able to find a successful balance between home life and school life.
Our program requires a time commitment similar to maintaining a full time job but the program’s blended format allows for you to have a level of flexibility to complete the required online coursework. That said, the on-site labs and clinical rotations are regimented.
Because of the time commitment our ABSN program entails, it is important to be very mindful of your schedule. Keeping a weekly planner will serve as a great resource – inside, you can keep track of assignments, lab days, your clinical schedule, study time, and more. This will reduce your stress levels and allow you to better manage your personal time with family.
4. Where do I start if I’m relocating?
Relocation can seem daunting, but at Utica College we provide you with the support you need to make this process one of minimal stress. We have a fantastic relocation support team who can help you with everything from finding an apartment complex near our site to securing movers and even finding a roommate who is also in the program.
Your dedicated relocation specialist can help you search for apartments that meet your criteria as well as schedule appointments where you can see the living space, in person (even during off-hours).
Additionally, both the Syracuse and St. Petersburg areas are great locations for you to call your home while enrolled in our program. For more information about relocating, check out How to Relocate for Nursing School with Ease.
5. Is this an accredited program? How does that affect me?
Yes, it is accredited at national, regional and state levels.
Utica College is accredited by the Commission on Higher Education of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, 3624 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-2680, (215) 662-5606. The Commission on Higher Education is an institutional accrediting agency recognized by the US Secretary of Education and the Commission on Recognition of Postsecondary Accreditation.
Our programs at Utica College are also accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), located at One Dupont Circle, NW, Suite 530, Washington, DC 20036, 202.887.6791. This national agency contributes to the improvement of public health by confirming the effectiveness of baccalaureate and graduate nursing degree programs.
Our ABSN program in Tampa Bay, Florida is licensed by the Florida Commission for Independent Education, License No. 4919. The FCIE is an entity with statutory responsibilities relating to nonpublic, postsecondary education institutions.
Our ABSN program near Syracuse, New York is approved by the New York State Education Department (NYSED), located at 89 Washington Avenue, Albany, NY 12234. This state entity provides leadership to an educational system that strives to offer the best learning opportunities in the world.
Choosing an accredited nursing program is important because it ensures you are receiving a high-quality nursing education, are qualified to sit for the NCLEX-RN. Utica College’s ABSN programs have first-time NCLEX pass rates above the national average. In 2016, our Syracuse ABSN program’s NCLEX Pass Rate is 97% whereas our Tampa Bay ABSN program’s pass rate is 95.64%.
Speak to an Admissions Representative
As you can see, we have a strong culture of support at Utica College, and that starts with our dedicated admissions representatives, like me. Not only will we support you throughout the entire application process, we will also provide assistance needed to complete your ABSN application as well as help you develop a plan to complete any nursing prerequisites needed. Your admissions representative will reach out to you frequently, answering any additional questions about nursing school you have along the way.
So, what are you waiting for? Now is your chance to take the first step toward a gratifying career change in nursing. Contact an admissions representative, like Jessica and get started today!