Friday, December 27, 2013

Anatomy and Physiology I (now the real fun begins!)

Recently I completed developmental psychology (my second completed prerequisite course) and I am happy to report that I got an 'A'! I certainly am on the right track but developmental psychology is still, for lack of a better phrase, not a "hard" science like Anatomy and Physiology, Microbiology, or Chemistry, which are the bulk of my prerequisite courses. I of course took life sciences in the past; I am even a little familiar with anatomy and physiology from my CNA training back in high school and I recall enjoying the subject material but that was well over 15 years ago and I did not get an 'A' in that course (I believe it was B+) or in any other life science course for that matter. To even be considered for admission to any nursing program I should be getting 'A's in the majority (if not all) of my courses. I was also a science major with my first undergraduate degree (computer science) but rarely got an 'A' in my courses (in my defense my major courses were primarily boring). I am certainly one for a challenge (I even secretly like them at times) but I am nervous about my potential performance in Anatomy and Physiology I especially since its all online. I do not have the luxury, time, or money to repeat any of my courses and many nursing programs, include those I am interested in, will not accept repeated science courses.  As the precursor to all of the other sciences I have remaining, this course could essentially make or break me! I am a better student now in my 30s than I was in my late teens or early 20s but I have a pretty busy life and the occasional attention span of a peanut. And although I generally work well under pressure I am a ticking time bomb on the rare occasion I become overwhelmed. Am I being a little dramatic? Probably. But the competition is fierce and in the Spring 2014 semester I will truly have to bring my 'A' game.

Accelerated Bachelors of Science in Nursing (ABSN)

If you have been reading this blog, you will know that at some point in the near future my hope is, God willing, to be accepted into an accelerated Bachelors of Science in Nursing (ABSN) program so that I can become a second career registered nurse. What you may not know however is why I chose this option or what an accelerated Bachelors of Science in Nursing (ABSN) is (unless you have done your own research). I have already done a lot of the research so I figure I'd just pass a bit of the knowledge on? Here I go...

Difference between traditional Bachelors of Science in Nursing (BSN) versus accelerated Bachelors of Science in Nursing (ABSN)

Both the BSN and ABSN are bachelors degree programs in nursing that allows graduates to meet the same state licensing requirements for one to become registered nurses. In fact the course work, at least from what I have seen, is virtually the same. The difference in the two programs is the manner in which the programs are delivered, where the accelerated programs are completed at a faster (accelerated) rate than the traditional programs. The nursing portion (usually junior and senior year) of most traditional BSN programs is completed in two (or more) years whereas most ABSN programs are completed anywhere from 12 to 18 months on average. Students in accelerated programs are also required to have bachelors degrees in a non-nursing major prior to admission. Lastly, most traditional BSN programs have break or recess during the summer and winter months but ABSN programs usually offer courses year round, including the summer and winter. This means that a student in an accelerated program will basically have no life and working full-time would be extremely difficult if not nearly impossible but students finish a lot sooner and hence get into the workforce faster.

The reason I chose to pursue a second career in nursing via an ABSN program is that I want to finish my second degree as quickly as possible since I am considered an "adult" student and being unemployed or underemployed for several years to pursue another degree is simply not a practical option for me right now. Also if I decide to go further with my nursing education (i.e. masters degree) completing my nursing education through another option (traditional BSN, RN to BSN after competing associates program, etc.) would mean an average matriculation time of 4-6 years and I am not getting any younger. Besides I don't think I have the patience to sit in class all day for two or more years taking general education classes I don't need with a bunch of "kids." No disrespect to my younger college students as I was once there myself but I am in a difference place in my life now and would prefer to matriculate with other students (aka "grown" folks) that I could identify with and vice versa.

Accelerated Bachelors of Nursing Programs in New York City (NYC) and Long Island

NYC and Long Island have an abundance of nursing programs but only a handful of ABSN programs to date. Here is a list of the accelerated BSN programs in NYC and Long Island (not sure if this list is all inclusive but I will do my best to ensure all programs in the regions are listed):

Adelphi University (may be the best commute for me but not the best tuition)
CUNY Hunter College (was one of my choices as well until I saw requirements. Still a top program though)
CUNY Lehman College (currently my first choice program)
Long Island University-LIU
Molloy College (this is a "slightly" accelerated dual degree program that includes a Masters component)
Monroe College
New York University-NYU
Pace University
SUNY Downstate Medical Center (currently my second choice program)
SUNY Stony Brook University Hospital (was my third choice but commute would be a killer)

There are also several ABSN programs in nearby New York counties not included in the list above but I didn't really investigate those programs since I was not interested in them personally but I still may include them in the future so that I can have a more well-rounded list.