HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!
Gucci (my pup) was my valentine this Valentine’s day, BUT I was lucky enough to have my boyfriend come visit me the weekend before Valentine’s day this year. We enjoyed the high tide breakfast buffet at the Marine Room in La Jolla. Food was eh, bloody mary was good, but the view was amazing!
Sorry, I have been insanely busy (you will most likely hear me using this excuse often because it is honestly the truth). I try to update as much as I can because I know how useful it is for students who might be interested in APU or another Entry level MSN program. However, my insider view I provide to you all is because I am literally in nursing school as we speak 🙂 However, if you are dying to know something or have any questions feel free to comment and I am usually very responsive to those. The website somehow alerts my phone (I hate having any unread alerts/notifications on my phone). I have no idea how it was set-up that way/to change it BUT it works in your favor.
I am pleased to announce that I survived my first medication admin. in the hospital, midterm week, and skills exam!!
I was going to save this until the end when I do my tips for surviving the first semester post, but since it is love week. I figured it was appropriate to post what I love about APU.
Uniforms are WINE COLORED: Nuff’ said
Everything is done via internet and computer. In the list of required materials, they include a laptop. I thought it was strange because I had one, but only used it for essays in undergrad. Guess what… you use it every day in class! I literally bring my laptop EVERYWHERE! This will be harder for some of the older adults and non-stereotypical millennials to adjust to, but in the long run it is helpful. Everything you turn in will be through google docs (mostly just your clinical journals/careplans) or sakai (online classroom portal similar to blackboard if you have used that). I like this because I don’t have to print it (I like to try to prevent using as much paper as possible), you don’t have to worry about it getting lost (I have had a prof. lose a paper before), you can turn it in at anytime before the due date, and it allows you to see your grade and any prof. comments as soon as they grade it! Most go the professors so far post all materials for the class (syllabus, lecture slides, additional resources, hw assignments, etc.) on sakai at the beginning of the semester. This allows you to spend as much time with the material as you need! You can start on assignments early so you can focus more on studying during exam weeks, you can plan out your weeks at the beginning of each semester, you can review slides before class so you can come to class already a little familiar and with questions! I never understood professors who wait to announce assignments and don’t share lecture slides. Why make it harder?! For those of you worried about this, trust me you will become tech savvy quickly! Until you do, APU offers free IT assistance. They literally have a guy who is on campus specifically waiting for your IT needs! Still not convinced this is a good thing? Well the NCLEX will be taken via computer so guess what you need to get used to using the computer. The format the exams and quizzes like the NCLEX so by the time you get to taking the NCLEX it will subconsciously help you because it will be familiar to your body to take an exam on a computer.
APA is hard, but APU helps.
If you were a science, social science, or a major that required writing in undergrad., let me inform you now that all the MLA you learned in high school was a complete waste of time. APA is the standard in nursing and almost any major that requires writing in higher education. APA is nit picky, annoying, and the thorn in my side. However, APU offers workshops, APA assistance on campus, and most professors will let you schedule an office hour appointment and go over it with you. By the time you turn it in, it will be A+ material if you used these resources.
TAs & Mentors:
USE THEM AND ABUSE THEM! JK.. be nice to them, but I couldn’t resist the rhyme. You will have TAs & Mentors assigned to you. TAs work with you through skills and clinical and pretty much are a floating beacon of help and comfort in the dark, stormy waters of the first semester of nursing. Ask them everything and anything? Too scared to ask your assigned nurse for something? Ask your TA! Didn’t quite get the hang of a 4 point gait with crutches? They will show you! They are literally there as a resource to you! However, you do have to share them. Mentors are assigned to YOU (usually… I think one Mentor has 2 students from my cohort). I got lucky and was assigned that best mentor EVER! She has been so helpful and open with giving me tips on shoes to wear for clinical, how to attack my comprehensive care plan, and just insider knowledge on how to succeed every semester. Don’t be afraid to ask you mentor anything! I promise the less you lean on your TAs and Mentors they more you are hurting yourself!
I can’t really comment on this because I haven’t used it BUT it is available! I think most nursing programs have this, but I just wanted to address that APU does too!
APU cares about your WHOLE well-being:
The extra things APU does I have never heard of other programs doing (I have friends currently in/just graduating from other programs). I was so worried about how intense nursing school would be. It literally makes or breaks people, yet APU makes it as doable as possible. Where do I begin? In two of my classes, our professor includes “meditation time” before every exam. It sounds silly BUT IT WORKS! I get so anxious and want to just get the test over with. However, taking the time to relax really helps. I swear I think so clearly once she opens the exam! Last week was insane to say the least. We have 3 midterms and what seemed like a bajillion assignments do. You can’t do anything about exams, but some of the assignments the professors allowed us to turn in a little late. One class as a different group present a series of articles almost every week. The prof. decided to switch around week 5 and 6 because she had a group learning activity planned for the week 6 and presentations scheduled for week 5. However, we she realized how stressed we were because midterms were week 5. She postponed the presentations to week 6 and did the group learning activity week 5.
Like with most grad programs, you will have to maintain a B average GPA throughout the entire program. This was terrifying for me because a friend of mine went through an ABSN program (where the GPA requirement in C average) and struggled. Even more terrifying, most of the quizzes and dosage exams in APU require a 95% or better! This is because they want you to not even get close to falling behind in material and in GPA. However, they have remediation! They usually only give one remediation, but that is all anyone I know has ever needed. They let you review what you did wrong and try again on whatever you graded low on in about a week. Believe it or not, most people don’t need to remediate despite the high standards. I think just knowing that the option is there takes pressure off people and actually allows them to perform better.
No mind games!
I don’t know why, but some professors enjoy trying to trick you into picking the wrong answer on exams. Some like to make it ridiculously hard or include material that is so specific you wouldn’t be able to remember unless you have a photographic memory and copied the book into your brain. APU is straightforward with everything. They don’t want to test your test-taking abilities or your ability to excel at cruel mind tricks. They want you to learn! They teach you a little more in-depth then you need to know for exams (or for the real world of nursing), but they clarify what will be on the exams/NCLEX. They prepare you everything you need to know to be a good nurse, and don’t drill you on the pointless extra fluffing that I know some nursing programs include. They do offer resources though if you happen to be particularly interested in a certain subject and want to know more!
In my opinion, you will succeed in the ELMSN program at APU because they give you everything you need to succeed. If you are not doing well, it is literally because you are not trying. Just don’t get behind and don’t forget to use your resources! They are there to help… all you need to do is ask!