Welcome, everyone, and thank you for joining the Utica College RN to BSN Virtual Open House. My name is Christine Cabrera, and I am one of the enrollment counselors here at Utica College, supporting you through your admissions process. Today you will meet our RN to BSN program director who will discuss a bit about her professional experience and the educational background that helped it paved the way.
Here’s what you can expect with today’s open house. We’ll provide you with an overview of Utica College RN to BSN program, the admissions process. And finally, we are going to open up the floor for a brief Q&A session. If you do have any questions, feel free to jump in and click the Q&A in your webinar controls to get access to see the Q&A window and place your questions there, and we’ll be sure to address those at the very end.
Without further ado, welcome Amy Haver.
Thank you, Christine, and thank you, everybody, for joining the webinar today. I’m Amy Haver, and I’m the director of the RN to BSN program. I have taught at Utica College for the last 14 years. I’ve taught in the traditional classroom, clinical, lab, and I’ve done a lot of online teaching in the RN to BSN program, and in the masters program. Clinically, I’ve been working as a nurse practitioner for the last 14 years in cardiology.
I’d like to share with you my educational journey because I think it’s gonna be something that you can relate to. I’m actually a graduate of the Utica College Nursing Program. When I finished my nursing degree, I took my first job in the acute care setting as a staff nurse on med-surg floor. I did transition into the critical care area, and that’s where I sent most of my time as a bedside nurse.
I knew early on in my nursing career that I wanted to continue my education, but I just want really sure what my end goal would be. So I started and I tested the water by taking one course at a time. It just so happens that the course that I picked was offered fully online.
I was nervous beginning. I didn’t know what the expectations would be at that next level of education. The online platform was totally new to me. I was used to sitting in the classroom with the faculty member for face-to-face lectures. And I also wondered, is this something that I can do when I’m working full-time as a nurse in a pretty demanding job.
Actually, what I found is that it really wasn’t that bad. The first few weeks, the first month of my course, I did put in extra time to get myself comfortable with the technology, with the learning management system, and I did that because I knew it would pay off in the long run.
So what I found in the courses is that the content was information that I was actually familiar with. The papers, the assignments, the group work, I was able to draw from my clinical experience, which made the assignment so relevant and so interesting. I found this experience going on for my next degree was very different from my original nursing program where there was high stakes testing. I was overwhelmed with clinical and the content.
So ultimately, what I discovered continuing my education is that the next degree was much more manageable. I was able to balance work life and school. I found the information to be very intriguing. I expanded my professional network. I’ve met a lot of peers, mentors, and faculty members, and those relations that I’ve established during that time have continued to be very valuable to me. So it felt really good to move on to that level and actually do something for myself that I knew would pay off in the long run.
I found that taking one course at a time allowed me to develop a comfort level, and most importantly, the confidence to continue on with my education semester after semester. So taking one course at a time for the first year really helped me to get my self grounded. And after that, I was actually able to pick up the pace. And the hardest part of my whole journey was actually the beginning and getting started.
So I hope the information that I’ve just shared with you helps you take that first step and begin your journey.
So why earn your BSN degree?
Well for those of you that are on the webinar and live in New York state, you’re probably familiar with BSN in 10. That law was put into effect in New York state in 2018. And the reason that was put into effect is because of the increase in complexities that have been placed on nurses.
The healthcare system over the last few decades has just exploded. We’re needing more nurses in the area of leadership, management, education, and research. With the BSN in 10, it does require associate
degree prepared nurses to earn their bachelor’s degree within 10 years of original licensure. So while not all states have adopted this law, there are many states that are in the phases of researching, planning, and on the path to adopting this. This movement has certainly have been propelled forward by additional research that has shown that nurses that hold a bachelor’s degree can actually help improve patient outcomes.
So for all those reasons that I just mentioned, I think we will continue to see this push for the advancement and nursing education just explode even more in the next few years.
2020 and 2021 have been designated the Year of the Nurse by the World Health Organization. Nurses have really been put in the spotlight during this pandemic, and the public has certainly appreciated that, and the understanding has been enhanced of the value of the nurses. The community is seeing that nurses practice beyond the bed side, again, in those areas of leadership, management, research, and education, just to mention a few.
There has been a call to increase the demand in the workforce for nurses. We will see the job opportunities exploding in the next few years. Holding a bachelor’s degree in nursing will certainly position you well to earn those jobs in the areas of case management, community health, education, and leadership like I mentioned.
There are so many reasons nurses are choosing Utica College for bachelor’s in nursing degree. We’ve highlighted some of the most popular reasons here for you.
First, our strong history in training nurses with over 25 years of experience doing so. So we weren’t born overnight or during the pandemic. This is something that we’ve been doing and has been part of the community for the past 25 years.
Another reason nurses choose us is because of our generous transfer policy, which is going to help determine your graduation timeline ultimately. We offer personalized support an advising, and we’ll talk a little bit more about that later in the webinar. We have smaller class sizes so that you can schedule time with your professors if needed.
And of course our innovative curriculum. Amy, can you talk a little bit more about what kind of experience you’ve designed for our students in the next slide?
Yes, what you see here is the RN to BS curriculum. So on the left-hand side of the screen, you probably noticed those first four classes listed, the biology and the psychology. Those are courses that you’ve already taken in your associate degree program, and those are course that will be transferred in. We transfer in a variety of different courses. And on average, our students will transfer in anywhere from 55 to 60 credits from the associate degree level. If you’re transferring in credits from an upper division college, there’s a possibility that we could transfer in even more credits.
But every student that comes into our program will have their transcript evaluated by our transfer service department, so that you will be given credit and awarded those credits for your previous educational experience.
Now lower on the list over on the left-hand side, those are some of the major related courses you would be taking at Utica College, anthropology, sociology. And over on the right-hand side, you can see our list of required nursing courses. There’s a couple courses there that I would like to highlight.
The first one being Nursing 311. This is the course that all students begin with. In this course, we have a 1 to 16 ratio. So there’ll be one faculty member to no more than 16 students, which is really nice. It’s a small class size, and the professor can give you more individualized attention to help you get comfortable in the first few weeks and months of the program.
Another course I’d like to highlight is Nursing 325 Health Assessment. In this course, there is an experiential learning component, and students will conduct virtual health interviews and physical exams.
Another course, Nursing 347 Care of Communities, this is our population course which deals a lot with diversity. And you work with a mentor in your community, and you identify a vulnerable population and develop a teaching plan to assist that population. For degree completion, you must earn 121 credits. Now, we are a liberal arts institution, so we do require students to take the total of 60 credits of liberal arts. But again, some of that is transferred in with you.
Our courses are set up in an eight-week format. We have three starts per year. There is a spring, summer, and fall term. So you can choose to take one course at a time if you would like. And that would get you to completing two courses in a semester. The full semester is 16 weeks. But again, our courses are delivered in eight weeks, so you can technically complete two courses a semester. And at that pace, you would finish your degree in approximately two years. We do have students who choose to increase the pace at which they take courses, and that would certainly bring you to degree completion faster.
So if you’re wondering if you meet the minimum admissions requirements, let’s review these together.
First, you’re gonna complete an online application and of course you’re gonna have all of your transcripts proving your previously earned ADN or credits if you’ve accumulated just some of those credits. You want to of course demonstrate proof that you’ve taken these prerequisite courses, and that you’ve earned at least a C or better in these, and that’s intro to psychology, anatomy, and physiology one and two, and microbiology.
Now there’s no minimum GPA requirement. You do need to demonstrate that you’ve earned the C or better.
And finally, if you do have an RN licensee, that’s great. We would require you to have that at the start of the program.
However, there are some exceptions. Amy, you wanna talk about that?
If you are a new graduate who is waiting to take the NCLEX, I encourage you to speak with one of our admission counselors, one our program directors, to discuss that, because we do provisionally admit students who are waiting to take the NCLEX and expect to do so within the next month or so of beginning the program.
Students who are ready to get started begin by completing an online application. You can see the address here, www.utica.edu/enrollment/admissions, to begin your application. It won’t take more than 10 minutes to capture some general information, after which you will be asked to make a payment. The application fee is $40. If you are active military or you’ve served in any of our branch of service, we will waive that application fee for you.
Finally, you want to also go to nurses.com and download a free license verification report. Nurses.com will allow you to demonstrate that your RN license has been unencumbered, and you want to request all of your transcripts be sent to our transcript processing center. Be sure to connect with your enrollment counselor to confirm where that transcript processing center is, because it is different from the campus address. We want to continue to offer a white glove treatment to our online students. So we’ll talk with you about where to have your transcripts sent. If you prefer and are super busy, we can certainly request those transcripts for you. So once again, just mention this to your enrollment counselor who will encourage you to complete a consent form, allowing us to request transcripts on your behalf.
And last but not least, you want to apply for financial aid to just determine of your eligible for any particular aid the Department of Education may be offering.
Now if you have primarily had your experience studying in the traditional on-campus setting and you’re now reverting to online, we wanna talk a little bit about what this online student experience will be like for you.
First, you’re gonna have a dedicated enrollment counselor working with you throughout the enrollment process. Someone like myself who’s committed to making sure you understand exactly where you are in the admissions process, answer any questions you may have, and finally celebrate alongside you when you are accepted into the program.
Once you are, the enrollment counselor will help you with getting registered for your first semester, and introduce you then to your success coach. This dedicated success coach will work with you from registration all the way on through graduation point. So throughout your whole experience, you have a dedicated success coach who will be working with you each semester to review your personalized plan of study to talk with you about time management and making sure you’re carving out that time to dedicate towards your studies.
We offer a live coffee talk webinar where if you do have questions and are feeling a little bit anxious in starting that first semester, you can talk with your success coach and other success coaches in the program. If you happen to be busy and miss those, we will prerecord them for you, and they’ve been helpful because of course lots of times other nurses will ask the same questions that you have.
We’ll also offer you a new student orientation, so that you can become acclimated to the learning management system you’ll be working with. It’s a little different from those that are very well-known, such as Blackboard. Ours is called Engage, and so we find that it’s a very user friendly platform. I would love to introduce that platform and all of its features to you in the new student orientation.
And finally, you’re gonna have support throughout the whole program. So you’re not off on your own. The smaller class sizes, the success coach are all there to help support you and your success in the program.
If you are having an tech issues, we do offer 24 hours, seven days a week tech support who’ll be able to help you with any log in issues you’re having or any navigation issues with our learning management system.
Now I know we have quite a few people here. If you have any questions, this might be a good time for you to post those questions in the chat if you’ve just been following along. Just a couple of questions here so far. So feel free to join in. Amy, are you ready to take on some questions?
I would just like to make a couple comments before we get to the questions.
The things you’ve said, Christine, brought some things to my attention. I just want to highlight the fact that because there is a call to increase the working workforce, I wanna remind people on this webinar to certainly check with your employer about the available of tuition reimbursement.
Also, I would like to mention that our courses have been through a rigorous evaluation process called Quality Matters Certification. So you can be insured, but the courses that you would be enrolled in have definitely been evaluated and vetted for consistency and clarity for a seamless student experience.
The third thing, third and last thing I wanted to mention is that this new student orientation, you would be enrolled with other students at the same time in that orientation. So you can start to get familiar with your peers right away, and that orientation is great because it also puts you in contact with other offices at the college, one that you would frequently be using and that you would need to get familiar with is the Utica College Library, and there is a dedicated area within that new student orientation that addresses the library and the support services there.
Great points, all great points. Thank you so much for that, Amy.
We have a question coming in regarding career services. What kind of career services do we offer to student graduates?
We actually have a Whole Career Services Department at Utica College, staffed by several individuals. For the RN to BSN population, these students are often working already, but career services has been helpful in the past in helping our students to update their resume, update their CV. Also helping them with interview strategies and techniques in case they are looking to change their jobs. All of that could be done virtually or over the phone. So that’s helpful for our students which may be across the country.
Excellent, thank you for that. The next question is on materials. So are textbooks required, or are there required materials posted per course?
Yes, there are textbooks required. Students get that information in advance of the course starting by accessing the bookstore, which is available at the Utica College website. So you would certainly wanna do that a good week before your classes begin. A lot of students now are choosing to have electronic copies of the textbook, but both are certainly still available, the hard copy textbook and the electronic version. It really just depends on the student’s preference. So that pretty much covers the resources.
There will be supplemental information within the courses, such as articles from nursing journals, videos, and then the other place you would need to go for your resources would be the Utica College Bookstore.
Awesome. Our next question is regarding faculty background. We’ve heard a lot about your background. Can you tell us a little bit more about the faculty background that we’ll be working alongside?
Yes, we have a very diverse faculty. We have… My background is, as I said, in cardiology, and working as a bed side nurse in med-surge in critical care, but I also have colleges who come from the public health sector, leadership and management. We have another faculty member who specializes in research and telemedicine. A lot of our faculty continue to practice at the same time while they’re teaching. So they’re certainly up to date on the newest clinical standards.
And the faculty are easily accessible via email, and we’re often doing virtual calls and phone calls with our students. We hold virtual office hours a few times a week, but we understand too that this population of students, they’re working. So we do schedule individual appointments at the request of the student, either over the phone or through a web call.
Excellent, thank you. Next question was regarding the kind of support that a student might have if they have questions or concerns.
So their first point of contact would always be the faculty member as far as course-related or content questions. If it’s technology issues, then certainly the Utica College help desk would be their point of contact. The help desk is available 24/7. Another area of support would be that success coach who can definitely help students who are struggling along the way.
Maybe something happens in life that needs and demands their attention right away. In that case, you would go to your faculty member and your success coach right away, and they would certainly steer you in the right direction and give you advice on how to handle that situation.
Excellent. The last question is, how long would we have to complete the course work? So if I had say 60 credits left halfway through the program, how long would the college give me to complete the remaining 61 credits?
Well, the college will not put a limit on you. As I said earlier, students can take courses at a pace that’s comfortable for them. So often in the beginning, we see students coming in, taking one course at a time as they get comfortable. Some students choose to pick up the pace, which is fine, but then we have others that do continue through the program, taking one course at a time.
A lot of times situations happen, life becomes demanding, work becomes demanding, and students need to step out for an eight-week session. It certainly happens and is certainly permitted. We just ask that the students communicate with us so that we can stay in contact with them, and they re-enter at a time when life settles down a bit, and they’re ready to continue on.
Thank you for that, Amy. I guess those are all the questions we have at this moment.
But if you do have additional questions and felt shy, you can certainly email us at email@example.com. A dedicated enrollment counselor would be sure to respond as quickly as possible.
You can certainly also give us a call at 1-866-295-3106 if you’d like more information abut the RN to BSN program, or to just ask any general questions alongside an enrollment counselor. And again, if you would like to begin applying for the program and would like to access the application. Remember, it’s www.utica.edu/enrollment/admissions.
Amy, I wanna thank you for joining us this evening. This was really super helpful, very informative. It was certainly delightful to speak with you regarding the program and your background.
Thanks, Christine, and we are certainly excited about welcoming new students in the RN to BSN program.
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