Prerequisites: Check. Paperwork: Check. Health screenings and immunizations: Check.
You completed all the necessary steps and have been accepted into the Misericordia University Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) program. Congrats! Now what?
You have a general idea of what to expect from talking with your admissions counselor. Now the reality is finally starting to set in: First semester is fast approaching. You’re going to start nursing school soon!
The first semester of nursing school lays the groundwork for your nursing education, providing the knowledge and skills necessary for a smooth transition into later semesters — and ultimately your nursing career. Below, we delve into what to expect from your first semester as a Misericordia University ABSN student.
Your first semester of nursing school: Online courses and labs
When we say our program is accelerated, we mean it. The Misericordia ABSN program condenses 36 months’ worth of content into a 16-month curriculum. But just because our program is shorter in duration doesn’t mean we skimp on teaching you valuable nursing theory and skills. During the first of four full-time semesters, you’ll complete the following theory courses online and skills-based courses at our nursing education center in Pittsburgh:
- NSG 201 Foundations Essential to Professional Nursing Practice (3 credits)
- NSG 305 Physical Assessment (3 credits)
- NSG 300 Conceptual Basis of Nursing Practice (2 credits)
- NSG 320 Principles of Pharmacology (3 credits)
- RLS 104 World Religions/Core Course Requirement for Transfer Students* (3 credits)
*The RLS 104 World Religions course is a placeholder for any core course requirement a transfer student still needs. We require this credit to remain at full-time status for the semester.
Compared to a traditional classroom-based BSN program, our ABSN program covers much of the same material that will ready you to become a caring, competent nurse. That’s where the similarities end. What sets our ABSN program apart from these programs, besides speed, is course delivery.
Instead of driving to a campus to attend class, you’ll log into Canvas, an interactive e-Learning platform, to complete a majority of your nursing theory courses. Among other things, this online learning environment allows you to:
- Read and listen to nursing coursework material.
- Watch videos about nursing concepts.
- Take part in simulated learning activities.
- Complete course assignments.
- Interact with instructors and other students via discussion forums and scheduled chat sessions.
Online learning gives you the option to learn whenever and wherever is best for you — whether that’s 3 a.m. at home before the kids wake up or 3 p.m. at a coffee shop. This learning format affords you scheduling flexibility, but be ready to dedicate a lot of time to your studies each week.
Completed simultaneously with the online nursing theory coursework, the lab portion of your nursing education comprises two components: skills and simulations.
Both take place inside our ABSN nursing education center in Pittsburgh. We designed this space to replicate a clinical setting for you to put theory and nursing interventions into practice under the guidance of faculty.
During first-semester skills labs, you’ll start to feel like a nurse, just without the risk. That’s because you’ll practice core nursing skills ranging from catheterization to wound care on a clinical task trainer or full-body manikin.
Then, as part of nursing simulation labs, you’ll apply your skills and knowledge into the context of a realistic patient care scenario. Here you’ll also hone valuable problem solving, collaboration and critical thinking skills and debrief with faculty and classmates.
While simulated, these scenarios can still get intense. Don’t worry — we won’t throw you into the deep end on the first day. During your first semester, expect these labs to focus on nursing basics.
Later semesters: Add in clinical rotations
You’ll still continue your lab- and online-based courses during later semesters in the program, but prepare to add on an element vital to your future nursing career: clinical experiences.
Clinical placements at top health care facilities and clinical agencies in and around Pittsburgh help you understand how vital providing ethical, compassionate and safe patient care is to nursing. Starting your second semester, your first clinical rotation will focus on applying the theories, principles, and concepts you learned first semester.
Throughout our 16-month ABSN program, expect to complete 675 hours of clinical practice in diverse specialty areas including:
- Community health
- Mental health
Are you ready to see if you qualify for our ABSN program and make your dream of becoming a nurse a reality? Reach out to one of our admissions counselors today to get the ball rolling!