Georgia Northwestern Technical College Associate Degree Nursing Program Frequently Asked Questions

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1 Georgia Northwestern Technical College Associate Degree Nursing Program Frequently Asked Questions 1. Is your program a two-year nursing program? The term two-year is a bit misleading. The nursing courses take two years to complete. Although it is possible to complete the program in two years, because of the competition for admission and the selection process used, it will take additional time to complete the required core courses. Depending on your course load and number of learning support courses needed, it may take at least an additional year to complete the core courses prior to entering the nursing course sequence. 2. Is the ADN program at Georgia Northwestern Technical College an accredited program? Georgia Northwestern Technical College is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Our nursing program has full approval of the Georgia Board of Nursing and is accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Nursing Education (ACEN). 3. How often do you admit students to the nursing program? We admit students to the nursing program once a year for the fall semester. However, the application to the program must be received in the nursing department by February 1 prior to the fall of the desired admission and other deadlines have to be met as well. Selection for the fall semester is made during the spring! Therefore, it is best to have all core courses completed by the end of the fall semester (December) prior to the selection. This will ensure that you receive the points earned in time to count toward the selection, as courses taken in spring will not be considered. 4. My grades are not all As. Can I still be admitted to the nursing program? We require a 3.0 GPA in the required core courses in order to be admitted into the nursing program. Courses other than the necessary core courses are not considered in this calculation. A large number of students who are admitted do have higher than a 3.0 GPA. 5. What do I need to do to apply? You must first be accepted to Georgia Northwestern Technical College. Once you have been accepted, you may submit an application to the nursing program. You can obtain an application from the nursing department or download one from the ADN program website (http://www.gntc.edu/contribute/health/adn/index.php). This application must be received in the nursing office by February 1 prior to the fall you desire to enter the 1

2 nursing sequence. You do not have to wait until then to submit the application. As soon as you obtain the application, complete and submit it. It will be placed in your file and it does not expire. 6. What do I need to do after I submit an application? The nursing ADN department secretary will assign you a nursing advisor. You need to make an appointment for an initial meeting with your advisor for curriculum planning. It is extremely important that all nursing applicants be in continual contact with a nursing advisor. Students wishing to be considered for admission to the nursing program must successfully pass an entrance exam: HESI Preadmission Assessment. You can obtain information about the HESI pre-admission exam from the nursing department with instructions about preparing for the exam. All HESI testing has to be completed by March 31 st of the year you wish to enter the program. During the spring semester, faculty will meet to determine selection of the class for entrance into the program for the coming fall semester. NOTE: The HESI scores expire within three (3) years! 7. Why do I need to see a nursing advisor when I can register for my classes myself? Your advisor is an important source of information for you regarding the college and the nursing program therefore it is vital that you communicate with her on a regular basis. At the first meeting with a nursing advisor, you will plan your curriculum. You will receive a copy of this plan so that you will know exactly which semester you will be taking each course and when you will be ready to enter the nursing program. Your advisor can help you avoid problems associated with course sequencing, pre-requisite courses, and important deadlines. Also, the selection process we use is unique to our program and only a nursing advisor can answer questions related to the requirements and selection process of the department. Please be aware, nursing faculty want to be available to help you, but are often in clinical facilities off-campus, sometimes as much as three days per week. If you call, leave a message and give the advisor time to return your call taking into account the fact that they are frequently off-campus. Or if you prefer, send an . This means of communication allows a copy of the interaction to be placed in your student file for future reference which can be very helpful. 8. Why do you have an admission exam? This admission exam tests the student in areas that will help predict success in the nursing program reading comprehension, grammar, basic math skills, and anatomy and physiology. This exam is a better predictor than the GPA. In examining reasons why students have been unsuccessful in the nursing program, two items were of particular 2

3 interest. One was low scores on the admissions exam and the other was the number of hours that students worked while enrolled in the nursing program. While it is recognized that these variables may not be predictive for all students, the observation is that they have been for most of our students. Since the admission criteria were raised (along with instituting some other measures to help ensure student success), student pass rates on the NCLEX-RN licensing exam have improved. 9. What is included on the admission exam and how much does it cost? The exam actually consists of several parts. There is a reading comprehension exam, a grammar exam, a basic math skills exam, and an anatomy and physiology exam. Students must make at least 75% on each component to be considered for the program. There is also a personality assessment and a learning style inventory which the student must take which will provide valuable information to the student and to the faculty. Should a student not pass all of the components, they may retest the following year. Students take the exam at prometric testing centers. The current cost is $93. The cost is determined by Evolve and is subject to change. A benefit of this online exam is that students may see their scores as soon as the test is completed and can remediate prior to repeating the exam. The exam may be repeated once in a calendar year, which is specified by Evolve. 10. How will I know if I am admitted to the program? After fall semester s grades have been posted, during the spring semester, faculty will pull transcripts of all students who have passed each component of the HESI preadmission exam. The GPA will then be calculated for the ten core courses. Once it is determined that the GPA is above 3.0, the faculty will then make the class selection using a point system. Points are assigned based on state of residency, grades in the required core courses, and scores on the preadmission exam. The student will also receive additional points for courses taken at Georgia Northwestern Technical College. The students are ranked based on the sum of these points, and students with the most points are admitted to the program. You will receive a letter from the program director in June/July informing you whether or not you have been admitted. 11. I am an LPN applying to the transition track of the program. Is the admission process the same? The admission process is similar. However, once you have passed the preadmission exam there is more testing for those pursuing the transition track. You will also have to take the LPN-ADN Mobility exam, which is testing your nursing knowledge. This exam is also delivered through distance testing at prometric centers. Current cost is $100 and is subject to change. You must obtain a score of 850 on the HESI LPN to ADN exam. This exam may also be taken twice yearly. If a score of 850 is not obtained, you will not be 3

4 eligible to enter the summer course but will be able to retest the next year. Next, an appointment will be scheduled for you with a faculty member to validate selected nursing skills. The students who successfully complete the entire testing process will then be ranked according to a points system to determine who enters the transition course taught in the summer. Prior to entering the course, you will be required to show proof of 2000 hours of work as a licensed LPN. The successful completion of the entrance tests, the proof of 2000 work hours, and the successful completion of the summer course RNSG 2010 Transition from LPN to ADN are used to award credit for the first year of the nursing curriculum. The students then will join the generic students in the fall semester of the second level of the program. 12. I notice you give more points to students who live in Georgia and who take courses at your college. I do not live in Georgia and have taken my courses at another school. Do I have a chance of being admitted to your program? Yes. Each year we admit students who live in Tennessee and/or Alabama, and who have taken most or all of their courses at another college. The majority of points are assigned for the grades you make and the scores you achieve on the entrance exam. You will increase your chances by making As and by achieving high scores on your entrance exam. 13. I was in a nursing program in another school. Can I enter your program and receive credit for the nursing courses I have already had? It is difficult to transfer credit from one nursing program to another because of the way nursing courses are sequenced from program to program and also because of the content in those courses. Most schools do not include the same information in similar courses. Currently, we do not accept transfer credit for nursing courses. 14. I want to be admitted to the nursing program but my advisor tells me that my science credit is too old. What does that mean? The anatomy and physiology and microbiology courses must be current. The student must have taken these courses within five years of the program admission date. 15. Someone told me that your students have to pass a background check and a urine drug screen. Is that true? Yes, this is a requirement of our clinical facilities. Once admitted to the program, a student must pass a criminal background check and a random urine drug screen. You will be given instructions about these at the mandatory orientation session you will attend after admission. A student who does not pass the drug screen or the background check will not be able to complete the clinical requirements and will not be allowed to continue in the program. You should know that the Georgia Board of Nursing and the Tennessee 4

5 Board of Nursing require criminal background checks in their application for licensure as a registered nurse. There are also some health requirements that must be met in order to remain in the nursing program. These follow the recommendations of the CDC and are required by our clinical facilities. The student will also receive further information about these requirements once admitted to the program. Health requirements must be maintained while the student is enrolled in the nursing program. 16. What about CPR certification? Our program requires that a student be certified in CPR for the Healthcare Provider by the American Heart Association upon admission to the program. This must be current and maintained throughout the nursing program. 17. Should I go ahead and have all this done prior to being selected for the nursing program? No. Once admitted to the program, there is a mandatory orientation session where you will receive information about the physical assessment, lab work, immunizations and titers, criminal background check, random urine drug screen, liability insurance, CPR certification, and clinical orientation. If they are done too far ahead of time, they will not be current at the time of admission to the program. You will be given the information you need in plenty of time to complete all the requirements. 18. What does it cost to be in the nursing program? Does financial aid help? The nursing program is an expensive one. A breakdown of estimated costs is included in the application packet to the program. One of the biggest expenses is books. Although the initial cost for books is high, the books you buy will be utilized throughout the program. All of the books required by the nursing faculty are necessary. Some texts have assigned weekly reading and others are used for reference when completing clinical work. Other costs include uniforms, physical assessment and lab work, liability insurance, lab supplies, and testing fees to name some. Typically, financial aid (depending on the type received) covers the majority of cost of tuition with some money toward books but rarely will be enough to cover all necessary expenses. 19. What will the schedule be like once I am in the nursing courses? A nursing student s schedule is very demanding. Generally, you are involved in class, clinical, or labs for four days per week. Class is scheduled two days per week and clinical or lab is scheduled two days per week. Nevertheless, some clinical experiences might involve a fifth day depending on class size and clinical site availability. Although the credit hours are considered part-time, the actual clock hours involved are much 5

6 higher. For a typical week a student would be in class for 7-10 hours per week and lab or clinical for 16 hours per week. This time does not include time spent in travel, clinical prep or pre-planning, or study. The recommendation for study is to spend 2-3 hours studying for every hour spent in class. 20. What agencies do you use for clinical facilities? We have clinical contracts with agencies in Chattanooga, Ft. Oglethorpe, Ringgold, Rock Spring, Lafayette, Dalton, Chatsworth, and Rome. Students may be required to travel to any of these areas for their clinical experiences and should be prepared to do so. 21. Are your students successful on the licensing exam? The nursing faculty has instituted a number of measures to ensure that students are successful on the NCLEX-RN licensing exam. Higher admission standards, customized and standardized computerized final exams, mandatory exit exam with remediation assistance, study skills and test taking content, NCLEX style practice questions and case studies, and faculty support throughout the program have all been utilized in an effort to increase student success. Since these measures have been added, the pass rates have fluctuated between 93.5 and 100 percent. 6

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