Today’s job market can be challenging. However, nursing continues to be one of the most in-demand careers available. If you already have a degree but are interested in switching to a career in nursing, you have options.
At Nebraska Methodist College, interested students can choose to pursue a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) through either the college’s traditional or accelerated programs. While the pace of Nebraska Methodist College’s traditional BSN is what you’d expect in a four-year setting, the college’s Accelerated Community-Based Education (ACE) nursing program puts students on the fast track to their new nursing career. Through the ACE program — which is for those students who have already earned a previous associate’s or bachelor’s degree — students with can earn their BSN in just 15 months.
Here are a few questions you should ask yourself when deciding between the two programs:
- What level of time commitment can I make to earning my degree?
In either program, earning your BSN degree requires a significant time commitment in terms of attending class, studying course materials and participating in clinical experiences. However, because of its fast pace, the ACE program requires a greater time commitment from students than the traditional BSN. Students in the ACE program should be prepared to devote hours comparable to a full-time job to their coursework for the 15 months of the program.
- Can I have a fulltime job while I earn my degree?
While students in the traditional program are able to have jobs outside the classroom, Nebraska Methodist College recommends students in the ACE program not have a job because of the commitment the program requires.
- What kind of learner am I?
Both programs require students to have strong learning skills, but if you are able to assimilate and demonstrate new knowledge and skills at a fast pace, the ACE program might be right for you.
Another Option to Consider: ACE Blended
Nebraska Methodist College’s upcoming ACE Blended program will combine the fast pace of the ACE program with the advantages of online learning. The program, beginning in Spring 2016, will offer students another tailored option to earn their BSN in just 15 months. Through the ACE Blended program, students will attend online classes Monday through Friday from the comfort of their homes and complete clinical experiences on the weekends. Like the ACE program, ACE Blended is for students who are rapid learners who can devote full-time hours to the program.
Summer break can be a chance for college students to rest and recharge after a busy year. It also can be a great opportunity to get ahead. In either case, it’s important for students to retain the valuable knowledge and skills they learned in the classroom.
Kevin Powers, Coordinator of Academic Success at Nebraska Methodist College, offers the following tips for students to use their summer wisely in order to hit the ground running when they return in the fall:
- Use it or lose it. It’s a lot easier to forget things than it is to remember them. Find ways to stay connected to your material during summer break. Make time each week to brush up by reviewing notes, answering questions in textbooks or practicing some of the skills you learned in your labs with friends. It can prevent you from having to take time to relearn that material later.
- Get a job. Finding a summer job or internship in your field of study will help you maintain, and likely expand upon, the knowledge you’ve learned in the classroom. Plus, that job or internship will give you important experience that you can put on your résumé.
- Take a summer course. If you want to get ahead, taking a class during the summer can be a good way to earn credits ahead of schedule and maintain your academic momentum. Keep your expectations realistic though, and don’t overload yourself with too much work.
- Work ahead. Even if you’re not taking a summer class, you can still get a jumpstart on fall by doing things like previewing the texts or viewing videos online associated with your upcoming courses. Reach out to your instructor for recommendations.
- New students, get to know your advisor. Advisors are filled a wealth of essential information. Visit them often and ask questions. They can help you plan your schedule as well as understand what to expect in your first year and beyond.
- Take a break. College is tough, and sometimes we all need a mental break. Whether you are working to maintain what you’ve learn or trying to get ahead, make sure to find time to relax and properly recharge your batteries this summer.
Feel free to comment about your favorite summer activities.