Happy September NOVA students and staff!
We’re already 4 weeks into the first 8 weeks of the semester, congratulations to your success thus far. Pardon my absence over the past few months, currently I’m transitioning into the working world as well as continuing my education through NOVA’s GAA policy with George Mason for my Bachelor’s in Nursing. For those who wanted to follow a similar path I wanted to share my experiences for a few reasons:
1. Believe it or not, there is a light at the end of the tunnel and you will reach it.
2. You can do it.
3. It’s not easy but a little hard work goes a long way.
4. Keep at it.
NOVA’s Traditional Nursing program is not for everyone. It’s a rigorous, exhausting 2 years of study and application and has been described as harder than any 4 year university degree. I got my acceptance letter in 2012 and I could not wait to get started. By the time I finished my first test I was shocked how much studying I really had to do. 2 weeks worth of up-to-your-eyeballs in reading materials, online case studies, lab practicums and let’s not forget the 12 hour shifts of clinical application on actual patients. But wait, there’s more, passing grades were considered 78 as a C, and anything below that was considered failure since students needed a 78 average in each class to pass. Then mix that all together with group projects, practice tests for your practice boards tests, research, job fairs and other assignments and voila! A Nursing degree from NOVA.
Transfer to George Mason. Easier said than done as is with any transition. George Mason offers 3 different RN programs, the one that I chose was RN to BSN, requirements are simple, have an active Registered Nurse License and the required pre-pre-requisite courses. After about 1 month of freedom, you now have to buckle down and study again for the biggest test of your life because this determines whether or not the state of Virginia as well as 24 other states deems you safe enough to practice nursing. All those 2 years of fundamental, basic knowledge had to be critically analyzed and asked in the form of application questions. Not to worry too much, Aunt Marlene Hurst helped some of us prepare for the test through Hurst review or Kaplan review for those who chose that option. So after the biggest test of your life, you wait 2 days and check the Virginia Board of Nursing website for your social security number and see status of your license as either active or not.
Now you get to sign up for George Mason classes! Woohoo! The great thing about RN to BSN at Mason is that it’s easier to get slots for classes because there are fewer enrolled in that specific program. What’s even better is that now all the commuting is over and you get to enjoy doing assignments from the comfort of your own home in your pajamas if you wish. I decided that I was going to work part time as a Flu and wellness screening nurse while I went to school full time because many hospitals would not hire me due to the fact that I did not have any previous experience and that I was only an ADN. More good news though, RN to BSN program is only 2 semesters so you can earn your BSN in 3 years (ADN + 1 year).
It’s a lot to juggle but it will be worth it. You’ll feel proud of yourself and all those late nights at the Johnson Center will just be a funny memory. Stay strong and it helps to pick up a healthy crafting habit or two. Lean on your nursing friends and love your family. Good luck this semester!