ABSN: Why I chose an accelerated tract for nursing

Hey guys! Happy Friday!

So as you know, on Monday, I shared with you all the great news of being accepted into Samuel Merritt University’s (SMU) Accelerated Bachelors of Science in Nursing (ABSN) program and am waitlisted for the Entry Level Masters of Nursing (ELMSN) for FNP at the same school.

So, I found out in September. At first, I actually found out that I got waitlisted for the ELMSN program first. Let me just say…I was slightly disappointed because of the number I was at and part of me wondered if what I wanted to do as a career (bridge public health & healthcare as a nurse practitioner) was feasible at my age. For those of you who have been following my blog, I’m in my 30s, and the decision to go back to school took some time for me and it was something that I was hesitant to do because there were other things that I also wanted in my life. I wanted to settle down with that special someone but at the same time, there were things that I also saw as barriers in the community I work at as well as live, and for me, I decided after much reflection and thought, to personally go back to school. When I found out I was waitlisted, it was somewhat of a blow…one that was disappointing and the anxiety that I had felt years ago when I was waitlisted for SMU came back.

However, a day later, I found out I got accepted into the ABSN program, and I was like yeah but…wait…..I’m being honest here guys…like when I found out, I wasn’t as thrilled as I thought I would be. Of course ideally, I was set on going for the ELMSN program. However, thankfully, I had some awesome mentors — one was a HS friend who did the program a year before me and another was an ELMSN student that I connected with via the Bridge program who was also in her 30s. We connected right away. Both were helpful in my decision to think about the ABSN program because there are many benefits to this program despite its intensity.

When I say intensity, I don’t mean intensity that’s the same as what I experienced at APHA. That intensity was due to the amount of people that literally would come out for a week for a public health conference, the vast subject matter, networking opportunities, etc. This intensity for the ABSN program…let me just say…it’s going to be intense…no joke.

While quite nervous and scared by such an intensity, I am thrilled to put in my intent for the program as well as starting. Things don’t always go your way. However, my end goal of becoming an FNP is starting, because the first step is this — get into a nursing program.

So, why am I excited to start the ABSN program? First off, it is a 1 year intense program in which upon finishing, you have the opporutnity on sitting for the NCLEX, which is the licensure exam that nursing students take to become nurses. One year and done as many have told me. Having been through my MPH program while working and having experience previously in long hard days working and volunteering afterwards, I think being older in some ways is an advantage. Life experiences such as these do help a lot.

Secondly, I’m at a place where doing an ABSN to get my RN degree in one year is something that I’m actually really happy about. By being able to do this in Northern California and move closer to home to be available to my family and newfound friends (long story short, I lived near Sacramento, then moved back, which was more bitter than sweet), and I’ve come to really like where I’m at in terms of place. The need to move back north is actually causing more anxiety than starting the program because there were a lot of painful memories that I don’t want to divulge in. Yet at the same time, I’m really excited because Samuel Merritt is known for their education for nurses, their impact on community, and as a school supporting the student. I always love academic entities that supports their students. Any ways, before going off topic, by attending this 1 year program, I have options upon graduating. I’d love to attend their MSN (maybe DNP…crazy…I know…) in their Bay Area campus (Oakland, CA) and nowadays there are options in the Bay Area that are incredibly possible.

Having spoken to both mentors (let me know if you guys want a blog post about the advantages of a mentor, I’m always open to hearing what you guys want to hear about my grad school journey, so let me know), many have promoted the ABSN program as a very beneficial program. While I wasn’t easily sold at the beginning as I feared the intensity of the program (still nervous about it by the way), I was really excited when I thought about how much cohorts really bonded together, and how each really wanted to be nurses for their patients. The hook line and sinker is the opporutnity to interact with some of the ABSN students, and just seeing their smiling faces despite the intensity of the program. This in no way reflects the ELMSN students at all (sorry SMU ELMSN students…don’t hate me!!! >_<), but there was such a comfort in interacting with the ABSN students, a bulbbliness that was noticed in the ABSN students that I didn’t quite get with the ELMSN students. I mean the ELMSN students I interacted with were awesome, informative, and great to know, but the ABSN students, man…it was just an awesome time when I got to interact with them. That may have been that deciding factor that I personally took away…I want to be amongst a cohort of peers and colleagues who not only enjoy the profession through blood, sweat, and tears….but I want to be in a cohort that’s willing to work together in seeing each other through. It’s like the SEALS of nursing training….so I was swayed by such.

So there you have it, a not so…long blog post (Sorry for the long one previously), but I wanted to share some of the advantages of an ABSN program for those who are interested in this as a college student who is planning on going on to nursing as opposed to an ELMSN type program. These are just what I personally thought about when I was choosing. While I’m still on that waitlist for the ELMSN program (I want to see if I get in…curiosity killed the cat I guess…), personally, I’m comfortable, excited, nervous, and thrilled to start as a newly minted incoming nursing student at Samuel Merritt’s ABSN Program.

More on pre-start requirements before orientation in the future!

Happy Friday and have a safe weekend!

Also, for all the active, retired, and veterans out there, I want to say this — Happy Veterans Day to all the folks, men and women, who have served in the US Military. I know that there are a lot of folks who serve their countries bravely, with courage, and with commitment, because they love their country (excluding politics…) a lot. Thank you for your service, bravery, courage, and sacrifice (you and family alike). No words, signs, incentives could ever be enough to show my personal appreciation for what you’ve done for us. As it is said: Freedom comes at a price. I believe in that 100%, Freedom isn’t Free…..people had to ensure that, so I thank you on this Veterans Day.

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