Changing careers to become a nurse takes a lot of thought and research. You not only have to find the right nursing school and program, but you have to choose one that will leave you feeling confident and prepared to enter the nursing profession, after graduation. With so many options out there, how do you make the right decision?
You can start by outlining your nursing career goals. Clarifying these goals can help you determine which type of education, degree, and program you need. If these goals involve career advancement, flexibility, management, and better pay, then earning a bachelor’s of science in nursing (BSN) degree may be a fit for your nursing future.
If you’re looking to become a nurse as soon as possible, an Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) option like Concordia University Texas offers, may be your best choice. Not only does ABSN@CTX leverage your non-nursing educational experience (minimum 60 credits or non-nursing bachelor’s degree) so you can become a nurse sooner, but it also helps you reach your career goals through holistic patient care, diverse clinical rotations, faculty support, and preparation for the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX).
Holistic Patient Care
What separates a good nurse from a great nurse? At Concordia University, staff and faculty believe it’s how nurses today are caring for their patients. “At CTX, we teach students to provide more than just physical care,” says Robin Cook, an assistant professor for the ABSN track. “It’s our job, as nurses, to make sure we’re meeting all of the patient’s needs,” says Robin.
As well as being empathetic, patient, and caring, as a nurse, you also need to take into account your patient’s entire wellbeing – mind, spirit, thoughts, emotion, and body.
The ABSN program is comprised of three parts:
- Online nursing theory coursework completed through the Blackboard online learning management system (LMS) instructs you on the fundamentals and theories of the profession.
- Nursing skills and simulation lab lets you apply what you’ve learned online in a real-life practice setting.
- Clinical rotations let you perform the nursing skills you’ve mastered in coursework and hands-on labs in real situations.
Diverse Clinical Rotations
Concordia University offers diverse clinical experiences so you can gain real-world experience in cardiac care, geriatrics, trauma, mental health, acute care, obstetrics, and pediatrics. These experiences are offered at the top area hospitals and healthcare facilities for ABSN students. “I gained really good experience practicing at multiple hospitals,” says Carlee Dodge, a graduate of Concordia University’s ABSN track.
From checking a patient’s vital signs to communicating with clinical faculty, participating within different hospital settings allows you to experience the intricacies of nursing.
Even if you’re unsure of which specialty to pursue after graduation, the opportunity to practice skills within different settings will give you a better understanding of what area of nursing best suits your personality and future career goals. Not to mention, honing specific skills to a mastery level will make you more marketable and desirable, after graduation.
A major benefit of Concordia University’s ABSN track is that students don’t have to wait until their last semester to gain this real-world clinical experience. It begins in the first semester.
Having the opportunity to step foot inside a hospital environment early on can give you the confidence you need to interact with patients and work proactively as part of a team with experienced nurses and other members of the health care team.
Changing careers or career paths to achieve your nursing goal is a big decision, so it’s important that you have supported each step of the way. While your journey to become a nurse will be demanding and rigorous, the unwavering support you receive from faculty members throughout can outweigh the challenges you face.
“The faculty is a big plus at Concordia University because they are so student-oriented,” says Sandra Gaskin, Director of the ABSN track.
“They go out of their way to make sure students are successful.” If something doesn’t make sense or you need questions answered, instructors will extend their office hours to meet with you one-on-one.
According to ABSN graduate Darrel, this support is something every prospective nursing student needs to look for in a nursing program. “They really do care about the students,” he says. “You’re not just a number.”
At CTX, you can find ease in knowing that the entire college of nursing supports your career goals. “I felt like I knew most of the staff from the Dean down,” says Carlee. “They were there to help me become a better nurse each step of the way.”
The final step to achieving your goal to become a nurse is the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX). You must pass this in order to practice as a licensed nurse. This comprehensive test calculates your critical-thinking skills and ensures you have the proper knowledge and skills to care for patients in the safest and effective ways.
“We spend a lot of time teaching students how to answer NCLEX related questions,” says Sandra. “We incorporate NCLEX prep into what we do every day.”
As an ABSN student at Concordia University Texas, not only will you begin prepping for the NCLEX on day one, but you will experience thorough test preparation during the last few weeks of school.
Knowing this, it’s no wonder why the College of Nursing was ranked number five in the state of Texas with an NCLEX pass rate of 100%.
Are you ready to become a nurse?
If you’re ready to pursue a nursing degree that aligns with your nursing career goals, contact an admissions counselor today.