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5 years for BSN?

wrightstuffwrightstuff Registered User Posts: 6 New Member
5 years for BSN?

Can it really be true? The peer advisors at SOAR said they can't figure out the rhyme/reason for acceptance at the end of sophomore year, and it will be taking them 5 years to graduate.

If 5 years, then what does everyone do the 3rd year while they're waiting to be accepted, since the prerequs will be filled?
Our incoming freshman was told to choose a fallback major. She doesn't want a fallback, or to attend a 5th year. The 5th year would delay her professional development, she'd miss 1 year of income, as well as have to pay another year of tuition.

She is somehow hopeful she'll get accepted into the nursing program and graduate in 4 years, but it sounds unlikely. We are trying to be realistic, although it would be easier to put blinders on and hope. Does anyone have any experience or knowledge they can share? Should she consider transferring ASAP? She did put a call in to Carroll in Waukesha, Viterbo in LaCrosse, and Edgewood in Madison. Those were NOT on her radar when submitting applications, because she didn't want to go to a small school. Now, however, she is more receptive as it seems that is the best way to achieve a BSN in 4 years.

We heard rumblings of it taking 5 years, but thought that applied to students who were undecided coming in, or entered with a major other than nursing.

Replies to: 5 years for BSN?

  • MidwestmomofboysMidwestmomofboys Registered User Posts: 3,937 Senior Member
    I'm not familiar with the program specifically, but a search on the UW website suggests it is a 4 year program. Like engineering or business at UW, most students apply after completing their pre-requisites, and are "pre-X" students until they are admitted to that specific program. According to nursing site, it sounds like 2 years of pre-reqs and two years of nursing program requirements, for a 4 year program. It sounds like a student applies in the fall of sophomore year, to begin the program the fall of junior year. The prerequisites are identified on the second link below.


  • wrightstuffwrightstuff Registered User Posts: 6 New Member
    Midwestmom: Thanks for the reply and even checking links for us. You're correct in what the website says, but unfortunately we're finding out that what really happens is different. Who would have guessed :(

    After some Googling we found the Pre-Nursing SOAR handbook, http://academic.son.wisc.edu/studentnet/docs/handbook_prn.pdf,
    which even suggests a "Parallel Plan." One is "Parallel Plan #2: Transfer to a Different Nursing Program
    Plan: While preparing to apply to the UW–Madison School of Nursing, prepare to simultaneously
    apply to other institutions that offer the nursing major." (pg. 14).
  • MidwestmomofboysMidwestmomofboys Registered User Posts: 3,937 Senior Member
    We have a current Letters & Science student at UW, so I check this board regularly for updates -- my kid's friends are mostly in UW Engineering and Business -- two programs which are very competitive admissions processes, with students applying during freshman and sophomore year to the program of choice. From what he has said, his friends were encouraged to have a plan b -- for engineering, it could be a less difficult major than their top choice departments, for business, it might be econ or other L&S major with a certificate in business. For nursing, it seems that the School of Nursing says -- with about a 50% acceptance rate, plan b should include other programs at UW or, if a 4 year nursing program is the top priority, then should include the possibility of transfer to another nursing program. We were spared the challenges of competitive admissions to departments, since my kid is a double major in humanities/social sciences, but my kid shared a lot of his friends' worries about being admitted to Journalism, Engineering, Business etc. during the spring of their freshman and sophomore years.

    It does seem that a student who is registered as pre-nursing gets advising and priority enrollment, which will be useful going forward, in terms of getting into pre-requisites etc. GPA matters a lot for admission to these top programs, so a student who gets off to a good start has a much easier road to admission to the program of choice. I would encourage a first semester freshman to take advantage of all the academic support offered -- drop in tutoring in the library, extra review sessions with TAs etc. If there are student groups at the Org fair in September that are oriented towards nursing -- sign up to get on their mailing list; sign up for email newsletters and announcements from the School.

    While UW is a huge institution, and an imperfect one, we have found the advising and department personnel (as well as faculty) to be very responsive and helpful. Once your daughter is on campus in the fall, hopefully she will get more concrete info about her path to nursing. Good luck to her -- one of the biggest challenges for many kids is walking away from the party scene. It may seem like everyone else is partying on a Thursday night, but there are many hard working undergrads.
  • wrightstuffwrightstuff Registered User Posts: 6 New Member
    Midwestmom: Thanks so much for your helpful response and sharing your son's and friends' experiences. It does give hope. I'll be sure to have her take advantage of all of the academic support. I know it would be good even if she feels that she can manage without it. She's a high stats kid but knows college is a whole new ballgame.

    She plans to stay focused and bypass the party scene. She applied for a Lakeshore dorm for that reason (and got it). Naturally I hope her point of view doesn't change. :)

    Best of luck to your son! We believe UW-Madison has some brilliant and amazing faculty, and many are passionate in educating the students and providing them with wonderful opportunities. I guess that's why we're struggling with considering a transfer.
  • MidwestmomofboysMidwestmomofboys Registered User Posts: 3,937 Senior Member
    For a high-achieving kid who is accustomed to being able to "do it all without help" -- it sometimes can feel awkward to admit something doesn't make sense, or they could use some help. Helping a new freshman identify -- and feel comfortable using -- the resources available is something parents can help a new student with!

    As a parent, I would say -- go to some football, basketball, hockey games -- the camaraderie and spirit is part of the UW experience. Just don't think you have to be stupid drunk to enjoy it, even though it seems like many others are doing that. My kid will never forget pouring onto State St after an exciting basketball win (I can't remember which year it was). He has had so many phenomenal experiences, from high-profile speakers and visitors on campus to amazing faculty who have supported his academic and career interests.

  • LeylandLeyland Registered User Posts: 359 Member
    I have no personal experience with the program, but the university's time-to-graduation database shows that the nursing degree average for the 2014 class was 4.35 years to graduation which is very slightly above the public-peer-comparison stats. What's amazing is the Nursing program's undergrad average course GPA distribution which is one of the highest in the university ranging between 3.7-3.9 (varies by semester).
  • wrightstuffwrightstuff Registered User Posts: 6 New Member
    Leyland: Thanks for that data! That's exactly what I was wondering (the ave time it takes to graduate). Also, impressive GPA distribution!

    I'm off to find the data sources!
  • MidwestmomofboysMidwestmomofboys Registered User Posts: 3,937 Senior Member
    To the OP -- UW has a course grade distribution chart for every semester, showing enrollment and grades for every course, average gpas in departments and schools by year of undergrad etc. --an amazing resource.
  • Madison85Madison85 Registered User Posts: 10,680 Senior Member
    The grade distribution report's not produced for summer. I've requested it a few times and was told maybe it would be considered in the next software upgrade.
  • MidwestmomofboysMidwestmomofboys Registered User Posts: 3,937 Senior Member
    Oops, my bad, I should have been specific that course grade distribution report is fall and spring -- but now that you mention it, it would be really helpful for summer as well.
  • wrightstuffwrightstuff Registered User Posts: 6 New Member
    Found the data! Thank you!
This discussion has been closed.