What to Expect

If you didn’t know, going to school is tough but you can’t even imagine what it takes to be successful in a nursing program that leads to RN licensure. So Nightingale College has put together this helpful animation video to help paint a realistic picture of what you should expect being a nursing student at Nightingale College, as attending a rigorous nursing program here may just not be for you and we would like you to make an informed decision as to whether apply to be accepted into an academic program with us. We absolutely want you to be successful and, therefore, insist you need to know a few things about the College and your chosen program of study, BEFORE you apply. As a matter of fact, we are going to do our best to talk you out of it. So, buckle your seatbelt, grab a pen and a piece of paper for notes, and pay attention!

LEARNING

First and foremost, learning is YOUR responsibility! All of us are here to help facilitate your learning, but, without a doubt, learning requires a great deal of self-direction, motivation, and discipline from you!

Learning will not happen miraculously. It requires a lot of time, effort, energy, and perseverance. You are responsible for thoroughly completing all assignments, reading, interactive modules, case studies, discussions, journals, care maps, labs, clinicals, quizzes, exams, and myriad of other things. If you chose not to put your utmost effort into your studies, you will not succeed, will not be allowed to progress in the program and, therefore, will waste your time and money, with nothing to show for it in the end. On the other hand, when you are committed to your learning, we will be happy to celebrate and recognize your successes with programs like President’s and Honor Rolls.

You must put in a great deal of work in order to achieve your goal of becoming a professional registered nurse…and we mean A LOT! Outside of attending labs, clinicals, and engaging in minimum seven hours per week in online learning activities, you should expect to dedicate at least another twenty-five hours per week in focused study. Yep it’s like having a really seriously demanding full-time job with constant overtime!

Unlike in some high schools, passing all sorts of evaluations is required in order to progress in the Program. And there is no such thing as a freebee extra point. If you are used to getting “A” grades all the time you could be surprised how tough getting an “A” may be in a nursing program at Nightingale College.

With your partnership and cooperation, Nightingale College is committed to achieving outstanding student learning and program outcomes by applying the latest evidence-based practices to your education. At Nightingale, all learning experiences, whether didactic, laboratory, or clinical, originate from a concept-based model of learning. Concept-based learning focuses on learning by concept, rather than learning by body systems as has been traditionally done in nursing education. The pre-licensure nursing curricula centers on 48 identified concepts such as oxygenation, comfort, and immunity. These 48 concepts are threaded throughout the entire curriculum, and can be applied across all body systems, so students learn to think through processes and problems rather than simply memorizing lists of diagnoses associated with each body system. You should expect to take learning to a higher level, moving beyond memorization and learning how to apply concepts to any situation.

It means that throughout the academic program, you will be applying multiple nursing concepts to patients and clients from all generations and walks of life. For example, to gain a better insight into the concept of oxygenation in a healthy adult, your clinical experience may bring you to a regular workout gym. This innovative learning design will assist you in going beyond pure “task-driven” nursing care toward becoming a well-rounded registered nurse with extremely valuable clinical reasoning skills. Of course, this will also help you to succeed on the NCLEX licensure examination.

At Nightingale College, thoughtful learning design extends well beyond the clinicals. All of your didactic, or theory, learning will take place online. There are NO traditional “lectures” at Nightingale where you would watch “strobe light PowerPoint presentations,” with professors reciting the bullet points from the slides to you. Instead, you will be required to complete reading assignments as the first step in obtaining the requisite knowledge. Then, you will immerse in our interactive learning modules, or ILMs, which, to begin with, require you to take graded quizzes to ensure you’ve done your homework, then guide you through applying the knowledge you gained from the reading assignments in a variety of ways, and let you engage with the content you are learning. After you are done with the ILMs, you will be asked to utilize your newly gained understanding of concepts in case studies and actively participate in online discussion boards. These will be guided, evaluated, and graded by your instructors. You see how we are not kidding in saying it WILL take you at least 25 hours per week to learn online effectively; although unlike in traditional education, at Nightingale, you will have the flexibility to complete the reading assignments and engage with the ILMs, case studies, and discussion boards when it is convenient for you, at any time before the established learning unit completion deadlines. From there, you will further develop your knowledge, skills, and clinical reasoning in labs and clinicals.

PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL GROWTH

Your success also hinges upon your willingness to evolve and grow both as a person and a professional. You will have to change some of your habits and views as you grow. Keeping an open mind is critical to your success.

Worry about your own success and progress and not others. If you’re used to it, stop pointing your fingers at others. Let them travel on their own educational journey. It’s important you choose the right attitude during nursing school, this will only aid in your development. Recognize that, perhaps, in as little as 16 months, or 8 months for advanced placement students, you will be entering the nursing field as a professional and will be expected to save lives.

So you know how parents love their kids very much and will bend over backwards for them, even when it is not in their best interest? Guess what? Faculty and staff are not your MOM or DAD nor Grandma or a favorite uncle. They are here to assist you in your personal, professional, and educational growth. The point is, when they are being tough with you, it doesn’t mean they are being mean. Growth never happens without pushing and breaking existing boundaries. You will be a different person after graduation. You will be a professional registered nurse and we are here to ensure it.

WORKLOAD

Going to school full-time at Nightingale College and having a full-time job is nearly impossible. Some do it. But if you decide to go that route, be sure to hire a personal assistant to do all the following for you: babysitting, laundering, shopping, cleaning, cooking, and, of course, Facebooking. Otherwise, all of these activities will have to be put on hold until after graduation. Bottom line, going to school and actively learning must become and stay your number one priority!

We know that life will be challenging while going to school. Therefore, you must make sure that the necessary support systems are in place before you enroll. Talk with your family, friends, co-workers, and employers to solicit their support for your educational journey and ultimate success. You will definitely need it! The College has a few support systems in place as well. For example our Total Life Care, or TLC, program is a comprehensive solution that uses a robust website and telephonic counseling to assist you with issues like daycare, employment, financial matters, housing, eldercare, pet care, and other “when life happens” moments. The TLC program is FREE of charge to you AND, because we care, we will make you sign up!

SCHEDULES

If you get accepted into the Program, your school schedule will immediately begin to rule your life and will not let up until graduation! Even after the schedules are published, please know that, during your time in the program, they WILL change and YOU will be RESPONSIBLE for quickly adopting to the changes, even on a short notice. We’ll talk more about this later in the video.

No matter what semester you start in, be prepared to dedicate the full seven days of the first week to your education in order to position yourself for success. There is no “ramping-up” or “honeymoon” period here, be prepared to immediately begin participating in learning activities with reading assignments, online discussion boards, and quizzes.

The College strives to accommodate your schedule needs to the best of its ability, though it is not always possible. You may have access to selecting your Level I schedule option on the first-come, first-served basis. However, such opportunity is NOT available to continuing and advanced placement students.

CLINICALS

From the very onset of your education at Nightingale College, you will be required to participate in clinical learning activities. Clinicals is where you will be involved in real-life patient encounters and situations. You will experience the many joys and trials of being a nurse. You may be laughing one day and perhaps crying the next. And since this is a realistic preview, you need to know, clinicals are just like work, with 8 to 12 hour shifts over consecutive days.

With every step and encounter while a student here, you will be representing Nightingale College and the nursing profession at-large. That is a HUGE responsibility. At all times in clinicals and any time you’re sporting that awesome Nightingale College uniform, you must exemplify professional behavior, which means things like NO SMOKING, including electronic cigarettes, maintaining neat appearance, dress, and good hygiene and ultimately providing confident, competent and compassionate professional services.

If you are starting in Level I, be prepared to begin labs and clinicals in your very first week. Although during your program you will be exposed to a variety of clinical settings, in Level I, the majority of your clinicals will be performed at long term care facilities.

Level IV students will participate in an integrative clinical experience, known as preceptorship. You will be partnered with an RN for over 90 hours of real-life patient care, without faculty’s supervision. Preceptorships cannot begin until the middle of the last semester in the pre-licensure nursing program. The College is primarily responsible for assigning your preceptor. Students may have input into the preceptorship selection but the College makes the final decision and makes all necessary arrangements.

By the way, in order for you to be able to attend clinicals you must successfully pass background check, drug test, provide all required health information, and CPR certification. Also know that the College may drug test you at any point during your enrollment.

As we mentioned earlier, clinical schedules are subject to change, as they are not 100% in the College’s control. Our health care service partners may, at any time, cancel, change, or reschedule your shifts. The College makes every effort to notify students in advance of schedule changes, but sometimes you have to be ready to adjust at a moment’s notice. Thus putting your education first is a must!

RULES

Next, let’s talk about RULES! There are numerous policies, protocols, and procedures that you will be subject to and must follow without fail! If at any time during your educational journey at Nightingale College you chose not to abide by the established rules, there will be consequences, up to involuntary withdrawal from the College, with no possibility of a refund. So, by all means, think before you speak or act!

By the way, ignorance is never an excuse, not while in school, nor in your professional career! Hence, make it your duty to learn, know and follow ALL rules, ALWAYS! Here at Nightingale we make it easy for you by publishing all pertinent information in the annual editions of our College Catalog and the specific program’s Student Handbook. Every once in a while, we make rule adjustments between our annual publications. When that happens, we notify all students in writing and publish Catalog or Student Handbook addenda. The information in the addenda clearly states which rules have changed. Therefore, if during any academic year, Nightingale College publishes addenda, the corresponding sections in our annual publications become obsolete and invalid. And whose responsibility is it to stay abreast of all changes in rules? It is YOURS! But… what if, you may ask, there is more than one addendum to the annual publications? Well, we help you navigate all changes by summarizing the latest and the greatest in addenda digests for any given academic year. To conclude this section, we implore you to stay informed and follow the rules at all times to avoid bitter disappointment that comes from wasted time and money!

TESTING

Before you can be accepted into a pre-licensure nursing program at Nightingale College, we must ensure that you have the necessary basic Math and English knowledge and skills required for success in your studies. Therefore, pre-admission testing is a must! If you don’t achieve a passing score right away, don’t worry: you will be provided with remediation materials and access to tutoring service free of charge, so you can succeed on your second attempt. Additionally, advanced placement students are required to pass certain nursing specialty exams in order to enroll in a higher Level of a program. Similar to the basic Math and English test, remediation materials will be available to you after your first attempt. Should you not succeed on the standardized specialty exams, you will be required to take corresponding nursing core courses.

If you are an advanced placement student starting in a higher program Level, faculty will immediately begin evaluating your previously obtained knowledge and skills. You will be required to undergo rigorous standardized testing, skills assessments, math proficiency demonstrations, and other evaluations to determine your current level of competency. The testing and evaluations during your first week will determine what remediation is required on your part in order to be at the same competency level as the students you will be joining.

Throughout your program of study, you will be tested in a variety of ways through quizzes, midterms, and final exams, which, along with other evaluations, will count toward your final grades. By the way, at Nightingale College the minimum passing grade is a “C”, but it is much harder to earn than what you may be used to.

The College also utilizes standardized exams developed and administered by reputable nursing testing companies to evaluate your level of knowledge at the conclusion of most nursing core courses and before graduation. These exams carry mandatory remediation requirements for anyone who have not achieved minimum passing scores. All remediation requirements prescribed by the instructors must be successfully completed before you will be allowed to progress in the program or graduate.

The vast majority of testing at the College is proctored. Proctored testing can be administered either on campus, at approved proctor sites, or through certain remote proctoring systems.

At times, you may be tempted to cheat on your exams to improve your grade or because you just did not make learning your number one priority and have no time to catch up on the requisite knowledge prior to being tested or needing to submit an assignment. Let us be clear: cheating, in any form, will NOT be tolerated. It is simply WRONG! It violates the College’s values and the nursing code of ethics! When you cheat, you jeopardize the health, wellbeing, and lives of those who entrust you with their care! We will not let that happen! Nurses must possess the necessary skills and knowledge and there is just no way around it!

Some students forget this very important caveat for continued enrollment at the College and we have seen all sorts of cheaters and their tricks. Bottom line: if you cheat at any point, by any means, you will be immediately introduced to Nightingale’s BOOT. That’s right: there is no quicker way to end your nursing career and your enrollment at Nightingale College. So, stay clear of anything that looks, feels, or smells like cheating or dishonesty. [creative ways images. Boot them out of the school….boom pow…comic book]

FINANCIAL

Program fees include all required ebooks, hardbound reference materials, uniforms, and nursing tools kit ONLY. The following items are NOT included in the program tuition and fees: College application fee, mandatory background check and drug screening fees, clinical travel and lodging expenses, room and board, commencement ceremony regalia, laptops, RN licensure application fee, NCLEX licensure exam fee, and ANYTHING else not explicitly stated as included.

Going to school is expensive but it is an investment in your future with a potential for a great return. We realize you are not made of money and therefore have made a few handy arrangements to help you pay for your education. First, the College participates in Title IV Federal Student Aid, or FSA, programs which are available to those who qualify. The first step in determining your eligibility is completing the free application for federal student aid, or FAFSA, online. Federal student aid will not cover the total cost of your program. However, our knowledgeable financial aid advisors are here to assist you with determining other sources of funds that may be applied toward your education.

Tuition and fees are due on or before the first day of every semester. For your convenience, the College offers several monthly payment plans. If you are granted participation in one of our payment plans, payments are due on or before the first day of every month. Please understand that if you do not make payments on time, you will NOT be allowed to participate in online learning activities, attend labs and clinicals, or even involuntarily withdrawn from the College. Furthermore, if your default persists, your account will be referred to a collections agency, with all of the consequences thereof.

In some situations, you may receive more financial aid than needed to cover your tuition and fees. If your student account balance becomes negative in any given semester, you may request a “pass-through” payment in writing. The College will then issue a check to you 30 days after the excess funds post to your account or 30 days after your request, whichever is later. Please be aware: there are NO exceptions on the timing of the pass-through payments. Also know that the timing of the College’s receiving financial aid payments from different sources is never guaranteed and there is always a possibility of unforeseen delays. Therefore, we urge you not to make any concrete plans to rely on these funds for your everyday financial needs until the money has been received by the College and you have submitted a written request for the pass-through payment.

Because of this nifty “pass-through” payments arrangement, you may be tempted to borrow more money than you really need and decide to live it up while in school. That’s a TERRIBLE idea! We STRONGLY advise AGAINST over-borrowing, as YOU are responsible for paying all loans plus interest back. Eventually, excessive borrowing may catch up with you and ruin your credit standing and life in general!

Let’s talk about tuition and fees refunds. It’s simple with fees: if you used whatever it is you paid for, like uniforms, books, or nursing tool kits, there are no refunds! If you return these items in their original unused condition and packaging, we’ll credit your account. eBooks present a special case, which we will discuss a bit later. Tuition refunds are possible. First of all, new students may cancel their enrollment within 3 business days of signing the enrollment agreement or on the first day of the semester, whichever is later, without incurring ANY (additional) tuition charges. Remember, though, that this policy does not apply to any program fees. Outside of this exception for new students, in the first nine weeks of any 16-week semester, tuition refunds are calculated based on the straight-line pro-rata and depend on your last day of attendance. For example, if for any reason you decide to withdraw from the College or drop a course, say, in week 8 of a semester, the applicable tuition will be prorated to 50%, or 8/16, of the original charges. Beginning on Monday of the 10th week of every semester, the College does not prorate tuition and you will be responsible for 100% of charges for that semester, even if you withdraw. Something to keep in mind when deciding to change your enrollment status is the fact that any adjustments WILL result in changes to your financial aid package and some, if not all, money you have received for the semester will have to be returned to the corresponding financial aid programs. This means that in addition to us returning your financial aid money, YOU will have to send back the pass-through funds you may have received and, undoubtedly, will end up with a balance owed to the College

Finally, you must realize that every time you decide to “check out” when you should be engaged in learning, it is costing you money. So, that celebrity news twitter feed you are following during class translates into money you are just throwing away. While attending Nightingale College, you must eliminate outside distractions and focus on learning. Otherwise, you can take your dough elsewhere, as we will not be able to help you.

WHOA…we’re actually surprised you’re still watching. What a trooper! You must really want to be a registered nurse!

SUPPLIES

As promised, here is a bit more about eBooks and other supplies:

eBooks are electronic versions of textbooks. They can be viewed online or downloaded on up to three devices. The College highly recommends you use eBooks because of the unique ways students can interact with the content, search across all titles in their library, and collaborate. Also, eBooks come with access to future updates and new editions at no additional cost, which will last throughout your academic program, at a minimum. Nightingale College provides a free two-week eBooks trial period that allows students to become familiar with all of the wonderful features these tools offer. After the trial period, students who wish to substitute hardbound books for eBooks, or purchase the hardbound books in addition to the eBooks, can do so for an additional fee. However, if you opt to buy hardbound books, YOU will be responsible for purchasing all new editions that may be released during your program enrollment.

Also, two pairs of Nightingale College nursing uniforms are included in the program fees. These MUST be worn in all labs and clinicals, with NO substitutions. Additional uniforms are available for purchase.

The nursing tool kit included in the program fees provides all necessary supplies for your labs and clinical rotations.

OTHER ITEMS

Here are a few other points for you to consider:

Nightingale College utilizes a myriad of information technology systems and, as you know, technology is never bulletproof and fails every once in a while. So, when technology fails, please be patient and assured that we are looking for a quick resolution to any technological problem.

Timely communication is critical! If anyone from the College reaches out to you, there is a reason for it and you MUST reply quickly. Please don’t send us on wild goose chase or make us into “dig-under-rocks” detectives.

The College has a very strict anti-bulling policy [punching each other, “You started it”]. Just like patients you will encounter throughout your nursing career, our students are diverse and bring unique backgrounds and experiences with them. Open your mind, be respectful and accepting, and, once again, focus on YOUR OWN learning, progress, and success!

The college makes certain reasonable accommodation under the American Disability Act (ADA). Accommodations must be requested in writing before the 1st day of class. The request must be accompanied by a note from the treating Nurse practitioner physician, physician assistant, specifying the required accommodations. All accommodation requests will be reviewed according to the College’s policies and the decisions will be issued in writing. Students may request ADA accommodations after enrollment, however, please note that the review process may take up to 10 business days during which no accommodations will be granted.

Nightingale College is not responsible for your personal belongings during clinicals, so don’t bring them.

VALUES

If you decide to apply, are accepted, and enroll in Nightingale College, you will be required to live by our values at all times:

As the founder of modern nursing, Florence Nightingale lit up the path for our success with her unwavering values. Today and always, we walk in her footsteps of Excellence, Integrity, Respecting Humanity, Continuous Improvement, Collaboration, Accountability, and going Beyond Self.

Excellence: We aim to excel in everything we do.

Integrity: We do what we say and we say what we do.

Respecting Humanity: We honor every individual, always.

Continuous Improvement: We never settle.

Collaboration: We achieve together.

Accountability: We are empowered to succeed and take ownership of the outcomes.

Beyond Self: We are fulfilled knowing that we improve lives across distance and time.

The College makes a huge deal at every commencement ceremony to honor one graduating student from every cohort, who exemplified our values and the spirit of Florence Nightingale throughout his or her studies and enrollment. These extraordinary students will win the coveted Flame! Forward! Award. It certainly should be something you strive to achieve!

CONCLUSION

So, do you think Nightingale College and our pre-licensure programs are a fit for you? We sure demand A LOT of our students! Not without a very compelling reason, though! We are here to help our students to grow personally and professionally to become confident, competent, and compassionate registered nurses, of whom everyone in their families, workplaces, communities, and the nursing profession can be absolutely proud! So, if you think you have what it takes to succeed, we invite you to make an unwavering COMMITMENT to YOUR learning, personal growth, and professional development… and then apply for admission into one of our academic programs.