As you know, going to school is tough. It takes work to be successful in a nursing program that leads to RN licensure. So, let us paint a realistic picture of what you should expect being a learner at Nightingale College.
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 to apply to one of our nursing degree programs.
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! Let’s get started with a basic overview of Nightingale College.
- Introduction to Nightingale College’s Values
As the founder of modern nursing, Florence Nightingale lit up the path for our success with her unwavering values. If you decide to enroll here, you will be required to live by Nightingale College’s values, which are summarized in the Evolvitude Statement, which is:
- I Choose deliberate evolvement, grounded in love, trust, forgiveness, courage, kindness, humility, gratitude, and lightheartedness.
- I Strive for self-governing, self-actualizing, and self-transcending.
- I Act with growth mindset, transparency, and responsibility, while building community.
We encourage learners to live our values not only while at school but in every aspect of their life. Our values are characteristics that don’t just make great nurses but amazing human beings.
Nursing school is no easy task nor is being a nurse. If you’re considering attending Nightingale College, make sure that taking on these values and the responsibilities of nursing school is something you can commit to. If you can make the commitment to work hard, we make the commitment to support you from start to finish.
- Online Learning
Getting back into the school groove is sometimes not as easy as it looks. Here are some pointers on learning at Nightingale College to set the right expectations. Nursing school is not easy and requires a lot of work.
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! You are responsible for thoroughly completing all assignments, readings, interactive modules, case studies, discussions, journals, care maps, experiential learning, quizzes, exams, and myriad of other things.
Outside of attending Supervised On-ground Field Experience (SOFE) requirements and engaging in a minimum of seven hours per week in online learning activities, you should expect to dedicate at least another twenty-five hours per week in focused study.
Passing evaluations is required in order to progress in the Program. 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 learner and program outcomes by applying the latest evidence-based practices to your education. At Nightingale, we employ concept-based learning which 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.
You should expect to take learning to a higher level, moving beyond memorization, and learning how to apply concepts to any situation. For example, to gain a better insight into the concept of child development, your experiential learning may have you interact with a child in a daycare program. This innovative 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. This will also help you to succeed on the NCLEX licensure examination.
At Nightingale College, all your didactic or theory learning will take place online. There are NO traditional “lectures” at Nightingale where you watch PowerPoint presentations with professors reciting the bullet points from the slides to you. You will immerse yourself in our interactive learning modules, which require you to take graded quizzes to ensure you’ve done your homework, guide you through applying the knowledge you gained from the reading assignments in a variety of ways, and then let you engage with the content you are learning.
After you are done with the modules, you will be asked to utilize your newly gained understanding of concepts in case studies and actively participate in online discussion boards that are guided, evaluated, and graded by your instructors. It will take you at least 25 hours per week to learn online effectively. Unlike traditional education, at Nightingale College, you will have the flexibility to complete the reading assignments and engage with the modules, case studies, and discussion boards when it is convenient for you, at any time before the established learning unit completion deadline.
From there, you will practice and further develop your knowledge, skills, and clinical reasoning in Nightingale’s experiential learning opportunities. Two things to remember: One, faculty and staff are not your parents; Two, worry about your own success and progress and not others’. This will only aid in your development.
Going to school full time at Nightingale College and having a full-time job is nearly impossible. Some do it, but it can be difficult to juggle both. 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, Facebooking. Yes, we’re serious, even Facebooking! Otherwise, please place all of these activities 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, but don’t tackle it alone. 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 need it! The College has a few support systems in place as well.
The College’s Learner Support Services or LSS for short is a great resource to help when it comes to balancing your workload. They come armed with tips on study habits to test anxiety and can help you find additional resources. Additionally, you will hear from your dedicated LSS counselors periodically throughout your time here. Military learners will be assigned to a specialized military counselor. This is just to check in and see how things are progressing and more importantly, how you are doing. So, don’t be afraid to reach out to people who can help you succeed.
- Direct Focused Client Care
Direct Focused Client Care (DFC) rotations are where you will be involved in real-life patient encounters and situations. These are just like work, with 8 to 12 hour shifts over consecutive days. Here, you will experience the many joys and trials of being a nurse. From the onset of your education at Nightingale College, you will be required to participate in and travel to all DFC sites.
You will be representing Nightingale College and the nursing profession with every step and encounter. That is a HUGE responsibility. 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 good hygiene, neat appearance, and ultimately providing the highest level of professional services.
During your program you will be exposed to a variety of DFC settings. Early on in the program, the majority of your DFCs will be performed at long term care facilities.
In your final semester, you will participate in an integrative learning experience, known as an integrative practicum. You will be partnered with an RN for 135 hours of real-life patient care, without faculty supervision. Learners may have input into the selection of the site, but the College makes the final decision and makes all necessary arrangements.
By the way, in order for you to be able to participate in DFCs you must successfully complete and pass a background check, drug test, and CPR certification at your own expense. Also, know that the College may drug test you at any point during your enrollment.
As we mentioned earlier, learning 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 learners 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!
Nightingale College is not responsible for your personal belongings during these times, so don’t bring them.
- Rules and Other Tips
There are numerous policies that you will be subject to and must follow without fail! If at any time during your educational journey at Nightingale College you choose 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 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 Learner Handbook. To conclude this section, we implore you to stay informed and follow the rules always to avoid bitter disappointment that comes from wasted time and money!
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.
- Communication is critical! If anyone from the College reaches out to you, there is a reason for it. If you need assistance, reach out to your LSS counselor for help.
- The College has a very strict anti-bullying policy. Just like patients you will encounter throughout your nursing career, our learners 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 can take time to put in place, so it is important that you reach out to the ADA Coordinator as early as possible. Remember that accommodations cannot be put into place for NCLEX unless they were preapproved by the College during your program.
Let’s talk about testing.
First off, 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 required for success in your studies. These tests are required for every learner applying to a pre-licensure program, regardless of previous education. 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. Additionally, advanced placement learners are required to pass certain nursing assessment exams (HESIs) in order to transfer nursing credits. Should you not succeed on the exams, you will be required to take corresponding nursing courses. Admissions entrance tests and placement exams are not included in tuition.
Once your program begins, if you are an advanced placement learner, faculty will immediately begin evaluating your knowledge and skills in the first week of school. During school you will be responsible for completing weekly coursework, formative examinations, skills assessments, math dosage calculation proficiency demonstrations, various rigorous standardized tests and other evaluations to determine your current level of competency.
The College also utilizes these standardized exams 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 has 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.
All testing at the College is remote proctored.
At times, you may be tempted to cheat on your exams to improve your grade. Let us be clear: cheating, in any form, will NOT be tolerated. It violates the College’s values and the nursing code of ethics, and is grounds for immediate withdrawal from the College.
On to money matters:
Program fees include all required digital resources and nursing kits, which includes the items you need for all experiential learning. The following items are NOT included in the program tuition and fees: College application fee, admissions testing fees, mandatory background check and drug screening fees, travel and lodging expenses where applicable, laptops, RN licensure application fee, NCLEX licensure exam fee, and ANYTHING else not explicitly stated as being included.
Going to school is expensive but it is an investment in your future with a potential for a great return. Nightingale College has a few resources available to help you finance your education. First, the College participates in Title IV Federal Learner Aid, or FSA, programs which are available to those who apply and qualify. The first step in determining your eligibility is completing the free application for federal learner 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.
Please understand that if you do not make payments on time, you will NOT be allowed to participate in online or SOFE activities and you will be 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.
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!
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 business elsewhere, as we will not be able to help you.
- Conclusion and Next Steps
So, do you think Nightingale College and our nursing programs are a good fit for you? We sure demand A LOT of our learners! But not without a very compelling reason: we are here to help our learners become confident, competent, and compassionate registered nurses, of whom everyone in their families, workplaces, and communities can be proud!
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. We encourage you to talk about what you’ve learned over with your support system, and then reach out to your admissions advisor with any questions or concerns you may have. Following your email, your advisor will start the Commit Process, where you will apply for entrance into the program and start on your admissions testing. We look forward to hearing from you! FLAME FORWARD!