Gain an Insider View
Learn in-depth details about the Sacred Heart University online programs through the words of our admissions leaders, campus faculty and deans, and alumni. This is a great opportunity to interact with the SHU community directly relating to your program of interest.
Attend one of our real-time Virtual Open Houses to:
- Obtain a detailed overview of our programs.
- Discover a supportive community committed to your success.
- Ask questions of faculty/deans and current or past students.
- Begin to establish meaningful connections with your peers.
- Learn about the admissions process and most up to date information necessary in making your educational decisions.
Our Virtual Open Houses do not require any special software and are accessible from any computer or iPad with an Internet connection. After you register, you’ll receive an email with a unique link to log on to at the date and time of the open house.
Upcoming Virtual Open House Events
Check back for upcoming virtual open house events!
Looking for a past event? Watch a recording of a recent Virtual Open House:
DUKE THOMPSON: Hello, everyone, and thank you for attending the M S N Family Nurse Practitioner Program online virtual open house at Sacred Heart University. We'll be going through a number of items tonight including getting you familiar with the university, our M S N F N P program online, the program requirements, and how to apply.
I'm your host for this evening. My name is Duke Thompson. I'm the program manager for the M S N F N P program.
As you look to get familiar with Sacred Heart University, there's a lot of information on our website. If you call, we can also give you a good idea on the background and quality of the university. We were originally founded in Fairfield, Connecticut, where our campus is still. And our classes online began fully online in 2010. We are recently accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. We're also consistently well-ranked by US News & World Report and other third party sources.
As you look towards the M S N F N P program online, it is designed for nurses that are working full-time. You are taking one or two classes per semester. And it just depends on the semester. So you just have one or two classes at a time over a traditional 16-week semester. The program is designed for nurses that are working full-time. And the program is laid out over two years and two semesters, so just over two and a half years.
You are coming to campus three times. You do come to campus initially for an orientation. That will occur just before classes start. It's only the week before your classes start where you're on campus for a couple days, meeting with your faculty, meeting with your soon-to-be peers in class. You then come back at the midpoint of the program, so just over a year into the program, for your first round of clinical competencies prior to your clinical hours. And then you're coming back at the end of the program for your last round of clinical hours, prior to sitting for your board.
As you look towards the program overall, you do have 550 clinical hours that you'll be completing. They are in the last half of the program, and they're spread out over three semesters. You have three clinical sessions one in primary care in a primary care location, one for pediatrics and one for O B women's health. Each block of those clinicals is in its own semester. And the total clinical hours is 550. If you do a straight average, it comes out to about 12 hours a week for your clinical hours. And it should normally fit with a normal work schedule.
With general questions about the program, one of the main questions we get is around tuition. So I want to cover that one early. Tuition for the program is 890 dollars per credit. The program has a total of 42 credits. So your program comes in right at 37,000 dollars.
There are some affiliated fees. They tend to be quite low. And when you call to discuss the program with us, we can break those down pretty closely. But I wanted you to have a good idea of the overall tuition for the program as you compare with the other programs you're looking into. I'll leave this side here for a moment.
Once you're admitted to the program, shortly thereafter you'd have a 1,000 dollar program deposit that's required. If you attend orientation and start the program, then that is applied towards your first semester's tuition. If you accept your position, pay your deposit, and then do not start the program, it is a non-refundable deposit.
As you consider applying, you do need to be a registered nurse. You need to have your B S N and a minimum G P A of 3.2. We do look for transcripts, resume, a couple letters of reference, and at least one year's work experience as a registered nurse. The application process is very straightforward. And we're working with you very closely to help get your file done so we can get your admission decision early.
As you look towards the classes online, you do not have hard-set meeting times during the week. So whatever your work schedule is, is fine. If you've had online classes before, we do not have live meetings with this program. As far as having to log in at a hard-set time. So whatever your work schedule is or family schedule is is fine. You have things you're doing each week, but you're driving those around your own calendar.
And if you need support, you have every layer of support. You're reaching out to your instructor who is a full-time faculty member here for anything class-related. You have 24/7 live telephone tech support, so anything tech-support-related, you've got telephone tech support 24 hours a day.
And then, anything you wouldn't take to your instructor or tech support, you're bringing your key staff member. Initially that will be your program manager. As you get into the program, that will be your student services person. And your student services person will be there for you all the way through the program. You'll also have an academic advisor, which is one of your senior faculty members. And as you get towards your clinical hours later in the program, you'll have a clinical advisor, as well. So you've got every layer of support here throughout your program.
We also have a small class size. So for the F N P program, you'll normally have around 20 students in a class. That keeps your class size small, so if you need something from your instructor, you're able to get a hold of them. Some programs out there have a lot more students. We tend to have around 20 students in a class. You should know your peers. You should know your faculty here. And when you need something, you should be able to reach out to your instructor. They should have the bandwidth to support you as you should be supported as a graduate student.
As you get in touch along the support lines, you'll have a program manager that can talk to you through the same things we're covering this evening. I'm one of those people. So if you'd like more information on the program, the phone number is the bottom of the screen. Also at the end of the presentation, you'll have information on applying and getting in contact. We start with you right away. So if you'd like to find out more or have a personal conversation, please do get in touch.
As you apply and get your application file done, generally over two or three weeks we'll have your admissions decision shortly thereafter, hopefully well before your class starts. As you start your classes, as I mentioned before, you've got every layer of support and you've got everything you should need all the way through the program here.
We do have a number of frequently-asked questions. I'd like to run through those now. If you have questions, you can post them. If you're in the live session now, you can post them in the chat area. If you're listening to this recorded, I did want to get some basic questions out here.
So looking towards our F A Qs do you have to log in at a certain time? You do not. So you have no live meetings. Each week you have reading to do, course and lecture materials to review, an online discussion going on, and an assignment that you're working on. We tend towards individual weekly assignments.
If you have a question on anything class-related, you're reaching out to your instructor. And you should have good support every step of the way. Also through the online discussion, you're exploring some offshoot of this week's topic, and you've got a platform where you have roughly 20 other nurses chasing dialogue around that topic. So you should know your peers. You should know your faculty here. And you do not have to log in a certain time.
With looking at time per week depending on the class and you as a student. Generally, we ask you to budget 12 to 15 hours a week per class. So normally 12 to 15 hours a week. Through most of the program here, you're taking one class at a time. As you get to your clinicals, you may have clinical hours on your own. If so, you'll have 12 hours of clinicals, as I mentioned before, and a little bit of documentation that you're doing outside of that. So generally, 12 to 15 hours a week should be fine.
With the class layout, each class here is 16 weeks. So it is a traditional semester. You do have summer classes, so you do have spring, summer, and fall courses throughout the year. It is a year-round program.
With finishing out your degree, as I mentioned before, the program is laid out over two years and two semesters, so just over two and a half years as you look to finish your program and then prepare for your board. With starting into the program, we normally have entry points in the fall, which would be late August, and the spring, which would be early to mid-January. If you check the website or call, we can always you know about our next class start date.
With looking towards classes online, as long as you have a relatively recent Mac or PC with Microsoft Office and an internet connection, you should be fine to start into the program here. So on the technology side, again, if you have questions, you can always reach out. But if you've got a relatively recent computer that you're looking to use, you should be fine.
I'll have instructions next on how to apply and get started. As I record this, we have enrollment open now for our fall 2018 class start, which will be August 27. However, depending on when you are listening to this, please get in touch. We have fall and spring entry points at this stage.
With looking towards your clinical hours, normally you need to be in the United States. There may be the occasional option for study abroad through the school. Normally though, you need to be in one of the 50 states, you need to be a registered nurse in the state where you're going to do your clinical hours, and we'll be coordinating all of that with you along the way.
There are residencies for the F N P program. You're coming to campus three times throughout your program, as I mentioned before. And we'll have good support, down to potentially travel and hotel information, as well. Get in touch. And we'll keep you on track every step of the way.
With questions, I will cover questions individually in chat. Since I am recording this session to post for future viewers, I will handle those offline. If you're listening to this as a recorded session and you have questions, please call the number at the bottom of the screen or on the preceding screen here, and we'd be happy to answer any questions that you have.
Again, we do have enrollment open now for our class start August 27, 2018. If you'd like to apply for the Fall class start, you can follow the link here to go out and start your application. If you do have questions, please call the toll-free number. Select option 1 for Admissions, and we'll work with you individually every step of the way.
I'd like to thank you all for your time this evening. I will leave the screen up just for another moment so you can gather this information. And we look forward to hearing from you soon. Thank you.
MICHAEL SCHECK: Good evening ladies and gentlemen. I wanted to thank you for spending some time with me today. My name is Michael Scheck and you are at Sacred Heart University's open house.
Well, a this presentation I wanted to make sure you're aware of. Number one, this is an absolutely live presentation. You will probably hear me cough from time to time. I'm a little under the weather. I apologize about that. You may see me take a drink of water as well every once in a while to help my throat. But I look forward to your interaction. I would love to see you interact with me and text in your questions to us throughout the presentation.
Now, if at any time you end up leaving our presentation or the screen closes or freezes, you'll see in the top left hand side of your screen there is a live event button. Simply click on that button to come back into our presentation. I look forward to working through this next hour showing you a lot of good things with our presentation and hopefully helping to educate you a lot about our university, our school, and the recent trends in the nursing industry as well.
So let me give you a little bit of an agenda here. Now first we're going to go ahead and walk you through us. Who are we? Who is Sacred Heart University? I'm going to give you a small overview over our university, our school, our College of Nursing as well. Now, I also would like to talk about, as I mentioned, the industry trends in nursing to get an idea about why are we here. Why are we looking to further our education as well.
Now we're going to dive in deep to our MSN programs, the full suite of the class that we offer. And really discuss what it takes to be successful as an online student in our online programs as well. And well, there's a lot of different things here to help support you here at Sacred Heart. I'd love to give you an idea about what is here to help you as well.
So there will be a live question and answer session as well. But, as I mentioned, please do interact with us throughout the presentation. If I see some good texts or some good questions throughout the presentation I will go ahead and answer your questions throughout the presentation to help make sure that we're keeping the conversation going and interacting with each other as well.
So without further ado, let me help show you who I am here. My name is Michael Scheck. I'm a senior program manager here at Sacred Heart University. I have been with our school and working with great nurses with our school now for over five years. A lot of great people I've helped, not only start the program, but finish the program as well. And my role as a senior program manager is to help get information to students, to help them figure out the best plans, and also on our end here at Sacred Heart, my job is to help support you. So hopefully you'll get an idea about that throughout the presentation.
Now, I also have a very special guest, Dr. Marlene Beck. Now Dr. Beck is our director of the online nursing programs. She is a graduate of our school as well. She got her MSN from us. But she is a accomplished educationally. I will give you a quick rundown of what she has under her belt educationally. She has her MSN from Sacred Heart as I mentioned. She has her BSN from Western Connecticut State. She has her DMT from Case Western. And well, perhaps we an idea from Dr. Marlene back about her teaching accolades as well. And perhaps we can bring her in here and see. Well, let's try and bring Dr. Beck in right now. Hi Dr. Beck. It's Michael. Can you hear me?
MARLENE BECK: Hi Michael. I can hear you.
MICHAEL SCHECK: Wonderful. Wonderful. I look forward to doing the presentation with you today. And I'd love to get an idea and give the audience a clue as to your background in academia and all of your accomplishments here as well.
MARLENE BECK: Thanks Michael. And thank you for the nice introduction. Hello everyone. I'm very happy to-- I can't see you-- but I'm happy to be here and welcome you to Sacred Heart University. As Michael had indicated I've been in education for about 25 years. And I originally started in the diploma program and in the first professional group.
About five years ago I joined Sacred Heart University, because I wanted to start teaching at the graduate level. And I did this after I had completed like my doctoral degree and moved to the graduate level. At that point in time I was asked to take over the nurse educator track of the online program. And I will tell you I have many years of teaching experience but I had never taught online before. I was a little reluctant. I was a little hesitant. I always thought of myself as a people person, face to face.
But I will tell you it has transformed me and I love teaching online. I don't think I ever could go back to the classroom setting. I find it challenging. I find great forum to teach. And I'm sure students feel the same way. Learning outcomes are never compromised. As a matter of fact, most research is showing that learning outcomes are actually achieved on a higher level in an online program. I look forward to the rest of the presentation. And I'm hear to answer any questions that you may have.
MICHAEL SCHECK: On a personal note as well Dr. Beck, I know we've worked together for many years. And you've got so many rave reviews about the way that you work and converse with students, and help them succeed in their goals. And in this day and age with distance learning, and online learning, and trying to fit everything into our schedules while still making a paycheck and everything else, I commend you on your work and your diligence with the program. And thank you for bringing us to where we are now. So thanks for spending your time with us tonight.
MARLENE BECK: You're welcome.
MICHAEL SCHECK: So I plan I bringing you in throughout the presentation if that's OK with you. In the meantime, what I'll do is I'll take it back to the full screen and we'll go over some different notes. I'd love to go ahead and give people an overview about our university. If that's OK.
MARLENE BECK: That's fine with me.
MICHAEL SCHECK: Wonderful. I'll queue you back in a couple of minutes. So if we can go back to the-- there we go. Thanks. Now with us as university, I want you to know who the heck we are as a university. We are an actual brick and mortar university here in Connecticut. In Fairfield is our main campus. We offer a traditional undergraduate classes, as well as graduate programs both on ground and on campus. Now on ground and also online is what I meant to go ahead and say.
Now we are regionally accredited. And what that means for you as a student, when a lot of nurses of told me about this, they hear those nightmares about they went to the wrong school, or the credits that they took don't count, and things like that. We here at Sacred Heart University are regionally accredited as a university by the NEASC. Now what that means for you is that we here is a school, we've met all the proper accreditations to go ahead and work with, well the right types of accreditation, the right types of schooling.
So what we do here at Sacred Heart is we offer the highest level of accreditation, the gold standard, to make sure that those credits you take here are worthwhile. You'll never have any educator, you'll never have any employer say, I'm sorry those credits don't count, if you come to Sacred Heart. So we work with many major universities as well. Over 90% of the schools in the nation have the same accreditation as we do regionally. Now we've been ranked traditionally in the top 10 in Northeast for a long time, both top 10 for veterans, top 10 for online value. There's a lot of rankings and a lot of people resource us with US News and World Reports where we are ranked very high as well.
I'm looking forward to go ahead and showing you more of the rich history and tradition of our school as well as the new traditions here with our College of Nursing here at Sacred Heart University. Now a College of Nursing what you see on your screen right now is an actual blueprint of our brand new school of nursing that's being built right now. It's absolutely gorgeous, state of the art. Should be up in the next year. We offer a full program of nursing suites here, whether it be undergrad, graduate level, DMP level education. We deliver curricula that embraces not only the core nursing concepts, but also spirituality, ethics, diversity, and more of a community approach for over 30 years on campus.
But also with online, it's not like we're some newbie with online education as well. We've been doing this now for over 10 years online, closer to 15. And we are properly accredited in the nursing realm as well. We are CCNE accredited. So I wanted to make sure you who we were as a school. So if you felt comfortable about us or if you've had questions about us as a university, I wanted you to feel comfortable that if we were the right school for you, that these are the right kinds of credits and the right place for you.
So now in regards to why are we here. I wanted to talk today about the industry, the trends. I'd love to go ahead and talk about some of the reasons that on my end I hear from nurses speaking about why they're looking to go back to school. And every once in while I'll run into a nurse, and there's a lot of you out there, that just have the inherent desire to learn. If you get involved with nursing you know it's a learning field. You know that you're looking to go ahead and better yourself. You'll do your CEUs. You'll do your different certifications. You'll further your education. I applaud you. I think it's great.
But there's also a real solid demand for nurses. And what I mean by that is that there are such a demand of nurses, and the number of positions available, the nursing shortages, that it's a smart move strategically for you to go ahead and become a nurse, and to further your education as nurse as well. According to Elsevier and confidentialconnect.com I saw that there was 24% growth expected in the industry over the next year. I mean that's a heck of a lot of growth.
And most of the nurses in the field right now currently, they're over 50 years of age, which means they're approaching retirement age in the next 15 to 20 to 25 years, depending on how they set up their retirement. There's going to be a lot of growth here in the industry, in the future, and a big demand of it. And just on average, fun fact for you for the day, 8.1% of hospitals nationwide have vacancies. I'm sorry 8.1% of positions within hospitals nationwide our vacant. That means it only 97.9% of the spots at facilities are filled. There is that demand, the 8% that they can't have. I mean in regards to the industry, nearly 10% vacancies at all times. That's a heck of a great opportunity for you.
So in regards to the actual demand for nurses, I wanted to make sure about that. And if you have any questions about any of these industry trends or you have any feedback for me as well, or what you've heard or seen as a nurse, please text your questions into the number on the bottom of the screen. I'll look at my computer throughout the presentation, and we'll go ahead and interact. So just wanted to make sure you all knew it was available to you.
Now another thing that it's really becoming rampant in the nursing industry is the need for nurses to understand advanced technology and the demand for information. I hear about this all the time, whether it be a nurse telling me that they just learned EPIC and it took months to figure out, that it was the toughest system in the world, or the continued demand for informatics and information sharing.
I even heard from a nursing student the other day, well a nurse got her two-year ADN as well as another one that got her BSN, that they're now doing simulations in their nursing program. So they're not even working with real patients as often. They're working in simulations to try to help diagnose and work with patients, and get an idea about what the demands are in the industry. I thought that was crazy. And according to the ANA and nursingworld.org the EHRs-- and tell me if you know what those things are nurses-- the electronic health records that are being shared. The integration between industries with nursing to physical therapy to other professions in the health industry is exponential.
And I've also been working with nurses that are diagnosing and integrating more mobile diagnoses to patients and working remotely. And their goals are to work with patients remotely, work from home, and do these things, and educate themselves. All things that you need to prepare yourself for if you're going to help tackle that advanced technology edge. So I just really thought that was pretty interesting.
Now one of the biggest things that I've heard of, especially since we actually-- spoiler alert, we offer an MSN with a nurse education track here. And I hear left and right from individuals trying to get involved with that track that there is such a direct correlation of nursing educators to the number of students in nursing programs. And well, actually last year over 40,000 qualified students, qualified students, not the people that didn't have to the right grades to get into nursing school. People that have the right prereqs, the right education, the right experience levels, or had done volunteer work, and things like that, they were turned away from nursing programs last year. 40,000 nurses, or potential nurses, that won't become nurses over the next year.
And the nice thing is, and the reason why some of you nurses are here today, is that online education is really bridging the gap for individuals. And they're able to find ways to accommodate students where if your nursing program locally, maybe in Oklahoma or California, can't accommodate, but we here in Connecticut can, that's wonderful. We can help accommodate so you have no wait list. So I just thought that was absolutely crazy with that nursing education stat. 40,000 nurses were turned away from nursing programs last year.
Another trend that you should also be very aware of, especially if you're working in any inpatient or outpatient care, quality initiatives. Those initiatives are obviously quality care. There are satisfaction ratings and rankings going on now. In some of the facilities they have pay for performance initiatives as well. And it's really keeping nurses on their toes and minding their P's and Q's. And they're trying to make sure that they're doing things correctly as we always should. But it's really making sure that you play ball the right way.
So I also start at the remote monitoring and the digit-- I can't say the word. You're trying to digitize the information. You're keeping records. You're actually recording those sessions to work with a doctor to help individuals out from a distance, lot of things. If you ever had any doubts this thing was live you just heard it there.
But one thing that-- I don't know if this is a dirty word to any of you out there, but have you heard of magnet status? I got a text that said, yes immediately! With a big capital Y there. This is one of the most popular reasons I have nurses talk to me about how can I help set myself up for success and have a game plan if my facility is trying to go magnet, if I am in a management role, if I am trying to do different things in my career, and my employers either is magnet or going magnet. It's a lot of things to take in. It shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone now. Because it's been around for a while.
And one thing I want to make sure you were aware of is that in the industry, some of the main reasons that employers will look to go magnet is it really is a benefit to their employees to have higher education. It's a benefit to their patients to get better health care with more of an educated crew working with them. But also there's increased funding for the employer, so they can offer different benefits or different amenities to patients and employees.
So there's a lot to do with magnet status, a lot things behind the scenes. And at first when nurses are told they have to go back to school, they grumble. They are a little bit nervous. But you're in a learning field. And you're looking for ways to consistently better yourself and deliver the best health care. And magnet status has been a really good thing for a lot of facilities. And I hope you embrace it and you don't look negatively upon it, because if it's forcing you go back to better yourself, that's a good reason in my opinion to help continue your way on the upward trend educationally.
So can I bring Dr. Beck back into the presentation here. And Dr. Beck what did you think about overall the main trends that I've been hearing on the phone with nurses? Have you been hearing a lot about the information side, the quality initiatives, the magnet status, what do you think?
MARLENE BECK: Yes Michael. Am I on the screen now?
MICHAEL SCHECK: Oh yes. I can see you perfectly.
MARLENE BECK: OK. Yes. I mean everything that you covered are definitely important trends that are going on in nursing. I also want to mention that everyone knows how complex health care is in our country these days. And there are changes to the delivery of health care in all different types of settings. I know we sometimes focus on a hospital setting, but nursing is in the community, in the schools, in the legislature, in clinics, all over.
So because of the changes in health care delivery there is a lot of accountability on nursing right now to take a lead in many of these leadership positions. And so many leadership positions exist out there. Clinical leadership, leadership as far as management leadership, and leadership as an educator in many different settings.
So I think the changes that have occurred in the delivery of health care-- the AACN has, in their last white paper, has made a recommendation that we need to double the amount of nurses with advanced degrees by the year 2020 to meet the demands of the country's changing health care needs. So as Michael has said, there's many trends that exist. But the bottom line is that the change in delivery of health care is opening up many leadership positions which require advanced degrees.
MICHAEL SCHECK: I completely agree. I didn't even mention the Affordable Care Act really innovating and changing the industry to adjust to that. And that's a whole can of worms that we probably don't have a lot of time for. But that's a big innovator as well. And it's changing the landscape of nursing and health care as well. So great points. And what a great fact that by 2020 doubling leadership positions. And a lot of times it's the MSN that's needed for those, if not higher. Thank you for your feedback with that. And great points as well.
Well, let's go back to the full screen. I'll bring you back in a in a moment or two Dr. Beck. What I'd love to try to do though for us here right now is talk with you all about our MSN program. Dr. Beck provided a great segue for us to discuss how we can help create leaders in our Master of Science in Nursing program. It is a fully online program. No campus requirements are needed. But you are welcome to our campus at any time. If you remember I showed you the picture of the new School of Nursing. If you're local to us in Fairfield, Connecticut you're more that welcome at any time. You're never required to come there though.
So in regards to our MSN, it is a fully online program. It's meant more for the working adult. And what I meant by that is that, and let me know if I'm wrong here, maybe via text, but if you remember nursing school. And for many nurses you can't block that out. The say goodbye to friends, say goodbye to family mantra that you had to live by. And you were going to school for 40 to 50 hours a week, if not more, including studying time. And then maybe even trying to do your clinical or work part time and just never even sleeping. This is not that kind of a program. This is an online program meant for the working adult. It's more of a part time basis. It's meant to help supplement your life, not take it over.
And what we've done here at Sacred Heart is we've created three different specializations that are meant to help customize your education and help get you set up for the growing demands of health care, your facilities, your outpatient treatment, anything that you need. But you'll see that, and hopefully by the end of the presentation you'll get an idea that this is doable. It's not meant to overwhelm your life.
So the first track that I'd love to go ahead and cover with you. It's the clinical nurse leader. Now a clinical nurse leader is a masters prepared nurse, an MSN prepared nurse. And what we do here at Sacred Heart is we bundle our MSN with the requirements the AACN has put in place to help you become nationally certified as a clinical nurse leader. Now it is truly a newer role in nursing. And it really does focus on outcomes, quality health care. This is a bedside leadership position.
Now I've worked with nurses for years and they will tell me that their facilities use CNLs in so many different ways. And a couple different ways that they use CNLs are number one, for leadership positions, higher than a charge nurse. It's their job to still have that patient interaction. But you're working directly with administrators. You'll be doing some administrative duties on the side. You also will be educating members of your team. You are that creative problem solver that's on the floor that people are coming to talk to, and please help us with this patient, please help us with this patient. This is a unique case. You have advanced assessment techniques. You were taught above and beyond the normal assessment techniques, but not quite advanced practice.
And what I mean by that is you won't have prescriptive rights. You won't be set in one specific setting for the rest of your career. Clinical nurse leaders are more of a generalist role in nursing. And what we do for the CNL role is that they're able to move from one clinical setting to the next.
So I actually just had a great text come in here about what are the average qualifications that your students have to get into our MSN program. And I'll go ahead and address that with you in just one second here with the overview of our program to help kind of give you an idea about what it takes to be a student here too. But with the CNL role, if you have any other questions, text them in. I'll be happy to answer them here a moment or two.
I personally like to call it, you're the Swiss army knife of nurses. You can move from one clinical setting to the next. You're a leader. You're the creative problem solver. But you love bedside. And with our admissions criteria for this track we look for leaders in theirs.
And that's a little bit of an easy kind of segue to go ahead and talk about our Nursing Management and Executive Leadership track which is the complete, well in a lot of ways, the complete opposite of what the CNL is. The CNL track is more for on the floor. The Nursing Management Executive Leadership track is meant to help build leaders that are looking to be the game changers, the policy writers, the procedural nurses, the business minded individuals, but not just administrators.
This track is an academic look to help you understand how to not only succeed in middle management, but upper executive management. To be that CNO. To take control in a positive way and lead your organization to success.
And now both of these tracks, I wanted to make sure that you had an idea that they're polar opposites. And sometimes I speak with nurses that they're like, hey Mike, I'd like to get involved with the leadership program. We've got two of the. We've got one for more business minded nurses that are looking to get away from the floor. We've got another track that's more hands on learning. And as a learner, as a nurse for yourself…
You should know what type of learner am I. Do I learn better on my own doing more reading, writing? Or do I learn better by learning, more kinesthetically learning? And the CNL track is the more hands on learning. This is more of an understanding of the bigger picture. I hope that helps give you an idea about the Nursing Management and Executive Leadership track.
Now one other question I had come in here. No matter which of these three tracks that you look into, these three tracks all go ahead and help you achieve your MSN through us here at Sacred Heart. These are just what types of curriculum would interest you and keep you invigorated while pursuing your masters in nursing.
And the third track I wanted to talk about was the nursing education track. And it really is a dynamic path to help you understand both the clinical side of nurse education. If you're looking to be that clinical nurse educator on your floor, handing out different certifications to your members of your team, or designing different training protocol, designing different CEUs, or the academic side of education as well.
Now the academic side, if you look to be-- now this is one thing that I have a question a lot about from students-- is what does it take to be able to teach academically? And our MSN program can help you be able to teach students at a baccalaureate level or lower in their nursing career. So I want to go ahead and make sure that you knew that an MSN track is there to help you teach anyone that is baccalaureate level or below as you go.
Great question. Very, very good question. How long does a nurse educator program take to complete? Now for all of these tracks-- and I wanted to give you an overview of all of these tracks. If you meet the admissions criteria. And let me go over that with you if you have a pen and paper it would be great.
We look for great nurses, number one, leaders in their organizations. We love to see or even chat with you and just make sure that a-type nurse that wants to thrive and benefit for more education. Number two, we ask that you have an active nursing license. That shouldn't be hard. You couldn't be a nurse right now if you didn't. We ask that you have a solid educational background. And what I mean by that is that you've gone to a university like ourselves, and that you have a bachelor's, and that you had good grades.
We typically look for our nurses to have 3.0 or higher to get into our nursing program. Now as you matriculate through the program you'll see that having those good grades helps set you up for success, because our program is challenging. But with the rest of the admissions criteria, one interesting tidbit that I'll throw out there. And this actually can go along with how long does a program take. If you have a bachelor's degree in a different field, but you're still a registered nurse.
For instance, if you have a two-year degree in nursing, but maybe a bachelor's in health administration or similar field, we can still work with you. And we have direct entry paths into our MSN for you. None of these bridge programs like other schools that they build on an extra 15 to 30 credits for other schools at the undergraduate level. For us we have a direct entry path into our MSN track, any of these three tracks. And we look for a undergrad statistics class with your curriculum, and a three credit health assessment class with your curriculum.
And if you have those two classes I can tell you the normal time to complete our program is either two years to two years and two months if you do one class at a time. And with one class at a time I'll dive into it here in a segment or two about the overview of how much we ask for from our students each week and things like that. We're not going to be taking over your life. So one class at a time, two years, two months to complete. That's the nurse education track. That's the CNL track. However the Nursing Management and Executive Leadership track is only two years to complete that program.
So for the last couple texts have come through I just answered the overall admissions criteria that we usually look for, as well as also the-- good texts coming in here in a second-- also the normal time to complete. Now another thing that I'd like to mention, that's if you do your path in a straight line, and you don't scheduling breaks for yourself. Big difference for our program, and I'll kind of allude to this a little bit later on too, we allow our students to create their own plan of study. So that's a little tidbit for the future.
Now, I have a wonderful text here about the scaling of grades, more recent grades, nursing grades. There are a lot of things that our admissions board takes into account to help find the best and most successful nurses to be in our program. If you have a one off situation about my grades. And for me personally I did this. My freshman year stunk when I went to college. Talk with one of us. We can help walk you through, and get an idea, and help set your expectations. And we can line up a time to chat with you here over the phone, and help set your expectations.
Everyone has a different educational path. Some grades might not be there, or it might be a little bit off. I had one student that had a 2.97. Did we absolutely say, no, you can't get into our school? No. We worked with them and we tried to get an idea about if this would be a good fit for them. There's other things than grades that make great nurses. And we do take that into account here at Sacred Heart too. So I wanted to make sure that you knew about that.
And before I dive into the online experience I'd love to go ahead and bring Dr. Beck in here another time to talk about how the curriculum was designed as well as the importance of the specific classes that have been designed to match each of those. Can you bring some insight into that for us Dr. Beck?
MARLENE BECK: Absolutely Michael. You did a great job describing the three tracks. But I'll add a little bit to each one.
MICHAEL SCHECK: Please.
MARLENE BECK: Obviously there are core courses which include theory, and policy, and research and evidence based practice. So there are four core courses that are core for each track. And let me start with the nurse educator track. As Michael said, this is an excellent track to prepare you to teach in nursing, not only academia. A lot of our students are interested in teaching academia.
But it's also patient teaching and staff development, or staff education as well. Our courses to include in this specialty track thematics, curriculum development, teaching strategies, how to prepare for accreditation, how to handle the difficult student. So we cover it all so our students feel very qualified to teach. Our capstone for that track gives you the opportunity to have a preceptor review [INAUDIBLE] in an academic environment, as well supervise students clinically.
On the NMEL, the Nursing Management Executive Leadership track offers, as Michael said, it's from a middle manager up through executive management. It deals with courses such as financial management, promoting a team, dealing with difficult people. The capstone again, is in an institution where you're really taking a look at the organization and doing organizational assessment.
On the Clinical Nurse Leader, also as Michael said, a newer role in nursing [INAUDIBLE] improve upon processes, make things better. Why is patient not achieving their outcome? So they're type of nurse, that they're in a clinical leadership position to make sure that outcomes and quality measures are met.
MICHAEL SCHECK: Thank you very much Dr. Beck for your insight on that. You mentioned quality care as well. When I talk with nurses that are looking into the Nursing Management and Executive Leadership track especially, that is the most popular course. It just pops off the curriculum page there at all them. They're just so excited because there is such a big push right now in the health industry for quality care.
We here at Sacred Heart as well Dr. Beck and I'm sure you can help echo the sentiment here, we're not lazy with our curriculum. We try to modernize things. We try to help make sure that what we're teaching students is relevant and applicable. And it's not about memorizing or regurgitating information. It's about how can I apply this to the field, how can I get the most out of this and implement things to the industry.
I implore for all of to please look at our website here and I'll help provide website at the end of presentation. But please do look at the curriculum, because you'll see that these should be classes that will pop off the page at you and help you be able to really maximize your educational effort and get a lot out of the program. So anything else you'd like to add Dr. Beck?
MARLENE BECK: Michael, I'm just going to add that all of our courses-- we obviously follow, we look at trends, we look at any changes with the MSN essentials, or any competencies for each of the role. So our courses are constantly revised and updated and reflect the environment out there.
MICHAEL SCHECK: I agree. I have a couple text messages and I'd love to keep you here on the screen for a moment Dr. Beck if that's OK so I can read these off. Now I have a text message from one student about our CNL pass rate, because as I mentioned before, our MSN program will not only help you get your MSN track, but if you're doing the CNL track it will help prepare you for the AACN's national certification. And tell me if I'm wrong, but we usually hosts that certification on campus the Monday after graduation each year if I remember correctly. So you take the information while it's fresh.
MARLENE BECK: Yes. I mean students can take the exam right after they graduate. And it can be taken at any testing center across the United States.
MICHAEL SCHECK: Absolutely. Do we have a 100% pass rate for the last three cohorts of nurses that have taken that.
MARLENE BECK: Yes Michael. We are very proud of that. Over the past year our pass rate has been 100%. I believe the national average is somewhere around 70%. So we are very proud of that accomplishment.
MICHAEL SCHECK: I saw an article saying 68% was the national average. So I love telling students about that, because when they're going through the program they want to make sure that what they're learning is relevant and can help them achieve their goals. . And I'm not going to say that we're going to maintain 100% forever, but it's a heck of a good run that we're having right now. And I attest that to the curriculum and the way that you all as educators are reaching out to the students and helping them understand what is being taught and what's important to be successful as a CNL. So great track record.
I have another question about the certification for the CNE certification. Does our MSN program help fulfill the requirements for that? And that's kind of a loaded question, because academically I know we cover everything that's required by the NLN to help individuals sit for that national certification. Our program will help with the academic side of things, the education, the know how but we can't help with the work experience part to help people with that out right?
MARLENE BECK: Well actually Michael there has been a change in that the students that graduate from the nurse educator track, because we meet all the academic requirements for them to sit for the exam. I believe they can take it within a six month period now. The requirement used to be that you need a two year work history in order to take the CNE exam, which is the Certified Nurse Educator exam. As someone who has taught a long time and has taken that exam we do recommend that our students got a little experience under their belt, but that two year limit, that two year time frame has been taken away.
MICHAEL SCHECK: That's wonderful. Thank you for that update to, because I know there's such a shortage of CNEs. There's a lot of masters prepared nurses out there. We're trying to fill those vacancies, but there's not a lot of CNEs out there. That could really help increase marketability for students that are trying to apply for education jobs too. That's awesome news. That's awesome news.
I have, and this is a good one. I'm going to leave this one up to you, because I have a fun question. What is the difference between a CNS, clinical nurse specialist and a CNL? Could you give us some insight about that as well.
MARLENE BECK: Sure. This is a question that a lot of students ask us. And it is a little bit confusing, because the CNS role still exists. It's not as popular as it was at one point in time. But a CNS is usually focused on a disease or phenomena, such as you're a CNS in oncology, or a CNS in wound care, or a CNS in respiratory. So their focus is really their expertise in that particular field. So if you're an oncology clinical nurse specialist, that's your specialty.
Where a CNL is much broader. And it's a clinical leadership position that looks at patient care practices across the board and delivery. And so what they're doing is-- it can be in one area. Different places use them differently. So you can be CNL that's assigned to a specific areas such as oncology. But you're looking for more at policies, procedures, clinical practices, are outcomes being met, is the fall rate high in the area that you're working. Our students not being compliant with discharge instructions when they get home. So that's the difference between the CNL. It's more of a bigger umbrella looking at are patients meeting their outcomes. And looking at different processes, and how could we make them better. I hope that helps.
MICHAEL SCHECK: Yeah. You answered it right on. And I attended at the National Conference for clinical nurse leaders about a year and a half ago and that was a textbook answer. I tell you that was right on. Because that was actually something that was brought up at the conference that a lot of employers they initially were having a hard time with it. But you mentioned the role is evolving. And different facilities will use CNLs in different ways, depending on the need of the facility.
When this started out in 2003, when the AACN created this certification it was more for VA hospitals. And now I've seeing different organizations outside of the VA use CNLs in a multitude of different ways, as well as even in outpatient care. CNLs are being used in a multitude of ways. So the role is evolving. But also the main thing is, it's still an MSN. It's still your masters of science in nursing. So you're masters prepared as a nurse. And you just have an extra certification to help bolster your resume.
It's the type of curriculum though that we want you to be aware of if you're that hands on learner or if you want to be a difference maker on the floor. We've got the kind of a track. So thank you so much.
And if it's OK, I'd like to keep you around for the questions and answer session here near the end. But I'm going to go ahead and take things over with giving our students an idea about the online experience here, and some of the keys of success that I've seen over the years with working with nurses, if that's good?
MARLENE BECK: OK.
MICHAEL SCHECK: All right. Thank you Dr. Beck. We'll take it back to the full screen. And in regards to our online experience here at Sacred Heart I had given you all some nuggets throughout our presentation trying to let you know a little bit more about the experience. What does it take to be successful as an online student? Does that mean you're sitting by your computer every day, day in day out? The answer is no. I mentioned that this is a supplement to your life. And some things that I usually recommend to my students is have a game plan as to how you can divide your time to be successful as an online student.
Some of the things that we do here at Sacred Heart to try to help make sure this is attainable for you as a nurse that might be working, you might have a family, you can pulled in a multitude of different ways. We're going to ask you for about 15 hours a week to be successful in our program. If you can dedicate 15 hours a week we've seen good results. It's the nurses that take some shortcuts here or there that have a hard time being successful with the classes.
And everyone once in a while during midterms, or finals, or maybe during a clinical class near the end or whatnot, you may have a hard time keeping that within 15 hours a week. But we shouldn't be surprising you with, you have a 40 hour school week. No, it should be right around 15. And everyone once in while you might have to rob yourself of some sleep to be successful. As we look for those 15 hours a week we're going to ask you to dedicate pockets of time here. We don't have live lectures in our program.
What we try to do is we say, here you go. You have an eight week class. Every class is eight weeks. That's how we graduate within two years in our program. You can enter the program at any time, up to six times a year I should say, whether it's the fall A, fall B, spring A, spring B, or right now, we're actively enrolling in our summer A and our summer B, with the fall semester right around the corner.
So in regards to what we look for here, for students is that we look for you to give us a time commitment of about 15 hours a week. We will give you everything you need every Monday for your class. It could be, here's your reading assignments. Here's my teachers notes. Here's the PowerPoints from a teacher. Heck, in some classes, here's a video to watch on your own.
But it's not like a live lecture. Trying to get all nurses online at the same time is like trying to herd cats. You just can't do it. Everyone's got different schedules and we understand that. So every Monday we give you what you need. Throughout the week we'll give you strategic deadlines as to-- your homework assignment is due this day, your second homework assignment is due that day. We usually have two or three checkpoints each week that we ask that you check in by or turn homework assignments in by. But we aren't going to sit there and ask you to do homework every single day. And if you're doing it that way you're doing it wrong.
But in regards to working with our students, we have a lot of experience, both with ourselves in the admissions side of things and our faculty is very experienced as well to help you be successful, and to learn a good routine. If you've been out of school for-- and I've seen a text message come in about this. If you've been out of school for awhile and you're wondering how do I get back involved? We do a lot of things on our end to help prepare you for things.
The program that we use is actually called Blackboard. And I reference it here in the PowerPoint to my left. Blackboard is a computer program that is-- it's really as simple to login as online banking. So if you've ever looked at your bank account online we can help get you into the program called Blackboard. You don't have to be a computer genius to use it. We will help teach you how to use it, show you step by step how to turn your homework.
We won't do your homework for you, but we have a lot of support, and I'll talk about that here in the next slide or two. But you don't have to be a computer programmer to do online classes. We ask that you give us a certain window of time each week, that you dedicate those pockets of time to be successful. You get your homework in by specific due dates.
And I mentioned it before with Dr. Beck's help, we're not asking you to try to regurgitate information or memorize things. We're not going to be giving you boldface words and say, here's your quiz at the end. We're going to talk more about the practical application of nursing. How have you seen this being used? How could you use this? And we implore our students to go ahead and think about things and critically think about how they could improve the facilities around them.
So as we go through this segment, and I oftentimes get some text messages, I've got a couple already about this. But if you have questions about some of the things or what does it take to be successful? The number one thing is I say you have to have good support systems around you and good people to help you. When you hit that wall or if you're wondering about things, and on our end I know we've got that covered.
So in regards to support, and what we do here at Sacred Heart, it starts with my role here at Sacred Heart being a program manager. I help students from the beginning information gathering stage to I help you put together your application process, give you step by step instructions. There is no GRE with the application process here. We looked at a couple different factors to get into the school as I mentioned before. Grades are important. Work experience is important. And then we also look for character references along the way, or professional or educational references to tell us how great of a nurse you are.
So with program managers, I'm the first role of support or the first layer of support for you. But it doesn't stop there. You've got other individuals throughout the program. Once you start the program you have an enrollment coordinator.
We've got a wonderful student service department. And once you got into the school and you're done working with admissions, you then start working with a student service department. There are a couple phenomenal young ladies there and they work as your personal administrators to help you with everything from what books do I need next semester, to how do I get registered for my next classes. How do I create my plan of study? How do I order my cap and gown, who do I talk to? A single person has a point of contact from the moment you start the program until the moment you graduate. So you aren't sitting there on some 800 line trying to figure out who do I talk to? Who do I talk to? You've always got a point of reference or someone here to support you internally here at Sacred Heart.
And now the student service coordinators are fantastic like I said. But you also get to work with the faculty. You'll have your own faculty advisor. You'll have your own instructors to work with. And we keep our class sizes minimized here for a reason. And what I mean by that is we don't put 400 people in a class. The most you'll ever see a class here's 20, but on average our average class size is between 11 and 14 students.
And the reason is, we want you to have access to our professors. And we want them to have access to you. We want them to go ahead and help push you to be the best nurse possible. And if you have a classroom of 400 people they can't tell if you didn't turn in your homework assignment. They can't tell who you are. You're number 322. But we want you to be Joan. We want to be Rachel. We want to be a student that can approach the professors and have access to them.
And I've seen some amazing things from our professors and the support they provide, as well as faculty advisors, like a mentor. In layman's terms I call it a student counselor or school counselor where you work with an individual may and teach you the layers of support, or they help teach you the main things to help you achieve your goal. And someone other than a professor-- if you have any question like is this how this class is always taught? You just bounce some ideas off of them. But it's an individual in the field with their terminal degree in nursing, being a great mentor. And that's key because on our end we want to feel like your the student and not a number here.
And we want you know who you can contact for any type of problem or any type of occurrence, or even contact us when things are going great. Because that happens a lot. And I implore you as well do some research on us. Look up our online reviews. You'll be very, very pleasantly surprised at how amazing they are. I know that traditions here are fantastic because of our support.
Also, if you're not a computer guru, we do have 24/7 tech support for Blackboard. And we also have a great on campus tech support team. We call them the factory where they've helped students link their student email accounts up to their phones. Or they're trying to do different proofreading or stuff like that. Everything on campus is available to you, even if you're doing things online. And it's usually available to you from a distance. So we wanted to make sure you knew about that when we're talking about the different layers of support.
So that is a great question that just came through. And I will go ahead and address that during the question and answer session in just one moment here. But if you have any questions about the layer support please let me know. But during the question and answer session here I'm here to help you answer these questions.
And the most recent question I have that came through was, do the individual MSN programs utilize other technology such as Glogster or VoiceThread to enhance learning? And let's bring Dr. Beck in if I could. I've been leaning on you a lot tonight Dr. Beck. I thank you for sticking with me.
Let me read this question off to you here because I know that you actively teach the classes, as a director you have an active hand in helping make sure the design of the curriculum is up to date and very modernized. How about the programs Glogster or VoiceThread? Have you personally used those in any of the programs or how do we incorporate technology into this instead of just making this a reading and writing program?
I'm wondering if the screen froze.
MARLENE BECK: [INAUDIBLE]
MICHAEL SCHECK: I believe her screen froze. That's the fun of live TV. So what we'll do is-- oh, I can see you moving again. Is the screen unfroze? We're good? Can you hear me OK?
MARLENE BECK: I can hear okay Michael. Can you hear me?
MICHAEL SCHECK: Now I can hear you perfectly. Thank you.
MARLENE BECK: Okay. Well to answer the question OK well this green frozen deductible so I think what we'll do mold is welcome back to me.
MICHAEL SCHECK: I'll come back to you in just a moment or two. I'll let the internet unfreeze. And for myself, some of the things that I've personally seen in the class that I've sat in. I've seen, especially during-- we have seen VoiceThread be used in classes. There are some-- I hate to use the word lectures that have been used in our classes, but there are things that need to be conveyed with voice. We leave the creative freedom to our professors to use the technology that they want to in our classes. Whether it be videos, whether it be auditory, VoiceThreads like you mentioned. Heck, I had one professor actually use music videos, because she thought they conveyed be the information very well in the class.
But it's not all about reading and writing in our program. It is going to mix it up. Depending on what type of a learner you are you'll have a divergent type of learning atmosphere, whether it be auditory, visual, if your kinesthetic learner and you learn more by doing, we have certain tracks like that clinical nurse leader track for you as well. But we do try to incorporate a lot of different technology. Stuff that's not meant to go ahead overwhelm people. But also the kind of stuff that's there to help spice this up, so you're not just sitting there reading and writing the whole time, because that's kind of boring.
I've got a couple other questions that have come through. And one of them is about the CNL track. Again their facility is using them in different ways. And I have a couple of, and I call them one off questions, things that I think might be better if you have them answered directly with one of our program managers. Now we have individuals online right now if you would like to have some individual questions answered about individual cases such as grades or backgrounds or whatnot.
But if you love this presentation and you thought that we answered all your questions and you feel like this could be home. Because we want to go ahead and make sure that this is home here for you. We want to make sure it's part of our family. We'd love to help you with the application process. We'd love to go ahead and help you apply.
Now I put the website on there. And it's pretty simple, onlineprograms.sacredheart.edu. If you visit that website you'll see a little link on the top, on the top toolbar saying, apply now. We'd love to help you with your application process. We are actively enrolling students right now for classes that start as early as May 2. That's the beginning of our summer A term.
We also have classes that start May 2, June 27, that's our summer B term, so eight weeks apart. Then we also are starting to actively look to enroll students in the fall here within the next week or two. So if any of those three terms are right for you either visit the website or please give us a call at 877-791-7181. You'll see our different extensions right there on the screen. My personal extension is 5401.
We have Duke, Mario, and Steve all the phones right now. So if you're looking for individual help, some of these one off questions like I mentioned, give them a call. They can help you understand how to be successful with your transition into here at Sacred Heart University. And we'll be here to help support you through it all.
So I really would love to go ahead and thank you so much for your time. I appreciate the valuable contributions you brought this presentation with your interaction and the wonderful questions that you've asked throughout the presentation. And I wanted to thank Dr. Marlene Beck as well for your valuable time and for helping to provide us with the insight that you have for our presentation. So can I open the mic here for you. Is everything unfrozen? Are we working?
MARLENE BECK: Can you hear Michael?
MICHAEL SCHECK: I can hear you.
MARLENE BECK: OK. I'll try to summarize quickly before I get outline again. But no, I do want to say you had mentioned our smaller classes. And I do want to say that our faculty are in support of those smaller classes. We'd like to know our students. We get to know our students very well as they progress through the program. There's a lot of one on one and individualized attention. We have a great orientation program that helps you get started. We have an online writing lab that help students with papers and provides feedback.
In our faculty, all of a full time faculty, do teach the courses. And we are a remote faculty. So we are like our students. We are in the same boat. We understand the importance of feeling connected and engagement in an online program. So I just want you to add that. And hope we see some of you in our classes this coming summer and fall.
MICHAEL SCHECK: Great feedback Dr. Beck. Again, I can't thank you enough. And at this point I wanted to thank you for your time. And we hope to see you around Sacred Heart, at least online like Dr. Beck said. Thank you so much for your time and you all have a great evening.