How Does Nursing School Work?

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Interested in studying nursing, but wondering to yourself: How does nursing school work? Madonna University’s ABSN program might be a good fit for you. Read on to learn about life as an accelerated nursing student and what to expect going into the program.

Madonna ABSN student standing holding backpack

You want a nursing program that fits your needs and career goals, but how can you know what to expect in nursing school? Practically speaking, how does nursing school work?

If you are looking for a quicker path to nursing, an Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) program, like Madonna University’s in metro-Detroit, could be a match for you. But it can be difficult to know if such a program would fit your lifestyle and individual learning needs.

Read on to learn more about what to expect in nursing school and how you can earn your BSN in as few as 16 months.

ABSN Curriculum

Before becoming a Madonna Accelerated BSN student, you will need to meet your prerequisite requirements. The good news is if you have not completed these courses in your previous school, Madonna is a great place to begin those courses.

Once you complete your prerequisites and are accepted into the nursing program, you will begin 53 credit hours of courses that will span four full-time semesters that are eight weeks each. These courses will include hybrid learning and in-person simulation labs that will prepare you for clinical rotations and your future career.

Madonna ABSN offers three start dates per year in fall, winter, and summer. This way, you can choose the timeline that works best for you.

Madonna nursing student reading a textbook

Hybrid Learning at Madonna University

Life as an ABSN student will look different depending on how far along you are in the program, but it will involve three separate components — online courses, hands-on simulation labs, and clinical rotations.

Online Courses

Madonna University’s online coursework gives you the ability to adapt your classes to your lifestyle. While you are still required to submit work by the deadlines and take exams at set times, you can complete your classes from whatever location works best for you.

Remember that even though you are taking these classes online, you are not alone. Your nursing instructors prioritize your education and are highly accessible. Online learning specialists are also available to help you with any questions you might have about the learning system.

How to become a nurse online.

Are you worried that online coursework may not fit your learning style? Here is everything you need to know about online nursing.

Skills and Simulation Labs

Because nursing is a hands-on profession, it is impossible to complete your education completely online. During your time in Madonna University’s ABSN program, you will have the opportunity to apply what you have learned in online courses to Madonna’s state-of-the-art skills and simulation labs.

Nursing labs will help you familiarize yourself with nursing practices, equipment, and a variety of scenarios without the stakes of real patients. Your faculty and peers will work alongside you to push and encourage you.

Clinical Rotations

The third component of your hands-on experience in the ABSN program will be your in-person clinical rotations. These take place at top healthcare facilities within the Detroit metro area and begin toward the end of your first semester.

Through Madonna University’s partnership with Ascension Michigan, you will gain real-world knowledge working with experienced professionals in a variety of specialties including:

  • Acute care
  • Adult and older adult health
  • Maternity and pediatrics
  • Medical-surgical nursing
  • Mental and behavioral health

The time you spend in clinical settings will allow you to use the knowledge you gain in online classes as well as skills and simulation labs. Clinicals are a great way to become more comfortable in a healthcare setting and build up your confidence and skills for your nursing career.

Madonna nursing student using stethoscope on patient

Balancing Nursing School in Your Life

One frequently asked question is if it is possible to complete the hybrid ABSN program while working a job. We recommend that students do not attempt to balance a full-time job and nursing school, as the program requires significant time commitment and effort to succeed in classes, labs, and clinicals. While we understand the desire to juggle work and school, we advise against taking on a full-time job in addition to nursing school. The program demands a substantial amount of time and energy to excel in coursework, labs and clinicals. Being realistic about the time commitment required will ultimately help you to be successful in the program.

If you are unsure if you can afford nursing school without working during the program, visit our tuition page, as you may be eligible for financial aid options, such as a federal loan or third-party scholarship. It is also important to contact an admissions representative who can discuss your individual financial situation sooner rather than later.

What It Takes to Be an ABSN Student

Designed with career changers and second-degree seekers in mind, Madonna’s ABSN program will provide ample opportunities to explore a new field and put yourself out of your comfort zone. The program will equip you with many skills, and you may even find yourself growing in unexpected ways, as nursing requires great strength of character. Here are a few of the character traits that you will develop during your time in the Madonna ABSN program:

1. Courage

The courage you had to change careers and become a nurse will serve you in your studies. As you begin your nursing education, each day will present something new. Staying in your comfort zone will not help you grow as a student, so it’s important that you face every new obstacle as an opportunity for growth. Your acts of courage will be supported each step of the way by staff, faculty, and fellow students.

2. Compassion

Throughout your clinical rotations, you will have the opportunity to work with patients from all walks of life. Many of these patients are in their most vulnerable state, so it is your job to show compassion and treat each patient individually.

Madonna nursing student sitting at desk typing on laptop

Compassion starts by being present with patients — show, feel, understand, and listen to their needs. Speak to them in a calm and friendly tone of voice. They feel your energy. When you care for patients from this place, your patients will begin to trust you.

3. Leadership

If you want to elevate your nursing school experience and drive change, you must show acts of leadership. You can do this by calmly managing challenging situations, communicating effectively with instructors and the members of your cohort, asking tough questions, and advocating for your patient’s needs. These skills not only enhance your progress as a student but also impact your job performance and career prospects.

If you are curious about other qualities that will make you a great nurse, read about these 10 traits that will help you to thrive in your future workplace.

Ready to Begin Your Nursing School Journey?

Now that you have answers to your question, “How does nursing school work,” it’s time to take the next step. Contact an admissions representative today to learn how you can accelerate into nursing with Madonna University.