Online Nurse Practitioner Programs

Online Nurse Practitioner Programs Resources

Webinars

BSN to DNP Information Session with Dr. Mariea Snell

TRANSCRIPT
Lauren: Hello, everyone. Good evening. My name is Lauren Galvin and I’ll be the moderator for this evening’s webinar. I’d like to start by thanking all of you for joining us for the Maryville University Online BSN to DNP Information Session

Please note that the presentation is being broadcasted through your speakers and you’re set to listen-only mode in order to minimize background noise. You may type questions into the Q&A box at the left of your screen at any time. We will do our best to answer as many questions as possible during the Q&A session at the end of the webinar. If we are unable to answer your question today, an enrollment advisor will follow up with you. Today’s webinar is also being recorded and a copy will be emailed to you as soon as it’s available.

All right. As you can see by today’s agenda, we’ll be discussing many topics ranging from curriculum to enrollment requirements. Doug Farley, who is one of our current students, will give you a look into the program experience. As previously mentioned, we’ll be answering your questions at the end of the presentation, but please type them in the Q&A box throughout the webinar.

At this time, I’d like to introduce our panelists for today. During this session, we will play a pre-recorded portion by Doug Farley, one of our BSN to DNP students here at Maryville. Also, we will hear from Elaine Williams, Enrollment Advisor for Maryville’s Online Graduate Nursing Program. I will pass it off to Elaine and let her give a little background on herself, and then she will get started talking about the program.

Elaine: Good evening, everyone. Thank you for attending our webinar this evening. My name is Elaine Williams. I have been Enrollment Advisor with Maryville for almost two years now, and I do work on all the programs. What I’d like to do is just tell you a little bit more about Maryville just so you have an idea of who we are.

Maryville University is one of the oldest private institutions in St. Louis, Missouri. Our nursing program is accredited by The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. Our university is also regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Maryville is also consistently ranked among the top private universities in the nation by Forbes and Kiplinger’s and is also named one of the best online graduate nursing programs by U.S. News & World Report. Another nice thing is that Maryville has also been named one of the most Military Friendly Schools for the seventh consecutive year.

Now, I would like to talk to you about the BSN to DNP program, what the enrollment requirements are. You must have a BSN degree from a CCNE or ACEN or NLNAC accredited program. You must hold a minimum cumulative GPA of a 3.25 or above. You must have a current RN license, unencumbered, in the US. You will also need three letters of recommendation, an updated CV or curriculum vitae, or résumé, whichever one you have handy that you have that would lead itself to the scholarly inquiry project, which the DNP will pretty much revolve around.

There are also, just to let you know, with the curriculum of the BSN to DNP, there are five concentrations. They are Adult-Gerontology Acute Care, they are Adult-Gerontology Primary Care, Family Nurse Practitioner, Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, as well as Psychiatric Mental Health. Then, depending on which program you do decide to choose, you can complete it as few as 36 to 46 months … or 40 months, I apologize, 36 to 40 months.

Now, the tuition for the BSN to DNP is broken up between the MSN courses and the DNP courses, as this is a program that encompasses both programs. The MSN is $781 per credit hour and the DNP is $879 per credit hour. There is a One Fee per semester, and that One Fee is pretty much all of your university fees. It will cover your malpractice insurance, your clinical processing fee, technology fee, graduation fee, plus unlimited transcripts as well as any other university fees.

There is a one-time $80 Typhon software fee usage. Typhon is the software that we use to log your clinical time. The background check fee is really dependent on the state that you live in. It can range from $79 to $109. Then there is a $25 exam proctoring fee, which is per semester, per didactic course, starting when you take the Advanced Patho and Advanced Pharm courses going into your clinical courses. If you have any questions regarding that, your enrollment advisor will go into a little bit more detail.

Lauren: Great! Thank you so much, Elaine. We are now going to hear the pre-recorded session with Doug Farley, one of our current students. He’s being interviewed by Enrollment Advisor Dan [Gross 00:06:27] on his BSN to DNP experience. I’m going to go ahead and play this for you. It may take a second to buffer, but it will start. You may need to turn up your computer speakers just a little bit louder than where we are right now.

Doug: Thanks. My name is Doug Farley. I’m going to give you a little bit of background on myself. I’ve had some experience in the ER in endoscopy. Most of my experience is in long-term care. I went from being a floor nurse in long-term care to the MDS nurse doing minimum data sets. Through that, I did my bachelor’s degree and then came to Maryville University. I have two kids, two boys, right now, four and two, and a little girl on the way, due in December. Let’s see, what else would you like me to go over?

That’s great, Doug. Once again, I wanted to thank you, too, for joining us tonight kind of as a student ambassador to individuals that are really wanting some inside information. On the phone with students, I hear a lot that they would really like to hear from a student and from student experiences. I’d like to go over a little bit about the nuts and bolts of the program and maybe what you’re experiencing, some popular questions that we have from students we have here.

First, I would like to go over your particular experiences regarding the flexibility, the interaction with your classmates, the faculty, but more specifically, so two children and one on the way and you’re working and you’ve got a program that’s taking a lot of time, how do you effectively balance your school work with your current position?

A lot of it is just time management, knowing what I need to do, getting a calendar and having different things set. Once you get the ball rolling and you get used to what’s due when in the class, you know that you have a discussion board usually due on Wednesdays and then on Fridays, and then you have to respond to other students as well, so you know you have certain things to do on certain days, so you have to have pretty good time management in that.

In work, just to give a little bit more background of what I do is, I’m a director of clinical reimbursement right now for a long-term care company. We have buildings in Colorado, Wisconsin and Utah, and so I have to travel a lot to my work as well. Balancing all that can be difficult, but just so you guys know, it’s not impossible. I work 40-plus hours a week, plus right now I’m doing work from 20 to 30 hours of clinicals a week, so it’s busy.

It’s just because I choose to do that many hours. That’s not saying you have to do that many hours. I just want to get my hours done early, so when the end of the semester comes, usually there are bigger projects that you have to do at the end of the semester, plus your final exam, I want to be able to have more time to study and to have those things done. That’s why I’m getting things done upfront.

Other than that, you just have to balance it. I have a calendar, and they do also have a calendar in the system for you guys already built in, but you need to look at that and see when things are due, what’s happening, and just looking at the future and knowing what’s going on is the best way to do it.

Dan: You really developed a time management. Was that something that you developed during your bachelors time, the nursing? Because that’s quite a skill, that time management. Is that something that developed trough the program? Have you always been like that?

Doug: Oh, no. I think once I became a nurse is when time management really kicked into gear because, if you’re especially working in a long-term care facility, I guess really anywhere, you have meds to do at certain times and you have treatments due and you have all these things you have to do, so you really have to monitor what you’re doing and when and what’s the most important, how to do that, and then also being a nurse, you have to really make sure that no one’s tanking on you. You know what I mean? You have to make sure that you’re up-to-date on everything. I think it grows on you at the nursing thing and then your advisor really helps you on the time management, and then you’re just continuing along with that what you’ve learned.

Dan: That’s good for me to know, because not a lot of my students know a lot of those skills are probably already there as far as time management, just because of their career and what they do, but that’s a great insight that you’ve just given me tonight. Thank you. You mentioned discussion boards. Are there any other ways you can think of that you’re able to network and interact with your classmates and instructors, or any example that you have? Go ahead.

Doug: The instructors are really easy. Most of the time, it’s through email, but I haven’t had a real problem with instructors. Usually they’re back to you within that same day. If not, it’s within 24 hours always. Communicating with the instructors, that’s mostly where some instructors will give you a phone number to call or at least an office number. I try not to bug them because I know a lot of them are working as well, but the nice thing about it is they’re always available. If you need to, just email them, they’ll get back to you one way or the other.

I’m not sure if you’re talking about group stuff, but what I like to do is as soon as we get a group that is assigned to us, a lot of times what we’ve done in the past is we’ve emailed each other our phone numbers. They obviously already have our emails through Maryville, but we give our phone numbers, and then we’ll also put in there a time zone just because I don’t want to call somebody in New York at 10 o’clock nighttime when it’s midnight there. You’ve just got to be cognizant about that. I like doing that. I like to make sure we have phone numbers upfront. Then we have also communicated through Google+, Skype, texting, emailing. There’s so many ways to communicate now. It’s just really easy.

Dan: Group work is a popular concern/challenge/question that I often get. Do you find that on this level, though it isn’t possibly your bachelor classes were that had group work that group work on this level, the involvement of the students and their commitment, once you get the time zones and the phones, are people in your group pretty helpful and want to be successful?

Doug: Oh, yeah. It’s completely different in my bachelor’s degree, because I consider myself a go-getter, I guess, and so I like to get things rolling. I often find myself with groups and group members that have already started things before I can even get to it, which is really nice that people are all on this level. I guess you could say, people are really just wanting to get in there and hit the road running. They don’t want to sit there and let somebody else do their work.

There are times where you find somebody who has, in the nursing world, you have to work sometimes 12-hour shifts, and that can be difficult, especially if you’re working at night. The nice thing about the way that Maryville does it, it’ll make you do it a certain way. You can communicate through email anytime of the day. You just send an email out and it’s back and forth, back and forth. There’s been group assignments where I’ve done it only through email. We haven’t even been on the hone, no texting, just purely through email. Google Docs is a good way to do it, too, so that if your group project’s on Google Docs, then everybody can go in there and adjust it accordingly. It’s really nice that way.

Dan: Excellent.

Doug: To get to your point, I guess, but it’s super-easy in this program with group. I was superconcerned about group work. I didn’t mean to interrupt you, but the …

Dan: No, no.

Doug: Excellent. That’s our intention for the 3.25 cumulative grade point average. They are looking for the best, the brightest, the most motivated. That’s the intention. I would be surprised myself, would hate to hear that if someone was dragging the group down like that, but no, I just wanted to, in your words, and thank you for doing that, just to reaffirm to a lot of our students, because I know that’s one of their concerns.

Moving on to clinical and acquiring preceptors, that’s another concern and challenge and question many students at the beginning and coming into the program, they’re wondering about, how does preceptors work and could I find a preceptor? In your experience, what’s your experience then in acquiring preceptors?

Doug: That was my concern as well, getting preceptors. I understand where they’re coming from. Maryville is really good about communicating. Make sure you check your emails. They give you step-by-step ways of getting things done to turn them in, and so you know well in advance when you’re going to need … Actually, you know from Day One. You can talk to your advisor and they’d tell you, “This semester, at this time, you’re going to need a preceptor.” If you’re really worried about it, you can get on top of it really early.

What I did, to get my preceptor, I knew it was coming up in a couple of semesters. I took my son to the pediatrician. She’s a [inaudible 00:16:37], for lack of a better term right now, and a [inaudible 00:16:39] doctor. She would [inaudible 00:16:43] for a well-child check for my boy and I just asked her nonchalantly, “Hey, do you ever take students?” She said, “Yeah.” She didn’t know I was in school at that point, but then we got to talk a little bit more and I just flat out asked her if I can follow her. She was more than willing to do it. It’s just getting out there and just asking somebody.

Then, she was wondering if I was going to be starting in the next couple of weeks, and I said, “Oh, no. I don’t start for another two semesters. I apologize for asking early, but just in case you said no, I wanted to have a back-up plan.” It’s good to get started early. It’s good to ask someone’s permission, see if they could call it in. Then you have to get approval from the facility itself, which is not hard, either. All of it is just having them fill out a few things. Make sure they read it all [inaudible 00:17:29]. It’s just all the liability stuff.

It’s really easy. Like I said, Maryville gives you a step-by-step thing, what to fill out, how to fill it out, and then you just go ahead and give them the paperwork. What I did, too, on the paperwork, actually about as much stuff as I could for them, because you know how doctors are sometimes. They’re busy, so you just fill out as much as you can for them. You just explain it to them, and then this is what they have to fill out. You just show them step-by-step, and then they’re more than willing to help you out and so on.

Another one that I did for me was, in my associates program, I went to a community college here in Utah, and then a bachelor program outside of Utah, but one of the teachers that I had, I knew she was a nurse practitiner, but I didn’t know where she practiced. One time at my clinicals with my pediatrician, my kid’s doctor, I saw her in a clinic and I said, “What are you doing?” She explained to me that she was there, and then I asked her if I could follow her in the coming semesters as well. I’m actually following her in this semester, and I’ll be following her tomorrow. It’s pretty interesting how you can get your different preceptors.

Dan: Excellent answer. It also validates a lot of my questions, too, because the fact that there’s no campus visits, everything that you mentioned is relevant to your family, it’s relevant to where you live, it’s relevant to your patient base and your community. That’s why I like the fact that Maryville is not a school where I’ve got to take three weeks off and I’ve got to go to a major metropolis and they don’t have campus housing, so I’ve got to rent a hotel, and this is all money, and it’s half a continent away. This was your children’s pediatrician, and it’s all relevant to your community, and so the education and the guidance I feel you’ll be giving is going to be relevant to what’s needed there in Utah and relevant to your community. I just think that’s fantastic.

You pretty much answered as well the next question, I believe, about how Maryville assisted you through the clinical process. You were mentioning about checking your emails and about different deadlines that you’ve got to meet step-by-step. Was there anything else you needed to add to that or anything that you felt unsaid about that?

Doug: Yeah, I guess there’s one thing that’s a little bit unsaid about getting clinical things ready and going. They do require, my state at least required a background check. I had to have a background check and I had to have quite a few other things. I had to prove my immunizations and that kind of thing. Along with that, they still give you a step-by-step how to do it and the deadlines.

You can’t procrastinate. I don’t think most of you would procrastinate. You’re wanting to get into school and pay for schooling. Just make sure you get it done. Just take some time to do it. I guess that’s one of the other things that I wish I had known a little more about, but just reading about it and having my advisor there to be able to ask questions really made my stress level go down.

Dan: One of the things that our students question as well is how your clinical courses are assessed and what types of skills can a student expect to learn. They want to learn more about assessment and the skill element of a clinical. How does that work?

Doug: This is quite interesting, actually, because you have a course evaluation that your preceptor has to fill out for you, and it’s nice that you can actually access that and see what they’re going to be answering about you. You can know what you have to be able to prove to your preceptor. When I say “prove,” just being a nurse and being able to assess somebody and do that kind of thing. You already have most of the skillset. It’s just interesting how to change from the regular nurse assessment to an advanced nurse assessment. They’ll go over all that stuff with you in the classroom, not classroom but online.

I had no worries about my preceptor. The cool thing about my preceptor is, and I think with any preceptor and any teacher in general, the first time [where you saw 00:21:59] something, especially my first semester, they would do the procedure themselves and then show me and talk me through it. The next time, I would be able to step in a little bit more, and then the next time I would be able to take over all the way with her over my shoulder.

One of the cool things that we did recently was the fluorescein eye exam. We had a patient come in, and I’d already seen a fluorescein eye exam. I participated in the first and the second one. The third one, I pretty much did it all by myself. It’ not a hard procedure, but it was just something that was fun and interesting for me to do. I found a, what do they call it, a corneal abrasion and a foreign object in the cornea. It’s pretty cool to do. It’s nice to find preceptors, and anybody, I think, is going to accept a student, will allow them to do those procedures as long as they’re there with you.

Dan: Excellent. The last topic or one of the one-two-three concerns of our students, the third one is the scholarly project. Sounds ominous, and what is the scholarly project, but for you, Doug, what is the purpose of a scholarly project?

Doug: The purpose of the scholarly project is to choose something that you work with, something that you do on a daily basis and research it and to really dive down to the “whys” of what’s happening for it, and then bring that project and the research together and try to better something in your prospective practice.

I tried to make my scholarly project personal so that I’m not just doing something just to do a project. I want to do a scholarly project that’s going to potentially help people that I care for and the population that I’m actually working with. A scholarly project to me is something that allows you to dive into something further and be able to potentially make a difference and change things. I guess that’s the purpose of what I think a scholarly project would be.

Dan: I don’t know how many of the Doctor of Nursing Practice classes that you’ve taken, but are the classes that you possibly have taken, are they designed to guide you and maybe hone down and zero in on what your scholarly project is or will be, or did you feel that you were expected to have the whole scholarly project before you even started the program, like the idea and the topic? For instance, that you have your topic right now and are ready to go with that.

Doug: Starting the program, no, I didn’t have a topic. I had no idea what I wanted to even do it on, but through, like you’re saying, I forgot to mention that, but this is very important, but through the program and the doctorate courses, they do give you certain assignments that will center around your scholarly project. What they do is they guide you through these questions and assignments.

What they’ll do is they’ll guide you, because a lot of times, we pick these grandiose ideas and we want to solve all these problems in the world, but what they try to do is guide you down to one specific problem or idea that you want to look at and research, so it doesn’t become this overwhelming issue that you have to take care of, it’s just something that you want to …

I guess my idea of my scholarly project, I work in long-term care, and so what I want to do is I want to decrease the amount of … How do I explain it? I don’t have the exact scholarly project down, I’m not quite that far in the program yet, but I have my idea building up. My idea is to find out how to decrease pain in long-term care patients. By doing that, I want to find certain medications.

There’s medications out there that will help you decrease, take away certain medications like your antipsychotic, antidepressants, but I want to be able to find something that will help patients so they don’t have an addiction to these medications, so they don’t feel pain as much or so that they don’t report pain as much because of the quality measures that we have to follow in long-term care. I don’t want to make it so I’m just giving them other medications that cover their pain to where I want to go and dive down in the specific of what do we need to do, what do we need to find to help decrease the pain in long-term patients.

That’s my scholarly project that I’m working with. My different structure is to find out how to hone that. I haven’t quite got to the exact specific theme yet, but I’m not so worried about that. I know that it’ll come. A time will come to really dive into that scholarly project more, but it’s been nice to have research around that project throughout my doctorate courses that’ll help me take where I want and bring that research that I’ve already done and put it into one

Dan: Definitely, yeah. That’s one of the exercises in admissions at the front end when we have our students do the essay, where we have an essay tip sheet and we’re trying to guide them to their conclusions, which is their initial thoughts of their scholarly project. With this program, we’re asking, for our students that are listening out there or potential students, what are your experiences from your previous nursing coursework, your experiences as a practice nurse, experiences that demonstrate your strength?

We’re trying to get those initial thoughts, but most important is what you hit on, I thought exactly, what is personal to you? What are you passionate about? What do you see? How do you want to change the world or to put your mark on your world? Because what are you seeing personally, I think the scholarly project gives you a voice for the medical community and what you might be experiencing and seeing as relevant in Utah, I can guarantee you, there’s people in Washington, there’s people in the medical community in Maine, in Florida, in Texas that have the same questions and concerns and are interested and want to research. Who across the country would not want to be able to manage pain management better?

I think it’s amazing, and I’m sure your project will be creative as well when you present it. You were saying that you were at the beginning of your project. Do you know the role of your program chair yet or has your program chair helped you yet? How far along are you with the program chair of your project and how involved are you with that?

Doug: I would’ve been more involved in this semester, but I actually extended my program. Knowing that I took on more of a role in my work and I’m working a lot of hours and then having a new one coming in, and my kids are pretty small, I wanted to have a little more time within the summer because I know they’re off from school. I actually extended my program, and so I haven’t contacted my project program chair because I have two more semesters prior to talking to them. I know that I will be working on my stuff in the, I think it’s the summer of next year, so I haven’t actually contacted them.

I guess that’s another point I want to touch on about this program that I like so much: the flexibility of the program. Granted they want you to go through as much as possible what they have set up for you, but they are pretty flexible in that they understand that you have a life, they understand that you have kids, they understand that some people would need to work full-time. Good for those who don’t, but I have to, so I haven’t quite talked to my program chair yet.

Dan: Sure. That is a common question I get about, that’s why students at all levels, what if life comes into play, is this the type of program that just boots you out and you’re gone because you have to complete it a certain amount of time or else? No, that’s good to know you’re finding the flexibility there, too.

We have other webinars with our Doctor of Nursing Practice students. Some of the faculty program chairs that I’ve heard of, some of our students even have their cellphone numbers and they say that they’re best friends. The capstone, the Doctor of Nursing Practice, they’re really celebrating your findings. It’s you presenting to an IRB. This is different than a PhD where an individual is coming up with new information and they’re being challenged and they’re having to defend in front of the IRB.

We really want you to succeed. We want to celebrate your findings. We want you to present. We are very encouraging at Maryville. We’re hoping that you’ll publish your scholarly project, again for the medical community, because we are committed to holistic care and quality care at the bottom line for our students and the students that are graduating. We’ll follow up with you on your program chair and on your interactions with them. Hopefully it’s as good as usually is what we hear from our students.

Lauren: All right! Hopefully that was a lot of helpful information for you all from Doug. Thank you to both Elaine and Doug for all the helpful information today. We are now going to start our Q&A portion. I’m going to leave our deadline dates up here for the spring term
for your reference.

As a reminder, just type any questions that you have outstanding in that Q&A box on the left of your screen and we will get to as many of these questions as we can. I will also note that Doug’s portion was pre-recorded, so Elaine is here and will do her best to answer all questions, but Doug won’t be able to answer you.

Our first question we’re going to go to today is talking about the GPA requirement. Does the 3.25 GPA requirement mean in the Maryville program, or do you have to have a 3.25 in the past to be accepted into the program?

Elaine: It is a cumulative GPA of a 3.25 or above. Basically, what we do is all the schools that you’ve ever attended, whether you went to ABC school and took a basket weaving course, we would need that transcript. Cumulatively, we would add all of it together and it would have to equate to 3.25 or above.

Lauren: Perfect. Thank you. Our next question asks, does this program allow a student to work full-time during the program or are there semesters where you would need to cut back hours at work?

Elaine: That’s a great question. I think Doug kind of answered that question. However, there are parts of the program that you may want to drop down to part-time or per diem, especially when you are going through your clinical portion, because the time that you spend in your clinical, it can range depending on the program that you do choose, which concentration you choose. The most could be anywhere from 16 hours per week, and the least would be five, so you definitely would have to accommodate that into your work schedule.

What works best for a lot of students is they do work the 3-12, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and then they have off Monday through Thursday where it gives them enough time to get all their work done as well as getting their clinicals done. So yes, it is doable to be able to still work a full-time job and still manage, but as Doug had explained in the recording that it definitely is going to come down to time management and how you feel about that.

Lauren: Great. Thank you. Our next question asks about the clinical requirement. Does the student take a clinical site or are there systems available through the university?

Elaine: That’s a great question. For the most part, it is the student’s responsibility to find your own clinical location site as well as your preceptors. Now, your preceptors can be a MD, a DO, a nurse practitioner, or a certified midwife. They would all have to be working under their license for at least a year.

You may be able to do your clinical at your place of employment. However, it must be approved by Maryville and cannot be in the department that you work in. If it came down to the end of it all and you really are struggling to find a preceptor, I would definitely advise you to contact the clinical team and they may be able to provide you with some places in the area that you live that previous students have used previously.

Lauren: Perfect. Thank you. Our next question asks about if there’s a GRE requirement?

Elaine: Great question, and then my favorite answer is to say, no, we don’t require a GRE, which is very nice, and that’s really nice. That’s the answer to that.

Lauren: Okay. Our next question asks about how many times a year does the program start?

Elaine: The BSN to DNP is only offered three times a year. Of course, our first one of the year would be the spring term starting in January, the second one would be in May, and then the third one would be in August. May is our summer term, August is our fall term.

Lauren: Great. Thank you. This next question is asking, I think you might have answered this already, but how many MSN and DNP credits does the program require? How many credits are required to graduate from this program?

Elaine: It’s really going to be dependent on the concentration that you choose. I definitely would contact your EA so they can go over that with you specific to the concentration you decide to choose.

Lauren: Our next question is asking about our application deadline, which should be there on the slide in front of you. The deadline is December 5th, but that’s the deadline to at least get the online application completed. Our enrollment advisors can help you through that process, but can you elaborate a little bit more on that December 5th deadline?

Elaine: That’s a great question. The December 5th deadline is really basically, you need to have at least submitted your online application. Typically, it takes our students about two weeks to complete the application process. If you do start today, which is the 30th of November, I would actually advise the first thing that you could complete would be your online application.

Second thing, you can pretty much request all of your transcripts online. A lot of the schools do an eSCRIP service where the transcripts are emailed directly to your advisor in a secured PDF email. If you have any transcripts on hand, you can also mail that to us. Your advisor can definitely go into more detail with you as far as walking you through the whole process. We do a very good job in really making sure that you have enough time to actually meet the deadline for classes beginning in January. There is definitely still a lot of ample time for that.

Lauren: Great. Thank you. Our next question asks, how writing-intensive are the courses in this program?

Elaine: That is a great question. Both the MSN courses as well as the DNP courses are very writing-intensive, so you definitely want to make sure you feel comfortable with writing, because at the end of the DNP portion, you will have publishable work. That’s the goal is that you will have publishable work that you can take all the way up to the legislative level to make changes in your practice that you have seen.

You definitely want to make sure you’re very well-versed with APA style format. I myself as an advisor will read your essays first and advise you on different things on how to make it look better. Your advisor would definitely work closely with you on that to help you through that.

Lauren: Our next question asks, about the master’s degree, will a student get a master’s degree while working on the DNP?

Elaine: That is a great question. The answer to that is no, because in the masters program, the masters classes that you’re taking, there are actually two classes that are missing from the entire MSN program where you would be able to receive your degree and then work on your DNP, because there are some DNP courses that will overlap those courses, so they’ll have taken the place of those courses.

Lauren: Our next question asks, how many classes do students take each semester?

Elaine: That’s a great question. It varies. For the most part, you are only taking two classes, but there may be a semester here and there where you would end up taking three courses where it may be one 16-week course and then two eight-week courses in the B term, and vice-versa, where you might have a 16-week course and then you’ll have two in the A term or you may have one in the A term and then two in the B term.

Lauren: Thank you. Our next question asks, if a student has been out of academia for a while, who would be acceptable for their references?

Elaine: That’s a great question. What we are looking for or what the admissions committee is looking for is somebody who can attest to your clinical skills. A nurse manager, a nurse supervisor, director of nursing, a doctor or a nurse practitioner, those are great folks to get recommendations from, as well as your nurse educator.

Lauren: Great. We have time for just a couple more questions. Again, if you have not entered your question in the Q&A box yet, please go ahead and do that now so we can make sure we get to as many as possible. Our next question asks about the capstone. Do I need to know the topic of my capstone prior to starting the program?

Elaine: That is definitely a great question. You want to come up with an initial idea for a capstone project. However, if you decide that you want to change that in the middle of your program to a different topic, you can. It’s not written in stone, because your scholarly project is actually going to evolve over time, and as you’re going through the program, it’s definitely going to have that evolution of change, so it’s inevitable that by the time you get to the point where you’re working on your scholarly project, it may be completely different from what your initial thoughts were.

Lauren: Thank you. This question is asking, is the program 100% online or are there times when it’s necessary to go to campus?

Elaine: Great question. The program is 100% online. We don’t have any campuses of requirement. The only time that you won’t be online is when you are doing your clinical, and again, you’ll choose your location site as well as your preceptor, so that is your hands-on learning time, but the nice thing about that it’s local and that we don’t require you to come in for a skills check.

Lauren: Perfect. This next question asks about being a student online. If someone has never been an online student before, what kind of support will they get from the university?

Elaine: Great question. Maryville has a great support system. That is something that we definitely pride ourselves on. First of all, your enrollment adviser is going to work with you to write your whole entire application process, I mean really being there for you, answering your questions, guiding you through that process. Then, after the first week of school, you will be paired with a student support services advisor. It’s going to be available to you via email or phone as you progress through the program.

In the interim of that transition, what’s really nice is, first off, when you find out that you are accepted into the program, we actually will give you a link to the graduate nursing first step, which actually gives you limited access to the online campus, but it’s really going to allow you to be able to maneuver through that. After that, you will be given the orientation, which takes about anywhere between six to eight hours to complete, so we never ask you to complete that in one sitting.

Really what both of those things do for you is really help you get acclimated to how to submit your homework assignments, where you’re going to find different resources in a very detailed manner. I definitely wouldn’t be too afraid of that. As long as you feel that you can send an email, upload a document, I think that would be a perfect situation for a student who’s never taken online courses.

On top of that, if you’re not aware of the different resources we have, we also have 24/7 technical support, an online writing center which is very nice, as well as librarians that you can call or email throughout the program, and those librarians are actually very specific to the nursing program, so they are definitely very knowledgeable in helping you with your research.

Lauren: Perfect. Thank you. Can you repeat how much the program is per credit hour?

Elaine: The cost per credit hour for the masters level courses are $781 per credit hour, and then for the DNP course, it’s $879 per credit hour. Then, the total cost will be dependent on the program that you do choose.

Lauren: I’m not sure if you know this off the top of your head, but for the May start dates, do we know what the application deadline is for that?

Elaine: I actually do. The deadline for classes beginning in May would be March 27th.

Lauren: Perfect. All right. We have time for just one more question. This last question asks if students can attend this program on a part-time basis.

Elaine: The great thing about this program is, yes, technically this program is considered a part-time program where the most that you’ll be taking is three classes in one semester. However, there is a way to slow down your program. You would just talk to your student support services advisor and say, “Hey, you know what? I really can’t take these three classes, but I can take the two.” You can absolutely slow down the program, but there is no way to speed up the program.

Lauren: Thank you so much, Elaine, for all those answers. If we were not able to get to your question tonight, I apologize, but we will have an enrollment advisor follow up with you to answer that question for you probably tomorrow.

For right now, I’m going to give you the link to our vCita appointment scheduling process. Before we close for the evening, you can open this link in the resources section located in the bottom left of your screen. It’s titled Schedule an Appointment. Through that link, you can set up an appointment with an enrollment advisor to discuss the next steps in the process for yourself.

Our EAs, our enrollment advisors, we call them EAs, they are here all the time to help you with whatever questions you have. Elaine is one of them. You can see she’s very knowledgeable in the program. Please contact them if you have any questions or if you need any help getting started or completing your application. I’m also going to put up a phone number here if you’d like to call an advisor, and also
those deadline dates. Our spring semester application deadline is Monday, December 5th. As we mentioned earlier, today’s webinar will be recorded and a copy will be emailed to you as soon as it’s available.

Thank you again for joining us this evening. We hope you found this webinar useful and all the information that Elaine and Doug were able to rovide. Have a great evening. Thank you.