MSN and Post-Master’s NP Certificates Informational Webinar

Master's in Nursing | Nurse Practitioner Programs | Webinars

The session begins at 2:35.

Transcript

Jane:                                     Hello, everyone. Welcome to the Master’s of Science and Nursing, MSN, and Post-Master’s Certificate Program Webinar. And thank you so much for taking the time out of your day to participate.

Jane:                                     So, my name is Jane, and I will be your moderator for today. And before we begin, I have a few logistics I want to cover. First, you are in listen-only mode. So the presentation is being broadcast through your speakers to avoid any background noise. Second, please feel free to ask questions as we go. You can do so by typing into the Q and A box at the left side of your screen at any time throughout the session. If we do not get to your question today, and enrollment advisor will follow up with you. Third, you can watch this presentation on demand at any time using the link you used to register. We will also follow up with an email after the presentation.

Jane:                                     Here is what we will be covering. On today’s agenda, we will introduce the presenters, then talk a little bit about Maryville, who we are, the program information. We’ll get some faculty perspectives, and then we’ll conclude with a live Q and A session. So let’s meet our presenters.

Jane:                                     Today we have three different presenters for you. We have Professor Nina Zimmermannn. She is the assistant professor of nursing, and the director of the MSN nurse practitioner program. Professor Zimmermannn, did you want to say hello?

Nina Zimmermannn:      Sure. Hello, everyone. Thanks for attending the webinar tonight. And we appreciate your interest in Maryville, and we hope that we can provide some useful information and answer your questions.

Jane:                                     Awesome. Thank you so much, Professor Zimmermann.

Jane:                                     We also have Dr. Mykale Elbe on the phone. Um, on the line. She is the assistant professor of nursing, and also the program coordinator for the FNP program. And Dr. Elbe, did you want to also say something really quickly?

Mykale Elbe:                      Yeah. Um, thank you, everyone, for spending some time with us to learn about our program and I hope this is very informative for you all.

Jane:                                     Thank you so much for being here, Dr. Elbe.

Jane:                                     And, last but not least, we have my colleague Alex Buol. She is one of the enrollment advisors for the online nursing program.

Alex Buol:                            Hello, everyone. We’re hoping that you enjoy the time, and we answer all your questions.

Jane:                                     Awesome. Thank you everyone.

Jane:                                     So, now we will take it away and Alex will go ahead and tell us a bit about Maryville.

Alex Buol:                            Perfect. Thank you, Jane.

Alex Buol:                            So, just to give a quick background about Maryville and who we are. As you can see on your screen, there are quite a few distinguishing factors about our programs. We are ranked top for a private school by US News and World Reports, as well as Kiplinger. We also have an Apple distinguished school, which is something we’re really excited about. We are ranked among the America’s top colleges, according to Forbes.

Alex Buol:                            Our school itself is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. And our program is also accredited by the CCNE.

Alex Buol:                            We have numerous corporate partnerships, and we also are a military friendly school, along with a yellow ribbon school.

Alex Buol:                            So, a little bit about our program. So this is just to give you a background, this is in regards to our Master’s of Science in Nursing. There are five different concentrations, which I’m gonna talk about in one moment. These programs can be completed in anywhere from twenty-eight to thirty-two months. In regards to our MSN. It’s a total, anywhere of forty-one up to fifty credit hours, between thirteen to sixteen courses, depending on the specific concentration. And then the clinical hours are listed on here.

Alex Buol:                            So for our acute program, it is eight hundred and thirty hours over four semesters. For our adult primary, it is five hundred and eighty hours over three semesters. Our FNP program is a total of seven hundred and forty-five hours over four semesters. A pediatric is also eight hundred fifty hours over three semesters. And then, finally, our psych program is seven hundred and forty-five hours over four semesters.

Alex Buol:                            If you look to the right of the screen, you’ll see the enrollment requirements. One of the major requirements is that you have a BSN degree from a accredited nursing program. And that’s something we get a lot of questions on; it must be accredited. It’s a minimum GPA requirement of a three point o. You must have a licensure as an RN within the United States. Three letters of recommendation. A CV or resume. At least one year of RN experience. And a five hundred word essay. Within this essay you will cover the topics explaining your interest in becoming a nurse practitioner, and also to explain a little bit more about how you’re hoping the degree is gonna help improve your patient outcomes in the future.

Alex Buol:                            Next, we’re talking about the Post-Master’s Certification. So, there are also five concentrations within this. The amount of length of time does again depend. It could be anywhere from twenty-eight to thirty-two months. It’s also, too, having the additional clinical hours in there, as well. When it comes to the acute program, it’s very similar to the hours that were seen in the MSN. They do match and pair very well. They are very similar.

Alex Buol:                            In regards to the enrollment requirements, that’s a typo. We … You need to have an MSN degree, not a BSN. So that is a requirement of the Post-Master’s Certification, that you have an MSN. The GPA also requirement is a minimum of a three point o. Same thing with the RN licensure within the United States. It has to be unencumbered and in good standing. Three letters of recommendation. A CV or resume. Also, again, at least one year of RN experience. And the similar essay, as well, too, where you’re explaining and discussing your interest in becoming a nurse practitioner and how this degree is gonna help improve your patient outcomes.

Alex Buol:                            So, as you can see, here is the five different concentrations a little bit more in-depth. They are explained. Both are offered in both the MSN as well as the Post-Master’s Certification program. They’re both offered on both of those levels. So you also have the psych mental health nurse practitioner, family nurse practitioner, pediatric primary care nurse practitioner, adult acute care nurse practitioner, and, finally, adult primary nurse practitioner.

Alex Buol:                            Tuition. So this is some areas that we get a lot of questions about. When it comes to our programs, the price per credit hour is seven ninety-seven a credit hour. As you can see in your screen, there is the link that you’re able to select, and that can give you more information in regards to the graduation, the graduate fees. In addition to the tuition fee, you also have additional fees outside of that. This includes your one fee. So, the one fee is a lot of those smaller fees combined in a flat rate per semester. So this includes your graduation fees, clinical processing fees, [type on 00:10:24] software fees. For more specifics, your enrollment advisor can review everything with you in-depth with that.

Alex Buol:                            And then, also, you have a background check fee, which does depend on your state. So that’s something that, later on down the road, you will be given. Just depending on your specific state when that time comes for your background check.

Alex Buol:                            Clinical and Acquiring Preceptors. So, one of the big things we emphasize here at Maryville is that you are responsible for acquiring your preceptors. It is recommended that the students have a possible preceptor in mind during the application process. And the clinical schedule and hours depend on the program. So, as you can see from the previous page, when I broke down the specific hours, that does explain how things vary program to program. So if you have specific questions in regards to your program of interest, please contact your enrollment advisor, and they can review that more in-depth with you.

Alex Buol:                            The Online Experience. When it comes to our courses and the schedule, depending on the program, you will have eight week courses and also sixteen week courses. So there is differences between an MSN and a Post-Master’s Certification within the scheduling. And for specifics, again, you want to speak to your enrollment advisor.

Alex Buol:                            The program is asynchronous. So what that means is there’s never a set time when you’re gonna have to be physically logged in front of your classroom. Things can be done at your pace. But you will have deadlines and set days when things are due. The program is very much designed for the practicing nurse. So the deans are fantastic, they designed this program to be accommodating for you all to be able to work and have a life and do what you have to do, as well as advance your career.

Alex Buol:                            The online learning environment and platform we utilize is Canvas. I know this is something that a lot of our students coming back have experienced already. But it is a great, very user-friendly platform.

Alex Buol:                            And Faculty and Peer Interaction. So there are quite a bit of opportunities for interaction. There’s different discussion boards, Facebook groups, and other things along those lines.

Alex Buol:                            And now what we’re gonna do is, we have our fantastic faculty members with us, so we’re gonna hand it over to them.

Nina Zimmermann:         Okay. So, what would you like me to talk about first? You want me to talk about the transfer credits? Okay.

Nina Zimmermann:         So, this is Professor Zimmermann. I am the director of the program. I teach in the program, and I’m also a part of the admissions committee, as well as Dr. Elbe is, the other professor that’s on the call. And what we want to tell you about the transfer credits is that, when you apply to Maryville, in the Master’s program or the Post-Master’s program, if you have any credits that you’ve taken at other universities at the graduate level, that you would like us to review, it is possible, possible, that I emphasize, that you will receive credit for those courses and you wouldn’t have to repeat that coursework.

Nina Zimmermann:         Where it gets kind of tricky is, there are courses that you may think fit. For example, the Health Promotion course that we have at Maryville. But what we do as admission faculty, and it’s all faculty that review the admission files, is that we review your course description and possibly your syllabus to see if it matches our course objectives. So, even though the course may be the same title, we have to ensure that you have met the course objectives in the course that you asking for transfer.

Nina Zimmermann:         So we take this part of the admissions process very seriously. And there are times where we can accept your coursework, if it’s within five years or if you are Master’s prepared nurse and you’re coming back for a Post-Master’s cert, there are times where we can accept coursework, and there are times where we can’t. So, what I would encourage you to do is, if you have any coursework at a Master’s level that you want considered, you must submit that information when you apply to the program. Your admissions counselor will help you with that process. We will have to have your transcript and course descriptions from the university. Hope that explains that aspect of admissions.

Nina Zimmermann:         The Gap Analysis is something that happens when the Post-Master’s student graduate with a Post-Master’s certificate. So if you are a student that comes in as a Master’s prepared nurse, either in a non-clinical master’s, such as education or leadership, or you are already a nurse practitioner and you’re coming back for a Post-Master’s certificate in another concentration, when you apply for your board certification, either with the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners or the American Credentialing Center, we have to do what we call a gap analysis letter. Which means that we have to verify any coursework that we approve of when you enter the program as a transfer credit. We have to validate that you have met those course objectives to sit for the board exam.

Nina Zimmermann:         So again, this slide just refers back to the importance of your transfer credits, that we look at your transfer credits very carefully. And if we require you to repeat a course or repeat courses that you may not think that you need, it’s because of two things. One is that they don’t meet … The courses that you’ve taken previously may not meet our course objectives in the Maryville program. Or, more importantly, the coursework that you’re submitting would not meet the criteria for you to sit for board certification. Hence, you will be required to take a Maryville course to fill those requirements.

Nina Zimmermann:         Course Progression. So, when you are admitted to Maryville University, you will receive an admission letter, and you will be introduced to an online advisor, student advisor. And you will receive your course progression, which means that you will have, basically, a road map of which courses you will be enrolled in from the start of the program to the end of the program. So, if you have questions about that, or concerns about that, that is something that you talk to your online student advisor about. But you will have that information upon admission to Maryville.

Mykale Elbe:                      And with the course progression … This is Dr. Elbe. It does, also, go in line. Many of the courses build up with each other. So that’s why there is a specific course progression, is that many of the courses you’re taking early on are pre-requisites for the later courses. And you need that knowledge to really master and apply the material in future courses.

Nina Zimmermann:         Excellent point, Dr. Elbe. Thank you for that.

Nina Zimmermann:         Yeah, sometimes students may want to move courses around but, as Dr. Elbe is saying, she’s absolutely correct. There is an order by which we require you to take this program, so that you complete your pre-requisites and have the knowledge base with a clinical base to continue. There are times where we make exceptions to that, but that is something that you would have to talk to your online student advisor with, and get approval.

Nina Zimmermann:         The Online Experience. So, as you have heard from our other person on this call … I apologize, I can’t remember her name, she was talking about the flexibility of the online experience. That is one aspect and wonderful thing about the online experience. But the other aspect is there is sometimes a perception of students who may not have been online students in the past, that they won’t receive the same experience or the same teaching or the same content as they would if they came to an on-campus program. And that is not true. We work very hard.

Nina Zimmermann:         First of all, we have the same exact content provided to you online as we do for our on-campus students. We only have a family nurse practitioner and adult gero nurse practitioner concentrations on campus, and we have all five concentrations online. And the online experience is very flexible, but it also presents the content in a technology-savvy way. The content is presented in lecture format, very brief lectures that you review, videos, interactives, case studies, media interactive pieces that you do to practice and learn concepts. Group assignments, individual assignments, videos, live sessions. So the main thing that I think sets us apart at Maryville is that we have what we call Skype live sessions or online conferencing, where the faculty actually schedule live sessions with the students so that you have that in-classroom feel several times through the semester so that you can ask questions and have an interaction with the professor and possibly other students.

Nina Zimmermann:         So this program has been in place for several years, and I think that every year we get even better with our technology and how we present information. But we do … We pride ourselves at Maryville of having the top-of-the-line online experience for students. Even if you haven’t been an online student in the past.

Nina Zimmermann:         And the last thing I would want to say about that is, we have a lot of help for our students that are new to the program. In other words, if you don’t feel like you’re a tech-savvy person, there’s no need to worry about that. When you go through orientation, we step you through what a course looks like, but you can even get a sample of what a course looks like when you are applying to Maryville. We show you how the course is set up, and how you can stay organized, we show you how to upload assignments or upload videos. We give you lots of information about the technology that you need to start the program. And there’s a lot of tutorials and an online orientation that you complete before you actually start a class.

Nina Zimmermann:         So I think we not only do a great job in the classroom, but we also support you and have a lot of tutorial and information prior to starting a class, to make you feel comfortable in this environment.

Nina Zimmermann:         Dr. Elbe, would you like to add anything to that?

Mykale Elbe:                      Yeah. And I know, too, just like Jane had said earlier, we are … They are asynchronous. So if you’re a nurse that works night shifts, there’s recorded lectures for you. If you can’t make the Skype live sessions, faculty record that. So students can review that on their own time. Same thing, you know, we allow twenty-four hours for students to take the exams. So if you work night shift, you can take the exam in the morning, at night. So it really does work with the working schedule. ‘Cause we know you guys, you know, are required to be practicing and be working as nurses. So we make it really as manageable as we can for you guys to excel in this program.

Jane:                                     Thank you so much for the information, Professor Zimmermann and Dr. Elbe and Alex. And now, I’m gonna address some of the questions that we had. Some students chatted in some questions, so let me go ahead and get started with those.

Jane:                                     So, Alex, I think this is a good question for you. One of our students asked, “Do students still have to do over eight hundred clinical hours even though they are practicing as a nurse practitioner in acute care medical surgical hospital?”

Alex Buol:                            So that’s a question we get a lot, and for that, it goes with what Professor Zimmermann was discussing in regards to the transfer credit process. So, what happens is that will be determined when your packet, your admissions packet has been completed. And then we can kinda assess and get a better idea of what courses specifically are needed. So, at that time, that’s something that you want to speak with your specific enrollment advisor about. And they can better address that.

Jane:                                     Wonderful.

Nina Zimmermann:         And just to add to that, I …

Nina Zimmermann:         Go ahead, Mickey.

Jane:                                     Yeah.

Nina Zimmermann:         Yeah, just to add to that, it’s possible that the person is also asking about clinical hours. If you are a nurse, and you work … Or a nurse practitioner currently a nurse practitioner and you’re applying for a Post-Master’s cert, and you work. Let’s say you are an adult nurse practitioner and you are working in a critical care setting. And so you’re coming back for your adult gero acute care nurse practitioner certification, you still have to do clinical hours. You can’t work and be paid while you’re doing your clinical hours, that’s a conflict of interests. And you can’t count hours that you’ve done in a work setting to count for your clinical hours in another setting. So, we can certainly address that at admission, ’cause there are nurse practitioners that come back for a Post-Master’s cert that may already have a crossover of the population that they serve. So we would customize your clinical experience in that regard. But the same amount of hours would have to be completed to complete a Post-Master’s cert. So I hope that answers the question as well. Not just for didactic credit hours, but clinical hours.

Jane:                                     Thank you so much for clarifying.

Jane:                                     And we do have another question for Professor Zimmermann or Dr. Elbe. This student was asking, “What is the passing rate on the licensing boards for students that have graduated from the psych program, Psychiatric Health Nurse Practitioner program, at Maryville?”

Nina Zimmermann:         So, our first cohort of the Psych Mental Health Nurse Practitioner program are graduating in May. So we do not have any certification pass rate information. We won’t have that until the following March. Usually March is the time every year where the certifying bodies send us the aggregate report of pass rate. So we won’t have that until next spring.

Jane:                                     Thank you for clarifying.

Jane:                                     I do have another question for Alex. So, Alex, a student asked, “Is the program a cohort group?”

Alex Buol:                            Um, so, not in that traditional sense of a cohort, where you’re with the same individuals in every single class. You may get paired up again with the same individuals, just depending on your state and different things along those lines. But it’s not in that traditional sense, where you’re only in the same group with the same number of people.

Jane:                                     Okay, thanks for clarifying that, too, Alex.

Jane:                                     I have another question for Professor Zimmermann or Dr. Elbe. The question is, “Do the clinical preceptors receive a stipend?”

Nina Zimmermann:         The clinical preceptors? No. At this time, we do not, no. We do not pay our clinical preceptors to precept our students.

Jane:                                     Yes. So, students on the line, just for clarification. You’d be asking your preceptors to see if they can assist you, they’re kind of giving back to the community. But they’re not receiving a stipend, they’re not receiving any monetary compensation for that.

Jane:                                     And then, Alex, another question for you. “Is there any way to take a full-time load to decrease the time frame of,” you know, this student was asking twenty-eight months, but to decrease the time frame of the given program?

Alex Buol:                            Um, so, no. The program’s structured in a part-time manner, ’cause if you’re with any additional courses added on, you really couldn’t be able to work and the program is designed specifically for the working nurse.

Jane:                                     Awesome.

Jane:                                     And then, again, Professor Zimmermann or Dr. Elbe, this is for you. What is the average class size for the mental health program?

Nina Zimmermann:         This is Professor Zimmermann. That varies. Usually, it’s … A regular didactic course without a clinical is usually fifteen students, no more than sixteen or seventeen students. For clinical, you are in a course section with seven other students. The max number of students in a clinical section are eight students.

Jane:                                     Perfect. Thank you.

Jane:                                     Another question for Alex. So, this student is talking about how they’re having a difficult time getting some of their transcripts, because they’ve taken some classes many years ago. So they’re asking if the courses are not relevant to their nursing education, their nursing classes, are they still required for the transcript?

Nina Zimmermann:         Mickey, why don’t you …

Nina Zimmermann:         At this time, we are requiring all transcripts to be reviewed, even they are non-nursing transcripts.

Alex Buol:                            Yeah.

Nina Zimmermann:         That may change, but at this time, we are requiring all transcripts to be received.

Alex Buol:                            And one thing I emphasize with my students is we need every post-secondary transcript. Even if it’s one course, one place, one time, we need that transcript. It’s just the policy, that’s how it is to complete your application packet.

Nina Zimmermann:         Yeah, yeah. It’s part of our review for admission that very important.

Jane:                                     Awesome. Thank you all for clarifying that.

Jane:                                     And then, Professor Zimmermann, Dr. Elbe. I have two questions from two different students, somewhat related. Their both about psychiatric mental health and clinicals. So, the first student was asking, “Are students allowed to complete clinical rotation in the outpatient setting for the psych NP program?” And then the second student asked, “For the psych NP program, do the preceptors have to be NPs, or can they be PAs or physician preceptors?”

Nina Zimmermann:         So the …

Mykale Elbe:                      This is Dr. Elbe … Oh.

Nina Zimmermann:         Go ahead. Go ahead, Mickey. I’ve talked … Go ahead, Mickey.

Mykale Elbe:                      No, you’re fine. I will say, for the second question about PAs or physicians or NPs, none of the specialties allow PAs at this point. Because the national organizations at this point are not recognizing PAs as preceptors for nurse practitioner students. But we do allow NPs and physicians. I will let Professor Zimmermann talk specifically about the psych mental health preceptors.

Nina Zimmermann:         So the psych mental health preceptors can be physicians or nurse practitioners who are psychiatric mental health nurse practitioners. There are some psychotherapy hours required, and the psych mental health nurse practitioner coordinator, Dr. Brandie Stiles, reviews those preceptors, because there are some specific requirements that I don’t want to speak to. But there are some psychotherapy hours where there are some alternate counselor types of health professions that can do some of those hours. But it is spelled out in your clinical packet, and it is, those individuals are reviewed by Dr. Stiles for approval.

Jane:                                     Perfect. Thank you.

Jane:                                     Um, I have two questions for Alex that are somewhat related from two different students. So, one student was asking … Well, for the psych program, before, all of our programs, basically, are students required to find their own preceptors for their clinical rotation? And then, followed by another student’s question, “Are students required to use the same preceptor for each class that mandates the clinical hours?”

Alex Buol:                            So, yes, you are responsible for finding your own preceptors. That is absolutely an expectation. We say from day one that it is your responsibility, you’re ultimately responsible.

Alex Buol:                            And in regards to using the same preceptor, for my understanding, that is your call and what you prefer to do. As long as the preceptor meets the specific requirements that are needed for the program, if you want to stay with them, then you can. If you don’t, then you don’t have to, as well.

Nina Zimmermann:         I think there is some limitation in the adult gero acute care program, but I think you can only be with the same preceptor for two hundred and fifty hours. Whereas the adult gero primary care, you can be with the same preceptor. And there are some variable hours in family that Dr. Elbe could speak to. So, again, that’s exactly what she said. And that is, if you’re able to meet the clinical requirements, then you can stay with the same preceptor for multiple semesters.

Jane:                                     Wonderful. Thank you for the added …

Mykale Elbe:                      And I do know for … This is Dr. Elbe. I was going to say, for our FNP and adult gero NP, we have decided that we would allow students to use the same preceptor through the program. We just do caution students to ensure that they’re really getting a thorough, you know, well-rounded experience and that that preceptor is really teaching them everything they need to know. ‘Cause sometimes one experience, you may not see things that you would see in other settings. But I know for FNP and adult gero primary care, we did come to that conclusion.

Jane:                                     Awesome. Thank you. Thank you so much.

Jane:                                     And then, for Professor Zimmermann. For someone who has been out of academia for a while, does Maryville University provide assistance of things like writing papers and doing citations?

Nina Zimmermann:         There are some assistance, actually, built in the orientation about citation writing and writing in general. And the first couple of courses, there is a lot of assistance within the course about writing, and specifically the APA format. And we have some online programs that we use. So I would say, overall, we do have support within the courses and we also have some online resources that we refer to students. As well as some assignments that will help you learn the mastery of, especially of, citation writing.

Jane:                                     Wonderful.

Jane:                                     And then, Dr. Elbe, you know, you mentioned this before. But a student wanted clarification. How often do students have live dialogue with instructors?

Mykale Elbe:                      So, it depends on the course. Some courses do have it more often during the semester, but, at minimum, three times a semester faculty will have live sessions with students. Like I said, it’s not mandatory that students attend, but it is recorded for students who are unable to attend. But it is a good way for students to get that interaction. Not only with their faculty, but with their peers.

Jane:                                     Perfect.

Jane:                                     And then, Alex, maybe a student joined on a little bit later. But can you cover again, do students ever need to come to campus? Can online students attend graduation, the commencement ceremony?

Alex Buol:                            Yeah, so that’s a question we get a lot. No, you’re not required to come to campus, unless you want to come. It’s not like you’re barred from ever coming, but you’re more than welcome to attend. And yes. You are able to attend in the graduation ceremony, as well, and partake in that. ‘Cause that’s the thing that’s important. You’ve worked really hard to get your degree, and we want to celebrate with you.

Jane:                                     Definitely. I agree with that, as well.

Jane:                                     And then Professor Zimmermann, how intense is the workload. As a working nurse professional, how much time does a student need to be able to dedicate to his or her studies per day, per week?

Nina Zimmermann:         The course isn’t that outlined about how many hours you would want to put in or need to put in per day, per week, but I would say per week? For one or two courses? It would take several hours to review the course material online, and then, depending on your study habits and how you learn, and how much time you need to review some information or learn new content, would be variable. But I do believe, in the courses themselves, it outlines that there are maybe six to eight hours of work a week, minimum. But remember, you are not in the classroom. So our current graduate students come into class two and a half hours for one class a week. So you have to factor in the fact … You have to factor in that you are not coming to class. So it will take you some time to do the readings and review the course content online, in addition to your studying or your preparation or completing assignments.

Jane:                                     Thank you.

Jane:                                     And then, Dr. Elbe, and perhaps you can answer this one. Are all of the exams live proctored, such as FaceTime? So, perhaps you can talk about how we handle exams and how students are proctored for exams.

Mykale Elbe:                      Yeah. So, each of the exams is proctored. Right now we are using a program called Proctorio. So it’s a web-based program that students log into while they’re taking the exam, that will monitor the students. So, yes. Each exam is proctored.

Jane:                                     Perfect. Thank you.

Jane:                                     And then, Professor Zimmermann, we have another question from a student. Is there a lot of required group work throughout the psych NP program? But perhaps you can speak about our various programs.

Nina Zimmermann:         I’m sorry. Can you repeat the question?

Jane:                                     Yes, of course. Um, the student was asking about group work. And if there’s a lot of required group work throughout the psych NP program.

Nina Zimmermann:         The group work varies from course to course. It’s certainly not every week, but there are some courses where you may have one or two group assignments. Where you will be working with other students online. It just varies. But there is some group work, but it’s not every week.

Jane:                                     Wonderful. Thank you.

Jane:                                     And then, Dr. Elbe, do you have any tips or best practices on time management?

Mykale Elbe:                      With time management, it is a master’s program. So I always tell students, remember that it is a higher-educational program that you’re doing. So it is gonna take some time out of your life. So really kinda getting a schedule and scheduling specific times during that week, maybe the days that you’re off, you know, that you can make time to study. And do know that, like Professor Zimmermann said, some average six to eight hours a week of studying that you’re gonna do. So, you know, taking breaks in there, breaking the scheduling up to study. But if you schedule that time within your week, it’ll make it much easier than, you know, life gets busy, and all of a sudden you’re like, “I haven’t studied for this test coming up or for this information I need to know.” So really, having a well-organized schedule is the best way to prepare yourself.

Jane:                                     Definitely, and we tell our students the same thing. To be organized and stay on top of deadlines.

Jane:                                     And then, Professor Zimmermann, another question for you. If a student had to talk a leave of absence for one semester, would they be able to pick up where they left off the following semester? Or, are some of the classes only offered on certain semesters?

Nina Zimmermann:         That’s a great question. All of our online courses are offered every semester. So if you had to step out for up to three semesters, you would be still considered a active student. After three semesters, or after one calendar year, you would have to do a revised admissions process. But, yes. You may stop out for a semester and then pick up the next courses you have to take in your course progression the following semester without a problem.

Jane:                                     Perfect. And I do think that’s one of the highlights of our programs, that students don’t have to wait a full year to pick up where they left off. They can just get back started the very next semester.

Jane:                                     Um, Alex, I have another question for you. How tech-savvy do I need to be to be successful in your online program?

Alex Buol:                            Great. So that’s a question we get a lot of with students coming back or students that have never taken online courses before. So, we don’t require that, you know, you know how to build things from scratch or anything along those lines. But we do want you to have some basic knowledge of being able to navigate through websites, being able to utilize different softwares, like Microsoft Word or PowerPoint, things along those lines. So it’s not necessary that you are the top tech person, but also, too, we want you to have some type of basic knowledge of basic usage.

Jane:                                     Perfect.

Jane:                                     And then, Alex, there’s a few questions about the application process. But does a student have to be working full-time to get accepted into the program? And then also, about how long does the application process take?

Alex Buol:                            Sure. No, it’s not a requirement that you’re working full-time, but it is a requirement that you have some form of direct patient contact. That is something that is very, very important, that you have to have that access to direct patient care and contact.

Alex Buol:                            In addition to that, when it comes to the application process, I have students, if they’re really, really good, it can take about a week and a half for them to finish their application packet. Typically the things that can kinda hold some people up are the transcripts, since they come by mail, that can take a little bit of time. But, overall, it’s a fairly seamless and fairly easy application process.

Jane:                                     Thanks again. And, students on the line, if you have any additional questions, feel free to ask them in our chat box. But, otherwise, it seems like we’ve gone through most of the questions, or all the questions that students have asked. So, at this time, I’d like to thank Professor Zimmermann, Dr. Elbe, and Alex for their responses and for this informational webinar. And thank you to all the students who submitted a question, as well. Unless we get any other questions, I’m gonna go ahead and say that this will close the Q and A portion of our webinar.

Jane:                                     If anyone has any more questions that they think of later, please do not hesitate to reach out to us. If you have a enrollment advisor, make sure you contact your enrollment advisor. And if not, you can use the link that you see here, this live dot vcita dot com slash site slash Maryville dot online nursing. You can use that link to schedule an appointment and one of the enrollment advisors, one of us will definitely follow up with you.

Jane:                                     And, before I conclude, actually, we did get a few other questions. So, Alex, can you kind of reiterate: about how long does the admissions review take generally?

Alex Buol:                            Sure. So, once you’ve completed your admissions packet, that gets sent over to our faculty. And they review your packet, that can be anywhere from three to four weeks.

Jane:                                     Perfect.

Jane:                                     And then to follow up with that, Alex, if a student has already been accepted into the program, when should they expect to receive a class schedule or who would he or she contact?

Alex Buol:                            Sure. So, that individual that you’re gonna speak with is your student support advisor. They’re the ones that build your schedule out for you, and that will be done either the week prior to classes, or the first week of class where they send it out specifically to you, where it’s personalized to your schedule.

Jane:                                     Thanks again, Alex.

Jane:                                     So thank you, everyone, for taking the time out of your day to join us. Thank you so much, again, to our presenters: Professor Zimmermann, Dr. Elbe, and Alex. For the students, we hope that you found this webinar useful. I believe this webinar is gonna be, it’s being recorded, so it should be available to you shortly, if you … I think some students, they didn’t catch the audio in the beginning, but you should have access to that shortly.

Jane:                                     And we look forward to speaking with you soon, so that you can put in your application and get started with your MSN or Post-Master’s Certificate program.

Jane:                                     And we all hope that you have a great evening, and thanks again for your time.

Nina Zimmermann:         Thank you.

Mykale Elbe:                      Thank you.

Alex Buol:                            Thank you.