Failing a semester of nursing school left a strong desire in my heart to one day be a nursing instructor. I recognized that nursing education needed more instructors that were passionate about teaching students who truly wanted to see them succeed.
At the completion of my program at Campbellsville University I have my associate’s degree. I had a few options to achieve my MSN with would be required for me to teach one day. I could do an BSN-MSN program or get my BSN completed first and then do a separate MSN program.
I researched multiple programs, but my bad experience with my initial program, compared to the fabulous experience I had at Campbellsville University made me a little afraid to leave. I ultimately decided to get my BSN through Campbellsville’s online program. I again had a wonderful experience and do not regret my decision.
At the time I completed my BSN program, Campbellsville did not offer any type of master’s program. So again, I researched my options. Ultimately, I decided I would attend Western Governor’s University. I was attracted to this program for three reasons: all online, work at your own pace, and low cost.
WGU is a competency-based program. This means that there are not traditional assignments and test for the majority of their classes. Each class had a competency project, which was most commonly a paper you had to research and write to prove you were competent in a certain area. What this also meant was that you could work as fast or as slow through the material as you needed.
They did require a certain number of competencies be completed per six-month term, but honestly, I never even worried about that. I had one goal: complete the entire program in one term. I had student loan debt from my time at Campbellsville University and I was determined to add as little additional debt to that as possible.
One six-month term cost a little under $4,000 at the time.
I wish there was a magical piece of advice I had to give on how to complete this daunting task, but there really isn’t. It boiled down to my dedication and determination. I started the first course and completed the competency assignment as soon as I could.
WGU provides you the course assignment as well as a very detailed rubric for grading. When I completed a project/paper I pulled the rubric back out and “graded” it myself to ensure I had included all required elements. After editing/adding what was necessary I submitted the assignment.
They had a few days turnaround time on grading, and you were not allowed to move into the next course until a passing rubric was returned to you.
I kept moving at this ‘fast as possible’ pace and was able to complete the program in slightly over four months. As I moved through courses quickly it got tempting to slow my pace, but I feared getting to my last courses and not having enough time. The last thing I wanted to do was end up paying for a second term for only 1-2 classes.I still recommend WGU’s program to anyone that asks, and I also usually recommend people to do their BSN program as well. As I said previously, I do not regret my decision to complete BSN at Campbellsville, but I could’ve saved myself a ton of money had I gone through WGU.
You can read about WGU’s nursing programs here
You can read about Campbellsville Universities nursing programs here