What’s it really like to be in the online ABSN program at Wilkes? One student, Kelly Samuels, shares her experience, why she chose Wilkes and advice for future students.
Please note: Program details have changed since this interview was conducted. To align with AACN’s new essentials and better prepare graduates for the next generation of NCLEX-RN examination, the online ABSN program has been extended to 15 months.
What was your background before enrolling in the program?
Prior to enrolling at Wilkes, I taught middle school science for five years and then kindergarten through 12th grade STEM for one year.
What inspired you to become a nurse?
I come from a family of nurses. My grandmother was a nurse, and I was a teacher before the program. I realized that being in a field where caring for people and building relationships was a good fit for me. Plus, I was ready for a change. I wanted a career that offered more flexibility and more options for growth, which nursing does.
What attracted you to the Wilkes University online program?
I live in Vermont, where there aren’t any accelerated bachelor's programs for nursing. Wilkes is close by, and it seemed flexible for an out-of-state student. It also allowed you to get your bachelor's in one year while still emphasizing clinical hours.
Is there a particular class or clinical experience that you've enjoyed the most?
I've enjoyed learning about physical assessment techniques. In the first semester, you take a class where you go through each body system one week at a time, and you learn how to fully assess that system. You create videos where you assess a volunteer patient and then you practice with a simulated patient online. It’s really interesting!
What tips do you have for other students?
The program requires organization and good time management skills. It's on you to get through the textbook and the content that they post online. The professors give you all the answers you need. You just need to have the organization to get it done.
What was it like to meet your peers and the faculty during the on-campus residency?
It's been fun, like going back to college! Plus, the hands-on learning that happens at residency is a crucial element to feeling prepared for clinicals, so I'm really glad it’s built into the program.
How would you describe the support you've received from Wilkes?
As a professional, I’ve learned that if you are unsure of something or need help, just ask for it. I feel Wilkes stands by that same motto. When I have questions, I just reach out to my professors, and they've always been prompt in replying. The same goes for the clinical placement team. If you email them a question, they'll get back to you quickly.
What impact do you hope to make as a nurse?
I hope my impact as a nurse is the care that I show to my patients; that they leave the hospital feeling like they’ve been cared for, listened to, and know how to improve their health going forward.