Last Friday, the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing hosted a joint grad school info session with Johns Hopkins Nursing and Columbia Nursing. I attended the session with two other Bryn Mawr students interested in nursing. Other than the information I gathered from university websites and from talking to upperclassmen, I have not found many in-person opportunities to learn about nursing school paths like this one.
The info session was held at the one building I know how to get to, Claire Fagan Hall, where I had Intro to Nutrition last semester. The two other Bryn Mawr students and I carpooled to the R100 station to take the 9:00AM into Philadelphia. I am an expert at the Norristown High Speed and Market Frankfurt Lines by now. I led the way, and we arrived at the info session around 9:45AM.
Each school at the info session presented the degree tracks they offered and what they were looking for in candidates. I mostly already knew the difference between the degrees and what the prerequisite courses and material were for each school, but it was interesting to observe what type of people were also interested in nursing programs. There were people undergoing job transitions, current nurses interested in higher degrees, current social workers, research assistants, lawyers, and a few other current college students. Many were also currently taking their prerequisite nursing courses at a local community college. I wonder what inspired them to become nurses later in life.
The session could not have been held at a more inconvenient time of day: 10:00AM – 12:00PM. Unfortunately for me, this meant skipping my morning Anatomy & Physiology lecture class to attend. I would assume most students have class at this time too, so I don’t know why this session was not held later in the day. (Penn also hosts their nursing colloquiums at 12:00PM noon on Wednesdays.) On top of that, the session started about 12 minutes late and opened with personal introductions of everyone in the room. I had to excuse myself half way into Penn’s presentation at 11:45pm to catch the train back to Bryn Mawr for my 1PM lab class. That was the school I most wanted to hear from as well. I even brought my scooter so I could spend less time traveling.
I will probably attend more nursing school info sessions in the future. The process is reminiscent of when I was applying to colleges in high school. Instead of the SAT or ACT, I’m preparing for the GRE. I’ll still have to write application essays and tour and interview, but the stakes are much higher now. I’m looking at my career unfolding in just under 5 years from now.