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Sophomore orientation: Prelicensure Students

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Sophomore Orientation

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Welcome to the Old Dominion University School of Nursing (SON) and the online incoming student orientation. Included here you will find web links in which you will be introduced to the faculty of the SON. The faculty will provide you with the important information you need as you transition into the SON. All of the information available within these web links is also available in the SON student handbook which is found at www.odu.edu/nursson. All students within the SON are expected to be familiar with this student handbook.

To begin this orientation please click on the web link below for a welcome and overview of the SON from the Undergraduate Program Director, Ms. Kay Palmer. After you have read her overview please click and open all of the topics listed. You will also find a link for Frequently Asked Questions. If after you have opened and read all of the links you still have questions, please contact the SON at 757-683- 4299 or 4297.

Introduction to the School of Nursing

Welcome to the School of Nursing at Old Dominion University School of Nursing, a program fully accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

My Name is Kay Palmer. I am the Undergraduate Program Director. In the pre-licensure BSN curriculum I will meet you in the senior year for Nursing Process in Rehabilitation [Nurs 440] and Clinical Management of Rehabilitation Clients [Nurs 441]. As the Undergraduate Program Director I am your contact person after your instructor and course coordinator for issues and solutions. I also maintain a bowl of candy in my office. The Nursing Faculty at ODU believe chocolate is a food group. Research does indicate that dark chocolate is associated with an increase of endorphins. Please stop by my office for a chocolate fix. I am in 2134A.

You are among the select few. You have worked hard to obtain the GPA to be admitted to the School of Nursing at ODU. You have joined a program that is noted for the quality of its graduates. The quality of a nurse is not just based upon GPA. Everyone around you has a high GPA. The quality of the graduate from this program comes from hard work, dedication and caring. You have chosen a profession that is an art and a science. It is the delicate balance between these two that leads to the development of clinical judgment.

To develop clinical judgment your way of learning may have to change. In your past educational endeavors, success was based upon learning the "facts" for an exam. In the School of Nursing you will need to take the "facts" you have learned in the past and combine it with the information you are currently learning to make a decision about the best nursing intervention for your patient. The School of Nursing's examinations and clinical experiences require understanding of the content, not just knowing the "facts". The Faculty encourage you to find a "study buddy", an individual to work with in studying the content. A "study buddy" can help think through the facts to arrive a critical decision.

The Faculty in the School of Nursing require you to be an adult learner, a self-motivated individual. I realize in the past that you may have read the headings or self-selected parts of a 100 page reading assignment. In this program you will receive 100 to 500 page reading assignments. Many times the instructor will cover only a small portion of the reading assignment in class. However, the other content is to be self-learned. There is not time in a 2 or 3 hour class to cover everything you must know to make the critical decisions necessary to manage the nursing interventions for your patient. You need to assume the responsibility for being the best that you can be. You may also find that you have to study harder and spend more time learning the content in this program than you have done before.

As an adult learner the faculty expect you to take responsibility for your own learning. If you do not understand something, it is your responsibility to make an appointment with your faculty member to have the faculty help you understand. If you score below an 80 [passing is 80] on a exam, the faculty expect you will seek an appointment to help you understand the thinking required to identify the best answer to a question.

The profession of nursing is the profession that has retained over the years the highest or very high regard of the public. The Faculty respect the role of the professional nurse and what it represents to the public we serve. As part of your learning in the program, you will learn the professional role of the nurse. While dress codes, conduct codes and communication codes may seem "old" and not relevant, it is part of the professional role you will assume at graduation.

The School of Nursing

The School of Nursing was established in 1962 with the approval of the Board of Visitors at Old Dominion College. The School graduated its first students with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree in 1967 and was granted accreditation by the Virginia State Board of Nursing in 1968.

The School of Nursing sought and received accreditation for the Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the National League for Nursing (NLN) in 1975. In 199 the School of Nursing was again awarded the maximum eight-year accreditation by the NLN and ten-year accreditation by the Commission for Collegiate Nursing education.

The School of Nursing at Old Dominion University offers a Bachelor of Sciences in Nursing (BSN), a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) and a Doctorate of Nursing Practice (DNP). The MSN degree is offered on both a full-time and part-time basis with role specialization in: Nursing Leadership, Nurse Educator, Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, Family Nurse Practitioner, Women's Health Nurse Practitioner, Midwifery, and Nurse Anesthesia. Selected MSN roles are available on campus and online.

The Undergraduate Program has two different groups of students pursuing the BSN. One group is the Pre-licensure students (those wanting to become an RN with a BSN). The Pre-licensure student may follow a traditional schedule during fall and spring semesters for three academic years or a non-traditional schedule of fall, spring and summer for 24 months. Both schedules require six semesters in the major.

The other group of baccalaureate students are Post-licensure students (those who are already RNs and wish to earn the BSN). They may complete the major in three semesters (full-time) or six semesters (part-time). Additionally, an accelerated RN>BSN/MSN option is available for part-time students meeting graduate admission criteria. Those students may substitute 9 credits of graduate study for undergraduate requirements. The 9 credits count for both degrees. This curriculum is available on campus and via TELETECHNET throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia, Arizona and Washington and online across the country.

As a pre-licensure student you rotate through all the traditional nursing specialties (medical, surgical, psychiatric, obstetric, pediatric and critical care). Your program is somewhat unique because of a didactic & clinical rotation in Rehabilitation Nursing (one of the few BSN programs in the nation to include this content). You will also practice nursing in a variety of excellent clinical settings: public, private, specialty and military. These health care settings give the ODU nursing student a broad perspective regarding the practice of nursing in different health care settings. In addition, a virtual setting - Monarch General Hospital - affords a "safe place" for novice student practice and implementation of nursing leadership skills. In the final semester of the BSN program you participate in Role Transition - a course that pairs you with a clinically competent RN. You spend more than 120 hours working one-on-one with that professional...working rotating shifts, weekends, etc. This "real world of nursing" experience often gives the ODU graduate entry into specialty areas not usually offered to new graduates.

In addition in your senior year you will participate in yearlong community health courses providing health information / expertise to citizens of Hampton Roads. Annually nursing students provide over 8000 hours of this service to the local communities. This represents over $140,000.00 a year of health related service to Hampton Roads!

You will be required during the program to develop a professional portfolio to reflect the end of program behaviors and outcomes [the 8 Greats]. The portfolio allows you to showcase your achievements while in the BSN program and is especially useful when applying for nursing positions and career advancement. Many graduates have reported that their portfolio assisted them in securing a position in nursing not usually offered to new graduates.

Points of Pride

Your faculty are a group of highly education professionals who actively participate in research related to cultural diversity, family health, simulation, online learning and best educational practices. Faulty publish and present nationally and internationally in their area of specialization. They are an excellent resource in your journey.

During your educational experience here at Old Dominion University School of Nursing you will have opportunities in the state-of-the-art assessment and skills labs to hone your nursing skills in a setting representative of actual practice settings. The use of computer based virtual patients and well over $260,000 of simulator equipment enhances your learning experiences.

Students return to the community of Hampton Roads by providing on an average between 5000 to 8000 hours of community service to health care organization in the area. Faculty also enrich the local community and the global community by providing volunteer service in community health organizations, memberships on boards within the community and international health care missions.

End of Program: 8 Greats

While a student at Old Dominion University School of Nursing you will hear the faculty talk about the 8 Greats or the eight core competencies of the nursing program. These core competencies which include critical thinking, nursing practice, communication, teaching, research, leadership, professionalism and culture are the foundational concepts that direct your learning experiences. They are found in every nursing course and are the organizing philosophy of the portfolio, a graduation requirement. Please look for the core competencies and their definitions. They are found in your syllabus for each nursing course.

This is the beginning of an exciting journey!

Good luck in as you start this journey. Please stop in, say hello and get a piece of chocolate.