TTUHSC School of Nursng
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Office of Admissions and Student Affairs

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the cost of the program?

Estimated Tuition and Fees Per Semester can be located here: http://www.ttuhsc.edu/son/prospective/fees.aspx

Where can I get my CPR/First Aid?

Contact the American Heart Association

What is the difference between the Basic First Aid and BLS/AED for HealthCare Providers?

CPR, also referred to as Heartsaver or Heartsaver/AED, is taught to individuals who do not currently hold another medical certification or degree. They are not trained in any other area of health care. Basic terminology is used and the focus of this course is to maintain adequate circulation until trained professionals arrive to assist.

BLS for Healthcare Providers is essentially the same course of instruction however, it is designed for personnel who work in the healthcare environment and have knowledge and training in medical terminology and basics of first-aid, etc. Specific references in the course are directed at CPR in the clinical setting and assume that the trainee already has a basic understanding of general terminology, anatomy, etc.

Where do I send official transcripts for pre-requisites I am finishing before I start nursing school?

TTUHSC Office of the Registrar
3601 4th Street
M.S. 8310
Lubbock, TX 79430

Where can I find a book list?

You can locate the book list and various other resources on the School of Nursing website under Current Student Resources

When can I register for classes?

You will not be able to register for nursing classes until all forms and immunization records are received by the Student Affairs Office.

Do you help with or provide housing?

Nursing students are responsible for finding their own housing.

What is the dress code for orientation?

Business Casual

Is orientation mandatory?

Yes, it is mandatory.

What immunizations do I need? Where do I obtain my immunizations?

All applicants who receive offers of admission will be required to submit evidence of required immunizations. Failure to maintain documentation of the following immunization requirements in the appropriate program office can result in exclusion from clinical practice and a hold being placed on school records. The following information must be on file for a complete immunization record while enrolled in the School of Nursing:

  • Hepatitis B series (Hep B)
    Must begin series by the first day of new student orientation, to be completed within 6 months.
  • Measles, Mumps, Rubella vaccine/titer (MMR)
    By the first day of new student orientation (Note: Women who need MMR must make an appointment with a health professional to verify pregnancy status before receiving MMR.)
  • Tuberculin test (PPD)
    By the first day of new student orientation and annually thereafter.
  • Tetanus/Diphtheria (Td)
    By the first day of new student orientation (Booster required every 10 years.)
  • Varicella
    By the first day of new student orientation - vaccine or statement of disease.
  • Meningococcal
    By the first day new student orientation. Required only for students under the age of 30.
  • Bacterial Meningitis
    By the first day of new student orientation - for students under the age of 30.
Do I have to enroll Full-Time? Are there Part-Time options?

Yes you may enroll as a part-time student. The program must be completed within 2 years. The RN-BSN program was designed for the full-time working nurse. Full-time students are only enrolled in 2-3 classes at any time because of the design of the curriculum and degree plans.

How much contact will I have with my instructors?

Your Instructors should be available throughout the length of your course. Please review your syllabus to find out which way they prefer to be contacted during the semester.

Do I need all of the books on the booklist?

Only buy the books required for the course you are enrolled in during the semester. If the book is marked required, then you need to purchase it. Several books which are used during the first semester may also be used during the second semester.

What kind of support do I have if I am experiencing any issues?

If it is an issue with course work, please contact your instructor. Please contact a Student Affairs Coordinator for any other program-related issues.

I have questions regarding the APA format and writing.

Smart Thinking is available as a tool to assist with writing and is available in SAKAI. You may also use this link for additional assistance: http://nursing.ttuhsc.edu/apa/

Continue reading more RN to BSN specific FAQs →

Can I live anywhere to take this online program?

You must live no more than one hour away from our 5 clinical sites: Lubbock, Odessa/Midland, Abilene, Amarillo, or Austin/Hill Country. Although the classes are online, the clinical portion of our program is the hands on learning piece. We match you one on one with a BSN in a hospital setting approximately 20-24 hours a week thought out the entire year. Nurse educators will visit the clinical site at least every other week to check on the student and coach. This is not a commute program. If you are interested in our El Paso site, please visit www.ttuhsc.edu/elpaso/son.

Does the program have clinicals?

The clinical portion of our program will last all year long. Students complete approximately 20-24 hours a week though the whole year in a hospital setting in either: Austin/Hill Country, Abilene, Amarillo, Lubbock, or Permian Basin.

How do I get my transcripts evaluated?

To assist you in preparation for completion of remaining general education requirements and enrollment into the Second Degree Program, you may email, mail or fax unofficial copies of your transcripts to the Second Degree Coordinator. Note that transcripts are for evaluation in the Second Degree program only and you should provide your e-mail and contact phone number for follow up. Information will be provided to you regarding the review within two weeks. Official transcripts from all colleges attended will be required when you apply.

Will my previous general education courses count toward this degree?

Prerequisite courses from other accredited institutions with equivalent course content are acceptable for transfer if a grade of "C" or higher were earned. There is no restriction on the age of the courses. Pass/Fail courses are not acceptable for transfer. An overall prerequisite grade point average (GPA) as well as a science prerequisite GPA of 3.0 or higher must be achieved at application close date and program start date for admission consideration.

Is there an age limit for acceptance of prerequisite courses taken?

There is no age limit for acceptance of prerequisite courses completed in previous years.

Is there any entrance exams required?

Yes, we require that you take the TEAS V nurse entrance exam by application close date.

Can I work during the program?

A commitment not to seek employment during the program is required.

How many students are admitted into the program?

The number varies based on clinical availability, faculty resources, etc. Generally there are 2-3 times more applicants than enrollment slots.

Can I transfer in other nursing courses taken from another RN Program?

No, we do not transfer any other nursing courses towards our program.

Where can I take general education courses?

Any regionally accredited community college or institution of higher education that provides comparable courses. Other options are TTU College Level Examination Program (CLEP) (806-742-3671) or TTU College Outreach and Distance Education (1-800-692-6877 or 806-742-7200), (www.dce.ttu.edu) or the University of Texas at Austin (1-800-252-3461). The Second Degree Coordinators can help you with particular course questions.

Can I be admitted if I am not a U.S. citizen?

The Second Degree Coordinators will work with you on meeting requirements for admission. Applicants who have taken classes outside of the United States should contact a foreign credential services to have your transcript reviewed for general education requirements (this includes citizens from Canada and Mexico). There may be a requested fee for this review. For additional information regarding admission as an international student, contact the Admissions Evaluator in the Registrar's Office at 806-743-2300 or Fax 806-743-2027.

If your last degree is from a college outside of the United States, the School of Nursing requires a TOEFL.

When should I submit my application for enrollment?

The application is open two times a year: spring and fall (application deadline). During this time, you can still be taking prerequisite courses but they must all be complete prior to class start date. Note that at least 3 of the 5 sciences: (Pathophysiology, Microbiology, Chemistry, Anatomy, and Physiology) must be completed and grades to us by the time the application closes.

Do I need to come to Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC) in Lubbock during my course work?

No, students are not required to travel to Lubbock. However, students are welcome to come to Lubbock to participate in convocation and graduation, but this is not required.

How will the Second Degree program be provided?

The didactic potion of the Program is delivered online using a learning management system. Instruction will be provided through modules in each course with instructional material which might include texts, articles, video, podcasts, and electronic library materials. Much of the student's interaction with the faculty and other students will be through discussion board and occasionally live chats or web conferencing. All of these resources will encourage both individual work and group interaction.

This 12 month program has preceptor and nurse-educator oversight (clinical) in the student's own communities in Lubbock, Abilene, Amarillo, Odessa/Midland, and Austin/Hill Country.

How will I have access to the faculty?

You will have access to each of your course facilitators and any clinical faculty via the methodologies that will be used to deliver the educational material during regular school hours. (TTUHSC email, learning management system, phone)

How can I buy my books?

Books can be ordered through any of the following bookstores:

Are scholarships and/or financial aid available as I complete the Second Degree program?

Yes, all of the above mentioned assistance is available. Applicants interested in applying for financial aid upon admittance to the School of Nursing must complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/. The School of Nursing requires a FAFSA on file to be eligible for scholarships offered by the school.

**Scholarship eligibility is only available once admitted into the program.

Additional information can be found at the Financial Aid Office website. Fabian Vasquez, Senior Financial Aid Advisory can be reached at fabian.vasquez@ttuhsc.edu.

How much time will I need to allocate to my course work?

The Second Degree Program is 12 months in length and is divided into 3 semesters. Students enroll in approximately 18 to 22 credit hours per semester of online classes. In addition student complete approximately 20 to 24 clinical hours a week in a hospital setting. Students average around 75 hours a week between class, study, and clinical time per week. We ask you not to work.

Will I need a computer for my courses?

Yes, you will need a computer with high speed internet capabilities. Click here for minimum system recommendations.

Will I have access to library resources from any location?

Resources are available via computer and internet access, such as electronic article reserves. Information about the TTUHSC library resources with web-based courses will be provided at orientation. Many assignments in the program will require library/internet searches.

How do I know if I have the computer skills I need to be successful?

To determine if you have the necessary computer skills to be successful, you may take the Computer Skills Assessment.

Can I CLEP a course?

Yes, CLEP courses are acceptable for prerequisite courses. Maximum hours allowed for CLEP or correspondence course are 15 hours each. If any of the pre-requisites have been or will be CLEPPED you will not receive credit towards the GPA we calculate. CLEP credit must be on an official college transcript in order to be acceptable.

Is this program accredited?

Yes.

Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award baccalaureate, masters, doctoral, and professional degrees. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center. The Commission should be contacted only if there is evidence that appears to support the institution's significant non-compliance with a requirement or standard.

What are the basic requirements for admission?

All applicants must have the following on file by the application deadline:

  • Completed and submitted NursingCAS application
  • Completed and submitted Merlin supplemental application (this includes the essay)
  • Official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended on file with NursingCAS
  • Three recommendation letters on file with NursingCAS

Applicants must also have a valid RN license and BLS certification. MSN applicants must have their BSN with a 3.0 or higher GPA in upper division nursing courses as well as undergraduate research and statistics (C or higher in those two courses). Post-Master's applicants must have a MSN degree.

Applicants to the Adult Gero Acute Care NP track must have a minimum of one year of critical care experience (ICU/emergency department) as a registered nurse. Nurse Midwifery applicants must have at least one year of labor/delivery experience as a registered nurse. It is highly recommended that applicants to the other tracks have a minimum of one year of registered nursing experience.

When are the application deadlines?

Fall - deadline is March 15th; Spring - deadline is August 1st; Summer (Post-Master ONLY) - March 15th

How long does the program take to complete? Is it full-time or part-time?

The MSN APRN tracks (NP, Nurse Midwifery) take three years to complete and the MSN Leadership tracks (Education, Administration) take 2 ½ years. There is one degree plan for each track which requires students to take approximately two courses a semester for a total of six hours. The number of total credits required for the MSN program depends on track:

  • MSN Nurse Practitioner - 48 credit hours
  • MSN Nurse Midwifery - 51 credit hours
  • MSN Education - 42 credit hours
  • MSN Administration - 39 credit hours

The Post-Master's program requires up to 27 credit hours (this may change in the future) and completion time will depend on how many, if any, credits transfer in. Prospective post-master's applicants should submit their unofficial MSN transcript to a coordinator for evaluation.

Is the program completely online?

The MSN Administration program is 100% online. Students only have to come to the Lubbock campus for a two day orientation prior to beginning the first semester. The other tracks do require additional travel to Lubbock for OSCEs (objective structured clinical experience). The NP (Family, Acute Care, Pediatric) and Nurse Midwifery tracks require students to be on campus for 7-8 days during the entire program (including orientation) and the MSN Education track requires students to be on campus for 2-3 days during the program (including orientation). Dates for OSCEs are given to students a couple of months in advance to give time to make work and travel arrangements.

What certifications are required for students?

BLS - required for all students; ACLS - required for Family and Acute Care NP students and Nurse Midwifery students prior to beginning the population focused courses; PALS - required for Pediatric NP students prior to beginning the population focused courses; NRP (neonatal resuscitation program) - required for Nurse Midwifery students prior to beginning the population focused courses. All students must also have a valid RN license from the state in which they reside. Once a student is accepted into the program, he/she must maintain provide the SAO Office with current copies of certifications (applies to students whose certification expire during enrollment).

How do clinical hours work? Do students have to find their own preceptors?

Students are responsible for finding their own preceptors based upon the requirements for each clinical course. A listing of preceptors used within the past two years is available for current graduate students to use as a guide. Clinical hours can be completed in a student's home area but both the preceptor AND the facility must be approved by SON staff and faculty. There is an electronic preceptor agreement process that students must complete for every preceptor they use each semester.

What is a DNP Degree?

The Doctor of Nursing Practice is similar in concept to practice doctorates in other professions such as pharmacy (PharmD) and physical therapy (DPT). DNP-prepared nurses are equipped for leadership roles in advanced nursing practice, business, administration, clinical research, and academia.

What is a Capstone Project?

The capstone project incorporates evidence-based strategies for implementing and achieving health care outcomes such as a significant pilot study, a program evaluation project, a quality improvement project, or a practice change initiative derived from translational science and the DNP role. The capstone project serves as a foundation for future scholarly practice and is reviewed and evaluated by an academic community.

Do I have to be certified as an Advanced Practice Nurse to apply to the DNP program?

The TTUHSC School of Nursing Doctor of Nursing Practice program has two specializations: Advanced Practice Nursing (for nurses certified in an advanced practice role) and Executive Leadership in Nursing. The Executive Leadership in Nursing specialization does NOT require an advanced practice nursing certification.

Can I apply if I have a master's degree in another field?

Yes. Nurses with masters in a field outside of nursing may apply to the Executive Leadership track however leadership experience and additional graduate level nursing courses may be required.

How do you define healthcare leadership experience?

Healthcare leadership experience is broadly defined as a formal position in some type of role well beyond an entry level nursing position such as nursing director, chief nursing officer, vice president of nursing, program director or coordinator, or community or government agency coordinator or director. We encourage applicants with a variety of experiences across the spectrum of healthcare including acute care systems, community settings, public agencies, and the healthcare insurance and product industry.

What kinds of jobs are available for DNP graduates?

Individuals with practice doctorates are the most highly educated and qualified practitioners in their fields. Instead of focusing primarily on research and teaching, those with practice doctorates use their education and expertise in leadership roles on the front lines of their professions. They are also highly qualified to teach the next generation of clinicians and leaders.

Can I be a part-time DNP student?

Yes, a part-time study degree plan is available for those DNP students who determine the part-time plan is best suited for their particular situation.

Is it possible to work full time and complete the DNP program as a full-time student?

Yes however it is important to be aware that the DNP program is very challenging and requires typically up to 30 or more hours per week of study time. It is important to have a supportive network including your supervisor during your time in the DNP program.

When can I start the DNP program?

DNP classes begin in June of every year.

Are there online classes or distance-learning opportunities?

Classes are both on-line and in "executive sessions" over 3 - 4 days on-campus at 3 times during the semester. Class dates are usually Thursday, Friday and Saturday. You can expect to travel to the Lubbock campus nine times a year.

I am looking for a program that will prepare me to become a nursing faculty member. Is this the program for me?

If you are seeking doctoral preparation because your primary goal is to become faculty in a nursing program, the TTUHSC School of Nursing DNP curriculum may not be the best fit for you but we would encourage you to discuss your particular situation and goals with a program advisor.