Learn more about Texas Woman's Online Master of Science in Nursing - Family Nurse Practitioner (MSN-FNP) program and what it's like to be a student in the program in this virtual information session. Listen as program faculty and a current student share:

  • An overview of the online FNP program at TWU
  • Details on the residency and clinical experiences
  • Insights about the clinical placement process
  • An overview of the student experience
  • Admissions requirements & next steps

Speakers:

  • Susan Quisenberry, DNP, APRN, FNP-C, CNP - Associate Clinical Professor; Program Director
  • Catherine M. Martin, M.S.N., APRN FNP-C - Assistant Clinical Professor
  • Mayra Torres Posadas - TWU Online MSN-FNP Student
  • Trina Minix - Admissions Counselor

Presented live on March 16, 2022

Watch clips from the webinar:

Transcript:

Christina Walsh

Hello everyone, and welcome. My name is Christina Walsh, and I want to welcome you today to today's webinar on the online Master of Science in Nursing: Family Nurse Practitioner Program, offered through Texas Woman's University College of Nursing.

Before we get started, I'd like to cover a few housekeeping items. First, this event is being recorded, and a link to a recording will be shared by tomorrow, via email.

Also, all attendees are muted. During the webinar, please feel free to type your questions into the Q&A box located near the bottom of your screen as you think of them. We've reserved time at the end of the presentation to answer your questions.

So, here a look at the agenda for today.

  • First, we'll share some information about Texas Woman's University, and provide an overview of the online FNP program, including program structure and curriculum.
  • Then we'll move on and speak about the clinical experiences and preceptorship, and clinical placement services.
  • We'll talk about what to expect as an online student, in terms of online didactic content, and then hear directly from a current student who will share her experience in the program so far.
  • Finally, we'll provide information on the admissions process,
  • and save time for any questions you might have.

And here are our speakers for today's webinar.

  • As mentioned, I'm Christina Walsh, and I'll be your moderator today.
  • I'm joined by Trina Minix, one of our admissions counselors,
  • and from the faculty, we're excited to welcome Dr. Susan Quisenberry,
  • and Katie Martin. Dr. Quisenberry is an Associate Clinical Professor, and Director of the MSN program.
  • Also here is one of our students, Mayra Torres Posadas.

Dr. Quisenberry's experience spans over 25 years, and includes practice as an ICU and CCU registered nurse, and advanced practice registered nurse within interventional cardiology, acute and chronic heart failure, rheumatology, internal medicine, and primary care settings.

She began teaching in 2009 at the University of Oklahoma College of Nursing FNP program as an assistant professor. In 2016, she joined TWU as an associate clinical professor, and led various courses in the FNP program on the Denton campus.

Dr. Quisenberry received her Master's Degree from Texas Woman's University, then earned her Doctor of Nursing Practice from Texas Christian University. Katie Martin is an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Family Nurse Practitioner program.

She teaches in the clinical courses of the MSN program, as well as pharmacology. Her background includes emergency medicine and urgent care, and infection prevention and epidemiology.

Currently, Katie practices in a rural health clinic in East Texas, where she works with complex medical patients across the lifespan. Her passions include education, emerging infectious disease, health disparity in underserved populations, and primary prevention, and she is also currently working on her PhD.

We also are happy to welcome our current student in the program, or one of our students, Mayra Torres Posadas. Mayra is a cath lab nurse living in Las Cruces, New Mexico.

She began her nursing career 24 years ago in the medical surgical mother baby unit, and became a travel nurse in the early 2000s. Returning home in between contracts, she was recruited to the cath lab by a director, and has worked in cardiology ever since.

She worked as an ADN for 13 years, then earned her BSN online in 2011. She decided to pursue her MSN- FNP degree at TWU while quarantined for COVID-19 in 2020, and is now in her second year.

All right. That's everybody for the presenters, now we will go ahead and get started with the presentation. I will turn it over to Dr. Quisenberry to share a little bit about the university.

Dr. Susan Quisenberry

Hello, everyone, and welcome to this webinar. We're so excited that you're interested in Texas Woman's University. I want to talk to you a little bit about Texas Woman's University. We were founded in 1901, and we are actually the largest university in the nation that focuses on women's education.

Our campuses are in Denton, Dallas, and Houston, so we have three very big campuses that cross the span of education, including undergraduate, graduate, PhD, and masters, as well as DNP.

We also have e-learning campuses. We are accredited. Texas Woman's University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges and Universities, so that's also known as SACSCOC.

The College of Nursing education is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, which is called CCNE. We have over 20, 000 alumni, of which I am one, at TWU College of Nursing.

One of the great things we love about TWU are our core values. They are fundamental to who we are, what we teach, what drives our actions, and those include opportunity, collaboration, excellence, creativity, well- being, caring, and diversity.

Why Texas Woman's University master's program? Well, our program prepares nurses for the role of a family nurse practitioner that is in a primary care setting.

We focus on preventative care across the lifespan, and preventative care includes acute care, chronic care. It's called primary, secondary, and tertiary care.

We are ranked number one best online FNP program in Texas, and number nine, nationally for by the U. S. News & World Report in 2021.

We have excellent pass rates, 99% FNP licensure pass rate in 2020, and that's a 96% first time pass rate in 2020 as well.

We offer unparalleled support from enrollment, all the way through graduation and beyond. We stay in contact with our alumni, and have many of our alumni that are actually teaching in our program.

Let's talk a little bit about our faculty. Our faculty are highly experienced professional faculty. Every one of our clinical faculty practice as a nurse practitioner in the community.

We are committed to our students, we are committed to the success of our students, and we are committed to making our students the best nurse practitioners they can be.

Our goal is to make you better than us, so that you can take care of us in the long run, when we get there. We are well-established, well-known throughout the nation.

Our program is built with rigor, so it's not easy. If it was easy, you wouldn't want to be here. You want a program that has great rigor, so that we prepare you for entry level practice as a nurse practitioner.

Our online program, we have a real connection with our students. We have synchronous sessions where you actually meet with your faculty throughout in each course throughout your program, and once you get into the clinical courses, you have a small number of students in the classroom.

In fact, you have one faculty per six students, so it's a smaller number. A little bit of a overview about our MSN program.

The didactic components are fully online. The content, the educational content is embedded in our program, in the actual campus platform, so that you, as working students, can view them at your leisure over and over again.

We have rolling admissions. So we admit students in the spring, summer, and fall every year. There are 13 courses that equal 46 credit hours. You can finish in less than three years, or even up to six years, if that suits your need.

There are 13 week courses in both spring, summer, and fall. We have five FNP clinical courses that are specific to the training as an FNP, and they include a practicum.

We have an on-campus intensive and advanced assessment as a preparation for the clinical courses, and we prepare the FNP student for the FNP certification exam, for either AANP, or ANCC, your choice.

I'm going to turn this over to the Track Coordinator, Katie Martin, to go over the nuts and the bolts of the program. Professor Martin?

Catherine (Katie) M. Martin

Hello, everyone. Thank you for joining us today. As you can tell from Dr. Quisenberry, and all of us here at TWU are very passionate about our program and education in general.

What you're looking at here is the layout of the degree plan, as it stands currently. The initial courses, Core I and Core II, as well as Core III, are delivered almost fully online.

You will notice that there is an on-campus intensive that occurs in Core III, and that is when you come to campus for a week near the end of your second year to work on your skills, prior to starting the clinical courses.

There are a total of five clinical courses, starting with Family Health Nursing I. Family Health Nursing I focuses on preventative care across the lifespan.

In your first three clinical courses, there's both a didactic component that's delivered online, as well as preceptorship, or precepting that begins in the clinic with your clinical rotations.

In Family Health I, you do a total of 90 hours in clinicals. In Family Health II, where the didactic focuses on acute care across the lifespan, you'll do another 90 hours, and in Family Health III, we begin to focus on chronic care across the lifespan.

You'll do 135 hours at that point. In preceptorship, that's nearing the end of your program, you will do a total of 270 clinical hours.

In that last semester, your didactic component is completed, but you will focus on your master's culmination project, as well as preparing for the board certification exam of your choice.

This current curriculum is subject to change, and the reason we say that is because at TWU, we believe in both maintaining the rigor of our program, as well as staying current.

That being said, you may notice some differences moving forward, as we keep up with the current 2021 AANP essentials.

I'd like to talk a little bit more about the on-campus intensive, when you join us on campus in Dallas, towards your last year in advanced assessment.

The purpose of this is to take all of the knowledge that you've accumulated, and the skills necessary that are required to function as an advanced practice provider, and put them into practice.

So, you will work gathering data, and history, and physical exam work on differential diagnoses, communicate the results, and work on educating your patients, empowering them towards a healthier lifestyle.

This helps you be prepared for your clinical courses. There are total of five credit hours in advanced assessment, and 45 of those hours are lab hours, that count towards your total hours at TWU.

As far as clinicals and clinical placement, we at TWU do placement for you, so we find your clinical placement. This can prove a challenge in our current healthcare environment, and we believe that we want our students to focus on their educational experience, and we think it's important to take that pressure off them, and assist with clinical placement.

We talked a little bit about the clinical courses in the FNP specialty, Family Health Nursing I, II, and III, as well as preceptorship, and that's the credit breakdown that you see, 15 credits in the specialty hours, and eight total credits in the preceptorship hours.

So, what do you expect in the online experience? In a typical semester, you can anticipate putting in, at a minimum, 12 to 18 hours per week on your actual didactic content.

There's a variety of methods to teach you in the online learning platform. We have discussion boards, case studies.

We do group projects, there are quizzes, exams. In Family Health I, you will begin working on your master's culmination project, which is a progressive project that you present at the end of the program, and when you begin in Family Health I, it's hard to understand what this becomes, but as faculty, this is such an exciting process to watch students embark upon, as part of your journey.

We also believe at TWU that it's important to connect with our students, which is why you have synchronous sessions with your faculty. Once you get to the clinical courses, you have very small sections where you can actually have a one-on-one relationship with your faculty, to aid you in that journey towards becoming an advanced practice provider.

What support do you have access to during the program? You have a lot of support. Your support begins with your student success coach, which is going to be your first point of contact with TWU, to help get your degree plan set up, and guide you through getting access to the learning platforms, and are there with you throughout your journey.

You'll also have a faculty advisor, that is a TWU faculty that can assist you with your degree plan, and any changes you may need to make moving forward.

All of your faculty advisors are practicing nurse practitioners, and all of us have been at the point that you're at, and so, this resource is a huge one, so make sure to connect with your faculty advisor as well.

Every course has a course lead, and you'll also have a faculty of record within that course. So, if you get into the program and you find that you are struggling with your course, your first point to reach out is to your faculty of record, and your course lead.

As Christina already mentioned, I'm the FNP Track Coordinator, and Dr. Quisenberry is the MSN Program Director.

We are also here for support for you all the way through. When you reach the clinical part of your program, that Family Health I course, you're going to start to hear a lot from Angel Ahlbrandt, and Tawnda Maxwell, as they work to get you placed at clinical sites.

And always remember that you have your classmates. We're all in this together. This slide shows you a little glimpse of what our learning management system looks like.

This is a view of Canvas, and what you see when you log in as a student. It's a very good way to engage with the course content.

You have multiple methods of interacting with your faculty, email through Canvas, discussion boards, and there's a variety of interactive mediums.

We have an interactive SOAP note that you'll learn about in advanced assessment, and use all the way through your clinical courses. There are also features in your clinical courses, BioDigital features that make you have a very real learning experience.

And with that, I would like to turn it over to our current second year student, Mayra Torres Posadas, who lives in Las Cruces, New Mexico. We're excited to have her here.

Mayra Torres Posadas

Thank you, Dr. Martin. My name is Mayra Torres Posadas, and as Christina mentioned, I am in New Mexico, and I have been a nurse for 24 years now.

As you all can see, I am a lifelong learner, I have enjoyed nursing, and in my 24 years, I've seen a lot of change at the bedside.

I'm currently now in my second year at TWU FNP online program, and I am enjoying it, actually.

Questions are why did I choose TWU? Well, for me, choosing TWU was an easy, easy choice. I needed a program that would allow me to have a work and life balance.

I am a wife of 16 years, and a mother of two very active boys, ages nine and 13, plus we love, love to travel, so we are always on the go.

So, TWU seemed to be the perfect fit for me and my family. So as a student, you can see I'm not only a student, but a mother and a wife.

There has to be dedication to your program, lots and lots of planning to fit it all in, but you find ways to get the hours that you need.

Sometimes, for example, you need to take your book and read a chapter while you're at the basketball, or at the piano practice, and this semester, I'm taking a physical exam and history class.

I have learned that I have the ability to download my books onto my phone, so that allows me to get some extra sitting time, for example, when I'm waiting for the kids to get out of school.

And I am also working for full-time, so as you can tell, that's a very busy life for me, but as you get into the program, those work hours should probably diminish, and I plan on cutting back.

That way, you can have the energy to focus on your clinicals, and be able to soak it all in, to be able to help your patients, once we get to that point.

And then what is it that I like about the program, or what stands out? Well, for me, from the very beginning, TWU has shown a supportive learning environment.

They're very helpful and caring, the professors are very accommodating, and for me, actually, to tell you the truth, I've been a nurse for 24 years, this is kind of unexpected for me.

As you guys remember back in the day, nursing school was a little less than supportive, if you can say that. You did everything to try to keep afloat and try to keep from drowning.

Well, here, I believe the professors are quite the opposite. They encourage you to swim, not panic, and they do hand you a life vest, if you need it, per se.

So, I do admire all these educators and professors. As they have all said, they all still run their own clinics, along with helping the hundreds of students, probably that they have.

So, I encourage you guys to actually take the time to read their bios, because their knowledge and their life experience is amazing, and quite inspirational.

Let's see, tips for incoming students. I have probably three things that I could talk to you guys about. In the beginning of the program, I encourage you guys to set up your schedule early on.

If you are working, figure out your schedule, figure out your work life, and figure out your study days. The program is set up to allow students to look forward into the semester, which I find is a great benefit for students, so take advantage of that.

If that you have a hard work week coming up, plan ahead. If that you have a birthday party you want to attend, plan ahead.

Get your own calendar and write it down. I'm a visual learner, so writing your own calendar along with work and family schedule, it really has allowed me a peace of mind.

That second tip that I have is talk to your instructors, and talk to your coordinator, your student success coach.

At the beginning of the program, I felt I was on an island because of my own fault, I didn't interact much. So, how are they to know that you're struggling, or that you have questions?

So, speak out to them, and don't wait until the end of the semester. These professors, like I mentioned, they are fountain of knowledge, so take advantage of their knowledge.

And then the third tip that I have found useful now going into my second year, is develop a study group. There's so many online platforms out there that allow students to interact with each other, and I know it may seem intimidating at first, but believe me, there are others just as eager to find a study group as you are.

So, join that group. I currently have a group, and these women are amazing. We have gotten to the point where we're kind of like mothers to each other.

We tell each other, "Don't forget this is due," or "We have a Zoom meeting." We help each other to get through the program.

It develops a community, and they are in the same boat as you are. So yeah, do that, develop a study group, and that's all I have. Thank you all for listening, and for having me here.

Trina Minix

Okay. So, I am Trina Minix, I am a senior admissions counselor here, so just wanted to cover some of the requirements and application process for you.

What we are looking for in this program is someone that would hold a BSN degree from an accredited university. It cannot be a nationally accredited university, it does need to be a regionally accredited university, and the 3.0 or higher GPA for unconditional acceptance. Students will also be reviewed if they are at least a 2.8 GPA or higher, but they would be considered for admittance on a provisional basis.

What that typically would mean is if you are reviewed with just under that 3.0, you would need to maintain at least a 3.0 or a B for your first 12 credit hours, to be moved to more of a unconditional acceptance.

So, that would be your first 12 credit hours, with a B or better. You would need to have a unencumbered registered RN license in one of the current approved states that we work with, and if you have any questions on that, we'd be happy to go over the current states that we are working with.

Offline, you can definitely reach out to me. We're always adding new states. And then the final thing would be completion of a undergraduate or graduate level statistics course, and for this course, we are looking for a C or better.

So, I do get a question a lot, "Well, what if it's 10 years old?" That's okay, as long as it was a C or better for your grade. Let's see.

Oh, and then also, one more thing. You will need to have a background check done. This helps many different things. So, you're going to eventually get into clinicals, so it kind of helps identify some of those obstacles that may come up ahead of time for us.

So, that is one thing that we are doing now before registering for your first classes, is having that background check completed as well.

So, when you are ready to apply, you'll schedule an appointment with myself or Noelle, and we'll be glad to talk you through all the admission steps, processes, kind of structure of the program, all things combined, and then once we've determined that it is a good fit, you can go ahead and get your application completed online.

There would be a $ 50 application fee, and at that point, we would just ask you to order all official transcripts from every college and university that you've attended, and this is where we can look at the overall GPA requirements to look at your overall, and also the last 60 credit hours of your BSN.

But we're definitely looking forward to talking to you, so there should be some emails and text messages that have been sent out to you with a link to schedule a call, so we'll be glad to talk to you soon.

Christina Walsh

Wonderful. Thank you so much, Trina. We're going to go ahead and transition over to our Q&A session for today. So, let's see.

Just so you can see our lovely faces, I'm going to go ahead and turn on our video, so you can see that we're here. So, if you haven't submitted your questions yet, go ahead and enter your question into the Q&A box, and we'll get through as many questions as we can today.

It looks like we scheduled an hour for the webinar, we got a good 30 minutes here, so it should be a great Q&A session today. So, the first question we have is about...

Let's see, probably for Professor Martin, "How long are exams typically open for? Is it a 24 hour period or a few days, or how flexible are the professors in working with you?"

Catherine (Katie) M. Martin

So, how long the exam is open is going to be dependent on your syllabus and the particular course that you're in. I can tell you that the syllabus will be out at the beginning of the semester, and the exam dates are set at the start of your course, but if you have concerns with the exam timing or something critical comes up, you should reach out to your faculty of record immediately.

Christina Walsh

Wonderful. Thank you. This next question, for Professor Martin, again, I believe. So, it's a two-parter. "If I already have an MSN from an accredited university, am I eligible for the program?" And then the second part is talking about "How long are the advanced pharmacology health assessment?"

Catherine (Katie) M. Martin

So, I'm actually going to defer to Dr. Quisenberry on this one.

Christina Walsh

Okay.

Dr. Susan Quisenberry

Okay, I'm happy to answer that. It's a very, very good question. So, as an MSN, you would enter the program for a post-master's certificate.

We are currently reviewing that as far as post-master's certificate admissions. So, if you wouldn't mind, Stephanie, emailing me.

My email is squisenberry, my first initial is S, quisenberry@ twu. edu, and I'm happy to discuss this with you further.

As far as the advanced pharm health assessment and patho, they're good for six years. They have to be taken within six years of your anticipated graduation date, and that goes for any MSN student as well.

So, if you're transferring any courses in, they do have to have been taken or current within six years of your anticipated graduation date. Once it reaches past that six years, then that course no longer counts towards your degree or certificate.

I can also answer the question from Jennifer, Christina.

Christina Walsh

Thank you.

Dr. Susan Quisenberry

The question is, "If I have an MSN in nurse education from TWU completed in 2012, would I need all the courses mentioned earlier?" So, 2012 and 2022, there's six years.

Depending on when you took those patho courses, you may need to take them again. Hopefully, that will answer your question as well.

Christina Walsh

Thank you for jumping in there. The next question, "Is it possible to complete the residency in the first two years as an RN BSN, while in the FNP program?"

Dr. Susan Quisenberry

I can also speak to this one. So, I mean, is it possible? Maybe, but would you be successful doing it?

Likely not. This is a very rigorous program, and we have the degree plan set, the way that it's set out is set out for success. So, when you do the RN BSN, I'm thinking you're talking about RN MSN.

Is that what you're talking about doing, Madison? The RN BSN, you can't enter the program unless you have a BSN, and that's been conferred, but if you're talking about the RN to MSN, if you're in that program, which we used to have that program, and if you're still matriculating through that program, it is not possible to do it within two years.

Christina Walsh

Thank you. This question for Trina, "What are the application deadlines for the fall 2022 and spring 2023? Do we have that information?"

Trina Minix

Yeah. So, we typically will post a deadline about a month out before the start. So, for fall, what would be posted online would be, I think July 29th.

However, we do work by capacity. So, I always encourage students, if you are applying, apply much sooner than any posted deadline.

The reason for that is faculty are currently already reviewing fall files, so we are already have several accepted students into the program. So, once we do hit capacity of 120 students, then we will have a waiting list.

You could sit on a waiting list for a very long time, if there's no seats available. So, at that point, you're literally just kind of waiting to see if anything opens up to even be reviewed.

So, that's the problem with waiting to a deadline. So, I really would encourage you to talk to us, and apply sooner than later. That way, you can get your decision back, and then be fully prepared in advance.

So, hopefully that helps.

Christina Walsh

Great advice.

Mayra Torres Posadas

If I can speak on that, my experience, I did apply in fall for fall admission, but I didn't get in until the spring, so yeah.

Christina Walsh

Let's see. Trina, do you want to talk about if they're still accepting students for the summer?

Trina Minix

Yes, we are absolutely still accepting students for summer. Application volume- wise, we're very close to what would look like capacity.

However, we will still be reviewing. Not everyone has been reviewed yet, so I'm sure there's going to be several more reviews that are still completed for summer at this point.

Christina Walsh

Great. Thank you. This next question, let's see, maybe for Professor Martin. "Can I complete more clinical hours in the first three semesters, so I don't have so many in the final semester?"

Catherine (Katie) M. Martin

Great question. You cannot currently bank hours. That is, we want you to complete the hours within the timeframe of the course you're completing.

Christina Walsh

Great.

Dr. Susan Quisenberry

Can I speak to that too? Just so that the potential applicants know when you start in your clinical courses, we start with a certain amount of information, and we build on that information every semester.

So, if you were to bank all of those hours, or even many of those hours upfront, then you don't get the experience that goes along with the didactic content that's being delivered in the subsequent semesters.

So, that's why we've opted not to allow that. We specifically place you in areas that are consistent or accustomed to the same content that we're delivering in the classroom.

Catherine (Katie) M. Martin

I'd just like to add on to that, actually. When you begin your clinical courses, it seems like 90 hours is not a lot, but I will tell you, that first clinical course is quite an adjustment.

You have both didactic content, as well as balancing clinical experience, and just like Mayra, many of you are continuing to work.

And so, it takes some time to create that balance, and really have an effective learning experience.

Christina Walsh

Thank you. Thank you all, for that. Looks like we have a couple questions in our chat, so let's see. "Is it required to have acute care experience before entering the program, if you have only?"

Dr. Susan Quisenberry

So I can speak to that question, and the question previous to that, Jeremy's question. As far as RN experience, we prefer 12 months of RN experience as just a registered nurse in any capacity, but it is not required.

So, you do not have to have 12 months experience in any particular area of practice, but you do have to have your RN BSN to come into the program.

So, as far as the acute care experience, no, but we do have an acute care track that does require that, but that is a whole 'nother discussion.

Christina Walsh

Thank you. Looks like Madison clarified her question from earlier. She was wondering if she's able to work full-time as an RN while completing the coursework in the FNP program, she's projected to graduate the BSN program this December, and we start the program in spring, summer.

Dr. Susan Quisenberry

That might be a good question for Mayra, but I'll say that the majority of our students do work. The majority of them do work full-time.

There are some adjustments that need to be made when you get towards the end of your program. Let's say, Family Health III, Preceptorship I and II. Preceptorship I and II require, or 135 clinical hours each.

Some students prefer to take those two courses together in one semester, and if you did that and you had 270 clinical hours that you needed to do during that semester, it would be a little difficult to work full-time, and do that.

Some students do take those two courses and they take Preceptorship I, and one course in one semester, and the subsequent semester, they take the second course.

So that way, they're only having to do 135 clinical hours, and if that's a little bit more amenable to your work schedule, then it's perfectly okay for you to do that.

Mayra Torres Posadas

Yes. Madison, I would say that as you begin the course and you find what works for you, it just depends as well what your work schedule is.

If you work your three hours, maybe the rest of the week, you dedicate to... Excuse me, your three days to your 12 hour shifts, the rest of the week, you dedicate to school, that may be doable.

It just depends on your life, if you have kids, if you're married or whatnot. But I agree with Dr. Quisenberry, as you get into those clinical hours, it does become a little bit of a challenge, and I would be prepared to just focus on school after that.

Christina Walsh

Perfect. Thank you. Let's see. Trina, "If someone applies for the summer term and it's full capacity by the time they complete their application, would they have to reapply to start for the fall?"

Trina Minix

So, no, you would not have to reapply, as long as everything is in before, and we receive everything, and it's been sent up to our faculty queue to be reviewed, then you would not need to reapply.

There's a form we would have you fill out if we did have to ask you to move to be reviewed for the next term. So, we do have a deferral form. You would sign off, just allowing us basically to have your file moved over to get reviewed for the next term, and then you would be reviewed for that one.

Christina Walsh

Thank you. Do you want to go ahead and talk about tuition costs? We just got a question about that.

Trina Minix

Sure. Okay. Yes, our current tuition is $ 572.40 per credit hour, and the total program start to finish, not including books, but including tuition and fees, would be $ 26,330.40.

Christina Walsh

Thank you.

Trina Minix

No problem.

Christina Walsh

Let's see," Professor Martin, can you tell us a little bit more about how TWU helps students prepare for the certification exam?"

Catherine (Katie) M. Martin

So, well, the program itself is designed to help you prepare from start to finish, but when you get into the clinical courses, they are designed specifically to prepare you for the certification exam.

Our exams are set up to reflect question types that are on the certification exam, as well as timing of the certification exam.

But further, we begin to encourage student strategy throughout the clinical courses. One of the best strategies, and the students that have the most success are those who prepare for certification throughout their journey.

Dr. Quisenberry, would you like to speak more to that?

Dr. Susan Quisenberry

Yes. I'd also like to talk to you about this preparation, you're preparing from the minute you come in. Every one of your courses has something to do with your preparation for certification exam, and when you get to the preceptorship courses, they are strictly clinical courses, with the exception of finishing up and presenting your master's culminating project.

However, in Preceptorship I, we are piloting currently, we are piloting a strategy where students will come in, and not only since your Preceptorship I is strictly clinical, three credit hours, the student will take an exam, a certification mock exam of a hundred questions, every week throughout the term.

So week one, you take, it's called a diagnostic readiness test. Week two, you take another exam. Week three, you take another exam, practice exams, and week four, five, all the way through week 11.

So, you have practices exams every week. When you get into week 12, then you take another diagnostic readiness test, and that will give you ample opportunity to look and see where your weak areas are, what you need to study on, and how you need to go forward with studying for your nurse practitioner certification exam.

Christina Walsh

Thank you for breaking all that down. It's very helpful. Let's see. For Trina, "How long does it typically take to get a decision on an application?"

Trina Minix

So, we don't necessarily have specific review dates. So, what happens is when your file is complete, we get it sent up to the department for review, and at this point, I mean, and maybe Katie or Dr. Quisenberry, if you guys wanted to answer this, but typically what'll happen is when faculty does select their review dates, they will pull so many files to review, and then we'll get several decisions back.

And then it could be the following week, it could be two or three weeks later, and then we'll get another batch of decisions back. So, it could be, it just depends on when you're applying and when reviews happen, to be very honest.

Sometimes it's as quick as two weeks, and then sometimes it just kind of depends on where your file falls. Also, it depends on if we're at capacity and now we're waiting for seats to open up, so that can take quite a bit longer too, to just see if anything opens up there.

Catherine (Katie) M. Martin

I'd like to speak a little bit to that also, Trina. So, I will tell you, it is a very competitive market, but the great thing is that we do rolling admissions.

So, that means that we are constantly reviewing. And so, all throughout the year, we have admissions, spring, summer, and fall, and so, it's a constant process of reviewing those applications.

Christina Walsh

"Isn't a pre- admit interview required as part of the admissions process?" Trina?

Trina Minix

So basically, yes. We have a conversation with you. We check for qualifications, we go over all the program details, and collectively just come together and make sure it's going to be a good fit, and we do this for a few reasons.

One, we want to tell you exactly what kind of the structure looks like with the program to make sure it's something that would even work out for you, and then two, we want to make sure you're in an eligible state, that you meet all the criteria that we're looking for, because then if you apply, you could get denied and have no idea why, but maybe it's something we could've talked through in the beginning, that maybe there's just something to work on, like a statistics course, or anything else.

But so yes, we do have a conversation that we schedule with our admissions counselors, myself, and Noelle, and then at that point, we do send you an email with the next steps on how to apply, and then where to send transcripts to, and kind of follow through with all those next steps with you.

Christina Walsh

Thank you. Trina, "Are there any scholarships offered at TWU?"

Trina Minix

So, yes. So, one thing that I've found is scholarships for graduate students are a lot more few and far between than undergraduate programs, and that's just across the board, but yes, there are definitely scholarships.

If you go to twu.edu/scholarships, there is a link there, and you can absolutely start to search there. We're also accredited by the CCNE, so oftentimes, on CCNE's website, they have different third parties that offer scholarships that I also encourage you to look at, just to see if there's anything from outside organizations that you might be able to find that you might be qualified for, to bring in here as well.

Dr. Susan Quisenberry

Can I speak to that as well? During the program, there are various scholarships that come available, and as soon as they come available, they are sent to my inbox.

When I get them in my inbox, I post them to the collaborative space for all the students to see. So, at any time during your program, if there's a scholarship comes available, you'll be the first to know about it, as long as you're checking that collaborative space, because we want you to have whatever you need to get through our program, and that includes the cost.

We know it's very expensive. Graduate college is very expensive.

Christina Walsh

Thank you, both. Let's see. There was a question about the clinical hours. "Is that done typically Monday through Friday, or weekends?" Professor Martin?

Catherine (Katie) M. Martin

So most often, that is done Monday through Friday, or through regular office hours, and the reason for that, most FNPs work, not all, but many work in primary care settings.

So often, it reflects the hours that primary care is operating. We do have students placed in urgent cares as well.

It's rare that we have weekend placements, but certainly not out of the realm of possibility, if an extenuating circumstance were to arise.

Christina Walsh

Thank you. We have a question about the job outlook for FNPs. This attendee's in a big city, and has heard different information about graduating FNPs having a hard time finding jobs, but have you found this to be true?

What do about the job outlooks for FNPs?

Dr. Susan Quisenberry

So, I'd like to speak to that.

Christina Walsh

Thank you.

Dr. Susan Quisenberry

Yeah, FNP is the most popular track across the nation, and the reason it's the most popular track across the nation is because they can see patients throughout the lifespan, as long as it's in primary care.

So, that opens up the job opportunity of working in primary care practice, working in a practice like internal medicine, or a pediatric office.

So, you see how right there, I've just mentioned three different opportunities for the family nurse practitioner? So, I can't really speak to your specific area.

I would say you might want to just check on that, look at the job opportunities, but remember that FNPs can see patients across the lifespan, as long as they're in primary care.

We do not train you to work in acute care. So, if that is your goal, this is not the place to be, but I just wanted you to know that as far as the... I don't want to say the flexibility, what's the word I'm looking for?

The ability to go from here to here, you want to work in a diabetes clinic, or you want to work in rheumatology, that's my specialty. I work in rheumatology, I'm an FNP.

Christina Walsh

Thank you.

Dr. Susan Quisenberry

Mm- hmm(affirmative).

Christina Walsh

"Can we talk a little bit about the exams and how they're administered?" Professor Martin, do you want to cover that?

Catherine (Katie) M. Martin

Yes. So, the exams are administered online. The timing, as I spoke to earlier, is dependent on the course, so how long the window of the exam is open.

The exams are all set up to be one question at a time, so there's no going back on the questions. We are very focused on exam security, and so, we are highly in tune to keeping up with those practices as well.

Dr. Quisenberry, do you want to add to that at all?

Dr. Susan Quisenberry

No, I think you covered that very well. We do make sure that we want our exams to not end up on the internet, and not be somewhere on a Facebook page.

We're very in tune with some of the strategies that some students have taken, and so, we want to make sure that whatever program that you get into that we deliver, when you get out of it, you've earned that degree.

You've secured that knowledge base so that you can walk right into entry level nurse practitioner with confidence. So, Professor Martin is absolutely right.

So, we do have some mechanisms of exam security throughout the program, whether that be a proctored exam, there's a way to proctor exams without being in the classroom.

So, I hope that answers your question.

Christina Walsh

Yes, thank you. We are narrowing in on the closing time for our session, so if you have any remaining questions, go ahead and pose them now, we'll see how many we can get through.

Let's see, we had "Some additional clarification on the clinicals again for the 90 and 135 hour classes. How many days do you spend in clinicals?" She's trying to work out how to fit it into her schedule.

Catherine (Katie) M. Martin

Absolutely. That's a great question. So, we have 13 weeks cycles, so our semesters are 13 weeks long. So, the amount of days that you spend in clinicals, of course, would depend on the length of day, but if we wanted to look at an average, for a 90 hour requirement in Family Health I or II, if you did eight hour clinical days, you're looking at about 11 to 12 days through the semester, through the 13 weeks to complete your clinical hours.

So, about a clinical a week. When you get to the higher numbers, 135, like in Family Health III, you're looking at about 16 eight hour days to complete the course of the semester.

You can also keep in mind that different sites have different hour requirements, so sometimes students are doing 10 hour days. If you're doing a 10 hour day, you're going to spend less days in clinical.

Christina Walsh

Perfect. Thank you. A question, let's see. "If life happens, as it does, and taking two classes at a time, during the core, it proves difficult, are they able to reduce course load to one class temporarily?"

Catherine (Katie) M. Martin

Absolutely. And so, that is why you want to reach out to your faculty and to your faculty advisor. There are certain courses in our program that have to be taken before other courses.

It's really important to make sure that we stay on track with that, but again, our program is designed to be flexible for people who are working, for nurses who are working.

And so, if you come to a time, because life does happen, that you need to slow down, we can absolutely accommodate that.

Dr. Susan Quisenberry

Absolutely, and keep in mind that there are six years. You have up to six years to complete this program. It's preferable, and it's to your benefit to do it in a shorter amount of time, because these courses do build on each other.

So, the longer you get out away from a course, for instance, let's take Advanced Assessment. If you took Advanced Assessment this term, and then you decided to lay out for 12 months or decide you were just going to need a break, if you came back 12 months later, that information you gained from Advanced Assessment, it would be your to make sure that you understand and maintain that information, because your clinical course builds directly off of your Advanced Assessment.

Your Advanced Assessment class has a prerequisite to it as well, so then you've got pharmacology and pathophysiology. So, if you've taken patho in year one, and you're coming out to year five, how much are you really remembering what's going on in your pathology course?

So, that's why we have that six year period of time, that's why your transfer courses need to be within a six year period of time.

I hope that helps explain that a little better.

Christina Walsh

Yes, thank you. I think this next question is going to be our final question for today, to be respectful of everyone's time. There's a question about if there's any specialty that an FNP can't work in, versus the AGPCNP?

Dr. Susan Quisenberry

Okay. Yes, there is a specialty that an FNP cannot work in, but they do it all the time. So, FNPs are trained, educated in primary care across the lifespan.

There are a lot of students who graduate in FNP programs, and they go to work in a hospital making rounds on patients. The nursing boards are looking at that and kind of frowning a little bit about that, because you're not being trained for acute care.

So, that's one thing that's very important to understand, what is it that you want to do? If you really want to do something that's in acute care, hospital rounding, admissions, discharges, things like that, you really need to be in an acute care program, because that's where you're going to get all that training, intubation, those types of things.

We don't teach you intubation in the FNP program. We don't teach you anything about the ACLS, or putting in chest tubes. So, your practice focus really needs to be, you need to know what you want to focus on in your practice.

So, having said all of that, do family nurse practitioners work in acute care settings? They do, but I have a feeling that in the next coming months to years, that's going to be stopped by the board of nursing in your particular state.

As far as any other practice aside from acute care, I can't think of any other practice that FNPs cannot work. Can you, Professor Martin?

Catherine (Katie) M. Martin

I cannot. Virtually any outpatient setting, FNPs are skilled to work in and trained to work in.

Christina Walsh

Wonderful, thank you. All right. So, that completes our questions for today. I'm going to go ahead and wrap things up. I want to thank everybody for joining, and thank our presenters for being here today and sharing their expertise and their time.

If you have additional questions that you think of following the webinar, go ahead and please reach out to your admissions counselor. Contact information to do that is on the screen, and you probably have emails in your inbox that also have links to schedule an appointment, and their direct contact information.

I really hope today's webinar was helpful for your FNP graduate program search. If you're interested in learning more or applying to the program, again, you can reach out to us and schedule an appointment with your counselor.

As this webinar closes, a very short survey will pop up. We'd certainly appreciate any feedback or comments that you might have. And finally, again, we record this webinar, and you'll receive the email tomorrow with a link to the recording, if you'd like to reference the presentation again or share it with others.

Thank you again for joining us. We hope to speak with you soon. Take care.