Online FNP Program Webinar
Online FNP Program Webinar

Online FNP Program Webinar

Presented Live: June 13, 2019

Learn more about Walsh University's online MSN-FNP program from Program Director Dr. Janet Finneran. This webinar focuses on the two unique Intensive Experiences and features two current students who discuss their experiences at the intensives.

Guest Panelists:

Janet Finneran, Director, Graduate Nursing Program
Ashley Carey, student, Online MSN-FNP Program
Allicia Mill, student, Online MSN-FNP Program
Cally Cavallino, Enrollment Advisor
Katie Macaluso, Moderator

Full transcript below:

Katie Macaluso: Hello everyone and welcome! Thank you so much for joining us for this evening's webinar on the master of science and nursing family nurse practitioner program offered through their Walsh University Byers School of Nursing. Before we get started I just want to go over a couple of quick housekeeping items for today. We're in broadcast-only mode. So that means you can hear us, but we can't hear you. Again, if you have any questions please feel free to type those into the Q and A box at any time--any time you think of them. We will reserve some time at the close of the presentation to answer your questions.

So at this point, I'm going to take a look at our speakers for today's webinar. As I just mentioned, I'm Katie Macaluso and I'll be your moderator today. I'm joined by Dr. Jan Finneran, the director of graduate nursing programs at Walsh, and Cally Cavallino, the admissions advisor for the online MSN FNP program. I’m sure many of you have probably already exchanged emails or perhaps phone calls with her, so you'll get to hear more from her today as well. And then we're especially excited to have two current students joining us today. So that's Allicia Mill, who attended the first intensive experience, and Ashley Carey, who attended the second intensive experience, both this past May.

So here’s a quick look at the agenda for today. We'll be sharing some brief information about Walsh University and the online MSN FNP program. We'll touch on the main focus for today, the intensive experiences, and include some student perspectives on that. And then we'll save some time for information about the admissions process and then answering any questions that you might have for us. So with all that said, I'm going to turn it over to Cally to give an overview about Walsh University.

Cally Cavallino: Hi and welcome. Again, this is Cally Cavallino. Thanks for coming. Just a little bit of background information that I always like to share with our prospective students. One thing I want to point out is that we are a very traditional brick and mortar campus, so there is a campus. We're not a for-profit school. We're not an online school. Very traditional school. Been around since 1958. We're an independent coeducational Catholic liberal arts and sciences institution.

We are, of course, accredited. We're accredited by the Higher Learning Commission so the HLC. We have regional accreditation. And then the school that you would be attending is our Byers School of Nursing. And the FNP program does have programmatic accreditation from the CCNE, the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

You'll see it in the bullet points in regard to class sizes. We are a small school. For the community environment, we cap the courses at 20, but we do try to keep them smaller. It's just a good way to be in touch with students and be able to give feedback and have interaction in a timely manner and builds those relationships to be able to have resources if you need to get in touch with anybody.

In regard to ranking, you'll see U.S, News and World Reports. We're typically rated with the best Midwest universities. The last three years we were included in the Nursing Colleges of Distinction, so that would be specific, obviously, to you guys and something that might be important to you. It's just a really good school. It has a great reputation. Definitely known for having a solid nursing program.

All right, so in regards to the online program. So technically, this is an online program, but yes, you do have real access to the campus. Now many of you obviously may not be local so that's not realistic. There will be two times in the program that you will be required, it's mandatory, to come here. We're going to talk about that later, but just know that there's no sort of distinction or separation of being an online student. You are a Walsh student. So you will have full access to the campus. You can get a student ID, you can meet with faculty, you can use libraries and computer labs and all of that. But obviously, if you are out of state, that might not be realistic. You're working 3 12s or 4 10s or Monday through Friday. So we do have all of that available to you in a virtual format, as well.

I mentioned our two on-campus intensive experiences. We're going to get much more into detail, but the first one would be three consecutive days and then the second one, closer towards graduation, would be two days. We'll go through details again. I think the current students in the program probably will give the best sort of candid feedback about the intensives. But the program itself is 61 credits. We do offer options in regards to full time and part time and I do think that's going to depend on the individual and work-life balance and what they can handle. The full-time program is two and a half years and the part-time program is three and a half years. And then I had mentioned small class sizes. And there's three start terms a year. So right now we are accepting applications for fall. Classes start August 26th which is a Monday. We do have a spring semester. The first day of class would be Monday, January 6th. And then we do have a summer semester, which I believe is Monday, April 27th. So there's three 16 week semesters and we have intakes going on the first part of that semester.

All right. Jan, did you want to go more into detail on the curriculum?

Jan Finneran: Sure. My name is Jan Finneran and I've already been introduced. I am director of the graduate nursing programs and I'm also a family nurse practitioner, myself.

Our program was started in 2013. We had our first graduates in 2015. We've grown every year since then. Before we even started putting the program together, we sought input from practicing nurse practitioners asking them what they got out of their programs and what they wished they would have had, what they thought was essential for a new nurse practitioner to have coming out. And so with all of that being said, we put together the program.

And another thing is, we have some foundational courses but all of the clinical courses are taught by practicing NPs. We have a pediatric nurse practitioner who teaches our pediatrics course. For our adult course, we have an adult course and a multiple chronic condition course. Those are taught by FNPs. We have women's health course that is taught by a women's health NP and she also has certification as an FNP. So you can see that the faculty that are teaching the clinical courses are all current in practice. Our graduates for the FNP program have the choice of taking two different certification exams at the end of the program. The first one is the American Association of Nurse Practitioners. And then the other one is the American Nurses Credentialing Center.

A lot of students wonder, "Well, which one should I take?" Well, they're both very similar. But if you look at the percentages, most of our students do take the AANP. But there is a percentage that do take the ANCC. I, myself, am ANCC certified. So you won't find a lot of difference on the certification exam. And the employers want to see you're certified, in the end.

We do have some unique experiences. Some graduate students have gone on for global experiences. We take nursing students - both undergraduate and graduate - to Haiti. And that's usually in the Spring. And then Tanzania, Africa, we take undergrad and graduate students there, as well. That's usually in May. So those experiences are available if anyone is interested in those.

The slide shows just a few of the courses that you would be taking. Some of the core courses, and then the FNP Care of Women and FNP Care of Family and Primary Care. There are five clinical courses: FNP 1, Adult; FNP 2, Pediatrics and Adolescents; FNP 3, Women's Health; FNP 4, Multiple Chronic Conditions; and then FNP 5 is Primary Care, and it's a capstone course. And, as Cally said, it's a total of 61 credit hours.

So the next slide-- I've been asked to talk about the intensive experiences. We have two on-campus requirements. The program, otherwise, is entirely online. It's asynchronous. So there's assigned activities and due dates, but it is asynchronous. It's flexible for you. You can get on and do your course work pretty much any time. We have the on-campus intensive experiences. There's two. The first one is taken before you start your clinicals. And that is typically in May or August, depending on when you start the program. And the second one - which I'll go into, as well - is typically in May and August, as well. So you will get ample time to plan this into your schedule. There's a lot to set up with these intensives because we have a lot of experts. We have a lot of really great people that come in and help with these intensives. So we try to get the date determined within six months. We try to let you know when the dates are because, again, I know everyone is very busy. People are working. So we do our best to get those dates out to you as quickly as possible. As soon as we know, we make sure we at least tell you the dates. The actual schedule - like what's going to be happening hour to hour - you'll get that closer to the intensive.

So I talked about when are the intensives offered. Another question on the slide is, "Are they required?" And, yes, they are. And I think that Walsh University has decided to bring students on campus. It does a lot of things. It let faculty meet you, interact with you, work with you—for instance—on health assessment skills, going over everything to get you ready to go out there as a student FNP.

I think it is a good experience. And, also, you get to not only interact with the faculty, but you interact with the fellow students that you've been conversing with online for all these semesters and then you actually get to meet. We try to keep it a very light atmosphere, and a fun atmosphere. There's no failing. The only way you fail is if you don't show up. It's all to help get you ready.

People get stressed. Of course, they do. But what we hear from students—and the students that we have on this webinar who can speak to it—yeah, there's some parts of it where you're unsure. But at the end, people say, "Oh, that was a great experience." I'll let the students tell you that part, though.

So I think I went over all of that. I'll move on to the next slide. Intensive One. That is—as I said—before you start your first clinical course. So our Advanced Health Assessment course is online. You work online. We do have you submit a video. But when you come to campus for the intensive, we have the lab all set up. We have a very good student to instructor ratio. And all of the NPs that are in this health assessment boot camp, these labs, are all practicing NPs. And they walk you through a head-to-toe assessment. So you can look at it as a refresher.

The next day, we take you out to our local medical school. It's about a half hour from Walsh University. The Northeast Ohio Medical University (NEOMED). They have a wonderful standardized patient lab there. State of the art. And they have standardized patients. And these are real people who either are volunteered or paid. And they have a wealth of experience with being the patient for medical students, NP students, pharmacy students.

So you will go out to NEOMED, and you will do a physical on a patient. Begin to start thinking, putting together a diagnosis, and working with the patient. There are physician raters on the other side of a two-way mirror, and they're watching you and then after the whole experience is over, you talk to the physician. You basically give them a case report. The physician talks to you about things that you could improve on, things you did really well. And it's not graded. This is really a time for you to say, I'm going to be completely open, constructive criticism. And they'll tell you what you did phenomenal, and they'll tell you what you need to improve on. And the patient will do the same thing. The patients have, like I said, worked with so many health professional students. And they'll say, you didn't talk in medical jargon. I understood what you were saying. You respected my privacy. Things like that. So it kind of gives you that feeling of, you're sort of dipping your toe in the water, right before you start clinical.

We also have some other workshops. We have a microscopy workshop that's put together by a professor in our biology department. We have, for the last several years, had these great nurses from our local children's hospital come in. They teach suturing in Haiti to help professionals in Haiti. And they come to capus and teach you basic suturing. We also have a clinical orientation. And that's really important. We go over what to expect in clinicals, and what we expect of you. We have an online reporting system called Typhon, and that is where you keep track of all your clinical logs, your clinical hours. We go over exactly how to use that software. We have you do health data on a storage program called Castle Branch—we discuss that. And we just go over everything you will get, your Walsh ID badge, things like that. We do have someone come in and talk about the global learning courses, and then the global learning experiences. And then we do a communication skills workshop. So that kind of rounds out that intensive one.

So I'm going to move on to intensive two. Intensive two is typically shorter. Sometimes two, two and a half days. It just depends on how we get everything scheduled. But again, the same thing. This is taken right before you start FNP four. There are hands-on parts to this, but it's also in a lecture format. We do a basic EKG interpretation workshop. We have a radiology interpretation workshop. Two really good NPs come in and do those two for us. We have a doctor of physical therapy program at Walsh University. So to get an interdisciplinary field, we have our doctor of physical therapy professors, and actually doctor of physical therapy students who volunteer. And they go through assessment, orthopedic assessment, when to refer to PT, things like that. And they do a nice workshop, because you will see, if you haven't already, that a lot of primary care is involved with orthopedic issues, orthopedic assessment, with back pain being one of the number one complaints that will walk into your office when you are practicing. So we added that physical therapy orthopedic workshop for that reason. We rounded out with a billing and coding workshop because reimbursement is, of course, very important. And so we have a person who was the head of the local hospital in our area, Aultman Hospital. She ran all of their outpatient billing and coding, so she has gone on to be teaching billing and coding to people who want an Associate's Degree in that at a local community college, but she comes in and does a great, really interactive billing and coding seminar for you. We also have an interprofessional education collaboration workshop and that has, in the past, been conducted by a chief nursing officer also at Aultman Hospital, and that's really hands on as well.

We have, finally, an expert panel discussion. The students really seem to like that. We bring in an attorney. The attorney we've had the last two years has been from the Ohio Association of Advanced Practice Nursing. She is their attorney. She talks about all kind of issues with APR and practice. We have a brand-new novice FNP from our program and then we have a seasoned FNP, someone who has been out there doing it. This year, we had one of our local hospitals—we had an employer who answered questions—and we had the past president of the Ohio Associated of Advanced Practice Nursing and he kind of gave just a background on the importance of being involved in your profession. And so this was really an informal discussion. Students asked questions and I think that it was a really good experience for everyone. I think I'm done with talking about the intensives. Did you want to add anything, Cally?

Cally Cavallino: I did. And it's minor, but I think it's so exciting because the last three slides - so since Intensive One and for Intensive Two - those are real pictures of the last intensive that we just planned on May 6th, 7th, and 8th. So those are real students in the program doing the intensive. They're not paid models [laughter]. So if you're visual, that's just going to paint a picture of what it really looks like just to come in and get all this hands-on experience. It's really cool.

Jan Finneran: Yeah. You can see on the one slide is the suturing workshop. We have kits for the students and they go through all kind of different ways to close a wound and then, again, there was a picture of a student doing reflexes. That was the orthopedics workshop. And then we do have some really nice models students can use to get more comfortable with doing an eye exam, ear exam. And we also have pelvic models and you have faculty right there walking you through the exam, things like that. So yeah, those are all our students. We're really proud of our students. They did a great job, so thanks for pointing that out, Cally.

Katie Macaluso: All right. Well, thank you for the wonderful overview of the intensive. As Dr. Finneran mentioned before, we know it's just really helpful to hear directly from students in the program. So we're really excited at this point to move into that panel discussion with Ashley and Allicia. I'm going to let them go ahead and take a quick minute to introduce themselves and their backgrounds first, and then we can a little bit more about their experiences and their intensives. Allicia, do you want to kick us off?

Allicia Mill: Sure. Like Katie said, my name is Allicia Mill. I just finished with the Intensive I program. I have been a nurse for 13 years now. I've done a little of a lot of things. My most recent concentration has been in critical care in the ICU. I wanted to come to Walsh to further my education within FNP because my body can't take forever and ever being a critical care nurse.

However, I also wanted a brick and mortar place to come and not just as an online school that is virtual and that you'll never meet anybody kind of thing. I live in Montana right now and we are military, so this kind of gives me the flexibility to move to different areas with my husband's job and still be able to do my schooling while we're doing his job too.

Katie Macaluso: That's great. And I know flexibility is one of the key reasons that people are looking for the online programs. Thank you, Allicia. Ashley, would you like to go ahead and introduce yourself, as well?

Ashley Carey: Sure. My name is Ashley Carey. I've been a nurse for four years. I graduated in 2015 and I've been MEDsearch telemetry that has stroke patients, that has dialysis patients, as well as drug addiction. And then I've transitioned to float pool and now I'm in an ambulatory procedure that is actually part of the cath lab. So we do heart catheterization, we work with the vascular team doing vascular procedures as well as I work in an emergency room in my free time [laughter]. I just finished the Intensive II and will be graduating this December from Walsh University.

And I chose Walsh—a good friend of mine had completed the program back in 2015. I believe she was one of the first classes of the program—and as I was looking for schools, I emailed different schools. And the one thing that stuck out to me with Walsh was that I had an actual person email me back asking me my interest in Walsh and sending me information. It was not an automatic—it was not an automated email I got back like some of the other universities. That really stuck out to me and let me know that they care that I am a person and want to be a professional. And since then, it's just been great. Small class sizes, the professors really get to know you. And the thing with the intensives, as Dr. Finneran has said, the professors get a chance to see your faces. You get to see your fellow classmate's faces and put a name to the face, and it's been really good experience being able to have those intensives. It's really unique to have that and be able to have that opportunity.

Katie Macaluso: Oh, that's fantastic. Well, thank you so much for the introduction. All right. So we're going to go ahead and get started with a few other questions. Our first question is, Tell us about your intensive experience. And what advice would you give future students to make the most of the intensive? I'll go ahead and start that question with Allicia.

Allicia Mill: Okay. So on here, it says, "Why did you choose Walsh?" I was looking into Ohio schools because I had a couple of friends graduate from Ohio State. And then I just happened to find Walsh University, and I started looking into the small program size and the global learning and and that was something that I really wanted.

As far as the intensive, I really enjoyed getting to meet everybody in the classroom. On the discussion boards, you kind of post back and forth to each other, and you never really know who is who. And then once you put a name to a face, it's really nice. There's a couple of group programs that are group assignments that you do, and you don't know these people that you're working with. And then finally, you get to meet them face to face.

The intensive was very, very good. I will say that most of the time, we were all kind of nervous like we don't know what to expect. You have a schedule, but you're like, "Oh my gosh. I feel so inadequate right now." Because you know what you're doing in nursing and then you're going into another field. So I will say to make the most out of it, just take everything in that they're teaching you and put your all into it because this is the best place to get hands-on experience. It is the best place to learn, for me anyway.

Katie Macaluso: Terrific. That's great. Ashley, how was your intensive experience?

Ashley Carey: So—both of them were fantastic. I actually have both of my schedules from the first intensive and the second intensive here next to me. And I was reading over them before we started, and as Allicia had mentioned, you're nervous and you don't really know what to expect with these intensives.

But starting with the health assessment and the suturing. As nurses, we have an assessment background, and we think we know our assessments, but really, this workshop and this, they really grew everything with you and make sure you understand head to toe and to really sharpen those skills. And the suturing was fantastic, having the pigs feet to work on, and the two instructors that taught it were remarkable.

Touching on the Intensive II part, the radiology, the EKG, and the expert panel discussion on our first day, although it is lecture-based, they focused on getting us involved. The radiologist brought examples of chest X-rays and abdominal X-rays and gave us pointers as new FNPs on what we can do to improve those skills instead of looking at the impression, actually looking at the films every time. The expert panel discussion, it was fantastic, and it was relieving, and anxiety-filled all the same time, but we were able to ask those questions that we were looking for answers for from the actual professionals and the people in those shoes that could give the best answers.

And the following day, with the billing and coding, and the physical therapy, and the interprofessional, just working together and building. And as new FNPs, billing and coding is very important; You don't want to bill too high, you don't want to bill too low, but you also want to understand the process. And the doctor, physical therapy instructors, she brought students to help with us to learn some of those techniques in the office. And it was really helpful, and really furthers our education and knowledge as FNPs.

Allicia Mill: I just want to add on what Jan and also Ashley said. The instructors in the intensive are practicing FNPs, and so they're not just in the classroom all the time. They actually have a job and they actually do this for a living. And so I feel like it's more of a quality learning experience, as opposed to if somebody who's been in a classroom for 10 years and is teaching you a theory on things.

Katie Macaluso: Absolutely. Perfect. So we'll move on to our next question. What did you find most impactful of your intensive experience? Ashley, do you want to start this one?

Ashley Carey: Sure. What I found most impactful, I would have to say—well, all of it was really impactful, to be honest with you! But I guess, most recently, because I was in the Intensive II, was the expert panel discussion. To be honest, getting closer to graduation, there's a lot of questions, like I had said, about what to expect, what's the next step. December comes, we graduate, we get our diploma, now what? So that was very helpful to have that experience. And some of the other things going into this next clinical rotation in the multiple chronic conditions, having those lectures really is helping in my clinical experience right now.

Katie Macaluso: Great. I'll turn that over to Allicia for that question.

Allicia Mill: Okay. One of the most impactful things for me is—I thought of a couple of them. One of them was the suturing part because that is a brand-new field. That's not something that we do, that's not something that anybody has ever taught us. Well, they're not supposed to, anyway. And I thought it was very, very helpful to learn those techniques. The NEOmed experience was outstanding. It really opened your eyes to knock on the door, you come in and wash your hands, and there's your patient. And your patient is looking at you for everything, and then the doctor that comes in after you're done and talks to you—they're not mean and they're not intimidating. They're very, very nice and they tell you everything that happened from their eyes. And you gain some knowledge from them.

And another thing that I really like, and obviously I'm a people person, but there's a support system there once you actually meet somebody in person. So you meet your instructor, but also, you meet your fellow students. And I've made a few friends from the intensive experience that I wouldn't have made otherwise. And now, for the Intensive II, since I am so far away and I've got another friend who's coming from another state too for the next year, we've kind of figured out what part of the city should we stay in and where should—that kind of stuff. So it really does help with networking as well.

Katie Macaluso: Great. Well, thank you both.

Ashley Carey: If I could touch on something.

Katie Macaluso: Yes, of course.

Ashley Carey: If I could add something that Allicia had mentioned, getting to know our instructors. I mean, being in a university like Walsh and going to these intensives and talking to our professors, our professors get to know us and I can say personally, I've had conversations on the telephone with these professors on a Saturday afternoon because I have a question about a project. They're more than willing to talk to you at any point in time and give you their personal cellphone number to help you out with assignments if you have questions.

Katie Macaluso: That's so great. And I think that's really sort of what sets Walsh apart is just that more individualized attention that students really aren't a number here. I’m glad that you would have that experience as well. So I want to thank you both so much for sharing your experiences and if anyone on the webinar has any additional questions about the intensives, please feel free to use the community box now or, as we continue through the webinar, and we'll certainly do our best to answer those. I think that we're going to go ahead and share a little bit about the online experience. I'm going to turn it back over to Cally for that.

Cally Cavallino: Okay. So Ashley, Allicia, please feel free to chime in as you're sort of living and breathing with us. But really, the online classroom, you're not sacrificing quality. So for us, this is about interaction; this is making sure you're qualified; this is about making sure that you are prepared. And I think both of them did a really great job describing like, "Yes, there is that interaction piece. And so we have that additional element where you are coming to campus, so you do have a face with these names. You do know these people and there is that level of sometimes friendship. There is a level of support. And you're sort of a team and you're kind of getting through this together. You're working full-time. You have families. You're busy adults. And so you come together in the online format. And I think one of the biggest advantages, because you guys are so busy, is that it's asynchronous. So you don't have to log in on a specific day at a specific time. But it is structured. I mean, there is accountability. It's a 16-week course. It takes 16 weeks. An 8-week course is going to take 8 weeks. So there's due dates and deadlines. We try to keep them consistent. But when you log in, the system we use is called ECN. Again, for electronic course network.

And so when you log in, they'll have your 8-week syllabus or your 16-week syllabus, depending on the course. And it’s going to have everything for you, your due dates, your deadlines. You can get out your personal calendar, start crossing time off. That would probably be one, I think, of the toughest parts of being an online student. Yeah, it is flexible. It is convenient. But it's not easier. It's more convenient. It's you can schedule the time when it's convenient to you. So if that's 2 o'clock in the morning or if that's 9 o'clock or 10 o'clock at night, it's up to you to make sure that you've logged in and you've done your assignment and that it's submitted by the specific due date in time.

So, typically, there might be something like a discussion board maybe due, I don't know, maybe by Wednesday by midnight. And you can submit it earlier, but you have to make sure, just like on campus, like anything, it's submitted by its due date and time. They do require interaction, and I think the interaction piece may vary depending on course and instructor. But essentially you have to interact with so many students per week. And these are insightful. This isn't just, "Hey, Ashley, I agree." Usually, you're citing sources and you're writing in APA formats. So you're learning. This is not busy work which I know is a good thing in this place. And then at the end of the week, there could be a paper, a project. There are quizzes. There could be midterms or finals. It's everything that you would expect if you were physically at a campus. It's just you don't have to drive there and sit there for three hours. You're going to have to carve that time out of your schedule to say, "Okay, on Monday, I'm going to sit and read. On Tuesdays, I'm going to [conquer?] that discussion board," or whatever works for you and your family. You kind of get a rhythm and you get a routine.

Students always tell me that the first couple weeks are the hardest. They're having meltdowns because they haven't mastered the time-management skills quite yet. But once they get the hang of it and get in that rhythm, it does get easier. I didn’t say easy, but it gets easier [laughter]. So I think the biggest thing is that it is asynchronous. You do have support and your faculty have office hours. You can call them, you can email, you can Zoom. And everybody's there to support you and we want you to be successful. So you can rely on faculty as well as your peers if you have questions and you can interact inside of the ECN learning-management system, but you can call or email or Zoom as well.

Okay. So right now we are accepting applications for fall. Classes would start August 26th. And basically the way the application process works is, ideally, you'd start with this type of conversation. With myself, then with Jan. We want to make sure that you're a good fit and that we're a good fit for you. Do you have the time? Are you qualified? Do you have the aptitude? And is this really the right program? Is FNP really what's going to set you up for success with regards to your career goals? So we do ask our students for an informal, almost like a preliminary interview, and then once it's determined that you're a good fit and that you agree that this school is a good fit for you, then I can help you through the application process.

It's an online application; there is no application fee. We do require that you upload your resume; an up-to-date, professional resume. All of your official transcripts-- and I do want to stress this-- even if you attended a school for half a credit one summer that has nothing to do with science or nursing, you do have to make sure you order all of your official transcripts of every single school that you've attended. And I can help with that if you need me to.

We also do require two letters of recommendation. And this is something that I really, really want to stress, is that with the letters of recommendation, when you go into the online application there's going to be a section in there, and it's going to ask you to put in the two individuals. These two individuals should be Master’s or Doctorate-prepared individuals in the field. Someone who has overseen you in some sort of, for lack of a better word, superior role. They've witnessed your ability as an RN, not 10 years ago when you were a nurse's aide, but what have you done with an RN. What is your ability in that skillset? So you want it to be recent. You want them to be, maybe, a current or very recent supervisor, director, manager.

Now in the same token, I have quite a few prospective students saying to me, "Well, my manager has an Associate's Degree and this person knows me best. They see me every day. They really would do so much better than asking that someone that has an MSN." By all means, ask your manager. As long as they indicate on that form, when they go into the online application, that they are your direct supervisor. We need to understand that relationship. So we want to make sure it's not your buddy or your friend, or the other RNs, or someone from 10 years ago. But we really want to make sure it's someone who can speak toward your ability as an RN. And if you have questions about that, certainly we can talk privately. And I can help and maybe come up with suggestions. But I really want to make sure that you don't have to ask multiple people and it doesn't slow down the application process. So if you need help, just let me know. And then, the last part is my favorite.

So this is your essay. The way I think of an essay is, this is your chance to say what your resume or your transcript doesn't. This is your story. What inspired you to become a nurse? What have you done beyond the bullet points on your resume? What are you currently doing and why is now the right time to go back to school? What is it that you want to be able to do? And if you are applying for the FNP program, with a primary care focus, it should be specific to that. It should reiterate that. If you want to work in acute care, then you should apply to the acute care program for that.

So those are the things that we really want you to think of your audience and what it is you're applying to. How is it relevant? How is it meaningful? I'd actually send it to you, but it's in the online application. There's sort of a small outline with some bullet points that you have to address. One of them is diversity, for example. Another one is either an obstacle that you've overcome or a strength that you have in the field. So you want to read the instructions and then, tell your story in a very concise way. And then, once your final's done. I put it together and we send it up to the committee. They are very quick in getting back to students. They know you need to know, so they typically will get back to students, I would say, within two to three weeks is very normal, if not sooner. But I mean they do it pretty quick. So you hear back so you can make plans and start making decisions. All right.

Allicia Mill: If I can cut in here just a second, I can speak to that, too. Because I had surgery and decided really quickly that maybe I needed to do something different. I actually had foot surgery and I couldn't walk. So while I was sitting here, I wanted to be productive and that's when I started looking into schools. When I talked to Dr. Finneran, I said, "I want to start as soon as possible if you do choose me," and I think I was in within two weeks from when I started looking to when I was starting the class.

Katie Macaluso: Great. Wow, that's terrific.

Jan Finneran: Katie, I wanted to say, on that final slide, I wanted to introduce the people in that picture, if that's okay.

Katie Macaluso: Oh, yeah. Yes, please.

Jan Finneran: So I'll start with the person in the black and white dress. That is Dr. Tracy Kirstage. She is our pediatric nurse practitioner. She works at the local Akron Children's Hospital and she teaches, of course, our pediatrics course. Next to Tracy is JoAnn Kramer. She is our coordinator of graduate nursing. She is my right hand. Helps not only me, but the students immensely. She is very prompt with getting back to you. She has a wealth of knowledge on Typhon, which I told you before, was our clinical reporting software where you enter your logs and your hours when you're in clinical. She can help you if you have questions or problems with that, problems with entering any health data, and just overall. And she is very much a part of the intensive. She does a lot of the planning. In the orange shirt is Joscelyn Greaves. Joscelyn is currently the president of the Ohio Association of Advanced Practice Nurses. So she is currently president, but she has been in adjunct instructor for us for probably four years. She teaches primarily FNP one, but she is a practicing FNP at a local hospital, and she comes in and helps with the health assessment bootcamp. The last person that has on the white sweater is Professor Angie Gager. She is a full-time faculty member. She's also an FNP and works as an FNP in a clinic. And she teaches a variety of courses, health assessment, clinical assessment and management, which is our diagnosis course. She teaches FNP four, which is the multiple chronic conditions, and she teaches FNP five, which is the capstone primary care course. So all of the people in that picture, I just thought I wanted to point that out.

Katie Macaluso: Well, no, that's great. I think it's always nice to see in the pictures, kind of who they really are, that they actually are people from the program.

So at this point, I know we're nearing the end of our hour here, but we do have some time for Q&A. So if you've already submitted questions, we've gotten a few of those. And then, if you've been thinking about anything else that you want to ask, now is your time to send in those questions via the Q&A box on the side of your screen. We'll be right back to get through as many as we can today. Let's see. Our first question was regarding uniform requirement. What would be the requirement for uniform?

Jan Finneran: Well, I can answer that, if that's okay. You typically go with what the practice that you're in clinical. They will give you guidance. It's typically just business casual. You would also wear your ID badge from Walsh and/or an ID badge that is required by the facility. Some places do require you to wear a white coat. That is just something that you would obtain on your own. It's a full-length white coat. There are some practices that do require that, but for instance, in pediatrics, you wouldn't wear a white coat in pediatrics.

Allicia Mill: I'm also, right now, in adult and that happens to be primary care as well as a lot of mental health and drug rehab, and I don't wear a white coat either. I and the person that I'm working with kind of felt that it would make people feel a little uncomfortable if I had a white coat on. But I do know that another person.

Allicia Mill: Oh, I was just going to say I know another one of the girls that is also in adult but is in urgent care, and she has to wear scrubs.

Jan Finneran: Yeah. I think it just kind of goes with you have to go with the flow, what's going on that facility. Would you agree, Ashley?

Ashley Carey: Yes, I would definitely agree. Currently, I'm precepting in a hospital, and some of the providers dress up, some of them wear scrubs, and I'm wearing scrubs with the preceptors that I'm working with. But I've worked in the office, where they wear dress clothes or business casual as well, so it just all depends.

Katie Macaluso: Okay, great. Our next question is: Does Walsh assist with clinic site placements? I think this one's for you as well, Dr. Finneran.

Cally Cavallino: Yeah, this question comes up a lot [laughs].

Jan Finneran: Okay. We do have a full-time clinical site coordinator. We do have some connections in the Northeast Ohio area. As well, all of our students assist us with finding clinical placements if they have that, if we have an affiliation agreement with that provider or that institution. We do have those, but they're particularly in Ohio. But we do have a lot of out-of-state students, and we work with them.

We always tell our students to start looking now. The first three clinical courses are Adults, Pediatrics, and Women's Health. If you have somebody who says, "I can precept you in this semester," we make sure for at least for those first three courses, that you-- if you have a preceptor in the fall for women's health, you're put into the women's health course. So, we work with you, but we require your assistance as well. There is, as anybody who's looked at FNP programs, there's a shortage of willing preceptors. So we just have to really work together to get it done.

Katie Macaluso: Okay, great. Thanks, Dr. Finneran. Our next question is, what setting do most of your graduates end up working in? They ask, is it in patient, like a hospital setting, or outpatient clinic settings? And then, well I'll just leave the question there for now. So what setting do most of the graduates work in? Is that something that we know?

Jan Finneran: Yeah, we have a lot of our students, they will work in a primary care setting, outpatient, a clinic. A freestanding urgent care center. For lack of a better word, quick clinics that you might see in pharmacies. We do have some students who "specialize." They will work outpatient cardiology, outpatient pulmonology. Specialty areas where they may round in the hospital. We don't. Our program is very much structured for primary care. So although you will see FNPs, perhaps in the ER, our program is very primary care-based. So most of our students are, if they are working in the hospital, it would be perhaps in a fast track area of the ER, not in the main ER. Maybe the urgent care, things like that. But we have students who have specialized, and we have students that have gone out and done family practice.

Katie Macaluso: Okay, great. And there was actually a follow up to this question. The last part of the question was, are there any who find their way into specialties such as women's health or pediatric, even as a family nurse practitioner?

Jan Finneran: Yeah, it's not very common, but we do have two of our grads who are working in a pediatric office, outpatient setting. And we have one who went into primarily women's health. This is primary care across the life span. So if an employer, you are able to take care of patients from birth until older adult. So we do have, it's not a lot, but we have had, I know at least two grads who are working in pediatrics, and at least one in women's health.

Katie Macaluso: Okay, great. Alright, so I know that we are out of time, we're at our hour mark. We're going to wrap up our Q and A section at this point. If we weren't able to get to your question, we'll follow up after the webinar with that. I hope today's webinar was really helpful towards your MSN program search. I do want to let you know that when we end the webinar, we'll leave on the screen a couple of quick links to keep handy. So if you're ready to go ahead and schedule an appointment with Cally, or if you are feeling like you want to go ahead and get started on the application, we'll leave those links handy for you to take a look at. I also want to share that we have recorded this session, and you'll receive an email tomorrow with that link to the recording, in case you want to reference the presentation again. Thanks again to Dr. Finneran and Ashley and Allicia for all of their great perspectives on the intensives, and I hope everyone has a great night.

Thank you!