When you decide to apply to our 16-month ABSN program, we, as part of the Loyola Chicago admissions process, pair you with an enrollment advisor whose job is to champion your entry into the Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing. But in order for your advisor to be able to provide you with the highest level of personalized support possible, here are nine things you need to know while working with him or her.
1. You complete the same curriculum at both locations.
Whether you enroll for the ABSN program at our Maywood campus (all face-to-face instruction) or our Downers Grove location (online and face-to-face instruction), you’ll complete the exact same accredited curriculum. The only difference is how the core nursing coursework is delivered.
“A lot of prospective ABSN students have the misconception that our face-to-face program is somehow more prestigious than our online-based program, but nothing could be further from the truth,” says Sarah Ash, enrollment advisor for the ABSN program at Loyola University Chicago. “Students at both locations complete the same coursework taught by experienced, highly supportive instructors.”
2. You receive highly personalized support in both formats.
Prospective students often think that if they choose the online-based ABSN program option, faculty won’t respond to their questions or concerns in a timely fashion. Just like our on-campus professors, our online professors make themselves highly accessible to students by phone and email. Furthermore, the online-based program isn’t 100% online.
3. You need to share relevant personal information with your advisor.
Your enrollment advisor is committed to making sure you’re a good fit for the program. But the only way he or she can do that is by you being willing to share relevant personal information.
For example, your advisor may ask you how many kids you have—and it’s for a good reason. Because our ABSN program is rigorous and time consuming, your advisor wants to make sure you have the right support resources in place so you can successfully juggle nursing school and family life.
4. You should always be up front with your advisor.
It’s important to remember that your advisor doesn’t determine whether or not you get into the program. His or her job is to ensure that you submit the most competitive nursing school application possible. So be sure to let your advisor know right away if there are any discrepancies with your transcripts, such as low grades in science or more than two course withdrawals.
“Let’s say you had a bad semester. It’s important that you tell me sooner rather than later," says Sarah Thomas, enrollment advisor for the ABSN program at Loyola University Chicago. “You being up front gives me time to understand any discrepancies and help you provide context for them."
5. You should expect ongoing communication with your advisor.
While our admission process is pretty straightforward, it still requires constant communication between you and your advisor. Your advisor will follow up with you on a regular basis to make sure you have everything you need to keep the admission process going smoothly. Plan to be on the phone with your enrollment advisor more than once.
“It’s impossible to address every question or concern someone has about the program in a single phone call,” says Thomas. “By taking the time to get to know my students, I’m able to provide them with the best support possible.”
6. You need to maintain a sense of urgency during the admission process.
While our enrollment capacity may be higher than other ABSN programs in Illinois, it’s still important for you to maintain a sense of urgency when applying to our ABSN program. By staying on top of the admission process, which includes meeting all deadlines in a timely manner, you’ll have an advantage over other students applying for the same term. This is especially true if you want to enroll at our Maywood campus since this program reaches capacity quickly.
7. You need to be willing to make sacrifices during the ABSN program.
To be successful in our ABSN program, you need to be OK with putting parts of your life on hold. After all, the program requires you to put a lot of time and effort into your studies.
“There may be times when you need to devote 60 hours a week to your studies to be able to keep pace with the curriculum,” says Thomas.
Keep in mind that the online-based ABSN program provides a more flexible nursing school experience in that you get to complete part of the curriculum online.
8. You must have your transcripts evaluated if your degree is from outside the United States.
Because our ABSN program is for second-degree students, you must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited higher learning institution to qualify. Keep in mind, however, if your degree comes from an institution outside of the United States, you must have your transcripts evaluated by Educational Perspectives before your enrollment advisor can confirm your program eligibility.
9. You’re not committed to us during the admission process.
At no point during the ABSN program admission process are you committed to Loyola University Chicago. We realize you need to weigh your options to find the best nursing school fit for you. So don’t be afraid to tell your advisor if you’re applying to multiple schools. He or she might be able to assist you in your decision-making process.
“It’s important to maintain open lines of communications with me,” says Ash. “I won’t be upset if you choose another program. You need to do what’s best for you.”
Ready to put your nursing education in motion? Contact the Loyola Chicago admissions team today and get started!