So far, I have been really enjoying my time in the Accelerated Baccalaureate of Science (ABS) in Nursing program!
As an ABS student, a day in the life can look very different depending on the session. To help you better understand the program, I broke down what my experience looks like by semester.
Over the summer, my life as an ABS student was very busy – but also a lot of fun because I enjoyed what I was learning! Many students, myself included, jumped right into classes the Monday after graduating from our first degree program.
Classes were Monday through Wednesday. They started early at 8 a.m. and usually ended around 4 p.m. During the afternoon lunch break, I would always sit outside to enjoy the sunshine and rest before the afternoon class. After class, I would go home and do a quick workout. Exercise is a way for me to reduce stress and stay healthy. Then, I would eat dinner and settle into a long night of studying. It was important to study and work on assignments for my online classes so that I did not fall behind because there is no time to fall behind!
I had clinicals on Thursdays and Fridays from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. After clinical on Thursday, I studied. After clinical on Friday, I rewarded myself for surviving the week and would go out to eat with friends!
One day a semester we had an on-campus lab and simulation. Simulations were super exciting because we were able to practice our clinical skills in a realistic simulation setting. It was a valuable learning experience because after the simulation, we were able to debrief with the professors and graduate assistants. This helped us reflect on what we could do to improve our clinical practice.
On Saturdays and Sundays, I would continue to study and work on homework. At times this was difficult because I saw all of my friends outside enjoying the summer while I was stuck inside studying. However, reminding myself that it would all be worth it in the end motivated me to keep working. On weekends when I did not have an exam to study for, I would try to make the time to do something I enjoyed, such as going for a hike or going home to see my family for a night.
Even though the summer semester was so busy, it was over before I knew it! I grew very close to everyone in my ABS class and we helped motivate each other. At the end of the summer, we had one week off to rest and recover before jumping into the beginning of the fall semester.
In the fall and spring semesters, the ABS class joins the senior traditional nursing students to finish the last year of classes together. The workload significantly decreases because the semesters are twice as long as they were over the summer. During the first couple of weeks of the fall semester, I kept thinking that I was forgetting something. It took a couple of weeks to adjust to the decreased workload compared to the summer – but once I did, it was like a breath of fresh air!
On Mondays and Tuesdays, classes were usually around 9 a.m.-3 p.m. After class, I would go to the gym, eat dinner and study.
I have clinicals on Thursdays from 6:45 a.m.-7:15 p.m. On Wednesdays and Fridays, I go to the gym, work on homework and sneak in an episode of Grey’s Anatomy if I have time. I decided to get a job to fill my free time and make some extra money to help pay rent. On Saturdays, I work at UB as a student ambassador at the football games (go Bulls!). On Sundays, I volunteer at my church through the children’s ministry called Kings World. When I get home from volunteering, I prepare meals for the week and plan out my assignments for the next week at school. Then I spend the rest of my day relaxing, enjoying time with family and cheering on the Bills during football Sundays!
The end of the spring semester culminates in a three-week preceptorship where students are able to work one-on-one with a nurse in a clinical setting. After that, students are able to graduate and take the NCLEX. I graduate in May and am beyond excited because I know that all of the hard work from the summer, fall and spring semesters will be well worth it! There are so many diverse job opportunities in nursing!
Published October 13, 2022