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CQU? CDU? Questions about external study.

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Author CQU? CDU? Questions about external study.

2bRN23

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Tue Apr 09, 2013 1:04 pm

Hi everyone, this is my first post!

I'm currently a EEN working in an acute care setting. At the start of this year I began university (full time, internal) to get my bachelor degree. I am looking at options for transferring to an external university. Between traveling to work and uni I am never home and I'm on the road 7 days a week! I would love to be able to manage my own studies from my desktop. I am currently looking at both CQU and CDU for information but would love any feed back from any one here who has experienced these courses themselves.

From what I have read both courses would allow me to complete my degree in 2 years with the enrolled nurse pathway. Because it's online, can you take on more work to further accelerate the course? Or is 2 years the minimum time?

Also, how does external study work exactly with nursing? You listen to lectures online and get sent to prac for a certain amount of weeks each semester? What about exams etc? How does it all work? haha.

How often do you need to travel to the actual campus?

Sorry for all the questions! I have requested the unis to send me course info but was just looking if anyone had any stories to share!

Thanks so much!

seraphim

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Apr 09, 2013, 04:16 pm

If I am not wrong, there are prerequisites for each subject. So you can opt to take on like 5-6 modules each semester to make your final year easier for yourself, but it does not accelerate your graduation to become an RN.

2bRN23

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Apr 09, 2013, 05:10 pm

Oh so there's no summer semester?

Thanks for your reply

seraphim

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Apr 09, 2013, 11:43 pm

Hey 2bRN23,

From what I understand from my friends who are ENs (They took the bridging program to become RNs), they need to take on 4 modules each semester for 2 years. Normal uni students takes 4 modules for each semester as well, but they need to complete 3-4 years of full time studying. Cores modules and elective are dependent on which semester you are in.

There are core modules that requires you to pass a prerequisites in order to take on the other. Example: You need to pass nursing science 1A to take nursing science 1B. If you fail nursing 1A, you will not be allowed to take nursing 1B. You are not allowed to skip or drop those core modules. You will be taking a minimum of 1 core module every semester (Please note that you can have more than 1). Should you fail the core modules, you will have to stay back and retake it. Hope and pray that it is available the next sem, I have friends who stayed back 1 year because of unavailablity of the core module in next sem. But it could be different on the availability since it is online.

By taking on more elective earlier, it allows you to have more time to concentrate on your core modules later on in your uni life. The elective are there mainly to chalk up points for you to graduate and is of some help to you after you graduate. Since you cannot accelerate the rate in which your core modules can be completed, you cannot graduate/register earlier. Please note that deadlines might clash because of having too many modules, so plan well. If you fail an elective module, you can still take the core modules, but you may have to take on more electives the next sem to meet the point requirement if you wishes to graduate within the time frame.
*The information is taken from friends who attended uni with me, but I doubt it could be much different from an online course.

summerly

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Apr 14, 2013, 11:24 am

CDU does have summer semester units available, but these tend to change each year and from what I've heard it doesn't speed up the degree that much if you are doing fulltime study, but if you are doing part time study it can cut a semester or two off if you plan your study carefully.  It really depends on unit availability at the time.

rivnurse

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May 13, 2013, 02:00 pm

Both CQU and CDU do a summer semester. There are other uni's that do distance for ENs upgrading to RNs, like UNE and CSU, but they don't often get a mention here because they don't do the first year (for non-ENs) by distance. USQ have just started offering nursing by distance, so I'm not sure how they'd go as that faculty is new to it, but I know UNE and CSU are really good at distance ed student support as a whole, having done other stuff with them. CQU now offer the full three years of nursing fast-tracked/crammed into 2, so if you get a credit for a 1/3 anyway, perhaps they may allow you to do the EN to RN bit even faster than 2 years.

I did some of CQU's and CDU's nursing degrees (others who got further into the degrees might have had different experiences to me)... CQU has better video lectures where you can see the actual lecturer talk and they encourage internals to use desk microphones so as an external student you can hear both sides of questions (but you don't get to participate 'live'). A&P1 over summer last year at CDU had zero video lectures, not even repeats from the previous semester, just 'here are the powerpoint slides' and 'read the textbook' so I wasn't impressed. CDU video lectures (when they do have them) often involve listening to the audio of the lecturer talk whilst you only get to see the powerpoint slides flick over, but you can be 'present' in some classes and participate via microphones from home. So some pros, some cons.

CQU A&P was a bit easier than CDU. CQU do Intro then Advanced. CDU do go-to-woah in half of the body systems in one unit and go-to-woah in the other half in another unit (so you can take them in either order). I did not like CDU's method as it was hard learning the advanced stuff about (say) the kidneys before you have even done the basics of the circulation system. CQU used one 'one semester' A&P textbook for both units, CDU used one 'two semester' A&P textbook for both units, so CDU expects you to know more in the earlier subjects. But being an EN, you may not have to do any more A&P... except if you go to CSU, they still make you take the advanced class (BMS192, from memory) because they found too many ENs struggled with a background of only TAFE level A&P (or so I am led to believe).

Teachers at CDU and CQU - both had some good, some bad, but I found CQU ones 'got' distance ed a bit better. CQU teaches across multi campuses at once, so yeah, they have fancy camera technology too. I never got up to doing clinical placements with either uni (doing ENs now instead) so not sure how good either are on that front. Residential schools - CQU have more than CDU (CDU just have one week for each normal year), which is a problem when doing part-time because theirs is linked to units so you might have a 2 day one in one semester and a 3 day one in the next semester but if you were full-time, you'd be there the whole week, if that makes sense. CDU have some satellite places to do residentials (e.g. Melb) but they are hard to get into and not always offered, normally it is Alice Springs or Darwin. You have choice usually with CQU of Rocky, Noosa, Bundaberg, Mackay.

Umm, what more? Check what level of credit you get at each one. Now that the EN course is a Diploma, some uni's give less than 1 year off to Cert IV ENs (for example, CSU). If I go back to RNs after finishing my ENs, I'd probably choose CSU as they are more local for me so better chance of getting localish placements in NSW (CQU was kind of too Qld focused). Ooh, and check the hours of placement you'll still have to do, you may find any EN hours don't count, even if they offer a first year placement and you get 'first year' (8 units) off as credit.

Also, check if any transition programs are offered for free. CSU has one through their Studylink thing for EN to RN conversions, to brush up on academic skills specially for nurses, if you want. UOW (not that they do distance) force you do a catch-up conversion thing, so see if you do in fact just waltz into second year as an EN.

Hope that helps.

2bRN23

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May 13, 2013, 05:51 pm

Thanks for your reply.

At this stage I'm just going to suck it up and finish my degree internally at my current university. This year is going by so quickly, by the end of next year I will be an RN. Hard to believe. I actually found my EN course to be much tougher and stricter then the university degree. The emphasis on my EN training was building strong clinical skills, whereas the focus of the bachelor degree definately seems to be on the theory side of things. It's very strange to me, the courses are polar opposites. 

I am so glad I did my EN diploma first for many reasons: it will be much easier for me to secure work when I'm done my degree due to my EN acute care experience. And in the currthankful economy for new graduates, having experience is huge. My practical skills appear much more ahead of the straight bachelor degree educated students (just my experience) and I don't have any commonwealth student debt for either course now.

I do feel that parts of the degree I could have been given credit for ie: any practical skills subject Is just reinforcing what i have already been taught. But oh well I guess universities don't realise that ENs are well educated in their own way. 

good luck with your EN course! 

summerly

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