Are you considering a job in the realm of Nursing?
On this page, students can find more information about what it means to pursue a path aligning to Nursing programs across the US, more about the cirrucular expectations, health-related experiences, and adjacent pathways.
According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, for a Nurse (Registered Nurse) in 2018:
Median Pay: $71,730 per year (about $34.48 per hour)
Typical Entry-Level Education: Bachelors's Degree (can have an Associate's or Master's, also)
Number of Jobs: over 3 million
Projected 10-year Growth: 12% (about 370,000 jobs)
The SOU-OHSU Relationship
Many Pre-Nursing students at SOU are naturally interested in ultimately attend the OHSU-Ashland School of Nursing program, which hosts distinct programs for RN-to-BSN, 3-Year OCNE BSN, Accelerated BSN, and Nurse Practitioners. It is important to remember that SOU and OHSU are two distinct institutions meaning that you are a fully enrolled student at one, or the other, but not both. Another point to clarify is that while SOU students may receive a preference for admissions, they are not guaranteed admission into the program, or any other OHSU program. Typically, students will follow one of the two tracks outlined below for getting into OSHU's 3-Year OCNE or Accelerated BSN programs. SOU is here to prepare students to be excellent candidates for OHSU or any other nursing school of their interest.
What does the Pre-Professional Nursing Program Look Like at SOU?
Students interested in pursuing the various careers available in Nursing will find a strong preparatory experience with the SOU Pre-Nursing program. SOU has a strong relationship with the Ashland campus of Oregon Health Science University, where many of our students apply. The Pre-Nursing program at SOU consists of a set of prerequisite courses required by many schools that offer BSN-RN, or RN programs. Since Nursing programs occur at both the community college (AAS, ADN and RN) and university level (BSN-RN), program requirements may differ. Commonly, students who attend SOU for Pre-Nursing will transfer to another Oregon-based institution, such as Oregon Health Science University, but we offer the flexibility to meet the requirements of most programs.
Once a student is accepted to a Nursing program, and after completion of a designated curriculum, students are eligible to take state and national examinations for certification. Students can expect to take a set of courses spanning 1-2 years, and will include basic topics from chemistry, biology and mathematics. Many schools will specify writing, social science, and humanities requirements, though the courses for most Nursing programs are very similar, allowing students to not worry about taking extra courses. With these programs, students typically transfer before the completion of a four-year degree, and should have a strong idea of which programs they want to apply to in their first year at SOU.
SOU's "2+3" Track - Prerequisites + Nursing School
At SOU, we offer two distinct tracks for students to participate in as they pursue the goal of nursing school. The most popular option is referred to as the "2+3" Track, indicating that there is roughly two years worth of prerequisites, followed by three years in a BSN program (such as OHSU). Though popular, this track is fast-paced and demanding on students, and requires focus, independent learning, and excellent self-management skills. This track consists of a core set of classes from the following:
|Recommended Nursing Coursework||SOU Equivalent Course||OHSU Required Course?||OHSU Requirement|
|General Biology: Courses which cover molecules and genetics||
BI 101, 102, 103 or
BI 211, 212, 213
|Yes, BI 211 or 103||Genetics|
|Introductory Statistics||MTH 243||Yes||
Statistics, Intermediate Algebra
|College Algebra||MTH 111||No||
|Human Anatomy||BI 231, 232, 233||Yes||
|Human Physiology||BI 231, 232, 233||Yes||
|General Psychology I and II||PSY 201, PSY 202||Yes, 1 course||
Social Science Elective
|Introduction to Sociology||SOAN 204 or 205||Optional, 1 course||
Social Science Elective
|Lifespan Development, Lifespan Psychology||PSY 370||Yes||
|Cultural Communication||COMM 200||Optional||
|Ethics, Philosophy of Ethics||PHL 205||Optional||
|Introduction to Chemistry||CH 104/104L/190||No, but is preferred||
|Nutrition (Health Science)||HE 325||Yes||
Expository, Research Writing, Oral Communication
|USEM 101, 102, 103||Yes, all three||Writing|
|Medical Terminology||HE 399||No||
In the form of a two-year sequence, this is what courses would look like, ideally:
- Year 1: Fall Term - Lay Out Your Plan
- Year 1: Winter Term - Begin Volunteering at Medical Locations
- Year 1: Spring Term - Discuss Summer Plans with advisor
Year 1: Fall Term - Lay Out Your Plan
* USEM 101 is commonly satisfied with AP Language and Composition, and MTH 095 is the average placement of an incoming nursing students, but math courses will vary based on incoming Math Placement Level.
Year 1: Winter Term - Begin Volunteering at Medical Locations
- Year 2: Fall Term - The term to narrow school application options
- Year 2: Winter Term - The Term To Apply to OHSU, and most Programs!
- Year 2: Spring Term
Year 2: Fall Term - The term to narrow school application options
Year 2: Winter Term - The Term To Apply to OHSU, and most Programs!
* Upper Division Electives should be discussed with the Pre-Nursing Advisor, Andrew Clum (email@example.com).
Year 2: Spring Term
* Upper Division Electives should be discussed with the Pre-Nursing Advisor, Andrew Clum (firstname.lastname@example.org).
SOU's "4+1(or 1.5)" Track - Undergraduate Degree + Nursing School
In this track a student would find about 30% of our Pre-Nursing students. This track is specifically for people who want to complete a 4-year degree before going to nursing school. Schools across the country have responded to the demand for nurses in a way that allowed students with an undergraduate degree to potentially finish a BSN program in about 12-18 months, instead of 3 years. It is worth noting, students still have to complete the BSN prerequisites for their prospective schools before applying, so make sure to read the "2+3" section above for a clear outline of common requirements.
Why consider this track?
It's no secret, traditional nursing programs are bursting at the seams with applicants, and a majority of nursing school applicants won't get in on their first try. While this may be normal in the realm of nursing, this can be very challenging for a student. Afterall, they just spent two years getting ready for nursing school, so now what? Well, simple math shows that a third year of prerequisite education, and another application to a three-year program adds up to too many years! Turns out, a vast majority of these third-year Pre-Nursing students could just complete a BS or BA, and a full accelerated nursing program in less time than just applying to a three-year program again!
What do these students major in?
Commonly, these students major in programs like Healthcare Administration, Psychology, Health and Physical Education, and Sociology/Anthropology. These majors can be explored when meeting with your Pre-Nursing advisor, Andrew Clum (email@example.com).
What does the realm of Nursing look like professionally?
There is no easy way to try to summarize what exactly a nurse can do, since there is almost no aspect of practical medicine in which nurses are not involved. Nurses form the intricate backbone of the medical industry related to patient care. Nurses serve on the forefront of medical practices, and often are the ones interacting the most with a patient. Generally speaking, nurses are involved in providing critical services to patients throughout their healthcare experience. From calling in to ask a doctor a question, to checking into an appointment, to pre/post-operative recovery, and so much more, nurses are there to support both sides of healthcare: the provider and the patient. Nurses are often sought to explain, clarify, and carryout a physician's treatment regiment with patient while relaying critical feedback to a number of audiences from clinical support staff like MAs, CNAs, HHAs, and others through their supervising practitioners.
Support, Governance, and Accreditation
There are numerous professional organizations for nurses throughout the nation. However, the largest professional organization for nursing in the US would be the American Nurses Association (ANA) which provides professional support, education, and development for all nurses across any discipline. The ANA also has three large subsidiaries, the American Academy of Nursing (AAN), the American Nurses Foundation (ANF), and the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). The AAN focuses on advocacy in the profession, the ANF supports philanthropy and charity, and the the ANCC promotes educational credentialing services in the field.
Additionally, the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) serves as an independent, non-for-profit which brings together all of the state regulatory boards to create a centralized voice to raise concern, address shifts in public policy and assist in the development of state licensing exams.
In the state, there are two main organizations for professional nurses, the Oregon Nurses Association (ONA) and the Oregon Holistic Nurses Association (OHNA). While the OHNA is an independent organization, the ONA is affiliated with the ANA and the National Federation of Nurses (a partner of the National Federation of Teachers). The OHNA serves nurses and nursing students from Washington, Oregon, and California. The ONA provides leadership training, continuing education, professional development, and political advocacy for the nurses, and nursing students, of Oregon. There is usually a Spring ONA Convention and leadership meeting for members to attend. The OHNA hosts an annual conference for its members in the Fall of each year, traditionally around October.
There is also the Oregon Health Care Association (OHCA) is a well-networked organization which assists with career exploration, professional development and the most up-to-date public policy actions in the state
At Southern Oregon University:
All Pre-Health programs can find a home in the SOU Pre-Healthcare Society. Students who are in any health discipline are encouraged to join this group, and its membership is not based on academic major, but rather professional interests in healthcare. Students from medical programs, mental health programs, dentistry, veterinary medicine, pharmacy, and other fields are welcome. To contact this organization, please email SOUprehealthcare@gmail.com.
Each state has its own board which oversees the licensing protocol for RNs. These boards are responsible for developing, reviewing, and enforcing the practice and training based expectations for RNs. In Oregon, the Oregon State Board of Nursing (OSBN) is responsible for the regulation of nursing programs.
Every state will have its own practice for reciprocity, and if a student is interested in training as a RN to relocate to a different state, they should review the licensing requirement in the other state, in addition to Oregon.
Before going further, it is essential to understand that institutions and programs will be accredited by different accreditation bodies. For example, a university may have one type of accreditation but they have a school of Nursing whose BSN program could be accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. Nursing’s primary accrediting bodies include:
CCNE accredits programs at the baccalaureate and graduate levels, as well as post-graduate APRN certificates and entry-to-practice nurse residency programs. CCNE is the autonomous accrediting arm of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN).
ACEN accredits programs at the associate, diploma, baccalaureate, and graduate levels.
There are a few ways to find out if a nursing program is accredited. All of the accrediting bodies listed above maintain lists or databases of accredited programs. These are easy to find online and will be the most accurate resource available for determining accreditation status.
Additionally, in order for a program to be listed on NursingCAS, it must be accredited by one of the above organizations or be seeking accreditation. So when you are browsing the list of participating schools, you can be sure that all of the organizations listed adhere to nationally recognized standards of quality.
Specialties and Licenses
There are a multitude of nursing specialties available across the different levels of nursing. These tracks can differ based on previous education, such as whether an RN has an ADN, BSN, or some other type of advanced training like MSN or FNP (or DNP). Nursing students should be wary of actual special pathways vs professional/continuing development opportunities.
RNs can recieve additional training in most clinical, or clerical, areas of their professional interest. They can serve as educators, community influences, school health providers, or administrators in many different environments. Advanced practice tracks can focus in more clinically oriented roles like Nurse Practitioner, Midwifery, Mental Health, and more.
What do I need to get into Nursing School?
Programs for nursing can be quite competitive, so it is important for students to plan as soon as they arrive at SOU. Since RN programs occur at different levels of education, the first question that students should ask themselves is which type of program they are looking to complete. After that, determining prospective schools becomes critical. Below is a list of resources to help students get off on the right foot when planning for an educational, and professional, career in Nursing. Students can also find more information on centralized websites like UniversityHQ.
Create Your Plan
First, make sure to answer the following questions:
1. What kind of RN program are you wishing to do? These include RN-Diploma, ADN, BSN, and Accelerated BSN tracks. Each has its own distinct structure.
2. What are your propsective schools? These schools help us generate a list of ideal coursework to build your educational plan at SOU.
Once we know the answers to these questions, make sure to contact the Pre-Nursing Advisor, Andrew Clum (firstname.lastname@example.org). We will work with you to create a comprehensive list of prerequisites, and if needed, which courses SOU may not be able to offer, if any.
Typically, plans are built into 1, 2, and 4 year tracks for students,
Support Your Path
Once your plan is built, it is vital to find ways to support your educational path. Nursing prerequisites are not to be taken lightly and demand a student's full attention for success. Along with that obligation, students should seek to support their classroom efforts with a scaffolding of curricular support through tutoring, study groups, and self-assessments.
Nursing is a collaborative and team-oriented field, so working with your peers should be an obvious choice for support. Your classmates are an easy go-to for your academic support, and can be a great asset to your success. In each of your courses, try to find students to network with, and create a plan to work together for class success. There are several courses in the Pre-Nursing Curriculum which are specific to Pre-Nursing students solely. This should make finding reliable support much simpler! If you aren't comfortable approaching a classmate outright, feel free to download the EAB Navigate App (App Store or Google Play) and activate the "Study Buddies" feature. This will allow students from the same courses to quietly list their interest to work in a group with other students in the course.
On-Campus tutoring is a free, and excellent, way to stay competitive in your courses. When you aren't able to work with your peers, consider visiting the Hannon Library Learning Commons. The Learning Commons support students in Writing, Math, and Science courses on campus, which is a majority of your Pre-Nursing curriculum. There are also resources for tutoring in your other courses as well, and for more information it is best to ask your instructor(s) directly.
For nursing students, there are a multitude of online learning tools to help support classroom efforts. Students are encouraged to use online resources for their core science classes like Human Anatomy and Physiology, Microbiology, Statistics, Nutrition, and Genetics. Naturally, there are easy to use fee-for-service sites like Chegg, Quizlet, and Study.Com. Students can find excellent resources through Khan Academy and many others for free as well!
In this section, students can explore more about the "other" side of the application for Nursing school, which is not strictly academic. Students should look forward to answering supplemental essay questions on their applications about these areas, and incorporate these topics into their supplemental essays, personal statements, and interviews.
Leadership comes in many different forms, though in the context of college, many students will associate it with school-based organizations. While this is a common, convenient option, it is not the only choice for students. Leadership can arise from a place on employment, religious and other community-based organizations as well. Students should aim to get involved in student organizations if they can, and try to obtain positions of increasing responsibility. Student government (ASSOU), lobbying groups (OSPIRG), and discipline-specific (Pre-Healthcare Sociey, Biology, Chemisty) clubs are a great place to get started, but you can also become involved in things like mentorship, acting, or residence hall associations. It is discouraged for students to join numerous clubs wherein they might extract little leadership opportunity from, but rather they should join one or two groups and aim to be an influence on the culture of the organization.
Diversity is not a simple concept to nail down, nor should it be the goal of a student to narrow the idea of diversity to a small set of things. Diversity is present in nearly everything we do, from the way we write, through the way we speak, perceive, and live. Students should not think of diversity as a matter of socioeconomic status and demographic only, but more experiential. Students can gain diversity experience through nearly everything, but it generally involves stepping outside of their comfort zone. Learning a new language, studying abroard, hosting a community event or symposium, volunteering at an assisted care facility, or simply joining an organization outside of their traditional scope are all ways of learning more. Diversity is about understanding other perspectives, and most importantly, acknowledging them.
Community Engagement can incorporate ideals from all of these extracurricular areas, and place them into an accessible format for engagement. For example, a student may volunteer at a health provider like La Clinica, and then network with someone at the Maslow Project in Medford, OR. Through their exposure, they learn about the plights befalling youth in the region, and decide to create an educational program to support the health needs of these individuals. They decide to work jointly with Maslow and La Clinica to create a program for under-resourced adolescents in the Rogue Valley focused on self-care, nutrition, and resources. Community engagement is a great way for students to learn more about themselves, and people who may eventually come to them for personal care.
Medical Experience should never be discounted as important. Of course, students can choose to do a vocational training program like a CNA, MA, EMT, or other to gain skilled-experience. However, they can also do so through volunteering, shadowing, and observation. Students are encouraged to at least volunteer in medical practices around the region, but may find more value out of a traditional training program such as an EMT or CNA program, which is short term. Students who complete human anatomy and physiology can request the ability to help prepare the human cadavers for student learning in the Biology department. For more information about Vocational Tracks, please see the below section titled "The Need for Clinical Experience".
Research is a key way to demonstrate academic skills in a practical setting. Students can begin their path to research by excelling in their foundational coursework, demonstrating to their faculty that they have the skill set and motivation to go beyond the scope of the courses they take. They may find research opportunities with faculty at SOU in the Biology and Chemistry departments, the SOURC staff (social science research), or at another institution or organization through summer programs and extended internships... possibly both!
The Need for Clinical Experience
Student can plan on nearly every nursing school to have a preference, or requirement, for hours in a clinical setting. This could be paid or volunteer experience in hospitals and practices. Some schools will allow both volunteer and employed hours, with employed hours being the preference. The most popular paid healthcare experience that students attempt is a program for Nursing Assistants. Given its popularity, here is some in-depth information around becoming a CNA.
Other Healthcare oriented jobs would include the following:
- Emergency Responders/Parademic
- Medical Assistants
- Vocational Nursing (LPN or LVN)
- Physical/Occupational Therapy Aide
- (Sometimes) Scribing, Phlebotmy, Sterile Tech}
According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, for Nursing Assistant 2018:
Median Pay: $28,530 (about $13.72 per hour)
Typical Entry-Level Education: State-Approved training program
Number of Jobs: 1,564,200
Projected 10-year Growth: 9% (about 137,800 jobs)
What does the world of a CNA look like?
Certified Nursing Assistants, or Aides in some areas, provide basic care and assistance with patients’ everyday needs, which can include feeding, bathing, and dressing patients. In some instances they may have the ability to take vital signs, reposition patients who are bedridden, and even sterilize patient areas. CNAs tend to serve in one of the most direct patient care fields, and tend to experience a more personal relationship with their patients. CNAs are commonly found in long-term care, assisted, and skilled nursing facilities. CNA programs are relatively short, and don't necessarily require the rigorous prerequisites like you'd see for an RN program. One can expect a CNA program to take no more than 3-4 weeks, with a CNA 2 to have additional time added, usually another 2-3 weeks. Students are encouraged to get a job after a CNA and before/during their enrollment in a CNA 2 program.
Support, Governance and Accreditation
The National Association of Health Care Assistants (NAHCA) is one of the largest national organizations to support professionals in the field. They provide resources to current and prospective professionals through professional development, academic research, public policy analysis and regular conferences. It provides advocacy resources and cutting-edge patient care practices for licensed professionals as well as hosting job boards, a repository of accredited schools and requirements, best practices for admission and acceptance into programs, and regular news updates. Additionally, the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) serves as an independent, non-for-profit which brings together all of the state regulatory boards to create a centralized voice to raise concern, address shifts in public policy and assist in the development of state licensing exams.
In healthcare, especially nursing, there are a multitude of professional organizations. For CNAs, the Oregon Health Care Association (OHCA) is a well-networked organization which assists with career exploration, professional development and the most up-to-date public policy actions in the state.
Assistance in the Rogue Valley:
In the Rogue Valley, the main source of training for those seeking a CNA, or CNA2, program is Pacific Healthcare Training. Generally, students will complete a CNA program over the summer between academic years at SOU in order to gain medical experience needed for another professional program such as Nursing, Physician Assistant, and Medical schools. All Pre-Health programs can find a home in the SOU Pre-Healthcare Society. Students who are in any health discipline are encouraged to join this group, and its membership is not based on academic major, but rather professional interests in healthcare. Students from medical programs, mental health programs, dentistry, veterinary medicine, pharmacy, and other fields are welcome. To contact this organization, please email SOUprehealthcare@gmail.com.
Each state has its own board which oversees the licensing protocol for CNAs. These boards are responsible for developing, reviewing, and enforcing the practice and training based expectations for CNAs. Generally, CNAs are meant to serve in a direct-contact supportive roles, and typically report to Registered Nurses or other health administrators. In Oregon, the Oregon State Board of Nursing (OSBN) is responsible for the regulation of nursing programs.
Every state will have its own practice for reciprocity, and if a student is interested in training as a CNA to relocate to a different state, they should review the licensing requirement in the other state, in addition to Oregon.
Like nearly all allied health programs, a CNA must come from an appropriately accredited program. Each state will have its own standards for accreditation, but in Oregon, the Oregon State Board of Nursing dictates the requirements for training and licensing of CNAs. For information on requirements, please take some time to review the Oregon Nursing Candidate Handbook.
Specialties and Licenses
In Oregon, CNAs are trained at two levels, known commonly as a “CNA” and “CNA2”. In general, the biggest confusion is the delineation between a CNA and a CNA 2 program. CNA programs are the first-step in the path to healthcare, and generally allows you to work in skilled/nursing assisted facilities. However, a CNA 2 allows you to delve into a more practical environment, such as a clinic, hospital, or private practice.
At the end of an OSBN-approved program, a student will still need to pass a licensing exam in order to receive an industry-appropriate credential. In Oregon, it is common to see a CNA complete a Certified Medication Aide (CMA) program in order to administer non-injectable medications. Oregon CMAs complete Board-approved medication aide training programs, and have an additional exam to complete. There are some professional development options which allow a CNA to receive additional training in fields such as home health care, geriatrics/gerontology, pediatrics, and psychiatry.
What do I need to become a CNA?
Generally, the only requirement to pursue a CNA is a high-school diploma, or equivalent but doesn’t always require that. A clean criminal record a certification in CPR are fairly universal requirements. It is common, as with all medical fields, to maintain an up-to-date vaccination record.
Clearing it up: Commonly Confused Professions
CNA vs Orderly
The most essential difference between an Orderly and a CNA is a OSBN-approved licensing program. Typically, a CNA follows the pathways outlined above, but an Orderly may only need to complete an in-house training program. You will find both professionals working side-by-side in many care facilities and they do provide some basic physical assistance. Orderlies tend to work in large medical facilities, such as in a hospital or psychiatric facilities. They will assist patients with basic tasks such as walking to a destination or getting in and out of bed. They may restock, clean, and sterilize equipment at a facility’s discretion. CNAs tend to work in skilled living facilities, and have daily interaction with patients in a variety of areas. CNAs may administer a scheduled medication, monitor vitals and chart (depending on state). You can commonly see CNAs checking in on patient diets, quality of life, and basic needs. CNAs tend to have higher salaries than an orderly.
CNA vs Medical Assistant (MA)
Medical Assistants, sometimes known as Certified Medical Assistants, tend to work in more clinical environments and have a larger scope of practice than a CNA can have. They will generally take medical histories, update patient records, and a varied combination of medical and administrative duties depending on the state. Medical assistants tend to have longer training programs, and a different state certification, and can work in more environments than a CAN. They can not only gather patient data, and update files but also administer medication, monitor and chart vitals, and schedule appointments. Medical Assistants tend to have higher salaries than CNAs.
CNA vs Home Health Assistant (HHA)
CNAs and HHAs are commonly confused, especially given the environments they tend to work in, direct patient care. Both of them will provide direct care for patients, and assist with daily living needs, and work under the supervision of registered nurses and physicians. The key difference between these two professionals appears in the name of the professional. As one can assume home health emphasizes that HHAs will work in the actual residence of a patient, and assist with all needs there. Given the nature of their job, the HHAs can help administer scheduled, non-injectable medication. CNAs can work in a similar capacity, but they tend to work in a medical environment such as a skilled living facility. While states have their own licensing requirements for CNAs, an HHA may not have a formal licensing process, depending on the state. HHAs tend to have lower salaries by comparison to a CNA.
Preparing for Your Nursing Application
Typically, we ask students to have an idea of which programs they intend on applying into during their first year at SOU. Once we know, we will begin planning the ideal timing for applying to nursing schools. Typically, nursing schools use a central application service known as the NursingCAS. We commonly see students applying in the Fall and Winter term the year preceding their ideal first term in a nursing program (i.e. Applying in Fall 2020 or Winter 2021 for a program starting Fall 2021). Most schools have a similar system of review, which happens in four phases: Quantitative Review, Qualititative Review, Interviews, Selection.
Generally, this area of review consists of making sure applications are complete and have all necessary components. Additionally, schools will evaluate if students have completes all core requirements with sufficient grades and calculate their "Nursing" GPA. This is typically comprised of strictly the requirements for a given program, and will not consider elective credit. Some schools will require the TEAS test, and may ask for high school transcripts, SAT/ACT scores, and any Credit-By-Examination [CBE] scores (AP/IB/CLEP).
Please note, many nursing schools won't accept CBE credits for any prerequisites, but may do so for elective courses. At this stage any bonus/preferred criterion may be assessed.
At the end of this step, applicants are assigned their initial scoring with an overall GPA and a "Nursing" GPA.
This step incorporates the holistic aspect of the nursing application, and traditionally includes scoring set aside for experiential, cultural, and extracurricular components. During this stage your medical background, and its relevent application to nursing (via your essays) are reviewed, and questions around socioeconomic status, demographic (such as race and locality), and diversity are also taken into consideration. At the end of this stage, candidates begin receiving a final scoring, which is then used for Interview selection.
A vast majority of nursing programs incorporate an interview process in order to personally meet favorable candidates for admission. During this stage, finalists will be interviewed by any combination of faculty, students, and administration of a given nursing school. Interviews can last as little as 30 minutes, or as long as a couple of hours, depending on the program. It is not uncommon for proctored essays to occur at this stage also. At SOU, we offer practice interviews for students!
Finally, schools will make their final lists of students, and offer spots to their top picks. Often times, schools will keep a small alternate list for students who may have fallen just below the top selections, in the event a finalist chooses to not attend. For example, if a program has 30 seats, they will offer 30 applicants a place, with maybe an additional 5 students being placed on an alternate list. If one of the original 30 offers is rejected, one of the 5 alternates may take that spot.