for anyone considering VC- here's the experience and information I have to share.
1. VC cost more
but has SUBSTANTIALLY more hands on Clinical hours
than any other Assoc degree program. VC Grads have 750 clinical hours
.. CLINICAL hours..
community college Assoc programs have less than 50 CLINICAL hours. VC will give you a huge "hands on" leg up. I hear the Universities have even less clinical hours than the community colleges but I haven't been able to verify that.
2. VC tuition covers all
the little things that add up like Books, scrubs, immunizations, TB/ drug testing, etc. Its a one fee deal. They send you to American family clinic a few blocks away and there is virtually no wait. Its same day- walk in appt. Take your sheet and AFC gets you right in. They do a lot of these. The Admin at VC makes it pretty simple to go through enrollment/ admissions. You meet with the Nursing program instructors/ clinical coordinator prior to admissions.
3. VC makes it CLEAR that that a "C" is considered a fail
. There is no "C" at VC in their classes (C as a transfer credit is ok). Its A, B, or Fail for the VC classes. I talked with current students that I know and they said the instructors do a great deal to make sure you are getting the material so if you are failing to thrive with all that help, then you won't be able pass the NCLEX so better to cut you now. Makes sense.
4. RN-BSN programs at 4 year Universities.. If you are going to do one of these after VC then I would suggest you take your PRE-REQS at a community college
. VC courses won't transfer but the liscensure/ NCLEX will suffice for RN-BSN programs.
For example, University of So Alabama has a large "Online Nursing" degree program and USA is a highly respected college. This is the brochure for their RN-BSN program. They have a ton of Graduate degrees in nursing as well. http://www.southalabama.edu/nursing/pdf/onlinernbsn.pdf
In the brochure for USA, there are 19 prereq courses. If you took those classes at VC, you WON'T get transfer credit. I took mine at Jefferson state community college so they WILL transfer. I have spoken to advisors @USA in admissions and the nursing program. With my courses that I took at Jeff state + passing my NCLEX and obtaining a license in AL, I will be eligible to go to their RN-BSN/Masters program. You have to be REALLY clear because if you JUST say VC they will say nope and fail to listen to ANYTHING else. VC will enable you to sit for your NCLEX and get a license.
5. VC will give you credit for courses taken at a community college
and they will re-work your class schedule if you fall below 8 courses.
6. VC is provisionally approved. I've spoken to the AL Nursing board about this and they don't for see VC losing its approval anytime soon. In fact, VC is just putting out their graduating class this month who have all past the internal version of the NCLEX with flying colors.
7. VC has substantially smaller class sizes
so they have to invest more in making sure their graduates pass the NCLEX test. VC really REALLY wants you to pass.. because they can't afford to have even a FEW students fail the test..
8. VC is on a Quarter system. 4 quarters per year. 2 year program. Reasons NOT to go to VC
... Cost, transfer of credits for your BSN (unless you take pre -reqs at a community college) Reasons TO go to VC
.. smaller class sizes, more "help" and more student friendly. Easier admissions. Tuition covers books, shots, testing. SUBSTANTIALLY more Clinical hours than any comparable program= more hands on experience.
As for the "provisionally approved" status, with the Graduating class forecasted to all pass their NCLEX that isn't a huge worry of mine. Plus they will go into deficient status first and there are a large amount of Assoc programs in AL that are currently in Deficient status or ABOUT TO GO into deficient status.
ALL programs that have a passing rate under 80% are considered deficient http://www.abn.state.al.us/Content.aspx?id=198
All programs with stars next to their score are considered "DEFICIENT".. there's a lot of programs in that status currently, or headed that direction.