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- by redstepchild Jun 20, '11for 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
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.
- Jun 26, '11 by km50Thanks for the info. I'm thinking sbout attending VC in October and the only thing holding me back was that i wasnt sure if I could further my education. I just wanted to be able to get my BSN and south alabama is where I really wanted to go. Now that I no I can further my education I am definetly going to VC cause I loved it, especially the fact that it is a lot of hands on and small classes and the teachers help you out a lot. So now I'm just wondering where your at in your process of getting your BSN?
- Jun 26, '11 by redstepchildI am going to VC. I called around to the BSN mobility programs and I found that if I mentioned VC they instantly said NO.. BUT if I said "licensed in the state of Alabama/ NCLEX passed" + pre-reqs at Jeff state.. then it was a YES. I think they hear VC and they stop listening. The mobility programs WILL accept you if you are licensed in the state and have pre reqs from a community college. UAB may be an exception. They say NO initially but when I clarified with the state licensed, they say yes. Once you graduate VC and pass your NCLEX you are state licensed.
total Class sizes are like 35 people. clinicals are 6-8 at MOST. Labs are smaller sized as well.
I have to wait until October so I can take nursing classes because I have the transfer credits so I had a few quarters knocked off and the classes I need to start with aren't offered until October. Its ok. I am finishing some of the Pre reqs for the BSN at jeff state. Plus, my tuition just got a good portion knocked off again.
- Jun 26, '11 by redstepchildsee if you can get a copy of their quarter by quarter schedule and perhaps you can cross off enough classes to get that quarter to 4 credits.. and then you request to have that "one" course moved either to the NEXT quarter OR moved to the next time it is offered. At Bham.. courses are offered "every other" quarter.
So a class that can't be moved to quarter #2, may be offered again during quarter #3.
Its not something they advertise.. but when it is time to get your schedule, they won't make you take a class over that you already passed so thats what the program director will do. They say they don't do it but they do.
If you have at least 8 credits of class that semester, they won't move it.
- Nov 28, '11 by km50So just wondering how everything is going for u?
- Nov 28, '11 by redstepchildI'm extremely happy with my decision. The nursing instructors are very very helpful.
If someone took just the VC courses, they would have a lot of cramming to do with Microbiology, AP1, Nutrition for nursing, and Eng 102 in the same quarter.
I'm very glad I will just have nursing classes. I am able to keep a lighter course load.
I did find out VC requires you to take the ATI NCLEX test and pass with a 95% before you can take the actual NCLEX. A built in guarantee that their graduates will pass with a high rate.
You also have to pass your ATI test for each nursing course subject area with an 80 in order to have passed the class.
You do have to pass your classes and ATI course tests with 80% to proceed but so far it seems they are really geared at getting you where you need to be.
The quarters are shorter. This quarter is already over on 12/06. Started the 1st week of October. Flies by. You do have to study your coursework
- Dec 1, '11 by km50That's awesome to hear. I did not get to start in October but if I pass the TEAS test I'll start this January. Have you spoken with anyone who has graduated from the program? I work for Thomas Hospital which offers tuition reimbursement for every semester passed but in return you have to work for them for 3 yrs (i think its 3 yrs) so I'll have a job but i worried about if i ever left Thomas Hospital which i probably want leave infirmary health systems but maybe Thomas tho.
- Jul 11, '12 by shawana27hi im interested in VC program although i am curentlly in university of mobiles program which is very unorganized and the pass rate is horribly low... i was wondering how are you doing with your progress?
- Jul 13, '12 by HM-8404I would think long and hard about Virginia College Nursing program in Birmingham. The State Board of Nursing shows their 2010-2011 NCLEX pass rate was only 27.3%.
They only had 22 students. That means only 6 passed. WOW!