So Cal CC with Lottery

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    Hi guys, i'm basically sttarting over and would like to pursue a career in nursing. My grades are ok or below average at 2.88, my pre recs arebit better as they are above a 3.0 depending which pre recs the school accpets and requires. Its more than the 2.0 or 2.5 some CC require but I understand that some CC are soley based on merit and points and I have no chance of getting into those programs. My best shot is to take my chances with a lottery program such as Golden West or Cerritos.

    Are there any other So Cal CC with a lottery type selection criteria? I hear that some people have waited as long as two years, which sucks but I can take classes towards my BSN or anything else that would help me advance my career in nursing. Im 27 now and I will probably be 47 beore anythiing happens but hopefully the effort is worth it.

    Thank you and any advice will be appreciated.
  2. 9 Comments so far...

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    Thank you for that!
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    Check out cerritos community college: www.cerritos.edu
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    Hi DeterminedFutureRN,

    Another path to becoming a RN, albeit an often winding and difficult one, is to become a LVN first then apply to a LVN-ADN or LVN-BSN program.

    The pros (in my opinion, of course): LVN programs do not have as many prerequisites as RN programs so they may be easier to get in. LVN programs are about 1 year in length which allows you to start working as a nurse much faster. When you are ready to apply to a RN program, you are not competing with nearly as many candidates and are likely to be more confident and knowledgeable since your book knowledge is seasoned with real life experience.

    Cons: LVN programs are often very compact and crammed into 2 semesters and one summer session. My LVN program was five days a week straight of classes and clinical rotations whereas my RN program was a three day a commitment at the most with longer breaks in between classes. I worked full-time throughout my RN program. I highly doubt I could have done the same thing with my LVN program's schedule.

    The LVN new grad job market stinks. LVN-RN programs often require six months to a year of work experience and may even stipulate that it needs to be acute care experience. I never understood or agreed with this requirement considering you will be joining non-healthcare workers in their final semesters of RN school but oh well. The requirement is there. May be very hard to fulfill in this economy.

    This is the path I took. Over 5 years, I worked as a LVN and took prerequisite classes here and there and got my ADN this year. It is totally possible to do it faster. I am very happy with my journey and I hope you get something out of it.

    Good luck!
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    Another thing----

    My friend with a GPA around yours got into Mount Saint Mary's pre-nursing program. The buzz is that pre-nursing students are given priority for admission into their ADN program. She is going to spend a ton of money but, like, you she was determined to get in and is now on her way.
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    Thank you both for your advice. It is very much appreciated.

    I too thought about the going through the LVN route, but like you mentioned the new-grad situation for LVN's is pretty bad. Everyday I check on craigslist for job postings and the only places that are hiring LVN's are in nursing/retirement homes. No offense to any LVN's, but they're worth much more than the $9.00 an hour my one friend is getting paid. Also, having done my research, LVN-RN programs that are accredited are more impacted than ADN/BSN programs. The reason being is that schools only accepted LVN-RN cohorts once a year. as oppsed to 2 for ADN/BSN, and only have room for at the most 30 people.

    I also looked into St. Marys, I actually have all I need to start but I can't accept the price for it. 30k+ for an ADN, no offense to your friend, is outrageous. Perhaps if I have a gauranteed job at the end of my schooling I would reconsider but the economy and job market right now is horrible! I have serveral new grad nursing friends who cannot find a job. Out of about a dozen, only one has found a job at Kaiser and with all due respect, her mom was the charge nurse.

    BTW, Kaiser hire LVN's but the only hire from within. Either you already work there or you know someone who does.

    Again thank you both for the advice. I hope to find my way into nursing and best of luck in your endeavors.
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    ... but they're worth much more than the $9.00 an hour my one friend is getting paid.
    Yes LVNs are. Your friend is WAAAAAAY underpaid! $9.00/hr is around and even less than a CNA's salary. The average for an LVN is $20 and typically ranges anywhere from $15 to $25. During my job hunting, I was generally offered around $15 at doctors' offices, and $18 at most SNFs, day programs, and assisted living, but that varies also. Right now I get paid $18, $20, and $22 at each of my on call SNF positions. I have friends that make $23 and $25/hr in home health.

    And as an update to your original post, Mt SAC for sure will no longer be using lottery once they start accepting applications again. This is from their website:

    "Beginning January 1st, 2013, due to changes in legislation, a new method for determining eligibility for entrance to the Associate Degree Nursing Program will be implemented. Admission to the program includes the use of a multi-criteria screening tool including, but not limited to, pre-requisite course GPA, HESI A2 scores, degrees, work experience, life experiences, and second language proficiency"

    Nor will Golden West College, as this is what is stated on their applicant selection page:

    "Complete applications to the Basic Associate Degree Nursing Program that are submitted by the deadline are evaluated using a mathematical formula that is a combination of overall GPA, core science GPA, English GPA and any documented repetition (failures or withdrawals) of core science classes."

    There's even a little calculator on GWC's site that evaluates your competitiveness by computing and weighting your science and english GPAs.

    Los Angeles Harbor College still states that their selection criteria is based off of lottery, but they may have just not updated their site.

    Assuming this legislation will affect all CA community college nursing programs, you may want to begin planning for an alternative to entering a lottery program should lottery programs become obsolete altogether.

    IMO, the LVN-ADN route sounds a lot better than the private college route if you take it at an adult school/ROP program. They are definitely competitive, but they typically don't take pre-req GPA into consideration, just how well you do on their admissions test and their Pre-LVN classes. You may not be able to work as an LVN due to the difficulty in finding a job, but you'll still be able to bridge at some places (other schools like Cerritos and Citrus require you have 1yr LVN work experience before bridging).
    DeterminedFutureRN likes this.
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    Thank you SquishyLVN for your informative and insightful response. But forgive me, what does SNF mean? Did you find it very difficult to find work as an LVN? Better yet, in becoming an LVN did you go through the adult school/ROP program?

    And you are correct about Mt. Sac in their changing of their admissions criteria. As for Golden West I was able to send in my application last week because I received a score high enough on that mathematical formula you mentioned. Most lottery schools use it and it's called the chancellors formula (sorry if you already know this). Basically aspiring students must have a score above 77 and if so the student then can be put into the lottery. I had an 85 I believe. And I;m not sure about LAHC, just that since there are more applicants then there are spots available, they take all of the applicants that meet the minimum requirement and put them in their lottery.
    SquishyRN likes this.
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    SNF = skilled nursing facility, which is what people normally think of when they say "nursing home." I hate the term "nursing home" though because to the general public it pretty much encompasses any facility that takes care of seniors regardless of acuity of care. Assisted living, LTC (long term care), SNF, SNFs with sub-acute units or rehab, LTAC (long term acute care), etc. all have varying degrees of acuity and needs of residents but all get lumped into the "nursing home" category.

    Yes I did go to an ROP program for my LVN. The entire program cost less then $5000 and I paid monthly out of pocket. They have raised tuition since then, but it's still under $6500.

    Getting my first job was relatively easy for me because of family connections, but thats obviously not the norm.*My other 2 I got from my own connections and because I already have some experience.*It's all about networking! A lot of nurses work 2 or more jobs (like me XD) and I was recommended by coworkers to my other jobs. I don't even have my "golden" one year experience yet but easily find new work bc I can demonstrate I already have my basics down. It's just that first job as a new grad that's hard to get. Most of my classmates that are working either had connections as well or got hired in places they were already working. But some did get jobs with none of that, so it's not impossible, just extremely difficult. Others just used LVN to bridge and had no intention of working as an LVN to begin with.


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