Future Nursing Student needs advice - page 2

by PWnurse

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I'm 37/male and have been accepted to a nursing program (Aug 2004) at a community college (Otero Junior). I recently spoke with an advisor at another CC and because I already have a Bachelors degree, she strongly recommeded I... Read More


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    Interesting about University of Wisconsin - I'll check into it, thank you very much. I was a systems analyst in the pharmaceutical industry before 2 kids. Then I moved around the world and country with husband being mommy. Then I was ready to go back to work and not only is it real hard to find a programming job, they are all 50+ hour weeks -- tough with a family. People were calling me in to interview only because of the health care application -- programmers are "a dime a dozen". Well, health care is frankly a lot more interesting than writing computer code and I'd been Dr. Mom for 10+ years, so then I decided to work hard to become a nurse. Problem is, it's so hard to get into any programs here in COlorado. At 43, I feel I have many productive years left, but I just hate the idea of wasting those years waiting around to get into a school. I'm baffled because there are many women like me that I've met in pre-reg classes, who can't get into a school in this state despite straight A's. Women that I would trust to nurse my family, good people that could alleviate this "nursing crisis".
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    I've heard those same stories about schools here in California, and in Oregon. The community college in the town my aunt lives in (Eugene, OR) only lets in people with straight A's. Apparently with a lack of nurses comes a lack of nursing instructors as well.
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    By the way, as a former programmer-- what do you think about the market for nursing informatics? I was thinking about going into it, but there don't seem to be any job ads out-- especially entry level.
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    I have never heard of the term "nursing informatics". In the company where I used to work, many nurses were working as QA Analysts. We were preparing New Drug Applications for submission to the FDA. Now this was a cush job. No liability issues, no blood, and no vomit, great pay, and with QA you check other people for errors but people rarely check you!
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    Quote from PWnurse
    I'm 37/male and have been accepted to a nursing program (Aug 2004) at a community college (Otero Junior). I recently spoke with an advisor at another CC and because I already have a Bachelors degree, she strongly recommeded I pursue one of the accelerated BSN programs (Metro State just started one). When I punch the numbers I figure I'll be in debt for $38,000.00+, after I pay for tuition and suplement my living expenses if I go the accelerated BSN route. Or-I could spend two semesters at a community college, get my LPN and owe about. $15,000. (tuition/living exp). I have higher ambitions than an LPN, but I'm not too keen on accumulating all that debt for a occupation that doesn't pay all that well. My plan is to get my foot in the door and have my employer pay for the remainder of my education.
    Questions:
    Is what I'm thinking realistic or should I go after the BSN now?

    On average, how much will Denver hospitals reimburse for tuition?

    What can I expect to make as an LPN straight out of school (Denver metro area)?

    Any feedback would be appreciated.
    Dear Single Dad...

    I think you should just shoot for the RN. As a new grad, you would be making about as much per hour as an LPN with years of experienced. Your earning capacity will be greater in 5 years as an RN than as an LPN.

    I believe in the long run, since you do hope to do more than just obtain a practical nurses license, you will be happier. Especially since it costs about the same for you to first earn the LPN, and then go back and get the RN. Besides other things can come up once the LPN was earned that might keep you from returning and obtaining the RN longer than you expected.

    As an RN, you will have more options in where you work and your earning capacity. As an LPN, it is limited for most people (yes, there is the occassional "dream jobs").

    You might be able to pick up a scholarship or grants. The Veterans Administration still have the valor program, where they give you a stipence to live on, pay for tuition and books, and then you "owe" them a year's worth of work for every year they pay for (you might have to check into this one more as it has been a while since I have actually known anyone using this method). They only award a very few each year, so it is highly competative and a pretty big feather in your cap if you get it.

    Good luck with your decision.


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