Excelsior College Paramedic to RN Bridging Program
0Sep 10, '12 by ncredhedAre there any current students doing the Paramedic to RN Bridging Program through Excelsior College? I would love to hear about your experience so far. I am in NC and am ready to apply to Excelsior. TCN almost had me roped in but I read too much negativity about them and their costs. Everyone please share your experiences with Excelsior with me. Thx so much!!!
4Sep 11, '12 by AliakeyI'm a paramedic who is (hopefully) just about done with this adventure. My CPNE is this weekend (gulp).
Right off the bat, I'd suggest the following:
1. The general opinion (including mine) is to avoid the College Network. Everything you need to succeed with Excelsior can be found at... where, else, but Excelsior. TCN is *not* affiliated with Excelsior one bit, and is just another big expense.
2. How familiar are you with the nursing end of things, beyond the many hours you put into clinicals at the hospitals as an EMT through Paramedic student? There's a whole 'nuther skill set to learn that will not be spoonfed by Excelsior, so you will need to learn basic nursing skills on your own. It's not difficult, just requires extra time and practice. The Fundamentals of Nursing textbook will be your friend for this.
3. The jump from "Paramedic thinking" to "RN thinking" is a big one. You will become one with the nursing diagnosis, care planning, and such that just doesn't make a whole lot of sense to us at first. Be patient... it'll eventually hit you and you'll see why nurses do what they do in their environment.
4. I have found that the time and costs I have invested into the program are comparable to attending a brick n' mortar nursing school, with one big benefit: I can still work full time as a paramedic and bring home a paycheck. You will need to set aside a lot of studying time, if you want to be competent. There are folks who can get through this program a lot faster; can't comment beyond that as far as understanding the material though.
5. Make sure that Excelsior is accepted in the states you want to license under; not all accept this education program even though it is both regionally accredited and also by NLNAC (something not all brick n' mortar schools can boast about). State requirements are here: http://www.excelsior.edu/state-board-requirements
What would you like to know? Notice that I'm not shy on dumping information on everyone, lol!
0Sep 19, '12 by ncredhedThank you so much Aliakey!
I will DEFINITELY avoid TCN. I will also steer my friends clear of it. I was aware that they were not "affiliated" but was not sure if the extra expense was worth the cost. You and all of the other posts I have read about them have me fully convinced to avoid them.
I have worked in medical clinics and have had experience with patient care in that type of environment. I agree with you on it being another skill set to learn. I will make sure to become the best of friends with my Fundamentals of Nursing textbook. Hahaha! I also promise to be patient (verrrry patient) as I learn to transition to the RN way of thinking. I know as paramedics, we get aggravated at the nurses at times (we still LOVE you though, nurses!!!) but I know they have reasons for doing the things they do or do not do. I will definitely keep your advice in mind on that part also.
I was working towards the Nursing Program at a "brick and mortar" school but I have taken all I can take other than Microbiology and the core nursing classes. I am just tired of waiting and waiting to actually get into the program. There seems to be a waiting list a mile long at all of the schools in my area. I cannot keep wasting time and money on classes I do not need at the "brick and mortar" school. I was also told that I would be able to finish Excelsior's program within a year to a year and a half, depending on how hard I worked on it and got through the "modules." The "brick and mortar" school with take me two years and that is AFTER I finally get into the program. Although Excelsior may be a little more than the "brick and mortar" school, I believe I will be saving money and (especially) time in the long run. I am getting "up there" in age and do not have a lot of time left to waste in my life. I understand I will not be "spoon fed" at Excelsior but I feel like I am pretty good at disciplining myself to self-study. I will just have to set aside time every single day and work hard on this.
A couple of my sister's paramedic co-workers here in NC graduated from Excelsior several years ago. I will definitely check that website you sent to make sure that Excelsior is still accepted here. Never know when this crazy state might change the rules on us.
I believe the main reason I have been fighting back and forth with myself to sign up or not is really this...... Should I spend the extra money and go through "that other place" so that I will be "Guaranteed" study guides and "everything that I need to pass" and have all of the "resources" that I can call on or turn to if I get stuck on something at any time of day or night???? Ok, "that other place" is DEFINITELY NOT an option now. As I said earlier, that option is definitely OUT now. So tell me... I know Excelsior is self-study and I know I will be doing this allllllll alone. I know it is going to take self-discipline to get through this. But.... what are actual resources that I will have in case I do get stuck? I have not had the chance to read a lot of the posts in this website yet but it seems to be a GREAT place. I also read that you can buy study guides or something like that on ebay. What are other resources available for Excelsior students?
Thank you so much Aliakey for your reply to my post. You have been a tremendous help! You have even eased my mind a bit. Thank you!!!
2Sep 19, '12 by jessica.bradingExcelsior provides a study guide for each test that lists the required books. The study guide will guide you as to where to focus in those text books. The study guides are the key and they are free. There are also other resources available such as study guide 101 which are very cheap. The practice exams are very useful from what I have heard (I only used one and it was definitely worth it). Just to give you another opinion and not to influence you at all but I have used TCN and have been completely satisfied with it. I went in knowing that yes I would be paying significantly more in the long run but I would be able to finish much faster because I would have the money available to test whenever I was ready to test since it was financed. TCN is not for everyone but it was right for me and I have had support through the program with them and excelsior. I have finished all the nursing classes and am in the FCCA courses now. I started in April with 2 prereqs. I have only taken every test once and passed. I only used TCN material until the FCCA and now have older versions of fundamentals and med surg books which I payed a total of $25 for. I am an LVN and have a lot of nursing experience as well which has helped me complete so quickly. Good luck and feel free to message me if you want any more of my input lol. Sorry didn't mean for this to get so long.
1Sep 20, '12 by BrillyDTry studygroup101, their study guides are on cd or you can download from their website. I seem to learn better if I have lots of practice tests and they have oodles in their study guides - you just can't beat it for $10 IMHO Oh yeah, they will also answer questions or point you in the right direction if you're having trouble with a concept.
Check your local library for the textbooks, sometimes they can borrow the current textbook from a larger library for you and did I mention "free"??!! Also check Amazon or ebay cause sometimes you can get the textbooks really cheap.
I've passed 5 nursing exams so far using sg101, FON and MedSurg the old maternal-newborn and peds books. 3 to go before the dreaded focused clinical and cpne. I won't be done in a year as planned, but probably 18 months total. Yeah!!
As a paramedic you actually have some advantages I think - you won't need to practice reciting your assessment out loud as much as the some - you do it everyday, and a rapid head-to-toe you could probably do in your sleep! I think all nurses should be EMS trained - wouldn't they be awesome!! Thinking about that as a topic for my master's thesis ... someday!
I love this program - I can't bare sitting in a classroom, makes me nod off....
3Sep 21, '12 by AliakeyWell, I just got done with my CPNE weekend and passed! (insert happy-nutso-medic-dance). It was NOT easy, but is doable and the clinical examiners/clinical associate were all very, very supportive.
Ncredhed, to answer your questions about study aids:
I relied heavily on the free downloadable Content Guides for each exam at the Excelsior website. The must-have textbooks (in my opinion) are the Fundamentals of Nursing, the Medical Surgical nursing book(s), and the pediatric/maternal textbook. If you can find cheap older editions or good notes on the mental health nursing, community nursing, and other textbooks, you may do fine with those. The pharmacology text was "okay"; some good information in there, but *ouch* on the price for it.
I did purchase the Study Guide 101 notes, and they were okay. Kinda chaotic in the organization and not 100% accurate in the information they offer, so use them carefully.
The practice exams were a must for me, and worth the extra expense.
If you feel your nursing skills need visual help, I really encourage you to either find the Taylor's Fundamental of Nursing book with the inner cover scratch off code still intact, or buy it new. With that code, you can access the publisher's website, which houses a number of nursing skills videos. Or, if you can find the used book for cheap but without the intact code, consider buying the Taylor Clinical Nursing Skills DVD to help you with the skills you may need to do for the CPNE. You could dig up YouTube videos on each skill, but be careful that they follow the nursing practices outlined in the Fundamental of Nursing book. That is the reference the CPNE uses for skills.
After all is said and done, I have spent as much money on Excelsior as I would have at one of our brick n' mortar schools. But, I was able to maintain my current full time employment doing this on my own time, so in reality, I'm ahead by a lot. No regrets at all.
Good luck on your adventure!
0Sep 30, '12 by marriednursesHi, this is my first post on AN's. I am a LPN, who graduated and passed my boards a few weeks ago. All the pre-recs with the excpetion of algebra are done. Currently I am working on some of the RN classes as I plan to bridge over sometime next year. Since starting this exciting nursing journey I have wanted to bridge online. I live in FL and was wondering if Excelsior is accredited here?
Any help would be awesome,
0Sep 30, '12 by Pixie.RN, BSN, RN, EMT-P Senior ModeratorWelcome to allnurses! EC is accepted by Florida. Please check out this link on EC's website:
State Board Requirements - excelsior.edu
I also recommend you download the school of nursing catalog and read about the ADN program so you have a full understanding of how it works (like the clinical exam). Good luck, and congrats on obtaining your LPN license.