It ended up being between $7000 - $10000 for me. I used a study system (Rue). I had to take the clinical twice, and each clinical is $1300, besides travel expenses, hotel, time off work, etc. The only reason I wouldn't reccomend it is because they reserve the right to fail you on your clinical for almost anything. You can only take the clinical 3 times, no matter what, and you take if after you've done all the bookwork. So if you fail it 3 times, ALL your time, work, money, is down the drain. They do build in some room for error in some situations. In my experience they were VERY fair, but they reserve that right. I wasn't familiar with the old style secondary tubing and IV system (We ALWAYS use pumps), so I flunked the clinical on that. Aced all of my patient care situations, but there are 4 lab competencies (IV secondary, IV push, IM/SQ injection, and I can't remember what else). Second time around I aced everything the first time, by the Grace of GOd!
So my advice would be if this is what you decide to do:
#1 Pin Excelsior and any study system you use down on exactly how much it will cost
#2 Spend the extra money to buy their lab equipment to practice for the clinical
#3 Practice, practice, practice for the clinical. I went through the patient care situation several times, start to finich, including care plan, before I went. YOu want the routine to be completely automatic, because nerves will take over!!
The class part of it I loved. I was workikng in an acute care setting, so I used my new knowledge every day. The best part of it (obviously) is I was able to work full-time hours the whole time, so that off-sets the cost tremendosly.
I will be interested to know what you decide to do. Not bashing Excelsior at all - it worked for me!! - just want everyone to go in informed. Wish you the best in whatever you decide to do!!!
Keep us posted.