Is a degree from excelsior.edu worth anything?

  1. I just heard about this online college and I just want to know what others think about it. I've always been skeptical about online degrees, but since I'm desperate I'll take what I can get. I don't really feel like being on the waiting list for two years before I finally get into the nursing program for another two years.

    Anyway. Does it matter if you graduate this college instead of an actual college? In other words, is it any harder to get a job with an online degree.

    I know I haven't done my research, but it's midnight and I'm too lazy to read anything in its unabridged version.

    Thanks.
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  2. 55 Comments

  3. by   woody62
    If you are an LPN or former military medic, getting your Associates then your BSN is worth it. However, the is a very small number of state BON that do not recognize their degree and will not allow them to sit for their nursing license exam. Or grant them a license unless they have all ready practiced a minimum of two years. My state, Florida, has done an about face with regards to recognizing their degree, with our new head. Prior to him, Florida did accept their graduates and allow them to sit their exam.

    Obtaining a degree from Excelsior is not an easy task. You have to do a clinical practice exam with each level of nursing. And they are tough. To put it simply, you are grade on every action or lack of action during your exam. Forget to wash your hands, that is a mark that goes against you. I had a professor, in graduate school, that did exams for them. Since the class was about nursing education she talked about what she had to watch and grade on. I had a tough program but theirs was even tougher. I had a classmate who had gotten his Associates thru them. And he backed up everything she said, when questioned by us, outside of her class.

    If you have only NA experience it will not be sufficient to give you the skills that you need. For this reason I suggest that anyone outside an LPN or military medic, to go the more tradional route.

    Woody
  4. by   EricJRN
    Here's the unabridged (if slightly biased) view:

    - You need to be some sort of certified/licensed healthcare provider (see the website for specific categories) or at least have been a prior nursing student who completed most of the original program in order to be admitted to EC's nursing program.

    - If you do have the appropriate background for admission, you would need to evaluate whether your state's board of nursing will license you after graduation from Excelsior. Because clinical credit is handled by evaluation/testing rather than the traditional system of rotations, not all states are wild on the idea.

    Those are probably the two biggest hurdles. Many people on this site, including two staff members, have achieved success through an Excelsior education.

    I'd be glad to answer more questions, or you can check out the Distance/Online Learning Forum under the Student tab of this site.

    Good luck to you!

    Eric
  5. by   zenman
    Mine has been worthwhile and didn't even cause a hiccup on the way to two masters. I even taught in an ADN and BSN program.
  6. by   preppygirl
    Quote from spicychickensandwich
    I just heard about this online college and I just want to know what others think about it. I've always been skeptical about online degrees, but since I'm desperate I'll take what I can get. I don't really feel like being on the waiting list for two years before I finally get into the nursing program for another two years.

    Anyway. Does it matter if you graduate this college instead of an actual college? In other words, is it any harder to get a job with an online degree.

    I know I haven't done my research, but it's midnight and I'm too lazy to read anything in its unabridged version.

    Thanks.
    That is a good question, and I suppose it depends what you wish to do with the degree. I do know Nurses who have their ADN and BSN through Excelsior, and they seem to do ok. However, I do know for a fact that a degree from Excelsior is not well respected. The hospital I used to work at in Florida would not even hire Excelsior grads (Back then it was called Reagents or something like that). A friend of mine is a director of Nursing for a very large hospital, and she will only hire an Excelsior grad as a last resort. When I asked her why her facility feels this way, she said that Excelsior is a virtual university, it is not a real school. I guess you need to do what you need to do, but try to go to the best College or University you can.
    Last edit by preppygirl on Nov 20, '07
  7. by   SuesquatchRN
    A nursing degree, period, is worthless without passing the NCLEX.

    I'm in Excelsior now. I'm also in a rural area in NYS, and Excelsior is here, and was created for just such people as me, who can't get to a physical school.
  8. by   EmmaG
    One of my instructors was a Regeants grad (he'd been an LPN). He was also an assistant DON at our hospital (large regional medical center). The man was scary smart, and an excellent nurse. Since then, I know that some BONs have stipulations about this school, though.
  9. by   Medic04
    Quote from preppygirl
    That is a good question, and I suppose it depends what you wish to do with the degree. I do know Nurses who have their ADN and BSN through Excelsior, and they seem to do ok. However, I do know for a fact that a degree from Excelsior is not well respected. The hospital I used to work at in Florida would not even hire Excelsior grads (Back then it was called Reagents or something like that). A friend of mine is a director of Nursing for a very large hospital, and she will only hire an Excelsior grad as a last resort. When I asked her why her facility feels this way, she said that Excelsior is a virtual university, it is not a real school. I guess you need to do what you need to do, but try to go to the best College or University you can.
    Personally that is a poor management decision. They may be passing over a really good RN for a maybe sub par RN from a well known school.
    ( I am NOT saying traditional are sub par, but they may be passing over a great person with good training for someone with a well known school)
    I have seen new RN grads from the" Traditional" RN school come out and not know a damn thing, nothing. Even with clinicals they do and have to be trained since their instructor or class was too busy or too large or just skirted through it.

    Believe me I have seen this with several RN new hires in the last several weeks already and they have a 12 week probation/training because of this .( So I am not too impressed with so called traditional schools, they are not as great as others think they are)

    I have seen the Excelsior Test and it is NOT a easy class, it is not a easy test and it has a lot more hurdles to get over and to get in a school then most RN schools. You have to actually know material, not depend on the like or dislike of your instructor to pass you in a class.

    The final Clinical is not a cake walk where the traditional schools have 2 years to" make mistakes" their grads have to already know and understand how to do what is needed. I know some folks from Excelsior and "Traditional" school and both can and do pull their weight and all are great RNs.

    Am I biased, yes as I am just one of those "internet RNs" I hope to Grad between Dec and spring, but I can pull my weight with a RN from a Traditional school any day against any new Grad RN, not everyone has the time, money or can wait to go sit in a classroom wait a few years to earn a degree they can earn right away. I can't stop my life, my bills wont wait and I sure can't stop working to drop everything to go to a traditional "RN" school sit in class, have a instructor tell me I can't or cannot do something right in clinical I have been doing for years. If I was close to 20 years younger maybe, but right now that is not a option.

    Till management and close-minded people think this, maybe they should watch the exam and see what these folks will have to go through before making judgment on those they know only through rumor, hearsay and their own ideas of what of course "They " think a RN school should be, they might be missing out on a great employee.:angryfire

    I personally think this is the way of the future and the
    dinosaur schools will eventually go away and that is what some of the schools fear most. 3 of ours have closed already and I am in a major Metro area.
    Last edit by Medic04 on Nov 20, '07 : Reason: forgot to add "maybe"
  10. by   TheCommuter
    I work in Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas, and many of the successful RNs around here earned their degrees through Excelsior's program, all on their own time.

    However, California definitely will not accept RNs who completed their educations through Excelsior.
  11. by   Medic04
    Quote from TheCommuter
    I work in Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas, and many of the successful RNs around here earned their degrees through Excelsior's program, all on their own time.

    However, California definitely will not accept RNs who completed their educations through Excelsior.
    Yes and they are working on getting back into Ca, since it was just done a few years ago. They actually had testing there at one time I believe too.
  12. by   Drysolong
    Quote from TheCommuter
    I work in Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas, and many of the successful RNs around here earned their degrees through Excelsior's program, all on their own time.

    However, California definitely will not accept RNs who completed their educations through Excelsior.
    I talked with California BON a few months ago and was told that Excelsior graduates were evaluated on case-by-case basis. Their actual working experience was taken into consideration.
  13. by   preppygirl
    Quote from Medic04
    Personally that is a poor management decision. They may be passing over a really good RN for a sub par RN from a well known school.
    I have seen new RN grads from the" Traditional" RN school come out and not know a damn thing, nothing. Even with clinicals they do and have to be trained since their instructor or class was too busy or too large or just skirted through it.

    Believe me I have seen this with several RN new hires in the last several weeks already and they have a 12 week probation/training because of this .( So I am not too impressed with so called traditional schools, they are not as great as others think they are)

    I have seen the Excelsior Test and it is NOT a easy class, it is not a easy test and it has a lot more hurdles to get over and to get in a school then most RN schools. You have to actually know material, not depend on the like or dislike of your instructor to pass you in a class.

    The final Clinical is not a cake walk where the traditional schools have 2 years to" make mistakes" their grads have to already know and understand how to do what is needed. I know some folks from Excelsior and "Traditional" school and both can and do pull their weight and all are great RNs.

    Am I biased, yes as I am just one of those "internet RNs" I hope to Grad between Dec and spring, but I can pull my weight with a RN from a Traditional school any day against any new Grad RN, not everyone has the time, money or can wait to go sit in a classroom wait a few years to earn a degree they can earn right away. I can't stop my life, my bills wont wait and I sure can't stop working to drop everything to go to a traditional "RN" school sit in class, have a instructor tell me I can't or cannot do something right in clinical I have been doing for years. If I was close to 20 years younger maybe, but right now that is not a option.

    Till management and close-minded people think this, maybe they should watch the exam and see what these folks will have to go through before making judgment on those they know only through rumor, hearsay and their own ideas of what of course "They " think a RN school should be, they might be missing out on a great employee.:angryfire

    I personally think this is the way of the future and the
    dinosaur schools will eventually go away and that is what some of the schools fear most. 3 of ours have closed already and I am in a major Metro area.
    I understand what you are saying. However, I wouldn't call managers who feel this way close-minded. The fact is, Excelsior is not a real school. I worked with a couple Excelsior grads who were great nurses. Do many Excelsior grads turn out to be excellent nurses? Yes, but perception means a lot as well. I had a friend who went throught Excelsior. She was an EMT who basically only knew how to transport people and take vital signs. She decided she wanted to be an RN, so she went through Excelsior. All I remember is she never set foot in a classroom, clepped out of a lot of classes, took nursing tests through the mail, then went to Albany and did a three day clinical, took the NCLEX and presto she's and RN! Did she work hard? I guess, but I wouldn't say she has a good academic education. If I had to hire a nurse from Excelsior vs a nurse who graduated from NYU, (all other factors being equal) I would take the one with a better education everytime. Nurses like to disagree with this, but education IS important. I don't see Doctors and Lawyers being able to become such online through virtual Universities. That is why I do not blame some nursing managers for not hiring or being suspicious of an Excelsior degree. I am sure you will be excellent when you graduate due to your extensive experience as a medic, however, in my experience, Excelsior grads are not well respected. I have received great job offers my whole career, even as a new grad with little experience. I know a lot of it is because I graduated from a top university. There really should not be shortcuts to becoming an RN. Are we professionals or not?
    Last edit by preppygirl on Nov 20, '07
  14. by   SuesquatchRN
    Quote from preppygirl
    I understand what you are saying. However, I wouldn't call managers who feel this way close-minded. The fact is, Excelsior is not a real school.
    ....
    Are we professionals or not?
    Well, luckily you don't make that decision.

    Oh, and as to whether we are professionals or not? That would be a big "not." Doctors and lawyers are not punching time clocks, and they didn't have to make up bogus theories so as to have "testable bases for practice." We have vocations. Honorable and skilled, but vocations none-the-less.

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