hey brother! i do not recommend the excelsior route. i, like you, am a navy corpsman for the last 10 years both in the field and in the base ed and a paramedic for the last 16 running civilian ems. i tried doing the excelsior program a few years back but with your background (like mine) it is going to be very difficult to unlearn your way of thinking and doing and learning the nursing way of thinking and doing. the biggest problem that i am having now is on written tests. it seems that you always revert back to habit and muscle memory which isn't always good. i've found that sitting in a classroom going through a bsn program is the best thing for me. much less distractions, and no pager going off giving you an excuse to leave the books and go on a call, that waits until class is over and studying is done! another thing is, i've found that students with no medical background do better than us that have been practicing and are set in our ways. they don't have to unlearn everything. anyway, good luck and whichever way you choose to go stay with it! it will pay off in the end!!!!
take care and be safe,
I was an Army medic and I have been successful thus far with my Excelsior pursuit. I should be graduating this summer! I agree with "Doc" that you do have to watch for that "muscle memory" phenomenon, but I actually think that the military prepared me well for learning new things. The military taught me flexibility and adaptability. I think the problems start when you become unwilling to accept the fact that being a nurse is SO VERY MUCH MORE than just executing a set of doctor's orders. The transition from medic to nurse requires a paradigm shift, whether you go the route of the traditional classroom or the distance-learning, non-traditional route.
Whatever your decision, best of luck to you. Thank you for your service to our country.
Thanks for the input guys. Seems from talking to people that Excelsior is either a LOVE or HATE relationship. No middle ground. Really depends on ones study habits. Time to put my 20 yrs. as an A.F. medic to work in the hosp. Gettin' to old for the 24 hrs. shifts in the field as a paramedic. I have two paramedic friends(no military back ground), finished last yr. and are both working in the hospitals. Have 6 other paramedic co-workers doing Excelsior and they are lovin' it. Now i'm just waiting on VA red tape to get my education bennies approved.