wanting to be an RN

  1. I am LPN who is interested in going back to school for my RN but am unable to quit my job or drop down to part time and lose my insurance as I am the primary insurance carrier for my family. I have been looking for study at home and over the internet schools. I have found Excelsior College in New York.
    I was wondering if anyone had an opinion of them or knew of any other schools that I could check out.
    I would appreciate any information that you could give.
    Thanks
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  2. 12 Comments

  3. by   NurseDennie
    I don't have any information about this that comes from personal experience, but it looked like you weren't getting any replies, so I thought I'd stick in my two cent's worth.

    I kind of start out with the caveats, but that doesn't mean I don't think that the online option isn't a good one!

    I worked with a lady who got her MBA over the internet from Phoenix University and was very happy with the entire experience. One of the nurses I work with now got his BS in Psych. from Excelsior College. He said that the online courses seemed more challenging and difficult to him than the classroom courses he'd taken elsewhere.

    I've also head that the people who do the RN-BSN online have a difficult time with the expense, the time constraints and the stress level of the clinical requirement. You may not be able to fulfill the clinical requirement in your home city. One nurse told me that the clinical requirement consisted of a very short period of time (which is good, since it was out of town) and the pass rate for the clinical portion was 0% on the first try. But she has her BSN from Excelsior, so it did work out fine for her!

    So, that being said (I always think you should know about the downside of things right away) I think that distance education is definitely the way of the future. But what about your current employer helping out with the education? If you are willing to stay at the same facility for some specified amount of time, after you get your RN, they might be willing to keep you on their insurance and perhaps help with tuition.

    It's worth looking into. As well as the online options.

    Good luck and best wishes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Love

    Dennie
  4. by   P_RN
    Oh I agree with Dennie.

    I worked with a girl who got her BSN through Graceland College. They were pretty expensive, so she did ALL her pre-reqs at our local community college..one at a time. Then when it was time for the Nursing she was able to work full time and take those courses one at a time...I think it was 3 or 4. She then went to the campus for 2 different 2 week sessions. She did her clinicals at her home hospital with preceptors that she paid per the college's pay scale.

    She was pretty pleased with it.

    I did the schooling and worked 3 jobs ( a looooooong time ago.) It was he** then and I bet it is even worse now.
  5. by   traumaRUs
    I did a bridge program from LPN to RN at Marion College in Indianapolis. Since my husband was in the air force for 23 years, I did a lot of courses by correspondence for my prereqs. I did a long of internet and taped classes too.
  6. by   mario_ragucci
    Though I have never taken any cyber courses for my nursing prereq's, i know there are many who do. Frankly, i could not have passed the science prereq's if the internet was not there. I wonder what it maust have been like in the old days, before internet. To learn all I have learned I would have had to hang out at the library everyday with a staff to go for my reading materials. Doing keyword searches has been the key for me when it comes to getting good grades, passing the courses, and remembering.

    I made the decision to be a nurse last year, and am very fortunate to have gotten a seat for Fall 02. One in three people who applied for the program did not make the lottery. I had applications in at three different schools. And I am not the only "thirty-something" in the class. There are not many complications for a single boy like me, but others have familys and husbands to tend to. The college refers to those people as "at risk" (of not completeing their education because of other obligations) I knew there was a reason I haven't married yet: I'm not a nurse yet



    Also remember that nursing is a vocation in which your feelings, and the feelings of others, matter. Interacting with people is a skill. Make your education a joy and pleasure, rather than it being a hell or something to dread. Yeah - I say that now; Next year I'll be singing the blues about how there is mountains of studying. Where there is a will, there is a way.
  7. by   blondie
    This past fall, while researching ways to get my BSN, I went to an informational seminar for The College Network. It is associated with Excelsior College. This might be a fine way to go for others, but the presentation made me a little cautious. My final cost would be around $10,000 and the program advisor (read: salesman) expected everyone to sign up for a loan right then and there with the Kaiser Federal Credit Union at 12% simple interest. My gut feeling was that we were expected to contract for this loan way too quickly. Also, the degree would require THREE weekends on campus in St Louis. Nowhere in the presentation is it brought up that there, of course, is a cost for this excursion.

    You are probably looking into getting your ADN. This would be a different program. But my advice still is, ask yourself what are they really selling, and look for hidden costs.
  8. by   NanaRn4
    As with anything you truly desire there is usually a sacrifice to make. I work also and have to carry the insurance/benefits for the family. I also know the importance of education. Major cost containment was done and I am getting my RN. Realizing this is short term loss for long term gain makes it a little easier. ASN will enable to work will I complete my BSN. Excelsior used to be Regents and the Clinicals are pass/fail. One not washing the hands is fail for the weekend and a cost over 1000.00 to reschedule clinicals is needed. Carefully review all options and good luck.
  9. by   mario_ragucci
    Originally posted by P_RN
    Oh I agree with Dennie.

    I worked with a girl
    Be a good girl?

    Hey girl, don't be shy. Lol!
  10. by   NurseKimberley
    Hi--
    I'm also an LPN trying to get my RN, but luckily a school not far from me has instituted a non-traditional schedule--You go on Fridays all day (and when clinicals start, Saturdays also) and so I can work and go. It's nice--and it can all be paid for with financial aid since it's a college. I did try the correspondence thing, and after a while the cost, the hassle, the frightening aspect of the 'clinical' portion just got to me--I'm glad I'll be able to go this way and still work.
  11. by   Agnus
    I am an Excellsior Student. I am working on my BSN. I am familiar with the LPN to ADN program.

    Excellsior college does not recognize nor endorse the College Network, Chancellors, Rue or any other such program, publisher etc.

    These are companies that promote Excellsior for thier own profit motives

    You may or may not find an outside publishing company helpful. I have check several of them out and even tried some.

    A word of caution don't get sucked into what they say before you check out the validity of it with EXCELSIOR. For example you do not need to order every test that Excllsior recomendes. They simply are giving you a choice of texts instead of saying you must have this med surg text, they say these are the ones we feel would be most helpful to prepare for our exams. You choose which you want to use. To listen to these outside companies it sounds like Excellsior wants you to buy all of them.

    You can get your books anywhere you like, any bookstore.

    The cost of the program varies according on how you approach it and what you still need to complete.

    I guarentee it will be more expensive to use someone like RUE etc in the long run. Even though Rue tries to tell you just the opposit.

    You will use many of the same books for all your exams. You don't even have to buy you can use library books.

    IT is true some (one in the case of the ADN program) cost well over 1,000. Please keep in mind that is for something like 8 semester hours. Most of your exams that are 3 and 4 semester hours are under $200.

    You have complete freedom to deside what to study, how long when to test.

    Excellsior has been very good in providing me excellent support and answering questions. You just have to ask the questions. I think this is a failing of many who don't do well. They don't ask and think they know what is expected and go into an exam situation and blow it because they were not absolutely clear on what the clinical examiner expected.

    There is an online network of students and graduates that will support and help you. There are online discussions with Nurse Educators.

    You are a practicing LPN. Just the type of person who will do well in this.
    Need I state the obvious, that you must be self directed and self motivated? Your background will serve you well in preparing for the exams.

    One more note about Rue and others. THey make it sound like you won't be able to figure out what to study and will have trouble finding what section of a text to study without them. They are insulting your intelligence. Get the exam study quide from excellsior. It is an exact blueprint of the exam. I know you know how to use a table of content and index to find the sections you need.

    As far as cost personally I have found Excellsior without the Bu!! Cr50 of Rue etc is less expensive than any other route for me to get my BSN. As I said this varies for each of us but Look closesly at the fee schedule provided by excellsior and compare it to what you know you will need. It doesn't take a mystic to figure it out. Excellsior will even help you figure out what you will need before you enroll.

    As for financial aide. THere is aid available for Excellsior. It is limited. BUT even though I did not qualify for any New York State sources of aid that are available for this and no longer have vetran's benefits, I still got a low cost student loan through them to cover the entire cost. The aid situation is structured a bit differently with thiem but is available and you do not have to enroll before applying.
    Last edit by Agnus on Jan 13, '03
  12. by   Agnus
    Blondie
    Excellsior does not have a campus in St. Louis.
    You were right this is something to approach with caution. This campus is eveidently part or this College Network company.

    My loan has a cosiderably lower interest rate. As I said you can apply before enrollment but you must be enrolled to get the loan.

    As far as ithe ADN program taking $10,000. I doubt anyone would actually have that much expense for the ADN program. I do mean including any airfare hotels, study materaial etc ect.
    I figured in the cost of air fare for workshops by Excellsior for my Clinicals (BSN only) hotel cost etc and the clinicals books etc etc and It would not even cost me that for the entireBSN program. And I have 2 seperate on site clinicals to do that I would have to go to Long Beach, CA for. (there are about 4 reginonal testing sites for the clinicals) they hold workshops to prepare for the clinicals at these sites as well. ) The other exams you take at Prometrics (you know where they do the NCLEX exams)
    Anyone pushing you like this is to be reguareded with extreem caution.
    Last edit by Agnus on Jan 13, '03
  13. by   Agnus
    Originally posted by NurseDennie
    . One nurse told me that the clinical requirement consisted of a very short period of time (which is good, since it was out of town) and the pass rate for the clinical portion was 0% on the first try. But she has her BSN from Excelsior, so it did work out fine for her!
    Dennie
    I do not know if your friend was referring to Excellsior when saying the 1 st time pass rate was 0% on clinincals.

    I do know that this is very inaccurate. It is 70something%. I think 74.

    The ADN clinical exam takes place over 2 and 1/2 days on a week end. Do not schechedule it until you are fully prepared. Do not schedule it until you know and can do exactly what they tell you. There are no tricks to this. Simple, follow instructions. If you cannot/will not, then you fail. The instructions for the exam are simple straightforward. you must ask questions if anything is not clear before hand. Yep you fail if you don't wash your hands. This is true. So wash your hands.

    You must keep in mind this is not an instructional setting. You have a total stranger who must evaluate your knowledge, skills, and SAFE practice in a very short limited period of time. She puts her license on the line if she passes someone who might be a risk. She has no way of knowing of how you normally practice. So if you make a serious mistake reguarding safty (like not washing hands) then you are out.

    Into every clinical exam is built a error factor. For example, on my BSN clinical I must identify a certain number of breathsounds correctly I do not have to identify all that I am tested on . I know exactly what sounds I will and will not be tested on. (Breath sounds are not on ADN exam)

    Those items that are an absolute failue the first time you do them are identified ahead of time. (like hand washing)
  14. by   Rock
    I graduated from Excelcior with a ADN when it was called Regents External Degree Program.

    I never paid those outlandish rates that have been described here. Tests were given in Manhattan and the fees were $25-$35
    clinical was $500. Had to go to Albany for the clinical. Most proctors were nice, some were a little *****y, but I got through it anyway.

    I went to my local community college that has a nursing program, borrowed their books and passed the exams on the first try. Most questions are common sense, with a little theory thrown in.

    I had most of my credits for an associate degree before I started with Excelsior. I finished my associate degree before enrolling in Excelsior. Once you enroll, there are many different fees. Don't enroll until you are ready to take the nursing exams. There is an annual record fee, this fee, that fee, etc. Don't enroll ahead of time.

    I recommend that you get your general education credits before enrolling in the nursing component. Go to a community college or take them through Excelcior, but don't take them at the same time that you are taking the nursing exams. It will bog you down.

    If you are an LPN, you must be familiar with current machinery, techniques, etc. Nursing homes won't be any help to you. You must get a job in an acute-care hospital to gain the necessary experience in order to pass the clinical. The clinical has CRITICAL
    elements built into the test, hand-washing, check patient's bracelet, greet patient, explain to patient what procedure you are about to commence. Introduce yourself. CRITICAL elements missed will be a failure. At that time, I don't know about the present time, you could take the exam over for another $500.

    Good Luck !!!!


    Sincerely,


    Rock

    :chuckle :wink2:
    Last edit by Rock on Jan 13, '03

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