Which RN school to choose??? Exp RNs and current students please give advice!!!

  1. Hi All--Here's my situation in a nutshell...

    I got my B.S. in Biology w/ a Chemistry minor about seven years ago. Now I'm going back to school to become a nurse. I'm looking to get an ADN instead of a BSN b/c schools in my area that offer offer the BSN 1) are expensive 2) would require me to repeat all my Bio and Chem classes. Also, I just don't care that much about being a BSN. RN sounds great to me b/c I'm looking for that one-on-one patient contact anyway. :wink2:

    Now, regarding the ADN degree:

    I'm starting this semester at a community college to get some prereqs out of the way. Once I get those done I can apply to the community college's nursing program which will take two full calendar years to complete. Also, b/c some nursing students drop in-and-out on semesters, some classes could possibly fill up quickly, leaving me out and delaying my graduation even longer.

    Or I could just take my prereqs at the community college like I'm doing now, then when I get those out of the way I could go to a local private for-profit school (that is double the cost of the community college) but would allow me to finish only one year after I start.

    What do you guys think? Is it worth DOUBLE the money to get out a year quicker? Or is there so much info flying at you so fast in nursing school that I'll be happier at the community college with the slower pace with more time to study and really get a hold on every concept?

    I'm torn b/c I'd really like to get out of school and start bringing in an income as soon as possible (my husband and I are living off of his ONE income and it is sooo hard to make ends meet. So the private, for-profit school sounds good.)

    But then on the other hand I've had such good experiences with community colleges in the past (teachers and staff are nice and actually care about students getting their education, and it's cheaper) that I really think if I need help on some concepts the teachers at the community college would be more supportive than at the private for-profit school.

    BTW---Both schools are accredited so that's not an issue.

    I keep telling myself that I can go to the private for-profit school as long as I know from the beginning that it will be really fast and that I must totally rely on myself for understanding of all concepts and not look for too much help from instructors b/c the class will be moving so fast.

    But on the other hand I tell myself that if I go to the community college I get more time to better explore and understand the info thats coming at me. And that they are there to support the students in the community, not JUST get a hold of their financial aid checks.

    Other nursing students: Which path did you pick and why?

    Current RNs: With your experience level as a nurse, which path would you recommend?

    Any and all responses are welcomed, and thanks in advance guys!
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  2. 10 Comments

  3. by   tofutti
    Hi CiCi Girl,

    One thing to consider: wouldn't the extra year at the longer program cost you $50,000 in lost income?

    Because if you had the RN one year sooner, you could work that year.

    That would equalize it out.

    Tofutti
  4. by   RNsRWe
    I'd have a hard time imagining an accredited program that could get you prepared to sit for the NCLEX-RN in only one year. There's a reason why it takes 2+ years at the CC: it's a whole LOTTA work, and there's two years' worth of required clinical hours. How do you figure to get all those hours in in ONE year, plus all the lecture time, lab time, study time....?

    IF it's even possible (not saying it isn't, just blows my mind), do you really want to DO that to yourself? And if you, by chance, can't keep up, what's your option then?

    I personally would recommend the two-year route, but that's only my opinion
  5. by   CiCigirl
    Thanks Tofutti and RNsRWe!!! Thats just the kind of feedback I need!:hatparty:

    Yeah, I have thought about the fact that the extra year at the CC would mean one year of lost income. And in fact, in my area MD/DC/VA it could actually mean even a couple grand more than $50k. (Maybe.)

    And that's one of the things that makes me lean toward the private school.

    But just like RNsRWe said about the two years of clinicals and all--How could the private school cram all those clinicals/classes/studying/etc. into just one year without stressing us students to just about the ends of our lives. I dunno.

    Part of me thinks Oh well, I already have a four year degree in biology. So if I did the private school in one year my background would definitely give me an edge with the faster paced classes.

    You know, like I'd be starting off from a better vantage point than other students who'd only completed the required prereqs for the degree. And if they could finish in one year I should be able to as well!

    But then the other part of me is like Don't take nursing classes for granted. Even though you have lots of biology experience nursing school is going to incorporate a lot of concepts that you had no exposure to when you got your first degree. Go to the 2 year school, take your time and get it right.

    PLEASE EVERYBODY---Keep the advice/opinions coming. I want to make the best decision so any/all info you have to share is sincerely appreciated!!:kiss
  6. by   quinnila
    I chose an ADN program at a community college. I did have to wait to get into the program which at first I did not like but it was definately to my benefit to complete all prereqs before starting the program. The program was tough and those who had other courses to take struggled or did not make it. I also have a BS and do not care about ever getting my BSN. I work with others who have gone to private ADN programs make the same money as I do but have loans to pay.I am happy with my choice of a community college ADN program.
    Good Luck and remember 1 year is not very long!!
  7. by   quinnila
    One more thing- nursing exams are completely different than science exams. I had straight A's in all science classes-Biology, A&P, Chemistry but in nursing B's and I worked hard!!! It is totally different. You are right not to take nursing for granted.
  8. by   Tweety
    Quote from RNsRWe
    I'd have a hard time imagining an accredited program that could get you prepared to sit for the NCLEX-RN in only one year. There's a reason why it takes 2+ years at the CC: it's a whole LOTTA work, and there's two years' worth of required clinical hours. How do you figure to get all those hours in in ONE year, plus all the lecture time, lab time, study time....?

    IF it's even possible (not saying it isn't, just blows my mind), do you really want to DO that to yourself? And if you, by chance, can't keep up, what's your option then?

    I personally would recommend the two-year route, but that's only my opinion

    While, I don't know of any accellerated ADN programs here, the accellerated BSN programs here get their clinical hours done in one year. So it can be done.

    Question is: who is crazy enough to do it? :wink2:
  9. by   tofutti
    CiCi Girl,
    There is an accelerated 15 month program nearby I could have done but I was afraid I wouldn't get enough clinical time, or that my mind would be overloaded and it wouldn't have time to sink in. I went to an info meeting on it and those were some stressed out, unhealthy people! I know others do it and come out fine, but I want to learn it thoroughly. Plus, I like to sleep and hang out with my hubby and kids. If I were single, I might have gone for it.

    I'm doing previous bachelor's degree --> adn program for rn--> go to work while doing online rn to bsn with my employer paying my tuition.

    But if I had to get to work in a hurry I'd do the 15-month deal.

    The problem with so many options is that it's hard not to second guess your choices! You'll get there either way. Especially with all that science behind you.
    Tofutti
  10. by   matt59
    Going to clinicals is what I like least about nursing school.
    Going to clinicals may very well be the most important part of nursing school.
    I go to c/c, & we have one clinical day a week.
    As much as I'm not crazy about the idea, if I had to attend more clinicals a week, it would probably benefit me (& that is just me, personally) more; I seem to learn by repetition, & some times I fear that I lose too much from week to week (I repeat, this may just be my own personal thing).
    If the diploma school you are considering has multiple clinicals per week, as brutal as it might be, it might be beneficial in the long run (but I'm not saying that it defininitively would or would not be, just that it might be).

    Gosh, I would think that w/ your previous major & minor, pre-reqs wouldn't even be an issue?
    Regardless, good luck.

    matt
  11. by   PeachyERNurse
    Quote from Tweety
    While, I don't know of any accellerated ADN programs here, the accellerated BSN programs here get their clinical hours done in one year. So it can be done.

    Question is: who is crazy enough to do it? :wink2:
    I'm in an accelerated program that's just over a year long(15 months) and I don't think I'm crazy. Sure it's difficult, but it's totally doable.
  12. by   Mission
    I did a 12 month accelerated program. I had no life and I finally lost the 15 pounds I gained after I graduated from undergrad (after 7 years of trying). Like the previous poster said, it was difficult, but doable, you just have to be prepared. I just started working off orientation and I feel competent to do my job, when I don't know something I ask or I look it up, usually both. You never know what part of nursing school may or may not be difficult for you, I had a fellow student who got nearly straight As but was scraping by with a C in community health. I personally hate anything that involves a lot of memorizing but we all have to do it. Good luck on whatever you decide.

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