Apollo College vs Comm. College - does WHERE you got your RN matter?

  1. There's an Apollo 4-5 miles from my work and I've dealt with them before back when I was looking into Massage Therapy.

    Our community colleges (Maricopa) has re-adjusted the pre-reqs so I only need one more semester before I can apply for the nursing program at these colleges, which was my original plan.

    But the idea of an accelerated program does seem interesting. Especially since they seem more (financially) motivated to helping you out. I must admit that it feels that the local colleges help me because it's their job, but sometimes I feel like I'm almost an annoyance when I ask questions regarding when I can apply for the program, etc.

    I plan to continue on to get my BSN and then pursue a career as a CRNA down the road.

    I worry that the competition of the CRNA program and the fact that there's only one school in AZ, might merit sticking with the more traditional route.

    I had suggested this advice to a poster in another thread, but truth be told, I have no real idea of whether there's a difference if both give you the ability to go on and become an "RN".

    Any ideas or experiences? I searched and found nothing current, so I hope I'm not resurrecting a dead horse here


    The RN program at Apollo is new to me, they didn't have it last I spoke with them - here's some more info:

    http://www.apollocollege.edu/medical_rn.asp
    Last edit by GilbertDaddy on Dec 21, '07
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  2. 9 Comments

  3. by   Daytonite
    Your GPA, most especially, needs to be high. CRNA programs will look for people who have most likely worked in critical care areas as well. As you go higher up the degree ladder, these higher degree programs look at your GPA to see if you are going to be able to handle the studying and what your area of practice is--does it match with the kind of advanced study you are applying for? A CRNA program is going to take a critical care nurse applicant over a oncology nurse applicant even if they both have GPAs of 3.5. These schools may also have other admission requirements such as achieving a particular score on the GRE or some other standardized admissions test. My advice is that if you are really serious about becoming a CRNA you should start looking at some of the CRNA schools and their admission requirements now and preparing yourself for admission.
  4. by   Virgo_RN
    I agree. I'm seriously considering an MSN, and I've found that you need to start gearing your education toward that goal early, otherwise you'll be in a position of playing catch up just to get into the next level of education.
  5. by   GilbertDaddy
    Quote from Daytonite
    Your GPA, most especially, needs to be high. CRNA programs will look for people who have most likely worked in critical care areas as well. As you go higher up the degree ladder, these higher degree programs look at your GPA to see if you are going to be able to handle the studying and what your area of practice is--does it match with the kind of advanced study you are applying for? A CRNA program is going to take a critical care nurse applicant over a oncology nurse applicant even if they both have GPAs of 3.5. These schools may also have other admission requirements such as achieving a particular score on the GRE or some other standardized admissions test. My advice is that if you are really serious about becoming a CRNA you should start looking at some of the CRNA schools and their admission requirements now and preparing yourself for admission.
    You're correct on that count - CCU or ICU experience is necessary. At least one year. There is only one college in AZ that currently has a CRNA program and it's out in the west part of the valley. On the plus side, the current plan is to go into ICU/CCU as soon as I can and stay there while I'm schooling for the BSN. By then, I should have a year or three of experience and hopefully be a good candidate.

    I'm just wary of the Apollo/Univ. of Phoenix type of perception though.

    My buddy got his MBA at UoP while working there and the problem is that it's often seen as a very expensive paper mill. Many businesses don't count a Univ. of Phoenix degree as worthy as a university's. It may be wrong, but it's still very much an unsaid rule of thumb among management in my experience.

    I'm just curious if when it comes down to apply for limited seats in a CRNA program if they're going to look at someone who went to ASU for their BSN and a CC for their nursing school as being more skilled, able, or generally more attractive than someone who did the Apollo-Univ. of Phx route.

    The other threads did mention that the cost of nursing school through Apollo is around $20,000 (if not more - forgot the exact amt) too, so that may be more debt than a new RN wants to have on record. Especially when the Maricopa Community Colleges total their nursing program at a cost of around $6,000.
  6. by   Daytonite
    I am not familiar with Apollo/Univ. of Phoenix. However, if they are NLN accredited and your state board has accepted them as a provider and allows graduates of their program to take the NCLEX, I can't imagine that there should be a problem. Why don't you just call the CRNA school and get one of the program directors on the phone and just ask about this?
  7. by   GilbertDaddy
    Quote from Daytonite
    I am not familiar with Apollo/Univ. of Phoenix. However, if they are NLN accredited and your state board has accepted them as a provider and allows graduates of their program to take the NCLEX, I can't imagine that there should be a problem. Why don't you just call the CRNA school and get one of the program directors on the phone and just ask about this?

    Did just that Thanks!

    Doubtful I'll hear back soon due to the holidays but if anyone else is interested, here is the school AZ applicants will be looking at. Only one in AZ at the moment:

    Midwestern University

    Nurse Anesthesia Program

    19555 North 59th Avenue
    Glendale, AZ 85308

    Program Information

    Degree: Master of Science in Nurse Anesthesia
    Program Length: 27 months
    Month Program Starts: JUN

    Contact Information

    Contact: Mary Wojnakowski, CRNA, PhD, Program Director
    Phone: (623) 572-3763
    Website: http://www.midwestern.edu/crna/
  8. by   MassagetoRN
    GilberDaddy,
    I assume that you are referring to Apollo Mesa. The RN program won't be on that campus until late 2008, and right now the entire program is $46k, but if you go into their block 3, which means that you are done with your pre-reqs, chemistry, bio, etc, it is $28k. However, with Apollo Mesa's program being new in late 2008, they won't have a block 3 for you to go into until late 2009, and it will be a new program with new instructors, so lots of kinks to work out. Plus their program schedule is as rigorous if not more so that the MCCCD's as it is an accelerated program. If you are looking at advanced education, I would stick with MCCCD or even ASU Polytech, which has a 16 month program.
  9. by   Valerie Salva
    Apollo college is really looked down on. The truth is, it has a rep as a school for people who can't make it at a real college. Not trying to be mean- that is Apollo's reputation.
    Besides that, it's outrageously expensive. I would never go there.
  10. by   Lmarko
    Quote from Valerie Salva
    Apollo college is really looked down on. The truth is, it has a rep as a school for people who can't make it at a real college. Not trying to be mean- that is Apollo's reputation.
    Besides that, it's outrageously expensive. I would never go there.
    That is what I have heard from a friend who has been in the medical field here in Phoenix for 15 years. I'm just now starting my research to decide who school I would like to attend or try to. Is it really competitive to get into schools? I would think with the shortage of qualified staff that there would be many openings. Again, I'm just starting my research into all of this so I'm learning a lot.
  11. by   elkpark
    Also, be aware that there are quite a few proprietary (for-profit) trade/vocational schools (which is what Apollo is) out there that offer nursing programs that meet the state BON's requirements for licensure, but, because these schools are not accredited by the agencies that accredit "regular" colleges and universities, the courses you take in these schools are not recognized by or transferable into "regular" colleges or universities if you attempt to return to school later to further your education and career.

    I don't know enough about Apollo to know whether that is the case with them, but that is certainly something you would want to check out before you paid them any tuition or entered into a program there, since you are already thinking that you want to continue on in school. If they are not fully accredited and the credits fully transferable, you would essentially have to start from scratch when you wanted to complete a BSN or attempt to go to graduate school.

    Frankly, I have heard such negative stories about some of these proprietary trade/vocational schools (not Apollo, specifically) that, if I were you, I would not take the school's word for whether or not their credits transfer -- I would contact other colleges and universities in the area and ask them whether they accept credits from Apollo ...

    Best wishes!

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