considering nursing... need advice and help

  1. Hello all,
    I am a foreign student studying in MS Pharmacology program in USA. I would be finishing in few months. I also have a BS in Pharmacy from my country. Looking at the lack of job opportunity and money in biomedical research, I came to consider the option of switching to nursing.

    I am 30 and would like to enter into an accelerated nursing program (accelerated entry-level MSN or accelerated entry-level BSN). I was wondering if there are any entry-level nursing programs for people like me who have a non-nursing BS. I am willing to spend upto 2 years to get a degree. (though I would prefer to get it done in a year). Having said this, I would also like to know what specialty of nursing can get me a degree and job in shortest amount of time.

    I am wondering if anyone can advice me where to find such programs.
    I'm new to this field, so any advice, suggestion is very welcome and much needed.

    Thank you for your time and attention.
    Tinu
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  2. 19 Comments

  3. by   cooljewels
    Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe that the advanced placement classes are for those who already possess an associates or bachelor's degree in nursing and are now trying to further their education. Although you do possess a BS in Pharmacy, you have not learned the fundamentals or the basics of nursing, which are taught only at the associate's degree level. In order to obtain a BS or MS in nursing, you are looking at about 4 years of school starting from scratch. Even if you possessed an associate's degree in nursing, you would still be looking at about 2 years of schooling to obtain your bachelor's. To make a long story short, if you're looking to be out working in about one year's time at the most, nursing is probably not for you. Good luck.
    Julia
  4. by   Freedom42
    There are many schools that now offer accelerated BSN and MSN programs for non-nurses. The university I attend offers a 15-month BSN program for people who've earned prior bachelor's degrees. The only pre-requisites are anatomy and physiology and statistics. Microbiology, chemistry and human growth and development are recommended. The master's program for non-nurses takes three years and has a number of pre-requisites.

    I have no prior nursing experience, but with all the credits that transferred from my prior liberal arts degree, I expect to complete by BSN in two years.
  5. by   SoulShine75
    Another poster said that in order for you to get an advanced degree you have to already have an RN license or have your ADN (associates RN completed) and I believe they are right. If you're looking to become an RN in the shortest amount of time my advice is to go the ADN associates route. The actual program is 2 years (not including pre-req's) so find out from your college what pre-req's you will need in addition to what you already have so you can complete them and apply for the nursing program. I don't believe you can complete your RN in a year, no matter where you live or where you go to school, but I could be wrong. As far as a specialty...once you complete your program you can choose the specialty you want to enter (as long as there are positions) and they will train you on that particular unit. Some units don't hire new graduates (such as ICU, I think) and you'll need more experience before you can work there...understandably.
    Good luck to you:spin: .
  6. by   Freedom42
    Perhaps the university I attend is unusual, but I don't think so. No ADN degree or RN license is required. Here are the requirements for the master's program for non-nurses:

    Requirements:

    • A baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university.
    • A minimum undergraduate cumulative grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale, or a B average.
    • A score of 45 points or above on the Miller Analogy Test, or combined aptitude scores of 1,000 (V.Q.)/1500(V.Q.A.) or above on the Graduate Record Examination taken within the past 5 years.
    • Two letters of reference.
    • A personal interview may be required.
    Prerequisite Course Requirements and Recommendations:

    1. Completion of a research methods course inclusive of both qualitative and quantitative methods. Example: CON 321, Health Related Research
    2. Completion of a course in pathophysiology with a grade of C or above.
    3. Completion of a course in introductory statistics (applied statistics is recommended), including descriptive and inferential statistics, with a grade of C or above (must be taken prior to NUR 604 Graduate Research ).
    4. Completion of a course in Anatomy and Physiology is highly recommended.
    5. The Graduate Admissions Committee will review each individual's undergraduate course work and make individual prerequisite requirements if any one or more areas are significantly under-represented. (For instance, an individual whose major includes no social sciences may be required to take sociology/psychology courses.)
  7. by   cooljewels
    Quote from Freedom42
    There are many schools that now offer accelerated BSN and MSN programs for non-nurses. The university I attend offers a 15-month BSN program for people who've earned prior bachelor's degrees. The only pre-requisites are anatomy and physiology and statistics. Microbiology, chemistry and human growth and development are recommended. The master's program for non-nurses takes three years and has a number of pre-requisites.

    I have no prior nursing experience, but with all the credits that transferred from my prior liberal arts degree, I expect to complete by BSN in two years.
    I don't know what state you live in, but in New York you need so many hours of clinical experience in a hospital before you can even take the NCLEX. The NCLEX is the board exam that you must pass before the State Board of Nursing will grant you licensure. I believe that in New York state it is 240 hours of clinical experience supervised by a clinical instructor (teacher).

    I do have one question though. The associate's degree portion of nursing covers the basics of nursing. The clinical component teaches students how to prime IV tubing, suction a tracheosotmy, change a sterile dressing, flush a central line/peripheral line, change a central line dressing, insert a foley catheter, insert an NG tube, and the list goes on and on. It teaches you the hands on stuff that you will need to know to be a nurse. The classroom portion of the associate's degree program teaches you the pathophysiology, signs and symptoms, and treatments for the diseases of each and every system of the body. Now you're telling me that you are going to be able to surpass all of this because you have a liberal arts degree? You see, they don't teach you any of this in the accelerated BSN programs, because these programs are intended for those people who already have their ADN in NURSING. How are you going to insert a Foley catheter using correct sterile procedure when you don't even know what one looks like? How will you know that a patient is having an exacerbation of CHF when you don't even know what CHF is? The baccalaureate portion of nursing will not teach you these things, and unfortunately I think it's absolutely impossible to be a nurse without them.
  8. by   cooljewels
    Quote from SoulShine75
    Another poster said that in order for you to get an advanced degree you have to already have an RN license or have your ADN (associates RN completed) and I believe they are right. If you're looking to become an RN in the shortest amount of time my advice is to go the ADN associates route. The actual program is 2 years (not including pre-req's) so find out from your college what pre-req's you will need in addition to what you already have so you can complete them and apply for the nursing program. I don't believe you can complete your RN in a year, no matter where you live or where you go to school, but I could be wrong. As far as a specialty...once you complete your program you can choose the specialty you want to enter (as long as there are positions) and they will train you on that particular unit. Some units don't hire new graduates (such as ICU, I think) and you'll need more experience before you can work there...understandably.
    Good luck to you:spin: .
    You are correct. You can't complete your RN in a year because you need a certain number of clinical hours in the hospital before the board of nursing will grant you licensure. If you wanted to complete your RN degree in one year you would have to do 4 days of clinical a week....YIKES! I don't a know a single student (or teacher for that matter) that would sign up for that school LOL.

    Julia
  9. by   Megsd
    Quote from cooljewels
    I do have one question though. The associate's degree portion of nursing covers the basics of nursing. The clinical component teaches students how to prime IV tubing, suction a tracheosotmy, change a sterile dressing, flush a central line/peripheral line, change a central line dressing, insert a foley catheter, insert an NG tube, and the list goes on and on. It teaches you the hands on stuff that you will need to know to be a nurse. The classroom portion of the associate's degree program teaches you the pathophysiology, signs and symptoms, and treatments for the diseases of each and every system of the body. Now you're telling me that you are going to be able to surpass all of this because you have a liberal arts degree? You see, they don't teach you any of this in the accelerated BSN programs, because these programs are intended for those people who already have their ADN in NURSING. How are you going to insert a Foley catheter using correct sterile procedure when you don't even know what one looks like? How will you know that a patient is having an exacerbation of CHF when you don't even know what CHF is? The baccalaureate portion of nursing will not teach you these things, and unfortunately I think it's absolutely impossible to be a nurse without them.
    First, the program you are describing is a RN-BSN program, which is 100% different from an accelerated BSN program. Apparently there is some major misunderstanding regarding accelerated BSN programs and direct-entry MSN programs. I cannot comment too much on the MSN side as I am not pursuing that option, but from the research I have done the programs usually take about 3 years. You receive eligibility for your BSN "during" the program and end with your MSN. I chose not to go that route because many direct entry MSN programs want you to pick your specialty when you apply, and because I have no nursing experience, I had no clue what specialty would interest me.

    That said, accelerated BSN programs have clinical time just like traditional programs do. I am enrolled in one and I had 2 days of clinical per week starting my second week of nursing school. In my first quarter I was checked off on everything from medications (IV, PO, IM, SC, ID) to foleys, NG/g-tubes, enemas, suctioning and trach care, wound care, PPE, vitals... pretty much anything except IV push (which I can do now, as a second quarter student). I am able to complete my degree in a shorter time period because I do not have to take anything BUT nursing classes, and I take a heavier class load than traditional students (I usually carry 18 credit hours per quarter). My particular program is 15 months long and I will be eligible to take the NCLEX at that time. I will fulfill all the classroom and clinical requirements.
  10. by   Freedom42
    Quote from cooljewels
    I do have one question though. The associate's degree portion of nursing covers the basics of nursing. The clinical component teaches students how to prime IV tubing, suction a tracheosotmy, change a sterile dressing, flush a central line/peripheral line, change a central line dressing, insert a foley catheter, insert an NG tube, and the list goes on and on. It teaches you the hands on stuff that you will need to know to be a nurse. The classroom portion of the associate's degree program teaches you the pathophysiology, signs and symptoms, and treatments for the diseases of each and every system of the body. Now you're telling me that you are going to be able to surpass all of this because you have a liberal arts degree? You see, they don't teach you any of this in the accelerated BSN programs, because these programs are intended for those people who already have their ADN in NURSING.
    You're right. You couldn't be a nurse without that clinical experience. That's why clinical instruction is included in accelerated BSN programs. I am not aware of any in my neck of the woods that require ADNs (at either the graduate or the undergraduate level). The pre-requisite is a bachelor's degree.

    I'm not in the accelerated program, but yes, I will complete my BSN in two years because I did much of the required coursework -- biology, chemistry, math, plus all of the electives -- for my prior degree. I don't have to repeat those classes or earn additional credits. The only classes I take now are for nursing.

    You mentioned that you are in New York. Here's a link to the requirements for the 15-month BSN program at NYU. They look pretty typical.
  11. by   tinu
    Quote from Freedom42
    There are many schools that now offer accelerated BSN and MSN programs for non-nurses. The university I attend offers a 15-month BSN program for people who've earned prior bachelor's degrees. The only pre-requisites are anatomy and physiology and statistics. Microbiology, chemistry and human growth and development are recommended. The master's program for non-nurses takes three years and has a number of pre-requisites.

    I have no prior nursing experience, but with all the credits that transferred from my prior liberal arts degree, I expect to complete by BSN in two years.
    Hello Freedom42, Thank you for replying to my message. Can you tell me what school it is that has a 15-month accelerated BSN for non-nursing BS degree holders? I would really like to join.
    Thank you for your time & attention.
    Truly,
    tinu
  12. by   jov
    Quote from tinu
    Hello all,
    I am a foreign student studying in MS Pharmacology program in USA. I would be finishing in few months. I also have a BS in Pharmacy from my country. Looking at the lack of job opportunity and money in biomedical research, I came to consider the option of switching to nursing.

    Tinu
    If you are looking for a job with money, why not be a pharmacist?
  13. by   WDWpixieRN
    Quote from tinu
    Can you tell me what school it is that has a 15-month accelerated BSN for non-nursing BS degree holders?
    There are a lot of programs now that offer the accelerated programs for folks with current Bachelor's in other fields who want to transition to nursing. The amount of time, prereqs, and other requirements will vary from college to college. They do not require an ADN/ASN or RN or any healthcare related experience before admittance as I checked in to several of them before starting an ADN program. I imagine there are many programs across the U.S. that offer this option. Where I live in the midwest, there are at least three that I am familiar with.

    I would suggest starting with this website to investigate schools; I'm sure there are many others, but this would be one place to begin:
    http://www.discovernursing.com/

    Good luck!
    Last edit by WDWpixieRN on Jan 21, '07
  14. by   Qtp2t RN
    Quote from tinu
    I am 30 and would like to enter into an accelerated nursing program (accelerated entry-level MSN or accelerated entry-level BSN). I was wondering if there are any entry-level nursing programs for people like me who have a non-nursing BS. I am willing to spend upto 2 years to get a degree. (though I would prefer to get it done in a year). Having said this, I would also like to know what specialty of nursing can get me a degree and job in shortest amount of time.

    I am wondering if anyone can advice me where to find such programs.
    Hi Tinu! I have a BA in Spanish and will begin an accelerated BSN program in the Fall. The program is called ACE (Accelerated Career Entry) Nursing and has an NCLEX pass rate of 100% for the 2005-2006 school year. It is a highly intensive program, 11 months in duration. This accelerated BSN program is offered by Drexel University (www.drexel.edu) in Philadelphia, PA. I will begin the program in September and graduate in late August, 2008. At that point I will be eligible to take the NCLEX-RN licensure exam. ACE students complete 86 credits in 11 months. Drexel runs on the quarter system, not semesters...therefore, students take either 21 or 23 credits each quarter. Before beginning the program students must have completed a previous Bachelor's degree in any subject and the following additional courses: Chemistry, Anatomy & Physiology I, Anatomy & Physiology II, Microbiology, Sociology, Phsychology, Developmental Phsychology, Ethics, Nutrition, English Comp. I, English Comp. II, Public Speaking (or a Computer Science Course) and Statistics.

    Do I sound like an advertisement for Drexel??? Sorry, I'm just really excited to be entering this program.

    I hope this info. is helpful!

    ~Cathy

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