Graduating in May...decided I want to go to nursing school =)

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    Hello Everyone!!

    Im currently a senior at Rutgers University in New Jersey and the past couple months, Ive been going over the idea of going to nursing school. Earlier this week I decided that that is what I am going to do. My original plan after graduation was:

    Graduate in May 2012 (Bachelors of the Arts in Labor Relations and Management)
    Enlist in the Army for 2 or 4 years
    Go for Officer Candidate School
    Get out and get a civilian job with the government (CIA, FBI) or possibly State Trooper

    I first started looking at second degree programs. There are several schools near my home that offer it (Drexel, Rutgers, TCNJ, etc) but Im afraid that my current undergraduate file won't be competitive enough. I heard they are really hard to get into and my GPA isn't that high (like a 3.3). But this way I will obtain my BSN and can be an RN correct?!

    My friend recently graduated from Lincoln Tech and she is now an LPN. She works in a pediatric office and she loves it so that was an idea too. Go for LPN, work for a little and then go back for my BSN.

    The local community college has the 2 year associates program, but then I would have to transfer to a four year to get my BSN which will make it a 6 year journey rather than a 2 year (second degree program) or even less (LPN)

    My concerns:

    1-I dont have the science requirements because my major in college right now has nothing to do with science. I haven't taken science since high school. I have the other requirements like sociology and psychology, but I would have to get these done before I apply to a school right?

    My plan is to still go into the military since if I have a bachelors in nursing, I am able to get a direct commission into the nursing corps and be an officer.

    Any help, advice, or pointing in the right direction would be great. I am focused on becoming a nurse now. Im just confused as to what road to take. I will be going to open houses in the next couple weeks, but hearing from current nursing students and/or nurses will be awesome as well =)
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  4. 10 Comments so far...

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    Skip the LPN portion. Also getting an associates in 2 years then doing your BSN isnt a 6 year deal, usually 4-5 total.

    I say skip the LPN portion because you will probably spend 15-20k for a program to get a job that pays 15-20 an hour. The return on investment isnt as good as what most for profit schools want you to believe. Just my two cents.
  6. 1
    I went back for nursing as a second degree, same as you! I'm glad that I did, especially since any other master's degree I could have gotten in my field then probably would not have resulted in employment anyway given the current economy lol. I don't want to give away too much about myself on a public forum, but I discovered I wanted to be a nurse through working directly with nurses. Have you gotten a chance to work in a hospital setting yet or shadow a nurse? Congrats on your decision!! I bet you wished that you had realized this when you were a freshman lol, but things happen for a reason . Good luck! I can't really tell you how to proceed; that's a personal decision, but I do know that where I currently live, LPN's are being phased out to a degree (which stinks and isn't really right), so I would just go straight for your RN. You can do an accelerated BSN program or a 2 year program. You can still work in a clinic as an RN, usually just requires hospital experience first. A bunch of people do the same thing that you're doing...you'll probably meet a few in your class next year!
    julialou likes this.
  7. 0
    I have my bachelor's degree in Management. It took me 2 semesters to complete the science and other pre-reqs I needed for the RN program at my local community college. I am now going there for my ADN, I could also have applied to BSN programs with these same pre-reqs. Getting the pre-reqs at the CC level was cheaper and easier than traveling over 60 miles to the school where I finished my first degree. Another option I considered, but i didn't have the undergrad GPA to get into one was ABSN programs which take between 12 and 15 months to complete in my area.
  8. 0
    I am getting my RN, then starting the RN to BSN portion the month after which is only an additional 3 semesters... (all the while working on pre reqs for Grad school - getting my Doctorate)

    You will need to see what the school requires for all the pre-reqs, some can be co-reqs. The sciences can only be up to 5 years old... so you have to take them fairly close to when you want to go though the nursing program. Most of the time AP 1 is a required pre, and AP2 and micro can be taking co. But, as I said, it depends on the program.

    Can you get into the military and get into the program which allows them to send you to school to get your degree? Thereby, paying you your monthly paycheck AND send you to school at the same time.

    I agree, skip the LPN since you have these plans to go forward anyhow. I went to LPN - love my experience, but it took me a long time to get back into school... So, I do wish I would have just gotten my ADN then - however, as I said, I wouldn't trade my experience for anything. I don't agree LPNs are being phased out - I heard that 13 years ago, and I've never had a problem finding a job. My instructors told me then, they heard it for 25 years. If anything, I think ADNs are on their way out... Most Magnets are requiring BSN, and LPN cover Dr's offices and LTCs. There will always be a place for LPNs.

    Your GPA is fine. Most schools require at the lowest a 2.5 and at the highest a 3.0 for entry. You will have to take the TEAS test and get the required score for that, so start looking into that.

    Best of luck to you!!
  9. 0
    Skip the LPN, get your ASN first...just only because you a graduate. Then you can go back to school and do a accelerated nursing program for BSN which takes like 4 semesters. Goodluck!
  10. 0
    Thank you all for the advice and input. Im leaning more towards getting my pre-reqs done at community college and then applying for a second-degree program.
  11. 0
    How much student loan debt are you already on the hook for? Rutgers is a very expensive school is it not! The degree you have taken will only frustrate you when you are a nurse and see how mistreated most nurses are, mandated, short-staffed, many go without a break or a lunch, not to mention the very present danger of back, neck injuries and contagious diseases.

    Given your student loan debt, 3.3 GPA and lack of science background I would think twice before getting an RN! You would be better off getting a govt job and these are the only jobs these days that offer good pensions and health insurance etc. Working conditions and benefits for most nurses suck!

    How much does your LPN friend make at the clinic? Would you be satisfied and able to live on and pay for your student loans on that much? Also how many student loans would you be stuck with if you go back to school?

    You can read about the many people caught in the student loan debt trap at www.studentloanjustice.org!

    At the very least, shadow a nurse or get a CNA job and find out what its all about before you shell out even more money that will hang on you like an albatross for years! You could very well end up with student loans like a mortgage but without a house to show for it!

    Also if you default your loans will double or triple with fees, tax returns taken, wages garnished, your license to practice withheld or taken from you, your cosigners will be in the same boat, even to garnishing social security till they die or the loan is paid off!

    Granted I don't know your personal situation, but I would think very carefully before putting yourself on the hook for more student loan debt! It has literally become a "debtors" prison or indentured servant system if your not careful! Ok they don't actually imprison you, not yet at least! But they do enough to destroy people's lives!
  12. 0
    Well I actually dont owe that much. Yes, Rutgers is a very expensive school but I received a lot of financial aid and grants. If Im going to be joining the army, they have the loan repayment program and will pay for my masters if I decide to further my education. I appreciate you being the "devils advocate" and giving me the cons to going back to school, but I feel like this is what I really want to do. I have a lot of nurses in my family (my aunt being one of them who works in ER in south carolina) and my mom's best friend is in the process for her doctorate. Even though they are both in stressful positions, they say they wouldn't trade it for the world and I want some gratification like that in my career. They are helping me with this process as well. I honestly love my major, its exciting and interesting, but when it comes to job outlook, I dont really like what I see. It may have helped to make this decision as a freshman but I didn't so now I have to make plan b's and c's. Yes, student loans freakin suck but if its going to get me to where I need to be to have a decent future, then that's what Im going to have to do. =)
  13. 0
    Will you still qualify for financial aid and govt loans if you already have your bachelors? Does anyone know! I was under the impression that after you received a BA you couldn't get anymore financial aid and that if you were going for a Masters you were limited to student loans? Just curious!

    I knew a high school classmate years ago who went to Alverno and used financial aid and student loans and they failed her her last semester and she said she couldn't repeat it because she couldn't get anymore aid and never got her degree! She's a janitor now and the only bright side is that her parents bought her a condo and she works for a company known for generous benefits, but otherwise what a waste of all the time and money for a college degree she never even got full credit for! Also I've talked to other Alverno alumni and know several who were forced to repeat a semester, and this is a (pass/fail) school to begin with, so you wonder if this is just a money grab on their part!
    Last edit by brandy1017 on Oct 18, '11


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