Is El Centro the best move??

  1. Hello Everyone!!

    I need a little advise. I am currently taking my preq courses at Dallas County Community College. I am thinking about transfering to The Univ of Texas @ Arlington sometime next year. I understand El Centro has a nursing program, and wanted some feedback from others who are in that program. What is the difference in a 4 year univ and a 2 year in terms of the nursing program? Can take my RN exam with a 2 year degree...and then go back to complete my BSN? Is that an easier transition? Nursing is a second career choice and I want to take things slow and easy. Please provide some advise or experiences in attending a 2 year vs a 4 year. Also if nursing is a scecond career choice provide your experiences in switching careers.

    Thanks
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  2. 13 Comments

  3. by   DreamBelieveSucceed
    I'm starting 2nd semester at ECC in the Nursing Program. It is a 2-year Associate Degree Nursing (ADN) RN program where at the end you take the same state board NCLEX-RN exam as a 4-year student (BSN) and will be issued (if you pass the test) your Registered Nurse license.

    If you have done any research on the programs in the area you know that the pre-reqs vary somewhat and I had geared my classes toward El Centro. As time grew closer for me to apply to the program I found out one of my neighbors was attending ECC and I sought her opinion. She said DO NOT go to El Centro - go to Brookhaven or anywhere else - because ECC is very unorganized and they don't try to help you pass! I went ahead and applied to ECC and was accepted and now I know why my neighbor said what she did!!! But at the time I was excited and wanted to rush into the program and get things going! If I had it all to do over again - I would at least look closer into the other programs at Brookhaven and even the 4-year (BSN-RN) at TWU. I know that all programs are difficult and hard - I don't have a problem with that aspect. I just wish the program was more organized and that a few of the teachers that I have had so far would retire!!!! Many of us felt we were not taught the material presented on tests - we had to teach ourselves by reviewing and studying all the NCLEX books and other review books we could get our hands on!! Although El Centro boasts about their NCLEX pass rate, they don't tell you how many people originally start the program and finish it in the 2 years!! We started out with 60 people and now - going into 2nd semester - we have 25! Some had to drop for personal reasons and some decided this was not the career for them; however, the majority failed! Another big factor you need to look at regarding the schools - ECC's passing grade is 78 and above; therefore, 78-83 is a "C", 84-89 is a "B" and 90-100 is an "A". This is important if you want your BSN later and are concerned with GPA. At other schools 70 and above is passing. Most of the BSN schools look at the GPA when deciding on admissions, and, according to their grading a "C" is 70-79. But if you go to ECC and your final grade in a particular class is an 83 (a "B" by UT or TWU standards) your transcript from ECC will reflect a "C", giving you a lower GPA, and the other schools will never know that according to their standards your grade would be different!! Taking things slow and easy is also not an option at ECC - and probably not in any nursing program! Although I had a friend that went through TWU due to the fact that she could go at a slower pace since she had 4 kids one of whom had Down's Syndrome.

    I guess, in short, if your ultimate goal is BSN and you have the time and don't need to go to work as soon as possible, then go for it! If not, then I would advise seriously looking into other ADN programs in the area. In the end, from what other friends who are nurses have told me, the disadvantage of ADN-RN is related more to long-term advancement. However, you can also get your ADN-RN, get a job making the same money as a BSN-RN, then have your employer pay for "bridging" to get your BSN.

    How many classes do you have left to take? When are you looking to apply to a program?
  4. by   NurseSomeday
    In short, NO! I agree with everything Dream said. I am a 3rd semester student at ECC. This was the best choice for me because of the money. I had to quit my full-time job of 18 years in order to get my degree so I need to get up and running as an RN ASAP. I am going on to complete my BSN and so far my GPA is still ok (3.9 instead of 4.0 that I had upon entering the program), but all my friends are making mostly C's. Each semester more students fail out of the program. I spoke with the graduating RNs in December and I think they said something like 12% made it from the original starting class size.

    As Dream said, what you get out of the program is based on what you teach your self. Most instructors do not appear to care if you are successful or not (with the exception of a few clinical instructors). In fact, I believe some take great joy in being difficult and in student failures.

    If you have the time and money I would recommend going straight for the BSN, if you are in the same boat as myself, then you could find a more organized and supportive learning environment just about anywhere when compared to ECC. I wish I could think of something nice to say about my school but unfortunately I can't.
  5. by   sejin
    Wow what a shock. I remembered hearing that hospitals preferred ECC students more than Brookhaven's.
  6. by   mysterious_one
    HI,
    I agree, with the other posters, and hospitals probably prefer students from ECC because if you make it through the program you have proven yourself to be one tough cookie . What I mean is, you have to study and teach yourself so much that naturally you become a gooooooooooood nurse, I HOPE, lol. I am also a sec. semester student at ECC.
    But I wouldn't write El Centro off completely. If you want to reach your goal to become a nurse,you can stick it out . I am sure every program has it's faults. Just reading these boards here on All nurses gives you a glimpse that all nursing programs have their issues.
    Good luck on making your decision
  7. by   sunnyjohn
    I'm with Mysterious one,

    I did another allied health program at EC. Truly it seems that all the programs as EC are TOUGH. I would not write them off, but you must be prepared to work hard and put up with a modicum of red tape and "difficult" personalities.

    El Centro nurses and allied health people are well repected in the community.

    ~~~
  8. by   LKG6
    I am sorry you guys had bad insturctors. I know that they are out there. But my 1st semester lab and clinical instructor was an angel, the lecture instructor was fine, too. My 2nd semester lecture intructor was a very supportive and happy person, my lab instructor always wanted us to do our best and the clinical instructor was OK, too.
    Now I know that my 3rd semester lecture instructor got mixed reviews. So it's going to be challenging.
    But if you do your homework you can find out who are the lab and clinical instructors that you shouldn't take. (I know that it also depends on the lottery system who you get.)
    Good luck you all.
    Katie
  9. by   NewCareer78
    Okay thanks for all the information. Brookhaven has a Nursing program as well? I was looking on the website and didn't see anything. I also saw that Collin County has a Nursing program too....any feedback on that?
  10. by   Trauma_Queen
    Quote from NewCareer78
    Okay thanks for all the information. Brookhaven has a Nursing program as well? I was looking on the website and didn't see anything. I also saw that Collin County has a Nursing program too....any feedback on that?

    I haven't heard much about Collin County's program. Where in the DFW area do you live? If it's not too long of a drive, I would recommend you look at Trinity Valley's program in Kaufman. I'm currently a student there and their program really does have an outstanding reputation for turning out awesome grads. I chose it over any of Dallas County's programs and you can really tell out in the community how valued TVCC grads are. Just another one for you to think about.
  11. by   NewCareer78
    I live in Fort Worth but I work in Dallas. I looked at the location and it's about an hour drive...which isn't too bad. I might look into that too.

    Thanks!!
  12. by   JaxiaKiley
    Check out the Texas forum -- there's a thread that has a list of all the schools in and around DFW. Good luck!
  13. by   NewCareer78
    So far I have taken 4 classes....I am currently enrolled in 2 more classes this semester. I was going to apply sometime in 2008. I want to get my science courses out of the way.
  14. by   BabyRN2B_09
    Quote from NewCareer78
    Okay thanks for all the information. Brookhaven has a Nursing program as well? I was looking on the website and didn't see anything. I also saw that Collin County has a Nursing program too....any feedback on that?

    Did you ever find the website for Brookhaven's nursing program? If not, here is the link......


    http://www.brookhavencollege.edu/ins...vices/nursing/

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