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?