Losing Hope for Nursing School

  1. I earned my bachelor's degree so I could get a strong background in public health and boost my GPA before applying to nursing school. I've conducted research, presented at conferences, interned, volunteered, done HealthCorps...worked with HIV patients, Hospice patients, the homeless population, and minority populations...become certified as a massage therapist and a CNA...and accepted to five nursing schools this past year; two of them top-ranked.
    Yet, I enrolled in a BSN/MSN FNP program and had to drop out a week before school began because I couldn't afford it. Since, it seems that my options have dwindled: more schools are requiring new prerequisites, and I don't have money to spare for taking more classes. There's now a mandate that all NPs have a doctorate by 2015, so I missed my chance to complete a BSN/MSN program that would allow me to work as an advanced practice nurse. Most scholarships and federal loan programs exclude second degree students.
    I feel hopeless. My entire life was devoted to a path in nursing--I thought it was my calling. Even an ADN seems out of reach, since it is still prohibitively expensive (when living expenses, etc. are factored in) with an even greater gap between my end goal and where I am now.
    If anyone has encouraging words or some advice, I'd be grateful. I feel like I've looked into every option and nothing works. I am so depressed. Please help.
  2. 7 Comments

  3. by   VickyRN
    So sorry you are going through this.

    Brainstorming - just a few ideas off the top of my head:

    *Work fulltime and take a second parttime job for 1-2 years and save as much $$$ as you can. Do everything you can to live frugally during the period you are socking away money for school.

    *Instead of ADN, go for LPN. It would only be one year, instead of two. Then, get into an LPN-ADN bridge program while working fulltime as an LPN.

    *Consider the armed forces. Sometimes, the Army will send qualified recruits to nursing school (BSN programs) tuition-free.

    *Look into non-governmental scholarship/ grant sources:

    Non-Government Grants & Scholarships | eHow.com

    Common Financial Aid Questions - Financial Aid Information - Financial Aid - Scholarships.com

    US Alternative (Private, Non Government) Loans | Scholarships and Student Aid - McGill University

    Best wishes to you
  4. by   KatieMI
    First, doctorate for APNs remains so far a "recommendation" and "endorsement", not requirement or "mandate".

    American Association of Colleges of Nursing | Frequently Asked Questions

    The very much similar "recommendation" regarding all entry-level nursing positions requirings Bachelor's degree is being so "endorsed' for the last 20 years while LPN, LVN and ADN programs are still blooming and doing just fine.

    Second, "rank" of undergraduate program hardly ever matters in terms of future education. Unless one plans a very concrete career strictly in particular academic field, there appears to be no benefits of attending 'high-ranked" school for the first degree. As long as the school is certified, it is fine.

    Third, nowadays the trend among really good NP programs appears to be requiring solid clinical experience from all applicants. That was a requirement for CRNA and Certified Midwife programs long ago, but now administration in schools other than diploma mills got it, too. I'd researched most of campus-based Adult Acute Care programs on Midwest and East Coast for my own future career, and the better and higher-ranked of them currently "strongly prefer" applicants having a year or two of bedside experience, preferably in acute care. From what I see, grads of "direct-entry" MSN programs have hard time finding clinical jobs without previous experience.

    I really do think that you're going to miss anything. Try to shop around - community colleges are still relatively cheap and may like your previous degree and CNA. Some of private schools are sort of "specialize" on career-changers and may be very welcoming and offer scholarships for students like you. Good luck!
  5. by   fluency
    Once you get lost in depression, a lot of your thought processes become diminished. Don't let the obstacles force you into depression, because all of your energy will be spent there. Instead, use the energy toward possibly sitting down with a professional at some of the schools you mentioned. You need assistance, and maybe you just haven't come across the right individual to offer the advice you need. Talk to as many people as you can to find out what alternatives you may have.

    Don't give up, you have to keep moving so you don't get consumed by the obstacles.
  6. by   nurseprnRN
    Don't waste your time on LPN. Keep your eyes on the prize, get a BS-in-anything-to-BSN first, practice for a few years, then go for the APRN/MSN. You can do it.
  7. by   brillohead
    An ADN could cost you less than $10,000, including books/fees. I'm doing it through a community college one county over right now, going part-time while working full-time. I'll graduate in May 2013 with an ADN/RN. Examine your possibilities through a community college, NOT through a private institution.

    Then you can work as an RN (earning good money with benefits) while getting your BSN (and might have at least partial tuition reimbursement from your employer). After that, you can go on to the MSN portion of your education, again with the backing of an RN's earning potential and possible tuition reimbursement from your employer.

    I'm not sure what your employment prospects are right now, but it seems like you could easily arrange a massage job around nursing school, given that you're already certified in that area.

    Another possibility is go the LPN route and work in LTC while getting your RN through an LPN-to-RN/BSN program.

    Don't discount an LPN or ADN diploma's value.... they are all ways that you can get to the BSN (and then MSN) degree that you want, without having to shell out $25,000/year in the process.
  8. by   KatieMI
    BTW, if you want to do clinical APN, you may want to look closer at Physician Assistants. These programs accept almost any Bachelor's, take at most 3 years to complete and give you Master's with essentially same clinical opportunities as APN in any specialty you like except Anesthesia. These programs cost close to full-time BSN or a bit more (but still much less than "all-inclusive BSN/MSN") but as all their students are technically "second careers" they may have more resources to help you.
  9. by   calinursestudent818
    I wouldn't bother with an ADN program. BSN is probably your best bet. Check out your state universities nursing programs. They are often less expensive and are 2 year programs. And I have found that most of the state university prereqs are not as many as you will find with a top ranked or more highly competetive program.

    Also have you considered getting your nursing degree online? Check out the colleges section and click on online programs to check them out. Western Governors for one is a pretty flexible program and the price is reasonable. WGU is 1 of the programs I will be applying to