Need advice on Accelerated vs Traditional Program

  1. I graduated from Texas Tech University in '16 with a bachelor of arts. I've finished most of my pre-reqs to apply to nursing school. I've been admitted to Univ. of TX at Arlington as a pre-nursing student. I really want to be admitted into their accelerated online program so I can work, attend school plus it's a 15 mon. program. Can anyone tell me which would be a better choice, AO or a traditional program? Will I struggle since I don't have a science related degree? Will the AO program be too fast for me?
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  2. 12 Comments

  3. by   Guy in Babyland
    ABSN programs are like driving 100 mph through rush hour traffic. You get to your destination quickly, but it is a white knuckle ride. It will consume your life for 15 mo. I was able to work two 12 hr night shifts (F/Sa) through my ABSN program, but I had plenty of time during work to do schoolwork. You are the only one that can determine if you are capable of doing the program, work, personal life.
  4. by   jasj
    I guess that's true; ideally I believe I can I would just be miserable and tired. I'd be okay with that lol. Also, I would love to have a job, specifically at a hospital, and work those same days and hours. If I could find a job as a patient care technician or something of that nature then that would be great. However, most of those positions want you to have previous experience or the first year of nursing school completed, which I don't. Do you have any advice on how to get your foot in the door? Thanks for the advice, thus far.
  5. by   Guy in Babyland
    Unit secretary, patient transporter, orderly in surgery. Any job that you can get exposure to the nursing units. While it is helpful to learn things about nursing that will help you in school, just being an employee of the hospital gets you an advantage in hiring after graduation. I suggest pre-nursing or nursing students that desire a NICU job after graduation to volunteer as a baby cuddler. It is not about the job you have in the hospital, it is networking. The more that the staff gets to know you, the better the chances of getting a job on the unit after graduation. Your resume is identical to all other new grads, but if the staff and manager know you, it puts your resume at the top of the pile. Is far less riskier to hire a known quantity than hire someone based on a 30 minute interview.

    I would definitely do the ABSN program over the traditional program. Since everyone has a bachelor's degree, the class was much more focused on learning and getting as much as possible out of school since they are paying for it out of their own pocket.
  6. by   jasj
    Thats exactly what I want to do, NICU! I've already started applying to be a volunteer baby cuddler, even that's competitive to get into. I'm not sure if it's because I live in the Houston area or what but I never hear back from the hospitals where I've applied to. Out of curiosity, what do you think the chances are of finding a hospital job with no background experience? Do you think it's pretty tough?

    That make so much sense when you put it that way. I think I will go with the accelerated program. I'd rather struggle for a year and just be done.
  7. by   Guy in Babyland
    I am not sure what the prospects of new grads getting a job in NICU, but I have had several recruiters through LinkedIn ask about my interest in moving to TX. I have Level IV experience, so that may be what hospitals are looking for. Ask the schools you are interested in if they have a Senior Capstone/ Externship in the final semester. It is is a one on one clinical experience with a nurse. I believe that it helped me get my NICU job as a new grad. We have a summer NICU externship for student going into their senior year that would look good on a resume. If you decide to go the traditional route, you may want to look into a similar program locally.
  8. by   jasj
    Awesome, okay I'll do that. I'll have to get in touch with my prospective schools and ask them about that. Thank you so much for the advice, you've cleared a great deal of my concerns up!
  9. by   Askthepsychnp
    An ADN program will be very cheap. An accelerated program will be quite more expensive (very tough to work during these programs), but will get you to your goal quicker... I had a bachelors degree then went back to get my nursing degree. I did an ADN program instead of an accelerated program so I could work while in school.
  10. by   caliotter3
    I can assure you if you get a job as a PCT, you will not be able to do school work at your job.
  11. by   jasj
    I can understand getting an ADN; I know exactly what you're talking about. I gave the ADN program some serious thought. My mom is actually taking her pre reqs with me so that she can do the ADN program at our local community college. We're taking Micro and A&P2 together right now lol. I eventually would like to get a masters or specialty so I figured just going to bite the bullet and get the BSN.
  12. by   jasj
    Quote from caliotter3
    I can assure you if you get a job as a PCT, you will not be able to do school work at your job.

    I don't think I'd be worried about doing my school work at work, I'd be more concerned about the experience. At my current job as an admin I have the luxury of studying or reading at work but my days start at 4am and "end" at 4pm. As soon as I get home I have to hop on the rest of my homework. At least with a job as a PCT I could work maybe 3 night shifts and have the days to sleep & study, right? I mean I know that's in a perfect world but is a schedule like that real? lol
  13. by   AceOfHearts<3
    Quote from Guy in Babyland
    Ask the schools you are interested in if they have a Senior Capstone/ Externship in the final semester.
    I do not know of any accelerated programs that have a capstone-it's just not possible due to the nature of the program. Also, externships are not possible either as the programs tend to go straight through without any significant breaks. This was not a dealbreaker for me, but it could be if someone is looking to get into a very specific and hard to break into specialty as a new grad. It is definitely something important to think about.
  14. by   Quota
    I'm in an accelerated program right now. We won't have a capstone/externship but we do a preceptorship during the summer. Assigned a nurse and work their shifts with them for x number of weeks (number of weeks escapes me right now). We're told they'll take our interests into consideration when matching us with our preceptor but really it's all dependent on the nurses they get who agree to take on a student I think.

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