Now I am stumped...LONG

  1. As I posted before, I have been placed on the waiting list at my CC. Of course, they
    don't divulge your position on the waiting list, so I am not holding out much hope. Anyway, I found two schools in Philly that I was interested in applying to. The first school is at a hospital in partnership with Thomas Jefferson University. It is $15K a year for my ASN. It is a two year program. The other school is at another hospital, in partnership with Temple University. It is $14K for the program but has a 75% NCLEX pass rate. I would be able to start either in January or May of 05. Is it just me or does that seem rather low? On one hand I am thinking that I am a pretty bright person. I have a tremendous drive to become an RN. Surely, I won't be one of the 25% who didn't pass. On the other hand I'm thinking that there must be something wrong with this program if 25% of their students aren't prepared for this exam. What is your school's NCLEX pass rate?

    Now, the school with TJU just seems to be horribly expensive for an associates degree? I mean, it is a two year program and I will be paying $30K for my ASN. They are filling up their remaining slots for Fall 04. I haven't found any info on their NCLEX pass rates but have heard wonderful things about the program. But, I could go for my bachelor's degree and pay the same amoung of money. For those that are going for their
    ASN, how much are you paying? Keep in mind that I get no grants. I am taking out loans and paying out of pocket for my education.

    I could always take my chances with my CC. I am not confident that I will be called up from the waiting list. I applied for the Spring 05 semester. If I wait until Fall 05, I can slow
    grind the rest of my pre-reqs, hopefully get A's in them. I am confident, after speaking to
    my advisors that I would get accepted in Fall 05. I have a high GPA, and had great test scores on the NET exam. My CC had a 100% NCLEX pass rate two years ago. They are still in the very high 90's.

    Now, I am kind of confused as to which path I should take. Do I pay the extra money, and possibly start nursing classes a year earlier. Do I pay the $14K, which is doable, and
    don't sweat how anyone else scored? Or do I take my time and stay the course I originally laid out? I am getting so anxious about starting actual nursing classes. I
    just want to make sure I am making a rational decision.
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  2. 11 Comments

  3. by   Nemhain
    If you have indeed heard good things about TJU than I think you should go there and start on your nursing course a year earlier. Even though it is more expensive, every year that you're not a working RN is equally expensive...think about it.

    I am going for my ASN and it is costing me about $7,000 per year with tuition, books, and clinical uniforms. Don't forget that some hospitals will pay some of your loans from the ASN degree and pay for you to finish a BSN.

    As for the school with the 75% pass rate...I suggest that you examine the pass rate of that school for the past 5-7 years. Some good schools that average about 95% can have an off year. NCLEX should never be the only deciding factor, but it should be seriously taken into consideration if the school has been consistently under 80% for the past 5 years.

    good luck!
  4. by   elkpark
    In my state, a school with a 75% pass rate would be in serious trouble with the BON ...
  5. by   lisamc1RN
    75% pass rate sounds awful to me. My school has a 98% pass rate. In your situation, I'd probably go with the more expensive school. If you don't pass the N-Clex, it doesn't matter that you got a deal on your tuition. *hugs* I know this must all be so frustrating!
  6. by   LeesieBug
    I agree with Nemhain. Honestly, I would not base the decision ONLY on N-CLEX pass rates.

    I think that there are a lot of variables that go into first time pass rates that have nothing to do with the quality of the education. For example, many of the schools in my area that have extrelely high pass rates (100% year after year) are EXTREMELY competetive and selective when it comes to admissions, while state schools that have lower admission standards have lower first time pass rates. It makes sense that if your class is made up of 4.0, very book smart students, your test scores will be relatively higher than a school that admits a large number of students with a 2.75 avg.
    A lot also depends on students in the class and how well they test. Its not ONLY a reflection on the quality of the program when it comes to N-CLEX. It is a factor, yes, but not everything.

    (Make sure you look at the pass rates for more than just the previous year. I have noticed that many schools have decent rates overall, marred by a bad year here and there. If it was consistently that bad, it probably would no longer be open!)

    I focused on many factors when chosing my school, including talking with experienced nurses in the area and asking them how well prepared they feel the new nurses are from various programs. You can also look at credentials of the instructors (years of clinical practice they have), student to faculty ratios, the number of clinical hours the school requires (that's a biggie). Talk with students already in the program and get their opinions. Cost is also a big factor...why be in debt up to your eyeballs if you can go to a good quality state or community program for less and reap the same rewards.

    Anyway...I feel for you. It is such a HUGE investment...a HUGE decision. Do the best you can making the decision, and go for it! No regrets!
    Last edit by LeesieBug on Jun 3, '04
  7. by   jemommyRN
    My school has a 99% pass rate and I'll be paying about $5000 for the whole program. It's a two year ADN program. You're right about the $30,000, because that's how much my BS cost me. I'm not sure what you should do, but don't make any decisions that you are uncomfortable with.
    Last edit by jemommyRN on Jun 1, '04
  8. by   alexillytom
    Quote from jemommy
    My school has a 99% pass rate and I'll be paying about $5000 for the whole program. It's a two year ADN program. You're right about the $30,000, because that's how much my BS cost me. I'm not sure what you should do, but don't make any decisions that you are uncomfortable with.
    I am really having a hard time justifying the $30K tuition. I understand the idea that I will
    be finished and working a full year earlier, but I will have an additional $23000 in debt as
    opposed to the $7000 at my CC. In the future I am going to go for my bachelor's degree. If
    I am going to spend $30K, maybe I should just transfer to Rutger's or The College of
    New Jersey.
  9. by   RNSuzq1
    Alexilly- I'm on my schools alternate list - I'm not sure if that's different than being on a waiting list, but I called them and they told me what number I am on the list. They only had 40 slots open for the Fall, over 400 applied and I ended up #9 on the alternate list. No clue if something will open up and I'll get a slot - but I'm trying to stay hopeful.

    As for the price of schools - mine is a CC and the actual tuition for the 2 year Program will be a little over $5,000.00 plus books, fees, etc. A School with a 4 year program keeps calling me but their tuition is something like $17,000 a year. We're already putting our oldest Son through College, so let's just say the 4 year school's tuition for the Nursing Program is a bit out of our reach.

    I'm in NC, the State pumps a lot of money into CC's and from what I've read - all of the CC Nursing Programs in the area have NCLEX passing rates in the high 90's. I have to pay for my tuition totally out-of-pocket, so for me at least, I'm taking the CC route. Best of Luck in whatever you decide. SusanNC
  10. by   alexillytom
    Well, I have been corresponding with the $14K school. The one with the 75% NCLEX pass
    rate. I am going to go to their open house on June 29th. After doing my research, I find that I really like the layout of their curriculum. Also, I know I have been a pest with my multiple questions but the lady in the office has never gotten impatient with me. I asked her about the reasoning behind the low test percentage. She is not sure what happened but noticed a sharp decline when they opened the program up to nontraditional students. Apparently, up to about 2 years ago, they were at 100%. Since I am a nontraditonal student, the test scores are still very scary but I am going to take the advice of some you, and not make my decision until I have done all of my research.

    Also, I have pretty much decided against the $30K school. I just can't get over that price
    tag. Knowing me, I will spend so much of my time kicking myself for spending that kind of money, I won't be able to concentrate on anything else.

    In the best possible scenario, I will get a letter from my CC informing me that a spot has opened up. I'll keep my fingers crossed.
  11. by   LeesieBug
    I'll be keeping my fingers crossed for you, too. GOOD LUCK!
  12. by   debblynn13
    She is insinuating that the low pass rates are because of the nontraditional students? That is an unusual thought pattern. Most of the time I hear nontraditional students are more apt to have higher grades than traditional students. Well I guess it all depends on the type of nontraditional students they attract.

    I agree, that I would have a hard time paying 30,000 dollars. I had to wait a year to get into my CC, during that time I took all my nonnursing classes. That was one of the smarter moves I could make. It now allows me time to focus solely on my nursing and clinical classes. If you ran out of those types of classes, you could always start taking some of the classes you might need for a BSN. Or maybe a foreign language. I would love to be able to take spanish or ASL and probably will after I graduate next spring.

    Either way, good luck with your choice, you will do great no matter where you end up.

    Debblynn
  13. by   alexillytom
    Quote from debblynn13
    She is insinuating that the low pass rates are because of the nontraditional students? That is an unusual thought pattern. Most of the time I hear nontraditional students are more apt to have higher grades than traditional students. Well I guess it all depends on the type of nontraditional students they attract.

    I agree, that I would have a hard time paying 30,000 dollars. I had to wait a year to get into my CC, during that time I took all my nonnursing classes. That was one of the smarter moves I could make. It now allows me time to focus solely on my nursing and clinical classes. If you ran out of those types of classes, you could always start taking some of the classes you might need for a BSN. Or maybe a foreign language. I would love to be able to take spanish or ASL and probably will after I graduate next spring.

    Either way, good luck with your choice, you will do great no matter where you end up.

    Debblynn
    Thanks for the vote of confidence.

    Honestly Debblynn, I didn't get the vibe that she was blaming it on nontraditional students. She really sounded confused. She also said they have been working on correcting the problem. Apparently, the school has been in existence since 1937, and until recently, they only accepted graduating HS seniors. Maybe the faculty is having a hard time with the transition. I don't know. That is why I decided to go to the open house and hopefully ask some more questions. Maybe, I will be able to gather a better understanding about the problem.

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