Q about Nursing School credit hours - page 2

I have a handout here to the Nursing Program (ADN) at my school and would like some input. This is after all the pre-reqs have been completed (A&P, etc): First Semester: 11 credit hours Second... Read More

  1. by   Cynthiann
    That's what I'm planning to do, take a PE class the first semester since I will only need 1 more credit to have 12 total.

    We know that we can get financial aid with less than 12 hours. But when you do take at least 12 you get way more money and for someone who quit working to go to school that money makes a huge difference.

    With pre-reqs the nursing program has 17-18 hours a semester.
  2. by   javamom
    At my university, credit hours are very deceiving. The clinical hours and lab time aren't factored in. We actually spend 29 hours including nursing classes, just in the nursing program.

    If it helps, my nursing classes only account ON PAPER for 9 hours this semester. I took organic chem and a&p2 along with my 2 nursing classes. I am married, have 3 kids and a part time job. It can be done. But let's just say I'll never take 4 classes again :chuckle But I do have 3 classes to take each semester until I graduate.

    The norm at my university is the 2 nursing classes with a co-req like pathophysiology or micro.

    As far as financial aid...yes, you can get money for less than 12 hours, but for those of us who need that extra money for day care, it CAN'T be done with part time financial aid.
    I get an extra 1600-1700 just for assistance with bills at daycare and such by carrying 12+ credit hours.
    Last edit by javamom on May 4, '03
  3. by   Vsummer1
    I get so angry when I think about the scam these programs are pulling. This semester is only worth 8 units, all nursing. 9 would put us at 3/4 time, but no -- they won't change it even though we spend:

    4 hours in lecture. 13 hours in clinical. These classes require us to do 12 full four page careplans and a 5 page teaching careplan report. We will cover two books front to back, and will have readings from 3 others -- and be tested in lecture on these literally hundreds (over a thousand) pages of reading.

    BUT -- we also must complete an IV module in the lab which takes hours of computer time along with actual IV sticks, videos, and the infamous fake arm. In addition, we are expected to watch 5 videos on our time, and these must be signed off or we have not met the objectives of the course. We must go into the hospital ON OUR TIME to research our patients and be ready at 6:50 am the following morning to take report and start total patient care after report including knowing everything there is to know about every medication that the patients require.

    THERE IS NO TIME FOR ANY OTHER CLASSES because whatever time isn't used in class is studying or at the lab. We have lost almost have of our class in the FIRST year!!! Those that had other classes dropped them or did poorly in them. Most students are quitting their jobs for year 2.

    They tell us right upfront: if you have more than a part time job, or any job at all along with kids past performance of our students tells us that you will fail. BUT they refuse to make this even a 3/4 time class as far as units go. This is full time people!
  4. by   javamom
    Well said Val!
  5. by   marilynmom
    OK that was what I was wanting know Val. I was wondering how we would have so little credit hours on paper but I KNEW it had to be more work that what it looked like. Is it just ADN programs that do this? I look at my BSN program and it is 14-16 credits per semester, and the ADN is only 7-11 credits per semester. I dont get it.

    Earlier today I had been thinking about just getting my ADN first but if I cant get all the financial aid I need (and you do get more with full time than less that full time) then I will just do the BSN route even though it will take me an extra year. This is all screwy.

    I'm glad I brought this subject up and would like to hear more from evryone.

    Marilyn
  6. by   xantha31669
    I can see everyone's point about the deceiving nature of the credit hours, but if we got credit for all those hours the school's would CHARGE us for all those credit hours. Can you imagine that bill!! We would be doubling or tripling our tuition. I would rather have it this way than pay any more money. The only thing that is hard is when a non-nursing student is like, "Well you ONLY have 8 credits, what is the big deal?" They just don not get it!!

    Lori
  7. by   Vsummer1
    Originally posted by xantha31669
    I can see everyone's point about the deceiving nature of the credit hours, but if we got credit for all those hours the school's would CHARGE us for all those credit hours. Can you imagine that bill!! We would be doubling or tripling our tuition. I would rather have it this way than pay any more money. The only thing that is hard is when a non-nursing student is like, "Well you ONLY have 8 credits, what is the big deal?" They just don not get it!!

    Lori
    And there you have the problem: Too much time is spent in school to work at an outside job! Therefore, you must get financial aid (or have other sources of income). With them NOT making the credit hours reflect the full time load you are carrying, financial aid is less. Financial aid pays for the credits! And with 8 units to begin with, another 4 would be full time and NOT doubling or tripling tuition.
  8. by   xantha31669
    I agree with you Vsummer, the thing is not everyone goes to school on financial aid. You would be penalizing the people who pay out of pocket doing it that way. Why should they have to pay more for so others could get bigger financial aid refunds.

    I have full time nursing school, plus have had to take an extra class each semester, I have three kids (4,5 & 9), I am a class officer, I work part-time, and my GPA is still a 3.5. It is very hard and requires sacrifice, but it can be done. That is the great thing about healthcare, they are open 24/7, so you can work at night or on the weekends if you have to. I don't know what your skill level or certifications are but can you get a per diem position at a hospital or nursing home in your area? Alot of places do it because they hope you will work there when you are done. You can also cram in hours during your breaks and live off that money. I got rid of my car so I didn't have a payment and got a clunker. My kids couldn't do any activities that cost money. It is only for such ashort time in the scheme of things.Most of the people in my class are older and in the same boat as me, or are on 2nd degrees and can't get aid either.

    On top of that, if you tripled your tuition there is cap on how much aid you can get (grants and loans) per year. Even if you get outside scholarships they deduct that from what they will give you. So you end up with less left over and/or more in student loans when you graduate.

    Maybe you could sit down with a counselor in financial aid and find a co-op type job, or talk to the nursing dept. they might know of a place that will let you work around your class schedule. Good luck with working things out, you can do it. Some times you just have to take a leap of faith and take it one day/month at a time.

    Lori
  9. by   Cynthiann
    Originally posted by xantha31669
    I agree with you Vsummer, the thing is not everyone goes to school on financial aid. You would be penalizing the people who pay out of pocket doing it that way. Why should they have to pay more for so others could get bigger financial aid refunds.

    I have full time nursing school, plus have had to take an extra class each semester, I have three kids (4,5 & 9), I am a class officer, I work part-time, and my GPA is still a 3.5. It is very hard and requires sacrifice, but it can be done. That is the great thing about healthcare, they are open 24/7, so you can work at night or on the weekends if you have to. I don't know what your skill level or certifications are but can you get a per diem position at a hospital or nursing home in your area? Alot of places do it because they hope you will work there when you are done. You can also cram in hours during your breaks and live off that money. I got rid of my car so I didn't have a payment and got a clunker. My kids couldn't do any activities that cost money. It is only for such ashort time in the scheme of things.Most of the people in my class are older and in the same boat as me, or are on 2nd degrees and can't get aid either.

    On top of that, if you tripled your tuition there is cap on how much aid you can get (grants and loans) per year. Even if you get outside scholarships they deduct that from what they will give you. So you end up with less left over and/or more in student loans when you graduate.

    Maybe you could sit down with a counselor in financial aid and find a co-op type job, or talk to the nursing dept. they might know of a place that will let you work around your class schedule. Good luck with working things out, you can do it. Some times you just have to take a leap of faith and take it one day/month at a time.

    Lori
    You're right, that it would make it much harder for those who are not on financial aid. That's why I'm not complaining too much. The credit hours are very deceiving, the work is double than what that number seems. But at my school the tuition would not double or triple if they were to go up 3-4 credits, maybe be up 50% more.

    Honestly I'd rather spend more time on an extra class to be able to get hundreds of dollars more in financial aid than have to go get a part time job. Since I have two young children (age 2 & 3) I would have to pay for daycare to work and daycare costs just as much money as I would earn in a paycheck, which defeats the whole purpose. The only way to avoid daycare is to work nights but that would sacrifice my sleep and in turn kill my 4.0 GPA (I don't function on anything less than 7 hrs a night). So I personally think it's worth taking extra classes to get full financial and and take out extra loans just so I don't have to work.

    Oh yeah, the financial aid office told me that if I get a scholarship my grant money will not be reduced but my loan amount will. So I will have the exact same left over and less in student loans. Which is good news for me since my GPA will get me my school's tuition waiver scholarship.
  10. by   AllieElizAbeth
    our 2 year college makes us take our prerequist: biology 1 & 2, microbiology, english 1, history, math, psyc, sociology, computer class, and human nutrion before we can go into nursing.
  11. by   dosamigos76
    AllieElizAbeth,
    Our Community College is the same way. I started last summer and have gone fulltime straight through and will only be eligible this fall. I've taken A&P1 and 2, Chem 113, Intro to Psychology, Developmental Psychology, Intro to Sociology, College English 1 and 2, Nutrition, and will take my mandatory PE class and Microbiology this summer.
    It's assinine that it takes three years to get a two year degree, but there isn't a full four year program around here, only the bridge program once you're an RN.
    Our first semester of Nursing is only 9 credits and to get full financial aid (a difference of $500), I'll take Art Appreciation online...at least it will apply to my BSN.
    Cheryl
  12. by   Cynthiann
    Our school's ADN program doesn't require all pre-reqs to be done before applying but you'll need most of them done just to be competitive enough to even apply. Some people go to school 1-2 yrs before applying so that 2 yr degree is still 3-4 yrs.

    The local BSN program has so many pre-reqs that it would take 3 years to complete. So the 4 yr degree takes 5 yrs to complete.
  13. by   Vsummer1
    Originally posted by xantha31669
    I agree with you Vsummer, the thing is not everyone goes to school on financial aid. You would be penalizing the people who pay out of pocket doing it that way. Why should they have to pay more for so others could get bigger financial aid refunds.

    I have full time nursing school, plus have had to take an extra class each semester, I have three kids (4,5 & 9), I am a class officer, I work part-time, and my GPA is still a 3.5. It is very hard and requires sacrifice, but it can be done. That is the great thing about healthcare, they are open 24/7, so you can work at night or on the weekends if you have to. I don't know what your skill level or certifications are but can you get a per diem position at a hospital or nursing home in your area? Alot of places do it because they hope you will work there when you are done. You can also cram in hours during your breaks and live off that money. I got rid of my car so I didn't have a payment and got a clunker. My kids couldn't do any activities that cost money. It is only for such ashort time in the scheme of things.Most of the people in my class are older and in the same boat as me, or are on 2nd degrees and can't get aid either.

    On top of that, if you tripled your tuition there is cap on how much aid you can get (grants and loans) per year. Even if you get outside scholarships they deduct that from what they will give you. So you end up with less left over and/or more in student loans when you graduate.

    Maybe you could sit down with a counselor in financial aid and find a co-op type job, or talk to the nursing dept. they might know of a place that will let you work around your class schedule. Good luck with working things out, you can do it. Some times you just have to take a leap of faith and take it one day/month at a time.

    Lori
    1) adding ONE unit to these 4 unit classes to accurately reflect the class time would NOT triple your tuition. One unit would add only one unit of cost. The CATALOG states a 4 unit class is 16 hours per week in class for 8 weeks. We are in class 19 hours per week, not including the mandatory lab time! We have two of these 8 week classes our 2nd semester, totalling 8 units. Next semester is three 5 week classes, 3.5 units each. The final semester is 14 units.

    2) yes, you can get PCT jobs at $10 p/hr at the local hospital (working nights gets the $2 shift diff). These are unlicensed tech positions.

    IN OUR PROGRAM, past failures show that you WILL NOT PASS IF YOU WORK MORE THAN 1/2 TIME, OR IF YOU HAVE A FAMILY AND WORK. They have exit interviews, and have crunched the numbers. It is a fact here. Most student's will be quitting their jobs next semester (the 11.5 unit semester -- note .5 units under full time), it is just the way it is here. It may be a top notch program, and we have top notch hospitals hiring us, but to get there is hard. Every single graduate who took the NCLEX last semester passed the first time. The program is demanding. We are talking the cream of the crop students too, none of these students are average -- all earned their spaces in these classes and all are expected to work above and beyond. Our attrition rate is pretty high too, and those who are failing are those who work or take other classes. Sad, but true. In fact, many of the people who failed here transfer to another college and graduate.

    So, if you are going to be FORCED to attend school more hours than even the catalog states, the credit hours should reflect the time IN CLASS. This is NOT penalizing anyone, it is merely reflecting reality.
    Last edit by Vsummer1 on May 5, '03

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