High school junior considering nursing - best Georgia undergrad programs?

  1. 0 Hello So, I'm a junior in high school, and I plan to get a BSN degree and become an RN, and eventually become a nurse practitioner. I need to start applying to colleges soon, and I really need some advice and suggestions! My parents require that I stay in Georgia and attend a public college, in order to get financial aid from HOPE (it's not easy sending twins to college at the same time in this economy!)
    I have a 3.93 GPA, I take nearly all AP/IB classes, and I am very confident that I will be successful on the SAT. Because of this, and of the low average GPA/SAT scores of the limited public colleges in Georgia with undergrad nursing programs, I know that I will not have any problems being accepted into any of the following colleges. The question is, which one is the best? I would greatly appreciate any advice covering any aspect of these schools - everything from the general atmosphere of the school, to the overall quality of the nursing program to the difficulty of individual classes. If you have attended:

    Georgia State University
    North Georgia College and State University
    Georgia College and State University
    Armstrong Atlantic University
    Kennesaw State University
    Medical College of Georgia

    or would like to recommend another PUBLIC university with a good nursing program in Georgia, please give me any advice that you can! Thank you so much!
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  4. Visit  jenjen830 profile page

    About jenjen830

    Joined Feb '12; Posts: 5.

    11 Comments so far...

  5. Visit  Marshall1 profile page
    0
    North Georgia or Brenau
  6. Visit  izzycatswimRN profile page
    0
    I went to nursing school at Georgia State so I'm a little biased.
  7. Visit  jenjen830 profile page
    0
    @Marshall1: Unfortunately Brenau is private, so I most likely won't go there. Could you tell me anything about North Georgia though? and @izzycatswimRN, what was Georgia State's program like?
  8. Visit  Workin on it profile page
    0
    North Georgia is, as far as I know, one of the only schools you can even apply to without prereqs. You can get a start there and get your ASN in two years. Then with another year get a BSN. The other schools are going to require 2 years of prereqs then usually 2 more years of nursing classes. I *think* Georgia State takes 3 years but I am not sure. You can find all the info you need about prereqs and program lengths on each of the colleges websites. As a reminder there is usually a year lag time between application deadlines and actually starting nursing school so you need to get those apps in early and stay on top of deadlines! Also, even with an awesome GPA nursing school is very competetive.

    If I could give you any advice, it would be to get some training (think CNA) and start working as an aid in a hospital as soon as possible. Even if it is very part time. I wish someone had told me this before. I would love to have experience going into my program and when looking for jobs or internships that could make a huge difference. I am starting North Georgia this Fall but also trying to figure out a way to get a healthcare job with no certification or experience.

    If money is a huge issue, think about taking prereqs at a community college.

    I can't speak to the quality of the education at any school, they are all difficult as this is just a hard program anywhere. But you can look up pass rates for the NCLEX-RN exam for each school. Most are about the same, but a few are exceptionally high or low. This can give you an idea of the quality of education you will receive.
  9. Visit  jenjen830 profile page
    0
    I've looked at all the classes at those colleges, and I'm placing out of nearly all the prereqs due to all my AP classes - for example, at North Georgia I only have to take 6 or 7 of those classes, instead of around 14. That applies to most of the other colleges too (9 at GCSU, 7 at GSU, 5 at AASU). Hopefully that means I can graduate faster! Also, I like the program that Georgia College has, because you apply to the "residential nursing community" as a freshman and if you're accepted, you have guaranteed admission to the nursing program as a junior as long as you get a C or higher in all classes. That takes some of the pressure off, as long as I'm accepted into it.
  10. Visit  jenjen830 profile page
    0
    I keep hearing that nursing school is hard, but not anything more specific than that. Could you explain that a little? Is it the actual difficulty of the classes, or simply the huge amount of material to know, or something else?
  11. Visit  Workin on it profile page
    0
    I don't know since I will be starting nursing classes in the Fall. So far, the so called hard prereqs haven't been that difficult to me so I am hoping nursing school won't be the hell I hear about. I really think it depends on your learning style and specific strengths. From what I have heard there is a lot of material to remember, and it is pretty high stress because you have to remember it through the whole program to be able to pass the exam at the end and become a RN. And I imagine part of the stress comes from the fact that you will be responsible for the lives of others at the end of all of it. To me that is going to be the hardest part, I don't settle for decent grades now and I know that I will be even more hardcore about school and being perfect when more than grades are at stake.

    It sounds like you have done a great deal of research at the schools. My advice would be to apply to several, go visit the campuses and decide which one works best for you. Personally, I am older and I like not being on a rowdy college campus. That isn't important to me. But, I did want to stay local so that determined my choices with nursing schools. Good luck with whatever you choose!
  12. Visit  jenjen830 profile page
    0
    yeah, I have an acquaintance in a nursing school up north, and I always hear her talking about her grades and her classes...she spends too much time partying and only scrapes by with decent grades. I fear for her future patients - she's supposed to be there to learn everything she can, but she's not doing that. She's gotten to the point in school where your grades no longer affect just you.
  13. Visit  RNLady115 profile page
    0
    Quote from jenjen830
    Hello So, I'm a junior in high school, and I plan to get a BSN degree and become an RN, and eventually become a nurse practitioner. I need to start applying to colleges soon, and I really need some advice and suggestions! My parents require that I stay in Georgia and attend a public college, in order to get financial aid from HOPE (it's not easy sending twins to college at the same time in this economy!)
    I have a 3.93 GPA, I take nearly all AP/IB classes, and I am very confident that I will be successful on the SAT. Because of this, and of the low average GPA/SAT scores of the limited public colleges in Georgia with undergrad nursing programs, I know that I will not have any problems being accepted into any of the following colleges. The question is, which one is the best? I would greatly appreciate any advice covering any aspect of these schools - everything from the general atmosphere of the school, to the overall quality of the nursing program to the difficulty of individual classes. If you have attended:

    Georgia State University
    North Georgia College and State University
    Georgia College and State University
    Armstrong Atlantic University
    Kennesaw State University
    Medical College of Georgia

    or would like to recommend another PUBLIC university with a good nursing program in Georgia, please give me any advice that you can! Thank you so much!
    Nursing school is so challenging for a variety of reasons. Usually, their attendance policies are much more strict than regular liberal arts classes. Clinicals rotations can be stressful, as you are being exposed to environments and experiences that you could never imagine (unless you have been exposed to an acute health care environment before). You may question if this is "really what I want to do" as you will confront ethical issues, and may be exposed to very sad cases of individuals whose families don't care about them, or who don't care about themselves. Rotations are often done early in the day to mimic hospital shift turnover schedules, so it's not like a 9am class that you roll into. You may have to be there at 6:45am and stay until 3pm some days. There is also a plethora of information to remember on humans in multiple developmental stages. Pharmaceutical knowledge is also very important, especially on your "common" drugs. Beyond the science, you have to understand What to Do in situations, and the reasoning behind what you do. There is no way you can simply memorize things and regurgitate it on tests. You have to have comprehensive knowledge of all subjects, and your knowledge is cumulative. Everything you do is based on what you learn from day one. Testing is also different, as you will be given situations, and you will have to pick the BEST answer, not the right answer (as they will give your answers where two or three are right, but which one is the Best?). Also, bachelor's prepared nurses have to have knowledge in clinical research, statistics, information technology, nursing theory, etc. You have to learn to be flexible with your schedule, and you have to learn to very quickly adapt to certain situations. Some "old-school" instructors may be very strict, and have little patience for error in a clinical setting. Finally, usually grading is much tougher. I know for my university that I am at now for my RN-BS, anything below a 78 is failing. An A is 94-100. Not the typical 10-point scale you may be used to in high school, so achieving a great GPA is a harder challenge. Nursing school is time consuming and can be very stressful, but if you maintain great study tactics, utilize study groups, and take your grades seriously, you should do very well! Just remember to try to go with the flow. I wish you the best of luck in your nursing endeavor!
  14. Visit  Ho Li Cao profile page
    0
    I know this is a little old, but I just came across it. If you are looking for the best schools, check the Secretary of State's website and look at the pass rate for the NCLEX. http://sos.georgia.gov/plb/rn/NCLEXSCORES.pdf That will give you an idea of how well the school prepares their students for passing the boards. That will give you an idea of the quality of education you can expect.

    One other piece of advice I can give you is to check the salarys of ASN RNs compared to BSN RNs. You will find there's not that much difference. It sounds like money may be an issue, so I would say to seriously take a look at an ASN program to get it done quicker and far cheaper than at nearly all the schools you have listed. Don't rule out a Technical College because you think a big school is better. (The nursing school with one of the the highest NCLEX pass rate in the state for several years running happens to be a Technical College whereas Brenau's pass rate has steadily declined and is now in the 70% range) If you go the ASN route, you can always upgrade to a BSN in little time - but you have the benefit of being able to work as an RN much quicker. There are even programs that allow you to go from the ASN to an MSN (such as the one at Emory).

    I'm doing this at 40 years old as a career change, so my needs are a little different than yours. I researched for a while and found that I could do it this way faster and cheaper than any other way. Good luck with your plans. It sounds like you are a good student, so you shouldn't have any issues. One of the main things I can say about nursing school is that some people find it hard because of the way it makes you think. I know of people who have gotten in with a 4.0 GPA and a 99% on the entrance exam who are struggling to make C's in nursing school. It's not enough to be book smart. You need to be able to think critically. Some tests may have 2 or 3 out of 4 multiple choice answers that could be right. You have to pick the best right answer. That's the best way I can explain it.
  15. Visit  watashi profile page
    0
    JenJen,

    I don't know much beyond what is on the websites about the nursing programs themselves, since I am just starting nursing school myself in August. I will be going for an ASN at Perimeter because it is most convenient.

    BUT, my children have friends who have attended GCSU and Georgia State. The two who went to GCSU have loved it. They've been very happy there. Georgia State is higher ranked, and has better SAT scores, but the two people I know who started there were unhappy and transferred out. They found it too urban, commuterish (even the one who lived in the dorms) and impersonal. Georgia Southern also has a nursing program. My neice just graduated from there (not the nursing program, though) and liked that school a lot.


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