military wife, pre-nursing student

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    Hi everybody. I'm on the last leg on my prereqs for a 2nd degree BSN. My husband is AD and we live in Japan until 2015. I'm struggling because we have no clue where he will be stationed after we leave here so how in the world am I suppose to know what schools to apply? We think he could have a good chance at receiving orders to San Diego, Norfolk, or possibly Jacksonville, FL. It will be a sea duty tour next time. I hate to have to limit myself to those three cities for school. Has anyone else been in this situation?

    Also, I'm having to take the majority of prereqs online being here since there are no universities that offer those classes in Yokosuka base. I'm worried that I am going to run into problems with a school not accepting online credits.

    I'm just looking for advice from anyone, and if you've been in my shoes, please tell me how it went for you.
  2. 9 Comments so far...

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    My wife is active duty and I was in a very similar situation. I actually didn't apply for my bachelor's program until after we PCS'd to Georgia even though I had my prerequisites done (so I had lived in GA for a year before I started my program). If you want to start applying now, and you are fairly confident that you will be stationed in one of those three cities apply to colleges in all three. As far as the online credits that may be an issue. If the college is accredited it shouldn't be much of an issue and in my experience and the experience of others that I've talked to you might expect to retake a course regardless simply because it's not accepted.
    RHill9919 likes this.
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    I was in a little different situation because I stayed behind to finish school while my husband PCS'ed around the country. But I agree with the above post, maybe apply to all three when you're about a year out from moving just to get the process started? I know some schools will make you re-apply if you don't enroll the following semester. However, with nursing schools, they may allow you to apply, get accepted, and then defer until you arrive. The only problem I could see you running into in regards to online courses would be your microbiology, A/P, and Chem 1/2 because of the lab component. Unless you already did these with your first degree? Other wise, I was able to complete a good amount of pre-reqs online with no problem. And I ended up completing the Microbiolgy CLEP exam so that I wouldn't have to enroll in an on campus class. Good luck!!
    RHill9919 likes this.
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    My situation was similar to JillyRN's - I opted to return to my home state and stay with my parents to finish up the final two years of my pre-licensure BSN while hubby stayed behind. He was stationed in California at the time, and my choices were to either sit on a wait list in horribly impacted California or to attend school in my home state (where I was accepted for the very next semester after applying). It worked out pretty well for us because he was deployed for a good portion of that two years anyway, but otherwise we would fly to see each other for long weekends (averaging once every 3-4 weeks) and I would spend school breaks and summers with him until I graduated and moved back out to California. It was a sacrifice, but we're both very satisfied with the end result and I have had a fabulous career that has stood the test of time with PCS moves and allowed us to live the life that we have always wanted.

    I agree with the advice of applying to schools in the areas that you could be stationed in. I don't know if it's an option for you, but if your husband is going to sea duty and deploying, you may want to look into what I did - head back home and finish up your degree. Either way, as long as you have earned your credits at a regionally accredited school, the credits should transfer with minimal difficulty. Best of luck to you!
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    Becca,
    I think we're dopplegangers... Hahah My husband was also stationed in California (Ft. Irwin) during that time. I have him to thank for my surplus of frequent flier miles. It was a trying time but in retrospect it worked out great. I'd definitely recommend that for anyone who is able
    BeccaznRN likes this.
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    Funny, Jilly! It's so difficult for military spouses to attend nursing school because it's not a program that can be completed online and there's usually some sort of waiting list involved. I think each person has to evaluate his/her own situation to see what type of sacrifices the family would be willing to make in order to attend nursing school. But yes, if it's possible, I highly recommend returning home. I had the support of my family and friends while going through nursing school and while hubby was gone, plus the rent was just the right price for a broke college student (read: FREE).
    JillyRN likes this.
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    Thank you both for the info. I have considered going back and leaving him here in Japan. I can't do it. If he were to deploy right now, sure, I would in a heartbeat. I could list my reasons, but I won't. It's different being overseas I think. I could go on and on. If he were going to be deployed at our next duty station, then I would absolutely do what you did, Becca. The crappy thing is not knowing! Story of my life. I feel like I have supported him for half of his mil career, I need a turn. I'm anxious. I would love to return home too, but unless he is deployed, I don't know if I can make that type of sacrifice. I want to try to and work it to our advantage to getting in to a school in a decent area, but we're pretty limited. He wants to go green side, so that's either Lejune or Pendleton. What's this about California? Is it ridiculously hard to get into a decent program in CA? And for Lejune, the closest program is 2-2.5 hours away FML! Other options could be norfolk and jacksonville, FL which could both be possibilities for blue side. Norfolk is dreadful so we're really pulling for Florida, but who knows what is going to happen *ripping hair out*
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    I totally understand your feelings. It's much harder to choose to be separated versus when they deploy and the choice is made for you. When my husband was stationed in California (Barstow area), I looked into nearby schools (Victor Valley CC for ADN program and Azusa Pacific BSN) and both had a wait list of approx. one year to start the program. Then there is also an surplus of new grad nurses making jobs scarce. As long as your GPA is good and you've been doing some sort of volunteer work/community service, you shouldn't have to worry about getting into a program wherever you go. Have you considered Excelsior's RN program? I looked into them for RN-BSN but opted for a B/M school. It's a very different type of nursing program but it sounds like it may be something to consider in your situation? Just an idea.
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    Yes, most (if not all) schools in California are impacted for the nursing major, meaning the number of qualified applicants far exceeds the number of spaces available. Each school may vary, but usually once you are qualified for the major, you are assigned a number on the waitlist and you wait. And wait. And wait. It's not unheard of to wait 2-3 years to get a spot, which poses a problem for military spouses who may only be in the area for 3-4 years. By the time they finish prereqs, wait for a spot, and then spend 2 more years finishing the program, that could sometimes mean six years or more to complete their nursing degrees. This is why it's extremely difficult for military spouses to get nursing degrees without some form of sacrifice.

    I encourage you to talk this over with your spouse to see if there is a way to make it work, what types of sacrifices either of you would be willing to accept, etc. Hopefully you can come to a decision that both of you will be happy with. Best of luck to you!
    RHill9919 likes this.
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    I want to go to a b/m school. I've done most of my undergrad online thru the military. I am actually looking forward to being in a traditional classroom setting.


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