I need some info/advice. Here is my story.
I was in the Navy as a Hospital Corpsman. I got out after 7 years back in 2005.
Since then I've been trying to finish college. It's been a battle with having kids and PCS'ing (since I'm still married to the Navy). So, I finally found an e-line BSN program that is specifically for Vets with medical experience from Texas. It's through Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi.
So, my question is. Did any of you do your clinical's at a VA hospital (specifically the Memphis VA Hospital)? What was the process like? I know there is the VALOR program but that's for nurses in their junior year and up (and it's a paid position, right?).
I think what I need is just a site to do the clinical part of my degree.
anyone know what I'm talking about or go through the same thing?
Well, I hope there is someone out there that can help me.
Jan 16, '12
Be careful about online RN programs if you are not a RN already. Not sure how the clinical is run in the program that you are looking for but if it is like Excelsior college the clinical is a test over several days and you are expected to function at a new grad level. If you have not been working in health care since you got out of the Navy in 2005 it could be very diffucult and expensive for you to pass the clinical.
As far as the VALOR program would not fit as a clinical from what I seen while working at the VA. It is more of a student nurse intership.
Dec 26, '12
So did you get into the eLine program. I am in the same program through Corpus and so far so good. I'm set to graduate either in the summer or fall of '13. I was wondering what you found out about doing clinicals at a VA because I have a VA hosp real close to me.
Dec 28, '12
I do my clinicals at James A Haley VA Hospital in Tampa, FL. I did not approach them though... The University of South Florida (my program) and the VA have set up a partnership. It is a great place to do clinicals. If the location that you want to do clinicals at has a Veteran's Adminstration Nursing Academy (VANA), you could go talk to them about whether they will sponsor you. You will need to have all the information about what is expected of them though.
Are you already an RN and are doing a RN to BSN program? That could help in getting them to assist you.
The VALOR program is not at all VA hospitals. And it is highly competitive! There are only so many slots available. The students that I know that were accepted worked 40+ hours per week on top of classes, lab and clinicals. They do get paid for the hours that they work but it is not counted toward clincals.
Dec 29, '12
Best thing to do is find out who runs the education programs at the VA hospital you want to do clinicals at. If they don't have a memorandum of agreeement with your college you may have to do some leg work.
Once you find that person talk to them about what they are willing/not willing to do to help you find a preceptor you can shadow for clinicals. Once you find a preceptor you will have to arrange to be a student intern for the required number of hours.
You may have to network and find someone willing to take on a student. It's not totally impossible. Some nurses actually like to mentor. I recommend chocolate. It's always useful for getting people to do things for you.
Be sure that you get real clinical hours. Each state is somewhat different but AFAIK they all require you to spend several hundred hours in clinical to be accredited to sit for the NCLEX-RN. The average is probably somewhere around 200-400 hours of clinical depending on the state.
And you have to keep a record of those hours because the school will have to verify that you completed the required hours.
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