Falling behind can't figure out what to do???

  1. I am currently attending a community college and getting some pre-reqs out of the way. I am feeling really discouraged by all of the people wanting to pursue nursing these days. I feel like some of them have absolutley no idea as to the difficulties in even getting into the program (I don't mean all, but there are many that I have spoken too, it's jaw dropping to hear some of the things they mention regarding nursing itself).
    Is Illinois a big part of the lottery selection process? I don't know where to go from here. There is so much competition and even some of the top students arent getting accepted. I don't want to complete all of this and then find out I can't even get into a program or the fact that I may have to wait for up to a year or longer.
    Would it be easier to just transiton from LPN to RN later? Has anyone here completed this process? Please any suggestions are greatly appreciated!
    Thank you
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  2. 10 Comments

  3. by   Jolie
    Most community college programs use some sort of lottery system to select students. A lottery system offers opportunities to students who have completed the pre-requisites, but may not have have perfect grades. Community college programs are also more moderately priced than public universities or private colleges, which leads to very high demand for their limited spaces and wait lists for students who meet the qualifications.

    Students who apply to a public university or private college are less likely to find themselves on a wait list, because these schools tend to rely more heavily on GPA in their selection of students. They are also more expensive in terms of tuition and fees.

    I applied to NIU (years ago), and was accepted based largely on my good GPA. At my local community college, my GPA wasn't considered, beyond the fact that I'd received acceptable grades in the pre-requisite classes. I went into a lottery system along with every other qualified applicant, and would have waited at least a year to get in. I chose NIU because I could enter sooner, even though it was a more expensive program. I was licensed 1-1/2 years sooner than a friend who chose the community college route.

    Private universities are expensive, but often offer significant financial aid. I don't know much about diploma programs in IL.

    Good luck on your decision!
  4. by   destined2bCRNA
    Where exactly is Harper College in Illinois? And where are you willing to go to school at in Illinois?
  5. by   Jilaweez
    Harper is in Palatine, IL. I am graduating from there in May. I have researched several options for NS and none of the colleges I looked into had a lottery. I wouldn't give up hope about getting in though. I was worried about the volume of candidates as well, but I didn't have any problems getting accepted. Just do well in your pre-reqs and you'll be fine.

    Jolie,
    How did you like NIU's program? I am trying to decide between two programs and it is one of my options. So far I have heard good things.
  6. by   Gennaver
    Quote from natkoz82
    I am currently attending a community college and getting some pre-reqs out of the way. I am feeling really discouraged by all of the people wanting to pursue nursing these days. I feel like some of them have absolutley no idea as to the difficulties in even getting into the program (I don't mean all, but there are many that I have spoken too, it's jaw dropping to hear some of the things they mention regarding nursing itself).
    ...
    Thank you
    Grr, my long post is gone...

    Sigh, I highly recommend you meet with an academic and transfer advisor to create a timeline for an ADN OR for an Associate in Allied Health science pre RN to transfer to a university. Best to have a plan and use your time and efforts wisely.

    Gen
    p.s. I ended up taking 10 years but, also ended up transferring to a Unviersity then to a direct entry RN Masters
  7. by   nurseangel47
    don't waste your time getting LPN first. Go for RN...no matter if you have to wait for a bit to get accepted somewhere or not. LPN school these days is a huge waste of time. and before I'm flamed, I LOVE LPNS! They are usually more helpful to me in a crisis than other RNs. I also have learned a lot from them thru the years in working with both lpns and rns. I have no problem with lpns at all....just that one more year to become an rn at a community college isn't that long for what it's worth since lpn is a bit limiting at this time in nursing....
  8. by   Jolie
    Disclaimer: I graduated from NIU 20 years ago, so the program has probably changed quite a bit in that time. Some or all of my criticisms may no longer apply.

    Overall, I liked the program at Northern. My expenses were a fraction of those at a private school, and I was able to complete the program in 3 years (I transferred in as a sophomore), so my time spent in school was less than friends who attended community college programs with wait lists.

    I had 3 major criticisms of the program:

    First, we were so far removed from most of our clinical sites (Rockford and the western suburbs) that our clinical time was severely limited. We had 4 semesters of off-campus clinicals. The first involved one 1/2 day per week of med-surg. The second involved two 1/2 days per week of community health and/or psych. Some students did only community health, some did both. I did not have a psych clinical. (I have enough psych cases in my own family that I didn't mind, but that was a shortcoming of the program for those who desired psych clinical time.) The third semester was two 1/2 days per week combined peds/OB/med-surg. Not enough time to learn much in any of those areas. The final semester was two full days per week, but only for half of the semester. We had some freedom to choose the unit on which we did this "leasership" clinical. I ended up on an ortho unit at CDH, which was NOT my choice, but I did learn a lot!

    My second criticism was the quality of some of the faculty. I guess this can be a problem anywhere, but we had instructors who ranged from FANTASTIC to God-awful. At that time, NIU required their nursing faculty members to obtain a doctorate within 7 years of hire, or be dismissed. I understand the rationale of a well-educated faculty engaged in research, but some of the faculty were so absorbed in their own studies that they couldn't be bothered to teach their students. By and large, the really good instructors were the ones who had no desire to obtain a doctorate. They spent their summers and weekends working as staff nurses, keeping their skills up to date, and establishing good relationships with the nurses on our clinical units. Unfortunately, they were out the door in 7 years, so there was a fair amount of faculty turnover. And the instructors who did earn their doctorates usually left for more prestigous positions in the city. DeKalb doesn't have much to offer to draw high-quality faculty away from the city.

    Finally, at that time, our curriculum was weighted very heavily on adult-med-surg. Very little emphasis on OB, peds, psych, or ICU and very few faculty members who would encourage a new grad to try anything other than med-surg.

    The positives:

    I got a good theoretical education at a modest cost. I passed boards (along with 96% of my classmates, and was offered the job of my dreams (Special Care Nursery at Rush), based largely on the reputation of NIU's program. My employer provided me with an excellent orientation program that made up for my lack of relevant clinical experience.

    May I ask what other programs you are considering?
  9. by   Jilaweez
    Thanks Jolie. I didn't realize you graduated that long ago. I have also been accepted to a small private college in Rockford. I live in the NW suburbs and both schools, as well as clinical sites are about the same distance. I know NIU has a higher NCLEX pass rate than the private college and tuition prices are comparable. I originally planned to attend the private school but I liked the fact that NIU's program had less days per week and an extra semester for clinical and nclex prep. The private college has some great clinical sites as well as summer opportunites in several areas I am interested in. Thanks again.
  10. by   calvbee
    Do not be discouraged. I am planning to go CLC, and they do not use the lottery system. They go strictly by Entrance exam. They admit the top 60 people.

    Quote from natkoz82
    I am currently attending a community college and getting some pre-reqs out of the way. I am feeling really discouraged by all of the people wanting to pursue nursing these days. I feel like some of them have absolutley no idea as to the difficulties in even getting into the program (I don't mean all, but there are many that I have spoken too, it's jaw dropping to hear some of the things they mention regarding nursing itself).
    Is Illinois a big part of the lottery selection process? I don't know where to go from here. There is so much competition and even some of the top students arent getting accepted. I don't want to complete all of this and then find out I can't even get into a program or the fact that I may have to wait for up to a year or longer.
    Would it be easier to just transiton from LPN to RN later? Has anyone here completed this process? Please any suggestions are greatly appreciated!
    Thank you
  11. by   mydee
    Hello,
    Just to let you know it is not a waste of time to go for lpn first if you decide to go that route. You can always bridge to a RN and as long as you have all of your prereq done for the RN before you enter LPN school. I say go for it. In fact I may even take this route myself demanding on how it works out once I am done with my prereq. It is so much easier to get into a lpn program then bridge later then you would just bridge into 2 year RN students and do just one year last year of nursing school and become a RN. However you decide it is your choice.
  12. by   traumaRUs
    I also did the LPN to ADN route simply because that is what worked for me. My only caveat to this is to keep going in school - don't stop because it is very hard to build that momentum again, especially with family obligations.

    I live in IL but did not go to school here. However, I did choose the private college route for the ADN because there was no waiting list. Yes, it was expensive, but I was already 34 and wasn't getting any younger - lol. For me, this worked.

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