Hello, all. I am seeking out advice about nursing school, especially from those who have switched careers to go into nursing. My situation is as follows:
I graduated with my BA in Secondary English Education, but have been unable to secure a permanent teaching position in the 1.5 years since graduation. It is not unusual for the best districts to get near 1000 applications for one open English position Ė even the ďbadĒ schools are getting in excess of 100. That being the case, Iím looking into pursuing nursing as a career, given it was always something I had an interest in. My ultimate goal would be to become a Womenís Health Nurse Practitioner; Iím just not sure of the most effective and efficient way to go about achieving that goal.
Iím considering two options:
1) Attend Truman College to obtain my Associateís Degree in Nursing, and then take (and hopefully pass) the NCLEX-RN. After that, I would, ideally, find work as an RN and, after a year or two, go back part-time (while working) to earn my Masterís to become a WHNP.
2) Attend UICís Graduate Entry Program, which would allow me to take the NCLEX-RN after a 15-month accelerated program. After that, I could work as an RN while continuing to take classes to earn my Masterís and eventually be credentialed as a WHNP.
-How well-regarded is the Truman Program? If all goes according to plan, I would be graduating after the Spring 2012 term. I would hope that, by this point, many of the hiring freezes for new grads would have let up a bit, but, even if that is the case, are Chicago (and surrounding area) hospitals reluctant to hire individuals with just an Associateís in Nursing? Would my BA help, despite the fact that itís in a different discipline?
-I have read some threads regarding the city colleges and HESI exam controversy. Is this also happening at Truman? I would hate to spend all of that time and money pursuing a different career, only to find myself out thousands of dollars with no degree or certification to show for it.
-Are there any other GEPs besides UIC that you would recommend I look into? Iíve glanced over DePaulís, but it seems extremely cost-prohibitive. This is a major concern for me, as I still have 25k to pay off from my first degree.
-Are there any other good avenues for obtaining an RN license that I am leaving out?
Any other advice or insights based off your experience or the experience of those you know would be greatly appreciated. Iím trying to figure out what would be the best plan for my future, but Iím getting nervous about the costs involved and the career opportunities that will be available once I graduate.
Thanks in advance for any advice offered.