Got Kids? Nicholls May Not Be For You

  1. if you are a student who has no children or other underage dependants, then nicholls bsn is a great program.... intense, but good (from what i understand).

    if, on the other hand, you have young kids nursing could be a little unrealistic for you, especially combined with a lack of dependable childcare before and after normal business hours.

    there are a few details about the bsn program that i believe are essential for any non-traditional parent to be fully aware of before shelling out the dough for tuition, books, childcare, fuel, etc. all of these expenses add up to $5000.00/ semester without additional nursing school expenses added in... for just one regular semester folks.... yikes. imagine how miffed you'd be if you went for like five semesters, taking non-nursing classes in preparation for clinicals.... when, wham!..... you learn a few little surprises, which had you been told beforehand, could have saved you like, $25,000.

    surprise # 1: clinicals at nicholls begin at 6:00 am (and they like for you to
    get there early [5:45]).
    why this is problematic: there are no childcare facilities (that i am aware
    of) in houma or thibodaux that are open this early. no before-
    care programs in the public school system are open this early
    either.

    suprise # 2: you are only allowed two clinical/ classroom absences
    before getting kicked out.... that's right... kicked out
    of the bsn program.
    why this is problematic: kids get sick. schools, childcare facilities, &
    some people (like the ones who have other children) re-
    fuse to keep children while they are sick. let's say
    your 9 yr old gets the flu, ok that's one day, but then
    your 4 yr old gets the flu too... day # two. what if you
    get the flu from the two angels you just spent your two
    "allowed" days on?
    surprise # 3: as if surviving the normal semesters wasn't hard enough,
    nicholls deciced to "help out" with the nursing shortage
    by throwing two mandantory summer semesters at
    you.
    why this is problematic: while summer childcare, though hard to find, is
    generally available, it is not open at 5:30 am.

    ns can be, and has been done by many with children. i just don't think that every parent who wants to be a nurse is aware of all of these details that are so important to the success of the student. its important for parents to be as informed as possible when going into something as life- encompasing as nursing.
    Last edit by Wanderlust, RN on Jan 9, '08 : Reason: realization that the "rant part" wasn't helpful. :)
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  2. 8 Comments

  3. by   serenity_2K2
    DEEPSOUTH BSN STUDENT:

    Please don't take offense to any of the following comments, but when I saw all those negative comments I had to say something in defense of my alma mater. While Nicholls may not have the best nursing school, it's most certainly not the worst. I'm not sure how you arrived at your decision to attend Nicholls, but I will give you some tips in regards to helpful questions that you should have asked prior to submitting your application. You should have met with an advisor to ask questions about clinical hours, lecture hours, and community services like childcare. Most nursing schools I know have their clinical hours in the morning. It's not until your senior level nursing courses that clinicals may have evening or night hours. I know for a fact the admission counselor at Nicholls would have made you aware of the hours prior to you attending the program. Just to let you know most nursing schools have a tentative schedule and they tell you that things are subject to change.
  4. by   Wanderlust, RN
    Serenity,

    First and foremost, I never said that Nicholls was a bad school! Please re-read my opening line. I do think that there is a communication and accessibility problem.

    Before applying to the University, I met with a college advisor, read the Bullitin, & read the BSN handbook. During my first semester of pre-reqs, I met with the BSN admissions advisor twice. I explained my babysitting situation to both of them, & I guess they didn't feel the need to discuss hours with me. I tried to get as much information as possible. I tried to be fully prepared. I put a lot of thought & planning into my decision to go back to school. I guess I just didn't know the right questions to ask.

    My purpose in submitting this information is to inform any Parent who does not have childcare & is thinking of the BSN program at Nicholls. I want people to be able to learn from my mistakes. I understand your need to defend you alma mater. There aren't many people out there who have nobody to help with childcare. But if one ever finds oneself in this situation, he/she will learn that planning is essential; and life can be very difficult. Information like this is very important for people like me.
  5. by   traumaRUs
    I did NS as an adult with two children (and hubby deployed part of the time). You have got to be flexible and able to roll with the punches to get thru ANY nursing school. I'm sorry for the inconveniences you describe but perhaps you could wait until your kids are older? Or choose another school? Or have your husband/partner work opposite you?

    The same is true for the work situation - frequently you have to be at work earlier than daycare is open or stay later than daycare closes. We all as working Moms make sacrifices.

    I am sorry that you are so obviously frustrated with things.
  6. by   sirI
    I think most individuals would be hard-pressed to find a university nursing program anywhere that strictly caters to the student-parent as outlined above.

    This child-care difficulty certainly isn't specific to Nicholls' program only.

    I'm sorry you've had difficulties. Hopefully, you've since worked out any problems.

    Good luck.
  7. by   RN BSN 2009
    We're not allowed to miss more than 2 clinicals as well, whether you have children or not. We have to make the allotted amount of hours required to be accredited.
  8. by   Wanderlust, RN
    Thank you all for your comments. I think this thread will be very useful to any Mom thinking of becoming a Nurse.
  9. by   DBFNP
    Nicholls has a tough program, but it is a good solid program.
  10. by   Wanderlust, RN
    Yes, I agree. They do have a very solid program. Their instructors are excellent (knowledgable, friendly, approachable; yet still drive students to do better). There have been very few complaints about the actual program that I could possibly make.

    My post was not a complaint about Nicholls BSN program!!! My complaints above were directed at the lack of information available to pre- Nursing majors. It was very frustrating to have spent a large amount of time & money planning for one situation, when I could have been planning for another. But as one poster kindly pointed out, I need to learn to "roll with the punches," which I am working on. I must be doing OK since I have gotten through the toughest part...

    And as another poster noted: this problem for some students of my demographic (non-trad, parent) is NOT limited to Nicholls program alone (I simply posted it here due to the fact that this is a regional board & Nicholls is a LA school).

    I would have love to hear more actual tips from Moms/ Dads (that could help other parents) as to how they managed to get through nursing school with kids.

    This post was meant to inform, not start an anti- Nicholls campaign. I guess I failed in that regard... I must be the only person to ever experience this type of problem. I had a heckuva time getting it together pre-Clinicals & would have really appreciated this info before I ever started working on my five semesters of pre/ co- reqs! I feel that any student listed as a "pre-nursing major" should be fully informed of this information by their counselor & NSU is not doing that... That's all I'm sayin.

    Just wanted to clear that up... for anyone interested...

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