Quote from postmortem_cowboy
Remember back when... you were in LVN school? How can you get the clinical hands on by doing your ADN or BSN online? It was hard enough doing it right there with a live patient, seems to me it would be just that much more difficult to do online. Seems to me that the only true way not to "sham" a degree and be able to practice, would be to go the old fashion way... in the trenches. When I was in nursing school the big thing was the "Excelsior" study program that at the end of it you had to do 3-4 days worth of 12 hour clinicals, pay 2-3 thousand dollars to the company to proctor said clinicals, and if you did anything... ANYTHING that was wrong you failed the whole clinical. If you failed it, you would then have to reapply for the clinical, pay a second time, and take your chances that you didn't fail something again. Excelsior is now no longer recognized by the state of California. I'm EXTREMELY cynical of stuff like that. For me, no online anything, no no no. I'd much rather be able to go sit in a classroom and hear/watch a teacher explain the concepts and be able to ask questions and get answers right then and there, and not have to wait two or three days to get an answer.
All comes down to, you get what you pay for, and you get what you put the time into back out of it. If your going to put very little time into it, and do it online and go cheap charley, don't be surprised if you end up the other side of it and not have your RN/BSN and owe a ton of money as a result of it. As for me, no thank you, i'll do it the old fashioned way.
There are literally thousands of Excelsior College grads who are working in all areas of nursing, both at and away from the bedside. The EC program began as an offshoot of the NY State Board of Regents (who are the folks who regulate all schools - from pre-K through PhD in NY) for people who had the knowledge but the lack of classroom time to achieve an RN (and was called the Regents External Degree program or REX). After 20 years or so, and a name change to Regents College, the entire college was granted a charter (and left the State behind and became a private not-for-profit) and the name changed to Excelsior College.
It is essentially the same program that existed 25 years ago. Take a bunch of exams (now on computer at a testing center, rather then at a college with a pencil and scantron) and receive credit for the didactic portion of your degree. Then take a three day (really two half days and one full day) practical exam over a weekend. The Friday night practical exam consists of four stations - dressing change, IV push, IV drip, and IM/SQ injection. The Saturday (2) and Sunday (1) sessions consist of a patient care situation with a real patient on a real Med/Surg floor where you are expected to assess and provide treatments. You can fail one (or two?) Friday night stations and one adult PCS and one child PCS and repeat them.
The program is not designed for a bus driver who decides on Wednesday morning that he wants to be a nurse. It is designed for people who care for patients - LPNs, Medics, etc. who want to be a nurse.
I chose the program after being a Medic for 15 years. I would have pulled my hair out (or pulled the instructor's hair out?
) in traditional nursing school. I watched my wife go through the frustration of being told on a regular basis "that's nice, but it's not nursing so you don't know anything" while she went through school.
I finished it in nine months, graduating three years ago. I'm now the night charge in a 55K visit trauma hospital ER. The program does work for the people it was meant for!