27 y.o. male who wants to get into nursing!!!!

  1. Hi,

    I am currently in a situation that I know most of us have experienced. I am currently working as a social worker/therapist and due to the economy, I am working less than what I am worth. I am losing interest in the Social work profession due to limited opportunities for growth and a sense of fulfillment in really helping others! I REALLY enjoy working with people and my interest in the medical field has grown due to my experience in healthcare and my change in diet by living a healthier lifestyle.

    I am in a situation where I want to apply to an accelerated BSN program. However, many accelerated programs require you to take prerequisites first. I have applied to Community college but they have given me a lot of difficulties in selecting the courses I needed because some of the courses were reserved for their nursing students only. I am applying to Villanova University's program because they have an option were I can take majority of my courses there and complete my BSN degree within 2 years. I have found that applying to community college in order to take prereqs have been difficult and I want to just apply to a nursing program and complete all of my courses at one institution.

    I want to know if there are any programs in near or in the Philadelphia area that I can take most of courses and complete my BSN degree? I applied to UPenn's nursing program and have been placed on their waiting list and later denied. Currently, I know that they were the only program that accepted students for their 27-month option. However, the 27 month option for their BSN program is now obsolete and only have the 18-month option to complete the program! I currently, have a B.A. in Psychology and a Master of Social Work degree.

    All recommendations are welcomed!! Thank you in advance!
  2. Visit fisherpe profile page

    About fisherpe

    Joined: Aug '10; Posts: 23; Likes: 6
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  3. by   Bob_N_VA
    You can search for nursing programs in your area here:http://www.discovernursing.com/nursing-program-search

    I would offer the same advice to you as I did to this other guy: Career change

    With a masters degree, what you really need to do is get the license, start working and then work on backing it up with a BSN or MSN. Unless you can find a program that pushes all the buttons, I would figure out which one gets you there quickest, cheapest, bestest.(and you know you can pick only two)
  4. by   fisherpe
    Thank you so much for answering my post! I really appreciate it and yes I am actually taking my licensure this August and planning on applying to a BSN program the best way I can! How has been your experience? Are you going into or in nursing as well?

  5. by   czyja
    Quote from Bob_N_VA
    With a masters degree, what you really need to do is get the license, start working and then work on backing it up with a BSN or MSN. Unless you can find a program that pushes all the buttons, I would figure out which one gets you there quickest, cheapest, bestest.(and you know you can pick only two)
    I have to respectfully disagree with Bob. I went to an accellerated Masters Entry Program and it was the right choice for me. If, for example, the OP knows he want to work as an APRN, then an accelerted masters program might the best choice.

    If the OP thinks an accelerate program would be best for him then I would urge him to find a place to the prereqs so he can apply broadly. Have you looked into doing the prereqs at a four year school? Most four year colleges have extension programs that enable you to take regular courses at the college. This can be expensive, but it is usually a bit more convenient than the community colleges which have impacted by budget cuts etc.
  6. by   fisherpe
    Hello, Thank you for responding to my post! I support both of your options/feedback and thank you for adding the option of a 4 year university to take some of my pre-reqs! I just want to take the classes or get into a program that will allow me to work towards my BSN and possibly, an MSN. As you have mentioned, Community College has been a "headache" for me!!!! I really want to pursue this goal without too many obstacles and added costs!
  7. by   chuckster
    Quote from fisherpe
    Hello, Thank you for responding to my post! I support both of your options/feedback and thank you for adding the option of a 4 year university to take some of my pre-reqs! I just want to take the classes or get into a program that will allow me to work towards my BSN and possibly, an MSN. As you have mentioned, Community College has been a "headache" for me!!!! I really want to pursue this goal without too many obstacles and added costs!
    If cost is not an issue, Jefferson has an accelerated BSN-MSN program for second degree students. While this would get you to your MSN in the shortest possible time, albeit at a cost probably somewhere north of $50k, the biggest drawback is that you will be a newly graduated RN competing for jobs in a very tight market. I'm not sure if you're planning to stay in the Phila area but if you are, you should consider that it is extraordinarily difficult for RN's without out experience to find work. While you would have an MSN, presumably giving you a leg up on those BSN's competing for limited openings, I'm not sure how much of an advantage that will provide.

    In the past I would have been inclined to suggest (like Bob) that you go the associates degree route, work as an RN for a while, then move on to the BSN and MSN. Though that remains by far the lowest cost option unfortunately, at least in the Phila area, it is no longer a truly viable option. As indicated above, the job market for new nursing grads is tough but it is downright abominable for associate degree RN's. Nearly all postings now say "BSN required" and your resume won't make the first cut if your nursing degree is an ADN. I speak from experience here, as a non-practicing RN with not only an ADN but also a BA and MBA. In that, I am similar to most of the CC nursing class grads in the area - I've heard that over 75% of my 2010 class at DCCC have not been able to find jobs.

    I know that you have had difficulty with your local CC but in spite of that, and irrespective of the difficulty in finding a job with "only" an ADN, that still might be the best way to go. You can sit for the CNA exam after completing you first semester of nursing at CC. This would allow you work in a local hospital as a CNA/Tech while you complete the ADN and get your RN and would dramatically improve your chance of being hired as a nurse after graduation (nearly all of the few of my classmates who were hired as RN's after graduation worked as techs/CNA's in the hospitals that hired them). You could then pursue your BSN on-line at any number of schools, possibly even with employer-provided tuition assistance. The cost at CC is relatively modest and many of the on-line RN-BSN programs are also reasonable (Univer of Wyoming, U Texas-Arlington and Ohio U all offer programs in the $7,000 - $9,000 range). This would take you somewhat longer than the accelerated programs at Jeff, Villanova or Drexel but is a fraction of the cost.

    Only you can judge what is best but do not, under any circumstances, take on significant debt to get through school to become an RN. You are highly likely to be faced with a challenging job market when your graduate (from whatever program) and you do not want to desparately looking for a job while trying to repay school loans. Keep in mind that educational loans are not dischargeable, so even if you become destitute or declare bankrupty, you will have to find some way to pay the loans back.
  8. by   Bob_N_VA
    Let me tag on one more time. I don't disagree with either Chuck or Czyga, pick the program that makes the most sense for you. My recommendation to go the quickest route is based on fact that in my area, new grads with Associates or Diplomas are getting hired as well as the 4+ year degree grads so there really isn't a penalty as of yet for not going the BSN. I'm in a hospital based program in Newport News VA, and its still a diploma program. We get lots of clinical time since the system (Riverside) has a multitude of facilities to place its students. Riverside also hires a good percentage of its own grads (would really suck if they didn't hire diploma students while they churn them out) so getting a job while not a sure thing, isnt out of the realm of possibility. We also have a good share of AS nurses from the local CC's.

    Oh, and as much as the ladies would hate to agree, guys do have an advantage in getting hired over women. We are the minority, we tend to have less reasons for needing time off, etc, etc. I'll keep my fingers crossed it's true come 2013 when I go for a job.

    From what I know (which is mostly what I hear from the instructors) is that advanced practice nursing programs want to see some experience, preferably critical care before they let you in. In my opinion, getting a masters without much practical experience puts you behind the power curve, HR will figure you want a higher salary with all that schooling but you won't be any more productive than any other new hire, usually at a lower rate. That may not be the case all over, so feel free to disagree, but I still hold by my original advice. Once you get a few years of OJT, then you should be hirable pretty much anywhere you want to go. You can always work the BSN as a part time gig while still working full time. Good Luck
    Last edit by Bob_N_VA on Jul 11, '11
  9. by   fisherpe

    I want to thank both bob n va and chuckster for adding each others input on the various options to pursue the nursing degree! Both feedbacks are very valuable to me because it adds more insight in what my options are as well as how to pursue this degree efficiently! Ultimately, I want to combine what I know from the field of social work and apply it into the nursing profession!

    I have to say that you both add your own unique perspectives but chuckster has made something "click" for me in terms of obtaining a degree in nursing and that without experience...my job offers will be limited! During the economic crisis, I too have experienced the effects of the economy in my current profession because the field has been saturated with MSW's who wanted to do the same things (i.e. work for non-profits, case management, psychotherapy, etc). I feel that the field has become limited in terms of growth and opportunity (majority of social service jobs have been cut and only jobs with high workloads/responsibilities to clients and with little pay and incentives has become the norm. Especially, within the Philly region because all other opportunities have been terminated or held by senior staff who are not leaving their position due to the economy). Since graduating from my program, I applied to many positions and even applied to hospitals where I used to work as a research assistant and I have been denied positions or ignored due to high volume of applicants with similar qualifications.

    In regards to nursing, I have been told and have experienced working with nurses who have had ample opportunities for advancement and growth in terms of direct care with patients to research, which have been two big passions of mine! Either way, whether obtaining a ADN or BSN, I want to pursue this degree and use it to provide the best care possible in this helping profession!

    I really appreciate this developing discussion because I can see that BOTH of you are TRULY passionate about your work and what it means to obtain such a degree.
  10. by   czyja
    I hear what your saying fisherpe, but I strongly suspect the job market will shift in the next couple of years. The new grad employment challenges we have right now are a cyclical phenomenon.

    Have you thought about what you would like your career as a nurse to look like?
  11. by   fisherpe
    Hi Czyja,

    Thanks for offering great advice and encouragement on this profession! As for being a nurse, I would see myself in a variety of roles such as being at the bedside caring for patients particularly in pediatrics and maybe move into adult population. Furthermore, I enjoy teaching and research! So, I think I would pursue a MPH degree as well do to more focused health education/promotion and research with high risk populations involving children and adults.

    I hope you don't mind me asking but, what are you doing in your current role as a nurse?
  12. by   czyja
    Not at all - I am delighted that you are interested. I am working on my PhD, investigating the symptom cluster of pain, dyspnea, fatigue, and sleep distubance in people with COPD from both a genotypic and phenotypic perspective. I have an NIH training grant so I am not doing clinical work atvthis time.

    If you are interested in teaching and research in addition to patient care I would suggest that you consider a masters etp program. I was also interested in these roles and did and ms etp, it was the right choice for me. If you are intested in ped, then a peds oriented program would be good. I think you will find that most MS programs have enough public health to obviate the need for an MPH, unless you really want to work solely in this domain.

    Did you ask Penn about your application? You might want to reapply. A number of people got in my program on their second or third try. I would especially urge this if you are thinking of a research career. The contacts you would make at Penn would be very helpful.
    Last edit by czyja on Jul 15, '11
  13. by   fisherpe
    Again thank you czyja for providing so much knowledge and perspective about the field! I am truly impressed that your going for you doctorate and good luck with your research. As for Penn, I did not ask why I haven't been accepted into the program! I knew that I was on a waiting list but according to the admissions director, there were so many applicants who have applied! Also, I just applied only to the accelerated BSN program and not the MSN programs and according the the admissions director from our previous talk about the program, Penn focuses on obtaining applicants who also apply to their MSN specialties! Right now, I'm thinking about Drexel or Villanova, where I can take most of my classes and just matriculate into the program...especially Drexel because I have heard that they have incentives for holding costs until your employer disperses the tuition reimbursement for pre-req courses I'm just keeping my fingers crossed!
  14. by   xiongav
    Greetings, all~

    I have been reading your posts on here and fisher's ambition and perseverence to enter a nursing program emulates my current change in careers.

    I am planning to apply for a MSN program that will lead to an RN, non-specialty. Firstly, this program is strictly for folks whom already obtain a 4-year degree (U of MN Nursing Program). I currently hold a BS in Human Dev. & Family Studies and have been in education for several years now.

    There are 8 prereq. courses that I am required to take in order to apply for the accelerated nursing program. I can either take 2 courses (and upon doing well of course) a semester and apply for the 2013, fall cohort, or take 4 courses this fall semester in hopes to do well on them.

    My question is, Fisher (or to whom it may concern), have you taken any of the prereqs yet? If so, how many courses have you taken and what do you recommend? I remembered you stating you decided to take them at a 4-year uni. as I will plan to do. I figured if I decide to take 2 courses/semester, I can squeeze in minimal PT work as a care provider and also become a CNA.

    I plan to become an RN in pediatrics and hopefully advance my career to a NP. I'm currently residing in the midwest, MN. Thanks in advance for any input or info.!

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