I'm new here and needs lots of advice.
I live in Chicago, contemplating going to school for nursing. The plan is to get the most bang for my buck. This is the plan:
Go to a community college (to save on tuition), complete RN program. (estimated time 2 yrs) Problem: don't know which college is best. Any suggestions?
After completing RN program, getting a license and a position.......
Transfer to a university to complete the RN to BSN program (while gaining experience, money and my degree) estimated time 1yr. Problem: don't know which university to choose
After completing BSN program I would like to obtain an advanced degree in probably anesthesia. (estimated time 2 yrs)
I would like any advice. What are good schools in the city and suburbs? What am I looking for when choosing schools? Also I would like advice on financial aid, tuition reimbursement, scholarships or any hospitals that pay for tuition.
Thanks in advance!
Apr 7, '11
I think starting off at a CC is a good way to get into nursing, just keep in mind that they tend to have waiting lists since they are on the cheaper side compared to private schools and 4 year programs. Picking up a BSN afterward is also a common theme, usually it takes folks a few years between the time they pass the nclex and actually complete the BSN requirements. Advanced degrees/certs are great, especially if you are young, but I don't think it makes much sense to try and do that in such a short time. Seriously, just because you get your license or your degree, doesnt mean you are a good nurse, that comes with time on the job. Many advanced programs want to see some relevent work experience before they let you in. Having 5 years of floor experience probably brings you into the realm of "competent". And life always seems to get in the way of plans and goals, even for the best intentioned.
As for Chicago programs, look here: http://allnurses.com/il-nursing-programs/
Lots of the financial aid stuff is very dependent on the individual applying, so I really cant comment. Look for programs that offer lots of clinical time, that usually means hospital based.
Apr 7, '11
Several issues with your time frame.
Contrary to popular belief, most ADN/ASN programs last 3 years with the prereqs. Those in most schools, have to be completed prior to admit to the nursing courses, which lasts 2 years.
Second, virtually all good inexpensive courses have very competitive admissions and/or wait lists.
Third, most BSN programs expect a certain amt of experience to enter a shortened 1 yr course.
Fourth, your first year as a nurse in good hospitals is like residency. Often you spend a lot of time on classes, especially in the specialized units. Trying to get through the required classes for work at the same time as trying to do a one year BSN program.
Fifth, virtually all good CRNA programs require 1-2 years solid critical care experience.
Sixth, there is a serious oversupply of nurses. Thus many graduates are finding the job hunt taking 6-24 months. Even more problematic, since ICU positions are greatly desired, they are even harder to obtain. And many places are increasingly requiring signed contracts for two years of service if you get hired, to recover adequately all expenses associated with training a nurse to ICU. They have gotten tired of training nurses just to have them leave for CRNA or other facilities.
Many people are trying to get through nursing quickly to get to NP or CRNA. This was never intended as a quick pass to these professions.