FNP Cal State LA or CSULB?

  1. I recently got accepted (for Fall 2012) both Cal state LA and Cal state Long Beach for Family Nurse practitioner option. But I don't know what are the difference between the two, and which one to choose! I need help please!!

    I graduated from Csulb BSN program, but I for master's I heard that Cal state LA is better?
    I just know that Cal state LA take more units than Long beach...

    Ultimately I want the best program and the one that better prepares me. I have no nursing experience, and I'm going for master's. So I need a good school! lol

    Also, when you get in the FNP, how do you choose the preceptors or hospitals?? do you choose for each quarter? So confused....

    Thank you so much in advanced!!!
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    About Enfermera_me

    Joined: May '11; Posts: 16; Likes: 2


  3. by   nursegirlie
    I go to CSULA's NP program now. Def go to Long Beach!!!!!! LA has a lot of BS, horrible administration, very few supportive teachers, no help finding preceptors (although they say they do), and you are pretty much taught to the midterms/finals (no real tactile or practical learning). Just being honest
  4. by   Enfermera_me
    I was reading that from all the CSU system, Cal state LA was the best for MAster's program...

    Can I ask you if you are full time or part time student and also do you work?

    And how do you choose your preceptors? did you have to find it your own or you only choose the hospital and the school gets you a preceptor from that hospital?

    Also, can you choose a preceptor from a hospital or only clinics?

    Thank you so much for your honesty and sincerity!
    Thank you for your help!!
    I was so in need to talk to somebody who was in the program!
  5. by   nursegirlie
    I am a full time student since I am not currently working as an RN (looking for work though). I started as a ELMN student (which is their 2nd career nursing program for bachelor degree in another field peeps who can get their RN in 15 months then continue into the MSN track). The FNP track can be full or part time, but since classes are really only offered at one time of week/day and year (meaning if you can't go to class that day d/t work then you have to wait another year often times to take the class). ANP and ACNP tracks are supposed to be full time only. It seems that lecture classes are often on Tuesdays in case that helps you keep your schedule open. The first year of the program, you are in class 2 and 3 days a week, but remember with the budget cuts classes are limited and you want to make sure your work is flexible with allowing you to be at school when the classes are offered.

    As far as preceptors, the school says that they will help you but their referrals are pretty useless. I know the preceptor thing is an issue with a lot of schools so it is always best to plan early and network asap! Since I have no RN experience being an ELMN student/2nd career into nursing, I used a family friend who is a doctor. TG I knew this person cause I'd be totally out of luck! Most peeps end up having to cold call places and it can really be stressful. It seems even the MSN students who have been nurses for many years have trouble finding preceptors too, esp if their NP track is not a setting where they work as an RN. You can use a dr or an NP(no PA's allowed). The school has strict guidelines, so for FNP you have to find an outpatient family practice/general practitioner setting and also a pediatric NP or doctor. For the first clinical, no matter which NP track you choose, it has to be an outpatient preceptor. ACNP is the only track where you can do inpatient preceptor hours after the first quarter of clinicals. The thing with CSULA is are sooooo unorganized and they throw things at you last minute and expect you to jump through hoops and make miracles happen without their help. Many of the students complain b/c we are just so tired of the B.S. with the school, but nothing changes. For example, we have 2 weeks until this Spring quarter ends and most of us have summer off (even the FNP students). They tell us last week that we have to have our Fall preceptor selected and all the paperwork completed before the quarter ends or else they won't accept us into the class cause they don't want to do the paperwork in the summer "last minute" before the Fall quarter starts. Okay, well then why are they telling us this "last minute" then....again???? Given we are busy as it is with work/school/precepting...not to mention finals.... this quarter, it was ridiculous that they couldn't tell us this much earlier so that we could all prepare because it is NOT easy to find preceptors, esp for the pediatric hours that the FNP track requires. This is actually like the third time they've done something like this. They wouldn't even give us the syllabus or any info about our first preceptor clinical until after the quarter started, so all our preceptors were in the dark as to what to expect from us. It just looks unprofessional and makes it look like we (not the school) is unorganized. So what I am telling you is to find people early and chose dr's/np's who you know love to teach and who want you to succeed! ASAP....Network, network, network

    Hope this helps
  6. by   Enfermera_me

    Thank you so much for all that info!! I really appreciate all the time and effort you put in the comment! seriously.

    I am sorry for all frustration you have been too. That must be really really stressful! especially when you are trying to do it all by yourself without anyone (i.e. the school) helping you out.

    I kind of understand you (although it's not even comparable to what you are going through). But csulb was disorganized too when I was in the BSN program. They wanted all the health physical paperwork done like in a week or something (when we were taking exams). It was a mess, but we did work it through (meaning, we protested lol). And also, not to mention that they lost some of my paperwork, and I had to turn it in again....

    I really wish I could network like you said. But I'm an international student! after graduating from BSN program I had to come back to latin america. And now I'm planning for Master's. And it sucks, because I don't really know a lot of people who are nurse practitioners! bummer!!

    And like you said, you were lucky! you knew people who were kind enough to help you!

    From your comment, I assume that you had to find preceptors for each quarter? (for peds, gero, women etc)?

    And how do you go and find preceptors? you call anybody you find on the directory/online....or?..the school gives you a list??

    And how many clinical hours do you have to complete for each quarter?

    Sorry to ask so many questions, but I want to know what to expect from the program this time. Unlike the BSN that I had no clue what I was getting into.

    Once again, thank you for all your replies. I don't feel alone anymore hehe.
    Thank you!!!
  7. by   nursegirlie
    Yeah I have no idea who and how those school ratings are done! I have heard much better things about CSU LB vs LA for sure.

    Yes you have to find a peds and OB/GYN preceptor for FNP, plus a family/general practice. You can go to the CSULA webite and download the schedule for FNP. Wherever it say "Practicum" is a clinical. It is 30 hours for each unit, so a 4 unit class is 120 hours.

    The only way to find preceptors if you don't know anyone personally is to call or walk into random offices and ask. Be prepared to get a lot of rejections though. It is not just LA...LB and most public schools do NOT have preceptors for you. I don't know how LB helps their students. There are def people out there willing to help, but start early so you have time to find them
  8. by   yams012
    @ enfermera_me: CONGRATS on the acceptances. i was accepted into CSULA's APN program and waitlisted @ CSULB's FNP program. i am debating between the two schools and have heard the same things.

    @ nursegirlie: have you heard any pros or cons about the ANP program? i'm leaning more towards taking the acceptance from CSULA with the ANP program. i see that finding preceptors will be a fun challenge ...hahaha...and that is horrible that the school/program seems to be disorganized, but you make the best of it, nonetheless, right ?! i just wanted to get an honest opinion from a current student about what they think of the program overall. i mean no MSN/nursing program is perfect, so i know there will be flaws . also, you mentioned ANP program is full-time? so it has to be finished in 2 years? the reason why i ask is b/c i'm working as a RN @ a hospital, and wanted to see if i need to tell my manager....if i can continue working full-time as i am right now...or if i need to switch to working part-time. sorry for all the questions! thanks and best of luck to your studies!
  9. by   nursegirlie
    overall i think the CSULA program is pretty lousy at best! i can speak for most of the other students as well. just being honest cause i wish someone told me this same stuff before i applied. they cant make you go full time, of course, but it basically works like this...most of the classes are offered once a year at one specific day/time. if you cant take the class b/c of work, kids, personal whatevers, then you have to wait a whole year to take it again. since the class is likely a prereq for another class...well, then youre SOL There are several of my classmates who have had to defer the program for a year because their work schedules were not flexible. they hate the school as it is, so theyre kinda bummed they cant break ties with the school as soon as theyd like. i think we all just want to get it done asap and get away from CSULA's madness haha. they cant continue in the program until specific courses have been completed b/c they are needed to move onto the next class. make sense? you also wont know the schedule each quarter until about 3-4 wks before the next quarter so that's why i say make sure you work can be flexible i'm glad to help guys, no need to apologize for answering questions!
  10. by   danceluver
    Can anyone chime in about CSULB MSN program? FNP or any other specialty? Organization, faculty and staff support, education/learning environment? (especially for RN who go directly through tot he masters without any or much work experience)?

    @Enferma_me: How difficult was it to get accepted in csulb as a direct entry applicant with no experience? What was the criteria? Did you already have your license in hand when you applied? When did you finish your bsn program and how long after did you take the NCLEX in order to apply by march?

    Sorry for all the questions, but i'd love some feedback from you since i likely will be in your position very soon.
  11. by   Enfermera_me
    @ nursegirlie:

    Thank you for all the honest info that you are giving us all. I did not know or even thought of the things you have said. Now I know what to take into consideration, and have an idea of the program.
    But do you think that ELMN students go through a more rigorous program (including FNP) than traditional BSN to FNP program? or is it the same? I know that ELMN students in CSULB were 3x more stressed and it was harder for them to get everything done in less than 2-3 years.
    Are those opinions including the traditional BSN to FNP students too? I am just really curious hehe

    Also, regarding flexibility of the classes. Is the FNP program cohorted like the BSN program? meaning that your classes are decided from the beginning in what to take each quarter and you can't choose it your own schedule and class?

    @ danceluver:

    I graduated BSN program from CSULB late 2010, got my license early 2011, and only worked 1 month in ER as a new grad. I applied for this fall 2012 both LA and LB, and I got in both (with no experience). I don't know what the criteria is (it should be on the website, I only gave them what they said in their requirements). Also, i'm international student, so I might of been categorized different? Like when I applied for the BSN program, they only accepted 2 international students.
  12. by   nursegirlie
    ELMN students and BSN students are the same once they are in the MSN/NP portion, so no difference there. ELMNs get their RN in 15 months, so that part yes haha..but the NP part, no. In fact, I think everything is more fresh in our brains vs peeps who have been out of school longer and only work with a specific patient population cause they forget a lot of stuff they never use And yes, I would say the opinions are the same for BSN, ELMN, or students who got their RN elsewhere( esp cause they aren't used to the school's b.s. haha). The NP portion is the same for everyone, no cohort, and we all register for our own classes etc. Like I said, classes are often only at one set time/day (esp the 2nd year) so you are in most of the same classes anyways
  13. by   danceluver
    do you have to find your own preceptors at CSULB? Pretty easy to get the classes you need if you stay full time and on track?
  14. by   aggie313
    The FNP I shadowed in socal said she refuses to precept students from schools with no contracted affiliation with her practice (i.e. CSULB and CSULA) and urged me to go to a school that found preceptors for you to avoid unnecessary frustration.