I'm Stuck - Need to Make a Quick Decision

  1. Dear Nurse Beth,

    So I am kind of stuck and don't know how to navigate myself out!. I have been in School for my RN to BSN since Aug 2015. This program is fairly new so they keep changing things last minute CONSTANTLY . I work in Pediatrics full time 3 days a week. I go to school on Wednesdays and now my school just told us we have to do specialty clinicals and Leadership clinicals which is 2 separate days. My job will accommodate my school, But won't accommodate my clinicals. If I don't take clinicals it’s an automatic failure.

    Here is where it gets difficult. Since 2015 I have been easily going to school and going to work with no problems. I am the sole provider in my home and haven't had any issues thus far. Now because of all this, I can't afford to quit and have to make a quick decision! What can I do?

    I already emailed my school to find out what my options are and there answer is there is nothing they can do and that’s the rules. I was thinking about transferring to an online college but I always felt online college looks bad on a resume.

    What are your thoughts?



    Dear Stuck,

    I'm sorry for the spot you're in. It's not easy providing for a family and going to school.
    Is there any way you can take out a loan or a grant to help out? Check with your school’s financial aid office. Some grants do not have to be paid back if you qualify.

    It would set you back to transfer or try to transfer to a different program. All RN programs require
    clinical hours as clinical training is an important part of the program.
    There are reputable online schools, but you have to do due diligence to find them. Either way,
    you will need to complete clinicals to finish RN school,

    The other option is to temporarily drop out of school. Save up some money and return to school
    when you can work part-time or work around clinical hours. Check to see that your credits are transferable.

    Best wishes,
    Nurse Beth

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  2. 14 Comments

  3. by   beekee
    These clinicals are two days total? You work three days, go to school one day, so that leaves one day free, right? Any chance you could do these clinicals on that day? Is there anyone at your work you can beg, plead, cajole into working for you those two days? You could maybe swap days? You must be pretty close to finishing your BSN. I hope one of your coworkers can help you out.
  4. by   VANurse2010
    It's not entirely accurate to say that all RN progams require clinical hours. That is certainly true of initial licensing programs but *Not all* RN-to-BSN programs require clinical hours. In fact, there are a large number that don't.
  5. by   TheCommuter
    I was thinking about transferring to an online college but I always felt online college looks bad on a resume.
    I assume you are a licensed RN who attends a campus-based RN-to-BSN completion program. If my assumption is erroneous, please correct me.

    How would anyone know you completed your degree online? Your transcripts are not marked to indicate that the coursework was delivered online. Unless you earn your degree from a school with a massive online presence (e.g. U of Phoenix, Walden, Grand Canyon, South U, Excelsior), no one has to know your program was online.

    Most state universities offer online RN to BSN programs. You receive the same degree and transcript and your counterparts who completed the land-based programs.
  6. by   Nurse Beth
    Quote from VANurse2010
    It's not entirely accurate to say that all RN progams require clinical hours. That is certainly true of initial licensing programs but *Not all* RN-to-BSN programs require clinical hours. In fact, there are a large number that don't.
    Good point, with some digging it is possible to find an RN-to-BSN program with no clinical hours. I say "digging" because it's not always apparent on the first page.

    However, the majority require some form of clinical time. Clinical hours in a BSN program can include preceptor-guided time, for example, attending a leadership meeting, shadowing, home visits for public health, some type of practicum, etc.
  7. by   TheCommuter
    Quote from Nurse Beth
    Clinical hours in a BSN program can include preceptor-guided time, for example, attending a leadership meeting, shadowing, home visits for public health, some type of practicum, etc.
    The online RN-to-BSN that I completed entailed a 90-hour self-directed community health practicum component, but I would not even compare it to a traditional clinical practicum rotation associated with a prelicensure BSN program.
  8. by   nurse2033
    Switch to an online program. I was a single parent, working 3 shifts a week, and got my MSN degree through Excelsior. I loved it. They offer a BSN the same way. I did have to go to Albany once, for graduation but I think they have changed that requirement. There were clinical hours but you found your own site, at your own hours, in your community. Feel free to message me for more detail.
  9. by   FNP-Cgrad
    If you started the program in August 2015, the school cannot alter the curriculum plan they presented you at the time. The requirements for graduation cannot by law change during your program. Whatever the requirements were for graduation from your RN to BSN program when you matriculated the program should remain the same.

    I would inform the program director that you're aware of your rights as a student. Maybe escalate the issue if the PD blows you off.
  10. by   moldyoldyrn
    I would check out with the other students and find out if there are others in your situation. If there are and these changes are causing a problem for all of you then take yourselves, all of you and present your concerns to the school and ask for help from them to remedy the situation. If there are enough of you is key here but even if it's not the entire student body they need to listen to your concerns and how the changes are affecting you all.

    If there are not enough of you to do the above then I would start looking for a program that will accommodate your needs. It seems to be a bad situation, the school should think of students when they make changes but still I think a heart-to-heart with the Dean of the school ought to be in order regardless of how you have to handle it. In this day and age there are many RNs who are trying to get their BSN and they cannot be ignored, schools have to consider the fact that many of them are working and financially responsible for families. The nurse who has no attachments/responsibilities is a thing of long ago. Besides we need these nurses and we need BSN nurses.
  11. by   manager123
    I think the bigger question I would want to know is "Did your program become accredited?". There can be changes to meet accreditation standard changes. The online vs on ground controversy is an ongoing issue. There are great online programs and shoddy on ground programs (and vice versa). I have heard rumors of some hospitals not hiring online BSN degree RNs but most are so desperate to hire BSNs to meet IOM 2020 and Magnet expectations that they don't care where the BSN is from as long as you have it and the school was accredited.

    Previous posters have good suggestions for managing short term clinical times and you would do well to invest some time in looking at other options and what credit you might receive for your completed courses. . .that will vary considerably. If your program is NOT accredited and it seems to be struggling, I would strongly consider looking elsewhere asap. There is one accrediting body (CCNE?) that will not accredit until the first cohort graduates and then the accreditation will go retroactive. Others must review and recommend for accreditation before the first cohort graduates so be sure you understand what agency is or has done your school.
  12. by   riggy3
    You mention you are working three days per week full time. There are 7 days in a week. When doing my BSN and MSN both required clinical time, two terms. I juggled my schedule at work to accommodate this clinical. I hate to sound unsympathetic to your issue of "Stuck" why can't you switch your schedule around for the term? My program required 60 hours that was easy to get with my assigned preceptors. Things were just a little inconvenient for about 8 weeks each term. Good luck it is just a temporary problem.
  13. by   brewski09
    I have my ADN and RN to BSN both from online based programs and no one ever even asked or cared. The biggest thing they cared about is the BSN. My program had hefty community and leadership projects as well as a number of hours I had to meet volunteering in a RN role for community health nursing but they were pretty generous in what they'd accept and it was self scheduled.

    Asa thought, will they let you spread out the clinical time? I would bet most if not all their students are working so this 2 days of clinical would be a hardship.
  14. by   Bell13
    Nurse Beth gave you bad advice. I agree with above, school cannot change curriculum for the time period you enrolled. They can change it for incoming students but not existing. Make a stink and do not give up without a fight!

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