Does it matter what school you go to?

  1. 0 Another question, as I ponder whether I'll get into any school, LPN or RN, before I turn old and gray - does it matter where I go to school? Would my pay scale be higher if I graduated from a four-year college or a community college? Do employers look down their noses at tech school degrees? Would I get more job offers/better opportunities/ higher salary to start, if I got into a four-year college as a junior ( because of my previous bachelor's degree and then went on to get a bachelor's degree RN, then if I, say, got a two-year ADN community college degree?
  2. Visit  floridanurse2b profile page

    About floridanurse2b

    Joined Sep '05; Posts: 29.

    12 Comments so far...

  3. Visit  llg profile page
    0
    The answer to some of your questions depend on the area of the country you live in. In some areas, the type of degree you have and the school you went to make more difference than it does in other areas. You may therefore get conflicting answers to your questions.

    Also ... almost everyone knows of someone with the minimal level of education who has been promoted to a position of authority, good pay, etc. because of either being very lucky or because that person is an outstanding individual. Some people will take that as evidence that there is not much need to get a higher level education. That's true in any field: there are almost always a few exceptional individuals who succeed regardless of the type of formal education they have. An example is the Vice President for Nursing where I work. She was a diploma grad who only very recently got a BS in management (not nursing). She is now in a Master's program in management. Some people might take that as evidence that there is no benefit to getting a BSN. However, in the same hospital, that same VP for Nursing is pushing to upgrade the educational level of the staff to be predominantly BSN and to require BSN's for promotion into leadership positions (and MSN's for some positions). She recognizes that in today's world (and tomorrow's), the higher level of education for nursing is a necessary thing. She supports it whole-heartedly even though it was not available for her when she was young. She wishes it had been available for her.

    So ... don't be too influenced by the "I know a person who ..." stories. The trend over the last several decades has been increasingly to require BSN and higher degrees for advancement in a nursing career and for those jobs in which the nurse is working with relative independence (such as home health). If you want the most opportunities and the best chances for advancement, you will probably need at least a BSN in the future. However, to obtain an entry level job, the degree or the specific school usually matters not at all or very little. If you graduate from a school with a very bad local reputation, that might hurt you a bit -- but that situation can usually be overcome with a strong resume and interview, etc.

    Good luck,
    llg
  4. Visit  Gompers profile page
    0
    There is a drastic difference in pay between LPNs and RNs. But for RNs, the difference in pay between nurses with associate's degrees and bachelor's degrees is very small, if there is any difference at all. I know in my area, LPNs make about $10/hr less than RNs...but the biggest difference in pay I've seen for new grad RNs is maybe $2/hr more for BSN than ADN. Many hospitals don't even do that, it's all the same pay scale for BSN/ADN.

    As far as what school you go to, it probably doesn't matter. In most areas of the country, WE NEED NURSES. And we will need them even MORE by the time you graduate. Just make sure the school has a good pass rate for the boards - because having a license is the only way you'll get a job!!! :wink2:

    ETA: If the debate comes down to LPN vs ADN vs BSN and all are viable options for you...go for the BSN, especially since it's still only a two year program for you. Down the line, you might want to advance and it's best to have that degree in your pocket. Why spend two years in an LPN or ADN program now, only to have to do two more years later on if you decide to get the BSN? Many grad schools want you to have your BSN if you go on to get a Master's degree in nursing. Some do accept bachelor's in other fields, but it makes things much easier to just have the BSN from the start. JMHO!!!
    Last edit by Gompers on Sep 12, '05
  5. Visit  DutchgirlRN profile page
    0
    In Tennessee, if you work on the floor there is no pay difference between a ASN or a BSN. BSN is not even a part of their title. I think this is so sad but it's the way it is. LPN are definately paid alot less and do the same job other than not being able to do charge.
  6. Visit  floridanurse2b profile page
    0
    The problem is, in my neck of the woods anyway, there is a very long waiting list and massive competition to get into the ADN and BSN programs, and there is apparently less difficulty getting into the LPN programs, which are only 12 months. And then you can do a bridge to ADN program, which is only one more year, and in some schools it will be easier to get into the bridge ADN program than the two-year ADN program. Doesn't make sense to me, but it seems like a way to get in the back door. I definitely want the more advanced degree because I want the ability to earn more.

    ETA: If the debate comes down to LPN vs ADN vs BSN and all are viable options for you...go for the BSN, especially since it's still only a two year program for you. Down the line, you might want to advance and it's best to have that degree in your pocket. Why spend two years in an LPN or ADN program now, only to have to do two more years later on if you decide to get the BSN? Many grad schools want you to have your BSN if you go on to get a Master's degree in nursing. Some do accept bachelor's in other fields, but it makes things much easier to just have the BSN from the start. JMHO!!![/I][/QUOTE]
  7. Visit  floridanurse2b profile page
    0
    What would a school do or not do that would affect the pass rates of their students? And are there programs, like Kaplan or whatever, that help you study for your boards?

    I think that is so odd that it doesn't make a significant difference in pay whether you get a bachelor's or associates! It seems as if more education should equal more pay, doesn't it?

    "As far as what school you go to, it probably doesn't matter. In most areas of the country, WE NEED NURSES. And we will need them even MORE by the time you graduate. Just make sure the school has a good pass rate for the boards - because having a license is the only way you'll get a job!!!"
  8. Visit  dinkymouse profile page
    0
    Here in Iowa, and I think in some other states, there is Hamilton Business College. They don't have the regular length of classes and have just started an LPN program. They also aren't accredidated by the College Board and so if you go there not only will your credits not transfer to another college you also cannot take your boards or work until it gets accredidated. My sister found out the hard way about the degrees not transferring to other colleges. She isn't in the nursing program but started in the accounting 3 year degree. This school has jacked her around and done away with the 3 year degree and wanted to transfer to another school but 2 year or 4 year colleges won't accept her credits. :angryfire
  9. Visit  Gompers profile page
    0
    Quote from floridanurse2b
    What would a school do or not do that would affect the pass rates of their students? And are there programs, like Kaplan or whatever, that help you study for your boards?

    I think that is so odd that it doesn't make a significant difference in pay whether you get a bachelor's or associates! It seems as if more education should equal more pay, doesn't it?

    Some schools just better prepare you for the boards, that's all. You shouldn't NEED programs like Kaplan - of course they are out there and lots of people take them, but it shouldn't be a necessity.

    The nursing education doesn't differ that much between an ADN and BSN program. The BSN program might have a little more focus on things like nursing research, management, and education, but other than that, most things are the same. ADNs and BSNs take very similar sciences, nursing courses, and clinicals. The only big difference is that the BSN has a much more rounded education in things OTHER than nursing - in things like history, literature, philosophy, psychology, sociology, communications, theology, etc. That's why there isn't much difference in pay - the actual nursing classes were similar and the license is identical - so really there isn't much difference between an ADN and a BSN as far as staff nursing is concerened.

    Now, when it comes to playing Trivial Pursuit...
  10. Visit  floridanurse2b profile page
    0
    That makes a lot of sense, actually, thank you for clarifying it. In a perfect world, I would get a bachelor's degree in nursing, as long as I don't have to wait until the 22nd century to get in somewhere. All right, off to study for my first A&P lab practical which is coming up this week. Wish me luck. Organs and tissues and bones, oh my!

    Quote from Gompers
    Some schools just better prepare you for the boards, that's all. You shouldn't NEED programs like Kaplan - of course they are out there and lots of people take them, but it shouldn't be a necessity.

    The nursing education doesn't differ that much between an ADN and BSN program. The BSN program might have a little more focus on things like nursing research, management, and education, but other than that, most things are the same. ADNs and BSNs take very similar sciences, nursing courses, and clinicals. The only big difference is that the BSN has a much more rounded education in things OTHER than nursing - in things like history, literature, philosophy, psychology, sociology, communications, theology, etc. That's why there isn't much difference in pay - the actual nursing classes were similar and the license is identical - so really there isn't much difference between an ADN and a BSN as far as staff nursing is concerened.

    Now, when it comes to playing Trivial Pursuit...
  11. Visit  Nat_gagui profile page
    0
    Quote from floridanurse2b
    The problem is, in my neck of the woods anyway, there is a very long waiting list and massive competition to get into the ADN and BSN programs, and there is apparently less difficulty getting into the LPN programs, which are only 12 months. And then you can do a bridge to ADN program, which is only one more year, and in some schools it will be easier to get into the bridge ADN program than the two-year ADN program. Doesn't make sense to me, but it seems like a way to get in the back door. I definitely want the more advanced degree because I want the ability to earn more.

    ETA: If the debate comes down to LPN vs ADN vs BSN and all are viable options for you...go for the BSN, especially since it's still only a two year program for you. Down the line, you might want to advance and it's best to have that degree in your pocket. Why spend two years in an LPN or ADN program now, only to have to do two more years later on if you decide to get the BSN? Many grad schools want you to have your BSN if you go on to get a Master's degree in nursing. Some do accept bachelor's in other fields, but it makes things much easier to just have the BSN from the start. JMHO!!![/I]
    [/QUOTE]


    I Agree!

    Nat
  12. Visit  KatieBell profile page
    0
    Oddly, I am looking at changing my liscnece to a NY liscence and found that for my BSN I can indeed get about a 3,000 dollar increase in pay per year. Now, 3,000 is not that much in the grand scheme of things, but it is something. However, it is the first time in my life the BSN has done me any financial favors....

    As far as schools, I would agree it really does not matter, as long as it is accredited, and has a good pass rate for the boards. If you are really in a bind, getting the LPN is not a bad thing because you might then be able to get a job and have the rest of your education financed by the hospital you work for...but it is a round about way of doing things and you might not enjoy the longer process...
  13. Visit  llg profile page
    0
    Quote from floridanurse2b
    What would a school do or not do that would affect the pass rates of their students?
    1. The admissions criteria are more strict at some schools than at others. The average SAT score, ability to pass standardized tests, etc. are all factors in the NCLEX pass rate.

    2. Some schools set higher performance standards than others -- and flunk people out who can't meet those standards. Other schools "pass people along" even though their level of performance is below that required to pass NCLEX (or be a good practicing nurse.)

    3. Some schools "teach to the test" more than other schools. Some school gear all of the classes around passing the NCLEX while other schools focus on providing a good education in a more general sense. That's a common (but not universal) difference between lots of ADN programs and BSN programs.

    So ... when you are considering different schools, you need to look at all of those things and not just any one thing. One school may have a very high NCLEX pass rate -- but it is because they flunked out 50% of their entering students. Only those who proved they could pass the NCLEX on the first try were aloud to graduate. Another school may have a high pass rate because they only accepted students who had exceptionally high standardized test scores (e.g. SAT), showing that they would perform well on standardized tests. Yet another school may have a high pass rate because they offer special programs, tutoring, etc. to help the students pass.

    Another school may have a relatively low pass rate because they don't focus on taking the test as a major feature of their program. They focus on graduating a nurse with well-rounded education -- who might need 2 tries to pass the exam, but who will be a good nurse in the long run and perhaps better prepared to adapt to changing conditions in society over the years.

    It's really a very complicated issue and you should look for the program that fits your needs best. It might (but might not) be the one with the highest pass rate. If you know going in that the pass rate is not great, you can take steps on your own to improve your chances of passing on the first try.

    llg
  14. Visit  floridanurse2b profile page
    0
    Hey, I would be happy to get $3,000 more in pay a year! That's a lot of shoe shopping. I know the LPN degree is a roundabout way to get what I want, but the nursing school situation is very challenging these days, with so many people applying for so few slots. If I could just finish up my prerequisites, apply to an RN school, and get in right away, I would do that. But as it stands, I have to finish my prerequisites before I apply to all of the schools I've talked to (I could apply before I finish them but it will hurt my chances of getting in), and THEN even if I get accepted right away, a lot of local community college programs are saying it will be two or three years before you can start school! So oddly, getting an LPN and then going for a bridge program might be faster. Unless I can get into an accelerated second bachelor's degree program, which is something else I will try.

    Quote from KatieBell
    Oddly, I am looking at changing my liscnece to a NY liscence and found that for my BSN I can indeed get about a 3,000 dollar increase in pay per year. Now, 3,000 is not that much in the grand scheme of things, but it is something. However, it is the first time in my life the BSN has done me any financial favors....

    As far as schools, I would agree it really does not matter, as long as it is accredited, and has a good pass rate for the boards. If you are really in a bind, getting the LPN is not a bad thing because you might then be able to get a job and have the rest of your education financed by the hospital you work for...but it is a round about way of doing things and you might not enjoy the longer process...


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