Excelsior vs traditional - Help quickly?

  1. Wonderful stuff here friends - thanks - and help? I am at this crossroads right this second. I want my RN - yesterday - meaning I want to jump right back in from my last year warp speed LVN school and go for it. I have 30 hours reg college, incl
    3hrEng, 6 sociology, 3 speech, 6 history, 3 physics, 6 french - and my LVN, of course. Graduated early this year - licensed and wanting to start school again . I have info from several schools along with excelsior and this week am trying to make decisions - whatever I do - excelsior or reg college will be loans, grants, begging - the usual -

    I need the prereqs of the biol's, psych, and depending on which school - chem/computer (ha)/and some assort of different things related to each school - before, concurrent with, or after starting their respective RN programs. I have missed almost all summer bridge programs as many in my area start the fast track to ADN in the fall.

    Right now I am flexible in being able to move from my current location in Central Texas -

    So my question, after rambling- sorry - is feedback on Excelsior being a good place to get the prereqs in a hurry. Or...should I just go for the whole ADN with them? I have their brochurs - I keep reading it over and just need to either take the plunge and jump or still ponder my decision while yet another deadline approaches.

    Do you find Excelsior 'easier' in that you can name your study hours/habits etc.

    And how did you pay for this? In a university program, I can get stafford/pell/scholarships/ and a cosigned personal ed loan - don't seem to see much of that with excelsior.

    Did it seem to go faster than a traditional ADN degree? Did anybody go straight to the BSN? Do you feel that they - Excelsior - are more acccepting of different types of credits to satisfy their requirements?

    Anybody just use them for the prereqs and then transfer in to a college program? Any problems with that?

    anyone do BOTH - exc and a traditional ADN?

    anyone clep the psych courses, or anything else? How does that work? OR....A&P?

    I'm not working at this moment - waiting to make decisions so I can coordinate where I work with class and or online courses.

    Last - maybe question - re A&P - did you feel adequately prepared for the board with this in not having a traditional lab/class? I made really high grades during my LVN - and have good grades transferring from college ..... and I just turned 50! So all this is a wonderful mid-life powersurge - something I had to put off for a long time - and I don't plan on stopping!

    And I am and will be the kind of nurse all of us wish we were students under when we were brand new! It's a very hard world out there and we all need to help make it better, healthier
    and happier.

    So - if any of this ramble makes sense - send advice.....quickly!!!
    Thanks so much for whatever you can add to all my confusion!

    Pamela
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  2. 9 Comments

  3. by   amk1964
    i did really well in my lpn program and then went on to community college for my adn. the sciences are not easy. you need a good instructor.
  4. by   5150dx
    Hello,

    I am almost finished with the ADN program with Excelsior. I just finished all seven of the Nursing Concepts tests and used them for all of the pre-req's except for Anatomy and Physiology (I had taken that in a classroom 20 years ago). If you find it easy to learn via reading and are confident with your testing skills you should be fine. I don't have any information on applying Excelsior gen. ed tests for credit with other schools - I hear it is pretty acceptable, though. You are welcome to email me with any questions. beautifulbooks@@hotmail.com (just drop the extra @ sign)

    Kristi in Calif.

    P.S. I am paying for it all myself - you can find many of the books used and with deep discounts, I used the free study guides from Excelsior. It can all be accomplished within 1 year IF you are a "quick study" and can devote lots of time. I worked full time and have a hubby and 6 year old. I had done 2-3 of the gen. ed tests over the past several years and then decided to re-enroll and jam through it starting last October. My CPNE should be scheduled for Sept. of this year - this pace is definitely quick, only you know how long it will take for you, or you will soon after taking a few tests. Good luck!
    Last edit by 5150dx on May 6, '03
  5. by   Agnus
    [QUOTE]Originally posted by Ashera
    Wonderful stuff here friends - thanks - and help? I am at this crossroads right this second. I want my RN - yesterday - meaning I want to jump right back in from my last year warp speed LVN school and go for it.

    Whoa, If you are saying you are a BRAND NEW LVN. Go the traditional route. IT IS NOT advisable to try the BSN as an LVN ESPECIALLY if you are a NEW LVN...

    I have 30 hours reg college, incl
    3hrEng, 6 sociology, 3 speech, 6 history, 3 physics, 6 french - and my LVN, of course. Graduated early this year - licensed and wanting to start school again . I have info from several schools along with excelsior and this week am trying to make decisions - whatever I do - excelsior or reg college will be loans, grants, begging - the usual -

    I need the prereqs of the biol's, psych, and depending on which school - chem/computer (ha)/and some assort of different things related to each school - before, concurrent with, or after starting their respective RN programs. I have missed almost all summer bridge programs as many in my area start the fast track to ADN in the fall.

    Right now I am flexible in being able to move from my current location in Central Texas -

    So my question, after rambling- sorry - is feedback on Excelsior being a good place to get the prereqs in a hurry. Or...should I just go for the whole ADN with them? I have their brochurs - I keep reading it over and just need to either take the plunge and jump or still ponder my decision while yet another deadline approaches.


    Skip brochures. Call or write Every school that you are interested in and get their catalog. Specify thier NURSING catalog as some schools (like excelsior) have different catalogs for different programs.
    Brochures are just ads designed to get your attention. NEVER ever make an important decision like this based on a brochure.
    Get the catalog.

    Do you find Excelsior 'easier' in that you can name your study hours/habits etc.

    Excelsior is not easier. It is more convenient for those who which to make their own schedule

    And how did you pay for this? In a university program, I can get stafford/pell/scholarships/ and a cosigned personal ed loan - don't seem to see much of that with excelsior.

    I have a PLATO loan for my EXCELSIOR. You can get a number of diffrent loans through them and there are scholarships and some financial aid, depending on your circustance. ie do you live in NY, are you in the military, etc.

    Did it seem to go faster than a traditional ADN degree? Did anybody go straight to the BSN? Do you feel that they - Excelsior - are more acccepting of different types of credits to satisfy their requirements?

    Yes they are very generous in accepting credit.

    Anybody just use them for the prereqs and then transfer in to a college program? Any problems with that?

    That depends ENTIRELY on the school that you intend to transfer to. Most have a residency requirement and many have a limit on the number of courses by exam they will accept.

    anyone do BOTH - exc and a traditional ADN?

    I was a 1 year old LPN when I did the traditional ADN. I did not have enough experience to do the Excelsior right out of LPN School. I am doing my BSN (fresh out of my ADN) through Excelsior.
    anyone clep the psych courses, or anything else? How does that work? OR....A&P?

    I'm not working at this moment - waiting to make decisions so I can coordinate where I work with class and or online courses.

    Last - maybe question - re A&P - did you feel adequately prepared for the board with this in not having a traditional lab/class? I made really high grades during my LVN - and have good grades transferring from college ..... and I just turned 50! So all this is a wonderful mid-life powersurge - something I had to put off for a long time - and I don't plan on stopping!


    I think you will find the A&P for RN a bit more challenging than those A&P courses that are just for LVN. I understand the Excelsior A&P exam is a BEAR to say the least.

    Congrats! I'm 52 finished my ADN at 50.

    And I am and will be the kind of nurse all of us wish we were students under when we were brand new! It's a very hard world out there and we all need to help make it better, healthier
    and happier.

    So - if any of this ramble makes sense - send advice.....quickly!!!
    Thanks so much for whatever you can add to all my confusion!


    I do not mean this with any disrespect. As a new LVN you do not know what you don't know. AND THERE IS A LOT. You have learned a lot this past year and it seems like you can do anything. Slow down. If you missed the chance to enroll in a local school this year, I strongly suggest that you shoot for next year. Then take the time you have and find a job in the most challenging position that you can find. By the time school starts you will have learned a lot that will help tremendously in school. I got my LPN in 1999 and my RN in 2001 after working in critical care for one year. I was a very different nurse when I came back to school a year later. Consider that year part of your RN education; it is.
    Good luck. Go knock em dead.
    Last edit by Agnus on May 7, '03
  6. by   Agnus
    Please, understand my above post was not meant for all LVNs/LPNs. Some of your are well qualified to enter the BSN program.
    A new one fresh out of school is NOT and Excelsior agrees.
    Again my answer was to this nurse in particular. It seems she and I have simular backgrounds and experience and I can relate to wat she is saying. She is too new. I planned to get my ADN right after school and considered Excelsior and realized it would not be the wisest move for me. If I had experience of sufficient type and or quantity that would have been different.

    Excelsior give you credit for what you know. There is NO instruction. As a fresh LVN you do not know enough. Your knowledge base I believe is insufficient to try and do this without instruction. I know many many many LPNs and LVNs are very successful with this program but if you are this new and have the opportunity to take it by traditional route and don't want to waite then do the traditional way. I think in the long run it will be faster as well for such a candidate.
  7. by   Ashera
    Dear Agnus et al -

    Thanks so much for your genuine and time consuming replies to my post last week. I appreciate and have taken into consideration all the suggestions/advice.

    Agnus, in rereading my post I came across as unaware, naive, and 'green' - I am none of those. In stating I was not working at present....communicated I did not have to - and what is in fact - I have held the commitment back to a job in order to blend the desire for further instruction, where I can live and how to put it all together. I am a single mom - with staggering bills and the desire to do more than the LVN route of career/income etc.

    If I do not get back into school rather quickly, my loans become due and I have that much more added to my plate. I'm also not new to the medical field in that I have many years of hospice work, AIDS work, etc - just not 'licensed' - LVN work came naturally to me. I have right now - the ability to study very hard and continue - in a year from now - my time might not be a flexible and I worry I will lose the opportunity to study due to circumstances with a special needs 11 year old. I fear that if I get locked into an LVN full time career - I will not have the time or energy to devote to study too with the financial concerns I have. The fastest way to a better financial future for me and with the flexibility I will need with my child - was to obtain an RN license. And because am so far down the road with hours already, and the knowledge to where clep'ing several courses would help - it seemed like a good point to consider in taking the extra time to go for the BSN.

    School/study would be the priority with nursing in and around a vrey demanding schedule to help offset the expenses of living while I pursued this.

    Studying on my own is what I did the entire year anyway - I'm better on my own than in a group. But I do agree with you and others about the A&P - much better in the classroom setting.

    My focus of an ill-worded post was whether Excelsior was successful for most people - regardless of whether A&P was taken in a traditional way. I would love to sit in a classroom each day and be a professional student. But I don't have the luxury to do that. I have to work - I have to study and I have to move from where I am now in Central TX. (small little village with long commute into San Antonio) so looking at the possibilities from all sides seemed a good choice.

    Since my post - I've had two offers from hospitals in the Austin area which I am going to explore more today. Money not good in one, but moving expenses, sign-on bonuses, and good supportive atmosphere. In the other, much better money, wonderful atmosphere and will discuss the other in re to time to pursue studies. Both were impressed with my knowledge base in and around my LVN experience (or lack of!)

    Again, I got a lot of my questions answered. I don't intend to warp through nursing with little or no experience. I entered the program with much....learned much more....and am ever aware that it is an ongoing learning experience and we never learn it all - ever.

    Thank you so much for your wonderful reply. I appreciate it greatly!

    Pamela
  8. by   Agnus
    Not to argue I also had many years in the "medical field" including hospice, medical assisting, phlebotomy, CNA long before they were certified, Certified home health aide etc.

    I even attended LPN and RN school years ago comming within one semsester of graduating each time.

    In the late 1970's I had taken and passed all of the Written, Excelsior (then Regents External Degree Program of the University of the State of NY) Did not take the CPE

    I impressed people with my knowledge as a new LPN. They could not believe I was new. ETC.

    I still would have had a tought time going directly to Excelsior this time.

    THAT IS ME. You know your self better than anyone. You are NOT me. You also know your situation better than anyone.

    Is Excelsior Sucessful. Absolutely. Do people with less than you have get through it. A resounding YES. Is it easy. Again a resounding answer NO. Is nursing school in general easy. NO.

    If you feel it is right for you and you have what it takes go for it. Just go directly to Excelsior to get your information about the program it self. Best of luck.
  9. by   Agnus
    Here is the info to contact Excelsior for anyone who needs it
    7 Columbia Circle, Albany, NY 12203-5159
    www.excelsior.edu
    Phone 1(888)647-2388
  10. by   LadyNASDAQ
    I went to that school many years ago when it was called The University of the State of New York. I was a LPN a couple of years and then bang! I kicked the door open with that RN degree.

    It opened up a vista no one would believe. Charge Nurse, Assistant Nurse, many years in the ICU and yes, I started off in Med-Surg and Tele. I am proud to say that I can still work those areas but my forte' is in ICU and can do hemodialysis.

    Money? Geez... you will make that for sure.

    Learn how to invest that money. Don't squander it. Learn how to save and let it work hard for you.
  11. by   Agnus
    Just a bit of clarification of Lady NASDAQ's post,As there may be some confusion for some.

    Excelsior College Has gone through several changes since its beginnings.

    The original name was Regents External Degree Program.

    Then Regents College.

    Now Excelsior College.

    It has always and remains a part of the University of the State of New York.

    The original name, Regents External Degree Program of the University of the State of New York, was not a seperate College within the University System. Today it is a Distinct College but remains still within the University System.

    The point is she is talking about the same school.
    I mention this because most people are not familiar with its history and seldom make the connection to the State University System.

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