How has Distance Learning affected your career/education in the future?

  1. I just finished LPN school, (still to take the NCLEX), and I've been thinking about which route to take to get my RN all this time. I'm very much leaning toward EC. I really hate the idea of going back to a physical building school AND working at the same time and would prefer to remain working full time, and learning from home. (I'm a good learner by myself, so that's not really an issue for me).

    My wife, on the other hand, is very ambivalent about it. She's worried that getting my RN through a distant learning school will come back to bite me, and that future employers wont look on with the same regard as from a "real school". Or that when finish my RN and intend to progress further with my education that another school wont recognize it as valid, per say.

    So, I'm just curious, how has getting a degree through distant learning affected your future career and future education? Have you had any negative experiences because of it? What about positive experiences? or has anyone felt like they've been treated exactly the same as somebody who obtained their degree through a non-independant study institution?
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  2. 11 Comments

  3. by   The Limey
    Hmm.. anybody have any insight or opinions on this? (in other words: "bump")
  4. by   imenid37
    I am writing an article for our hospital newsletter on distance learning, so your posting caught my eye. I live in PA close to MD. Check w/ your state BON before you enroll at EC. PA is fine w/ EC. Some states, like MD and CA are not. There are others too. EC had something on their website. Personally, I have had several LPN co-workers who went this route for the RN. They are very good RN's and were very good LPN's. I think it depends on you. EC has modified some of its admission criteria. They were talikng CMA and some other health "professions", but now they do not. Best of luck to you. I am in an online MSN program right now, which I am pretty satisfied with.
  5. by   RN34TX
    Getting my RN via EC has not affected me negatively at all thus far.

    I know a lot of other EC grads and there are plenty on this board as well.
    I have never heard one account of anyone not getting a job because of getting their RN from EC (except for Kaiser in CA having this policy but even they hire EC grads who have experience, they just won't hire new grad RN's who weren't prior LPN/LVN's).
    Nor have I ever heard one account of anyone not getting accepted into BSN and MSN programs as a result of being an EC grad. I'm currently in a BSN program at a state university, no problems getting in. Other EC grads are in the masters programs here.

    However.....different people have different circumstances so you need to look into your particular needs.

    Make sure that the state(s) where you intend to work as an RN accept the program. Or at least stay put in one state that does accept the program for a minimum of two years. Once you have been working as an RN for two years, those states that have stipulations will no longer apply to you with the exception of possibly CA at this point.

    Are you absolutely certain that you will never want to work in CA?

    Another thing to keep in mind is that EC is currently in the process of revamping their ADN program ( I suspect as a result of CA) and they are slapping on a heavier amount of clinical so you may want to keep enrollment deadlines in mind before these changes in requirements occur.

    Lastly, and most importantly, even though I suggested that you look into enrolling soon to avoid the changes, you need to remember that EC is designed for people with acute care experience so get some hospital experience as an LPN before and while you are going through the program.
  6. by   Larabelle
    Getting my RN via EC has also not affected me negatively at all and I graduated from EC in 1992. I have thus far been licensed in Kansas, Missouri, Colorado, Texas, New York and never had any problems getting licensed. My employers have never had an issue with the fact that I graduated from EC and I have worked in acute care hospitals, nursing homes, insurance companies, federal government.
  7. by   deb123
    I graduated from Excelsior College in Oct. 2006. I am a Calif. resident and I just recently landed my first job as an RN. One thing about Excelsior is that you need to have clinical experience, which as an LPN you do. When I went to my interview which was at the only hospital I applied at, I was very positive when they asked me about Excelsior. I explained that I needed to work and could not go to school 5 days a week for 2 years. I also let my interviewers know that to enroll in Excelsior I had to have previous clinical experience. Then I explained that I had to take a test called the Clinical Practical Nursing Exam, in which I was required to care for 4 patients, one being a pediatric patient. I went on to tell them that I had to pass 4 lab tests as well (IV piggyback, med injection, IV push and wound change). Excelsior is great for anyone who is willing to follow the plan and read the required material. I know of people on blogs that had a lot of difficulty because they seemed to be looking for short cuts. They would ask for tips on the computer exams. My advice was read the books, all the information is there. As I said earlier I am from CA, well I had signed up for Excelsior before it was no longer acceptable by the CA Nursing Board. To tell you the truth I don't know where that whole deal lies right now. Anyhow, another thing I did was sign up at my local community college's Health Skills Lab. They had a wonderful collection of media and a lab with manequins to practice everything from placing urinary catheters to hanging piggyback meds. There was also an RN available to make sure I was doing procedures correctly. I don't know exactly what you get to do and observe at your work, but keep in mind that community colleges are very inexpensive when it comes to community education students. It only cost me $8 for a whole semester of access to the lab. In fact you can even have them print out an official paper showing the hours you spent there. So, I say go for it. Work at your own pace for school, while working as an LPN. The reward....a higher salary and all the other joys of being an RN. Good luck to you.
    Last edit by deb123 on Feb 17, '07 : Reason: I needed to include some information
  8. by   Mudwoman
    One of the nursing instructors at our local community college is an Excelsior Graduate. Our state board of nursing here in Arkansas thinks the Excelsior program is excellent.

    I worked at the local hospital from July 2004 to Oct 2005. When I first started, I told the head of the education department that I was working on my RN through Excelsior. She told me that they (the hospital) would not allow me to work there as an RN if I was an Excelsior graduate. I asked why? She said because they had 3 of their LPN's go through Excelsior and fail the CPNE. I told her it seemed to me that the problem was with their LPN's and not Excelsior. I relayed this information to the DON one day in casual conversation, and she said if you graduate and pass the NCLEX and the state BON recognizes your school, you are an RN period, and I would be given the same opportunity for employment as any other RN applying or any LPN already working there that got my RN.

    Like you, I have to work full time and this program has been wonderful for me.
  9. by   caliotter3
    Just a reminder to OP and anyone else considering Excelsior that the new criteria for the ASN take effect Oct 2007, so you have only a few months left to make your decision and enroll under the existing rules.
  10. by   deb123
    Mudwoman wrote: I worked at the local hospital from July 2004 to Oct 2005. When I first started, I told the head of the education department that I was working on my RN through Excelsior. She told me that they (the hospital) would not allow me to work there as an RN if I was an Excelsior graduate. I asked why? She said because they had 3 of their LPN's go through Excelsior and fail the CPNE. I told her it seemed to me that the problem was with their LPN's and not Excelsior. I relayed this information to the DON one day in casual conversation, and she said if you graduate and pass the NCLEX and the state BON recognizes your school, you are an RN period, and I would be given the same opportunity for employment as any other RN applying or any LPN already working there that got my RN.

    Now my response: To pass the CPNE (Clinical Practical Nursing Exam) you really need to study each and every page of the study guide. Everything in there is very important. For example before giving medications you have to check and compare the pts. identaband with the MAR, when you first enter the pts. room you have certain things you must do with in the first 20 minutes, such as check their IV site. When you leave the room you have to make sure their bed is in the low position, call light within reach, brakes on the bed secure etc. These are all basic to nursing, in fact everything on the exam is basic. This is not to say that the exam is easy. It takes a lot of work, but it is do-able. I remember reading on blogs things like "you have to do it Excelsior's way" in reference to the CPNE. Well guess what? Excelsior's way is the standard way. If you look in any nursing skills book you will see that this is true. Excelsior wants their students to pass the exam and they are available to answer questions while you prepare for the CPNE.
    Last edit by deb123 on Feb 19, '07 : Reason: I wanted readers to know that this was a response to another post.
  11. by   Diahni
    Quote from caliotter3
    Just a reminder to OP and anyone else considering Excelsior that the new criteria for the ASN take effect Oct 2007, so you have only a few months left to make your decision and enroll under the existing rules.
    Hi Caliotter3,
    Will you kindly link me to, or tell me what the new ASN criteria are for Excelsior? Thanks. I'm assuming you mean you must be enrolled by the date you mentioned.
    Diahni
  12. by   RN34TX
    Quote from Diahni
    Hi Caliotter3,
    Will you kindly link me to, or tell me what the new ASN criteria are for Excelsior? Thanks. I'm assuming you mean you must be enrolled by the date you mentioned.
    Diahni
    For prospective students who have not yet enrolled:
    https://www.excelsior.edu/pls/portal...E_STUDENTS.PDF

    For currently enrolled students:
    https://www.excelsior.edu/pls/portal...D_STUDENTS.PDF
  13. by   caliotter3
    Diahni: By now you've had a chance to check out the links that RN34TX was so kind to provide. Roughly, what I've seen, is that the written test structure will change, they are adding one test. The biggest issue for most people will be the other addition: another hands-on evaluation where you have to demonstrate a full health assessment and other skills, like taking care of more than one pt at a time, interdisciplinary interaction, etc. Anybody who has been involved with the program would understandably think that the one CPNE that they go with now is PLENTY. One fee, one trip, one biggie chance to blow it all, or get it finished. Anybody who wants to do Excelsior should avoid the new rules by enrolling now. If you have to, rob your grandmother for the enrollment fees! Good luck to anyone considering Excelsior, make your decision before October!

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