Share you Deaconess Experiences! - page 3

I've started looking into the Deaconess route for the LPN to RN program. I'd appreciate it if anyone would share their experiences (good and bad) with Deaconess, even if you decided not to... Read More

  1. by   carly0313
    Quote from mona b
    Hi Kate,

    I would be happy to share my experiences with DCN. I am pretty happy with the program. The instructors are great and I am learning a lot. Currently, I am in my 4 semester and I will graduate in Dec 05. The pros of this program would be the online format/delivery and the autonomy that it provides. The cons are that communication could be better and the traveling to St Louis each semester.

    If your interested, go for it. I think that the other poster who said that the waiting list is much shorter for the LPN is correct.

    Feel free to pm me for more info and good luck in whatever you decide.
    Hi everyone I am new to this site, I think it's just wonderful to have a source like this site to draw from! I have been searching for information on the nursing school called "Deaconess" for the most part I have been able to get most of my questions answered, and have pretty much made up my mind that I am going to apply; I have a application from a friend that has already sent her paper work in and is now waiting to hear if she has been accepted. I just have a few more questions I hope someone out there can answer them for me.
    1) how are you graded for your clinicals and how soon after you start the program do you do start clinicals? Does your perceptor or instructor at the hospital site grade/Evaluate you?
    2) I have just started to work at a local hospital, and they have alot of nursing students from other areas( towns) doing their clinicals there, do you think I would have a hard time appoarching them about letting me do clinicals there? Would I approach the DON or HR?
    3) does anyone know if you cover the same information in each quarter as you would in any other nursing classes for LPN>RN. I guess what I am trying to find out, for those that have or are doing the first quarter what subject are you studing and will be tested on, and the same question for those that have completed or are in quarter 2 right now. (what would be a example of the different subjects you might cover each quarter)
    4) Can 2 student who are doing the deaconess program use the same clinical site, and can you choice the area/department and the hours you would like to do your clincals?

    my only worry is, does a school such as Deaconess cover the same information as if you were in some of the other nursing schools.
  2. by   nadja9
    Quote from cbarnett2
    kate930,

    I am currently in my second semester of Deaconess's ASN program and would like to first assure you that DCN's ASN program has been NLNAC accredited since November 1991 and was just reviewed for continued accredition this past Fall and was awarded full renewal. The Fall 2004 NLNAC visit result is not yet available online but will be soon and will speak for itself. see www.nlnac.org

    Personally I have been very happy with Deaconess. I have received the education and support that I need to be meet my career goals as well as the financial assistance I required to meet tuition costs. Because I had no previous medical experience, Deaconess was the only program out there that could offer me the luxury of accredited distance learning. I was very fortunate to find wonder support with a local hospital for my clinical experience and have been offered as much precepted instruction as I want each semester.

    I suggest DCN to anyone who wants to begin or further their nursing education. The program has its strengths and weaknesses like any other, but it is certainly a pioneer in distance nursing education.

    If you would like more information you can feel free to IM me.

    Cheri
    Interesting. Where exactly did you do your clinicals? Or wait you're only second semester. I liked the program til then, too. Where are you planning on doing your clinicals and have they been approved? In the St. Louis area, the hospitals, with the exception of Forest Park, wouldn't touch us because of serious liability issues.
    According to the Missouri Department of Professional Regulation web site, the online program only shows only initial approval for accreditation for 2003-2004. Three people sat for boards last year with a 60% approval rate. But I will definitely check the NLN website.
  3. by   nadja9
    Quote from carly0313
    Hi everyone I am new to this site, I think it's just wonderful to have a source like this site to draw from! I have been searching for information on the nursing school called "Deaconess" for the most part I have been able to get most of my questions answered, and have pretty much made up my mind that I am going to apply; I have a application from a friend that has already sent her paper work in and is now waiting to hear if she has been accepted. I just have a few more questions I hope someone out there can answer them for me.
    1) how are you graded for your clinicals and how soon after you start the program do you do start clinicals? Does your perceptor or instructor at the hospital site grade/Evaluate you?
    2) I have just started to work at a local hospital, and they have alot of nursing students from other areas( towns) doing their clinicals there, do you think I would have a hard time appoarching them about letting me do clinicals there? Would I approach the DON or HR?
    3) does anyone know if you cover the same information in each quarter as you would in any other nursing classes for LPN>RN. I guess what I am trying to find out, for those that have or are doing the first quarter what subject are you studing and will be tested on, and the same question for those that have completed or are in quarter 2 right now. (what would be a example of the different subjects you might cover each quarter)
    4) Can 2 student who are doing the deaconess program use the same clinical site, and can you choice the area/department and the hours you would like to do your clincals?

    my only worry is, does a school such as Deaconess cover the same information as if you were in some of the other nursing schools.

    WARNING. Make sure you have a clinical site BEFORE you begin the program. See some of my other postings.
  4. by   txspadequeenRN
    This is totally off the topic but I live in Texas and when we travel I love to go to Baxter Springs a little town in SE Kansas and a couple miles west of Joplin. It is with out the complications of a big town , just wanted to know if you live by there. And as far as the original post goes , as long as you get your education and reach your goals; what difference does it make where you attend school. A RN ,is A RN, is A RN.....:wink2:




    Quote from kate930
    I really appreciate EVERYONE'S input on this topic (even the EC input).

    My biggest reason for turning to Deaconess is the problems that Kansas is now having with EC and not being able to take the boards. I live on the Kansas-Missouri state line (about 3 miles from the KS line), so having the ability to practice in both Missouri and Kansas are important to me.

    I have heard good things from those who've went the EC route, however I am concerned about what other states might follow Kansas. I would hate to invest time and money and have the floor drop out on me.

    Back to Deaconess questions.... What is the clinical week like? I think I also heard something about needing to find a local site that would allow me to do clinicals..... anyone know anything about this? St. Louis is only about a 4 hours drive for me, so it's no issue to make the trip each semester.

    Thanks to all of you!
  5. by   fry.girl
    Quote from nadja9
    Interesting. Where exactly did you do your clinicals? Or wait you're only second semester. I liked the program til then, too. Where are you planning on doing your clinicals and have they been approved? In the St. Louis area, the hospitals, with the exception of Forest Park, wouldn't touch us because of serious liability issues.
    According to the Missouri Department of Professional Regulation web site, the online program only shows only initial approval for accreditation for 2003-2004. Three people sat for boards last year with a 60% approval rate. But I will definitely check the NLN website.
    I am in my second semester which is the first clinical semester (Maternal Child/L & D/PEDS) and I am completing my clinicals at Heart of Florida Regional Medical Center in Davenport FL. I am currently working one 8 hour shift each week on Sunday and loving the support this facility has been offering me. Everyone in my class (15 people) but one person (who is located in Louisiana) have found placement for clinicals, (all but three including myself are located in MO).

    As far as accreditation...here is a quote from Deaconess's Mission Page on their website:

    "The Associate of Science in Nursing Program, online option, and the Bachelor of Science in Nursing Program are approved by the Missouri State Board of Nursing. The Associate of Science in Nursing Program, on campus option, has conditional approval from the Missouri State Board of Nursing. Both programs are accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC), 61 Broadway, New York, NY 10006, (212) 363-5555 or (800) 669-9656."

    As far as the percentage of students sitting for boards, you have to take into account that many online Deaconess students will take boards in their home state not in Missouri so I would contact Deaconess directly for more accurate numbers regarding pass rates.

    If you have any other questions, feel free to IM me.

    Cheri
    Last edit by fry.girl on Feb 1, '05
  6. by   nadja9
    Quote from kate930
    I really appreciate EVERYONE'S input on this topic (even the EC input).

    My biggest reason for turning to Deaconess is the problems that Kansas is now having with EC and not being able to take the boards. I live on the Kansas-Missouri state line (about 3 miles from the KS line), so having the ability to practice in both Missouri and Kansas are important to me.

    I have heard good things from those who've went the EC route, however I am concerned about what other states might follow Kansas. I would hate to invest time and money and have the floor drop out on me.

    Back to Deaconess questions.... What is the clinical week like? I think I also heard something about needing to find a local site that would allow me to do clinicals..... anyone know anything about this? St. Louis is only about a 4 hours drive for me, so it's no issue to make the trip each semester.

    Thanks to all of you!
    Hi Kate,

    With all due respect to Deaconess (DCN), the traditional program is excellent. Excellent rep, great instructors. HOWEVER, make sure you can line up a clinical in your area before you pay all that money for the ONLINE program!!!!! In the St. Louis area, the hospitals wouldn't touch us because of liability issues. DCN online students do not get an onsite instructor', they are expected to contract with a nurse who acts then as instructor/facilitator/preceptor, what ever you want to call it. That means a nurse, while she is taking care of her patients, also has to teach/supervise you. I could talk for hours about what happened with me and my classmates. I, too, thought it would be a great program. I already have a BS degree, I'm a single mom, work fulltime, thought it would be a great way to get my RN. It turned into an expensive nightmare because of the clinical situation. And I'm not the only one it happened to, either.
  7. by   mona b RN
    Quote from nadja9
    Hi Kate,

    With all due respect to Deaconess (DCN), the traditional program is excellent. Excellent rep, great instructors. HOWEVER, make sure you can line up a clinical in your area before you pay all that money for the ONLINE program!!!!! In the St. Louis area, the hospitals wouldn't touch us because of liability issues. DCN online students do not get an onsite instructor', they are expected to contract with a nurse who acts then as instructor/facilitator/preceptor, what ever you want to call it. That means a nurse, while she is taking care of her patients, also has to teach/supervise you. I could talk for hours about what happened with me and my classmates. I, too, thought it would be a great program. I already have a BS degree, I'm a single mom, work fulltime, thought it would be a great way to get my RN. It turned into an expensive nightmare because of the clinical situation. And I'm not the only one it happened to, either.
    This may not be bad advice. It's always a good idea to plan ahead, especially with this type of program. As a matter of fact, I believe that securing a preceptor before being admitted to the program is an excellent idea and now a prerequisite for DCN. However, keep in mind, that it is sometimes more difficult to secure a preceptor during your first year of school. Once you enter the second year I have discovered that you become much more desirable to many hospitals because you are eligible to sit for the nclex-pn and also because you now have close to 300 hundred clinical hours under your belt.

    From what I understand local students are doing clinical at St Mary's, St John's and Forest Park. It sounds like they have things much more organized and there are new people involved in the clinical liason dept.

    I'm curious as to whether you have completed the pn portion of this program. I would think as a licensed (or eligible) pn that you would have an easier time finding a preceptor/hospital. I spoke with the clinical liason and she said what some students are doing is entering into a sponsorship with certain hospitals. If you are sponsored by a particular hospital you agree to work a certain amount of hours in return. This is actually a recruitment strategy, although, I think it's not an unreasonable request that the hospital gets a little something in return. One would hope that the actual preceptor would receive a benefit as well but I don't know that that is the case.

    As far as the quality of the instruction and curriculum, I find it meets the standard (IMHO). My instructors have been great and I feel I have learned what I am supposed to learn. As Nicurntobe stated "you get what you put in". I do feel that communication at the administration level could improve but this is more an irritating issue and doesn't really affect the overall quality of the education I am receiving.

    Good Luck to you in whatever you pursue.
  8. by   fry.girl
    Quote from mona b
    One would hope that the actual preceptor would receive a benefit as well but I don't know that that is the case.
    Unfortunately I don't think that preceptors receive monetary compensation for their time and efforts but what I noted is that there are several BSN prepared nurses who have volunteered to be my precepter where I am currently completing my clinicals. I believe precepting is attractive to nurses who want to further their careers in nursing and would be happy to include the title Unit Preceptor on their resume or application to their next level of education. Then there are also those who enjoy teaching and working with students and they receive personal and professional satisfaction from precepting.

    Cheri
  9. by   mona b RN
    Quote from cbarnett2
    Unfortunately I don't think that preceptors receive monetary compensation for their time and efforts but what I noted is that there are several BSN prepared nurses who have volunteered to be my precepter where I am currently completing my clinicals. I believe precepting is attractive to nurses who want to further their careers in nursing and would be happy to include the title Unit Preceptor on their resume or application to their next level of education. Then there are also those who enjoy teaching and working with students and they receive personal and professional satisfaction from precepting.

    Cheri
    This is true. Some nurses really enjoy teaching and orienting new students/employees. I guess it all depends on the individual. Some people are also very confident with their skill level and have no problem precepting.
  10. by   nadja9
    Quote from mona b
    This may not be bad advice. It's always a good idea to plan ahead, especially with this type of program. As a matter of fact, I believe that securing a preceptor before being admitted to the program is an excellent idea and now a prerequisite for DCN. However, keep in mind, that it is sometimes more difficult to secure a preceptor during your first year of school. Once you enter the second year I have discovered that you become much more desirable to many hospitals because you are eligible to sit for the nclex-pn and also because you now have close to 300 hundred clinical hours under your belt.

    From what I understand local students are doing clinical at St Mary's, St John's and Forest Park. It sounds like they have things much more organized and there are new people involved in the clinical liason dept.

    I'm curious as to whether you have completed the pn portion of this program. I would think as a licensed (or eligible) pn that you would have an easier time finding a preceptor/hospital. I spoke with the clinical liason and she said what some students are doing is entering into a sponsorship with certain hospitals. If you are sponsored by a particular hospital you agree to work a certain amount of hours in return. This is actually a recruitment strategy, although, I think it's not an unreasonable request that the hospital gets a little something in return. One would hope that the actual preceptor would receive a benefit as well but I don't know that that is the case.

    As far as the quality of the instruction and curriculum, I find it meets the standard (IMHO). My instructors have been great and I feel I have learned what I am supposed to learn. As Nicurntobe stated "you get what you put in". I do feel that communication at the administration level could improve but this is more an irritating issue and doesn't really affect the overall quality of the education I am receiving.

    Good Luck to you in whatever you pursue.
    Yes, DCN has made some changes apparently for the better SINCE our class. But that didn't help us. As far as getting what you put into it, my GPA was a 3.85 on a 4 scale. I put plenty into it. So did a number of others in my class. Clinicals at St. Mary's? Not in Clayton, not at SSM. I work there and have a relative who happens to be in a very high position there. Now , their traditional students, yes , they do clinicals at St. Mary's, but not the online students. I did not go in as an LPN. We were in the our third semester, which at the time, was when clinicals began. And again, it was at the last minute when FP hospital agreed to take us for the OB clinical. What they came up with last minute for peds was just unacceptable.
  11. by   mona b RN
    Quote from nadja9
    Yes, DCN has made some changes apparently for the better SINCE our class. But that didn't help us. As far as getting what you put into it, my GPA was a 3.85 on a 4 scale. I put plenty into it. So did a number of others in my class. Clinicals at St. Mary's? Not in Clayton, not at SSM. I work there and have a relative who happens to be in a very high position there. Now , their traditional students, yes , they do clinicals at St. Mary's, but not the online students. I did not go in as an LPN. We were in the our third semester, which at the time, was when clinicals began. And again, it was at the last minute when FP hospital agreed to take us for the OB clinical. What they came up with last minute for peds was just unacceptable.
    I'm just curious but did you finish the pn portion? I would be just as upset as you are if I invested all that time and money and didn't even get the pn portion done.
  12. by   nadja9
    Quote from mona b
    I'm just curious but did you finish the pn portion? I would be just as upset as you are if I invested all that time and money and didn't even get the pn portion done.

    Hi Mona b,

    No, none of us got to finish our pn. It was a really bad deal. The sad thing is, I loved that program the first semester. I was working my butt off, but I really liked my instructors, and I even though I only had one week out of the semester that I didn't have a test in at least one class, I had nothing but great things to say about the program. I don't know how many people I told to consider DCN.

    I should've been ready to sit for my RN boards this summer, and instead, I'll just be starting over in the fall, if I can afford it. I am now paying back student loans for DCN. I have to have an even/weekend program because of work. Since I'm a single mom of a daughter getting ready to go to college in the fall, not working is not an option. Because I already have a BS degree, I don't qualify for any free money (grants) and must rely on student loans and out of pocket.

    Regardless, I am glad that you have not encountered the problems I did. I wish you the best, and I think nursing is an amazing field. I've worked in some area of healthcare most of my working life, and I admire the work nurses do. Anyone who can say, "I'm a Nurse", be proud. You are the backbone, the strength of the healthcare system. You provide comfort, physically and emotionally. You wipe the tears of people who are scared, in pain, feel helpless and hopeless. Sometimes it's your own tears you must attend to. YOU SAVE LIVES. And at the end of the shift, when your back, your legs, your feet, and your brain is sore, when you haven't had a break, haven't eaten, and your bladder is the size of a football because you haven't had time to go to the bathroom, you leave thoroughly exhausted. And when you do, you can smile and stand tall, feeling great about the work you have done - that you've made a difference. It's an awesome feeling.

    So, I will get that RN. And I'm glad you will, too, even if it's sooner than me!!! YOU RAT!!! LOL. Just kidding, you have my support.
  13. by   nadja9
    Quote from cbarnett2
    I am in my second semester which is the first clinical semester (Maternal Child/L & D/PEDS) and I am completing my clinicals at Heart of Florida Regional Medical Center in Davenport FL. I am currently working one 8 hour shift each week on Sunday and loving the support this facility has been offering me. Everyone in my class (15 people) but one person (who is located in Louisiana) have found placement for clinicals, (all but three including myself are located in MO).

    As far as accreditation...here is a quote from Deaconess's Mission Page on their website:

    "The Associate of Science in Nursing Program, online option, and the Bachelor of Science in Nursing Program are approved by the Missouri State Board of Nursing. The Associate of Science in Nursing Program, on campus option, has conditional approval from the Missouri State Board of Nursing. Both programs are accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC), 61 Broadway, New York, NY 10006, (212) 363-5555 or (800) 669-9656."

    As far as the percentage of students sitting for boards, you have to take into account that many online Deaconess students will take boards in their home state not in Missouri so I would contact Deaconess directly for more accurate numbers regarding pass rates.

    If you have any other questions, feel free to IM me.

    Cheri
    Hi

    Hi Cheri,

    The student in Louisiana needs to check with her state board of nursing. In the minutes from July, 2004, the Louisiana State Board of Nursing had some issues with DCN online specifically because of the clinical situation. Just an FYI I thought I'd pass on.

    Also, since we were in the online program, DCN has obviously made some changes, but that didn't help us back when we were supposed to start our clinicals. You guys are lucky you weren't in it then.

close