Hi - I was just wondering if anyone was familiar with the Drexel University online direct-entry MSN program. I am doing some research on options available to someone with a bachelor's in a non-nursing subject.
I'm a Drexel alum (MBA) and was considering their MSN for second degree students after getting my ADN-RN. I spoke by phone to the Drexel admissions office sometime last year but really got more information from their web site than I did from the phone call. If I recall correctly, you need 3 bridge classes and can then start the program.
I also looked into the program at Widener and met with the assistant dean there. The program works basically the same way (3 bridge classes) however, you can start the classes without actually matriculating and later apply for formal admission to the program. They also have a FNP specialization - Drexel doesn't.
Though I still plan to get my MSN, I've decided to get my BSN first rather than move directly to a grad program. This is partly due to cost - you pay graduate tuition rates for the bridge classes and I can get my BSN for significantly less - and partly because I did not want to be in an MSN program without have some nursing experience. The job market for new nursing grads is pretty poor and for new RN's with an associates degree it's absolutely abominable. So my hope now is that after I complete my BSN next year, I can find a nursing position, work for a year and then go for my MSN.
Thanks for the food for thought. Is the Wiedner program online or local to you? I'm veering toward the idea of our local RN-BSN program after the ADN. It appears to be only four or five courses - if you also have a previous Bachelor's in a non-nursing field. Does that sound plausible?
The Widener MSN is a more-or-less traditional classroom program. I'm in the Phila area which has very large number of colleges and a lot of choice for nursing programs at both the undergrad and grad levels. Drexel, Temple, LaSalle and Penn are just a few local colleges that offer graduate nursing programs in addition to Widener. All except Penn offer some form of on-line program.
Once you get your RN, your options open up. In general, none of the RN-BSN programs have clinical components (some have a very minor element that really amounts to a shadowing exercise) so you have quite a bit of choice. Though I looked into a local RN-BSN program at a state university (West Chester U) with which my CC has an articulation agreement, I chose to do an on-line program instead, most because of convenience but it actually is also a bit cheaper than WCU. I looked at a number of on-line programs - all of which were offered through traditional brick-and-mortar schools - and narrowed things down to U Texas-Arlington and Ohio U. I went with OU because their evaluation was more favorable; they accepted all my previous work in satisfaction of the non-nursing requirements and exempted me from some courses because of my graduate degree. This left only the 12 nursing courses, each of which is 5 weeks long (though this may change in 2013 as OU switches from quarters to semesters). Right now, I can only take one course each session and at that rate, I won't be finished until early 2013. If I can double up, I can knock quite a bit of time off though and I'm looking into doing that. The cost is very reasonable - total tuition for the program is under $7,500.
You mention that the local RN-BSN program appears to be only 4 or 5 [nursing?] courses. I'm skeptical that this is truly the case - all of the programs I looked at were in the 40 - 60 credit range for just the nursing courses. Many of the RN-BSN programs also require courses that you may not take in a typical CC ADN program, which could add to that 40 - 60 credit requirement. These are typically things like micro, nutrition and statistics along with extra semesters of bio, chem, math and social sciences.
All things considered, the hardest part is getting your RN. I did mine in an evening/weekend program, which effectively prohibits any extra-curricular activity for the 2 year duration - summer included (we needed to take a nursing elective course during the summer session). If you have the luxury of not having to work full-time and going through a day program, it may be a bit easier to handle, but certainly not by much.
Thanks, Chuckster. I was skeptical about the local RN-BSN program too. I have to delve more deeply into that. You say that you're looking into a Texas online RN-BSN program? Oh I emailed Widener who said that the RN-BSN program was mostly online with in-class requirements a few times a year. If that is the case, that might be an option for me.
I'm in the RN-BSN program at Ohio University. Some complaints about the up-front process - basically that it takes far too long with little feedback along the way - but satisfied with program now that I've started. My third 5-week class starts Mon 10/17 - completing that will mean that I'm a quarter of the way through the program. UT-A was actually my first choice but my experience with them was overwhelmingly negative and I opted for Ohio instead. I've heard good things about the Univer of Wyoming program as well as SUNY-Dephi and Ft Hays State. Widener is good school but like Drexel, private and quite expensive. All the other schools I mentioned are state-supported and much cheaper. Penn State and Temple both also have programs but even though they are state schools, are quite costly.
There are lots of alternatives once you get the RN.