Advice/recommendations for obtaining my RN given my situation...

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    Hello, everyone!

    I am hoping that some of you can give me advice based on my given situation and my life. I am a non-traditional "future" college student, hoping to obtain my RN in the best way possible for my family.

    Approximately 6.5 years ago, I put my education on hold when my husband returned home from a deployment and we got stationed in Kansas. Shortly after getting to his duty station, I became pregnant with our first child. Since then, I lived the life as a Military wife and mom, leaving little to no room for my education. It was very difficult with the constant traveling, transferring of credits, etc.

    After almost a decade of living that life, my husband is retiring from the Military and we are moving back home to the Philadelphia area by the end of this year/beginning of next. I am looking for programs in the Philadelphia area (either BSN or ASN/ADN, whichever is better for my situation) to attend once we are finally home and settled.

    I know about CCP, but I have a little "dilemma" with them. I attended CCP for one semester while my husband was deployed. It turned out that the day that he was due home from deployment, I had two finals scheduled. I notified my professors before hand. The first professor claimed to be supportive and said that I could take it after the fact. The second professor told me that that wasn't an excuse to miss the final and I had to take it. To me, that should be a valid excuse. I didn't want to not take it. I just wanted to take it before or after the rest of the class. Any way, I didn't go and take my final. My second professor gave me an F. I emailed the first professor the night after my husband returned. I even called him. He never got back to me, also resulting in an F. I took four classes at CCP that semester. I received two A's and two F's. I was on the track of getting a B in my one class and a C in the other, but after missing the finals, I failed. My GPA with them is now approximately a 1.85, which I already know is no where near good enough for their nursing program.

    Before becoming an Army wife and while traveling as one, I attended school as much as possible. I am "almost" ready for a nursing program. So far, I have...
    1. English 101 (3 credits)
    2. English 102 (3 credits)
    3. Psychology 101 (3 credits)
    4. Sociology 101 (3 credits)
    5. Interpersonal Communications (3 credits)
    6. Ethics (3 credits)
    7. Intermediate Algebra (3 credits)
    8. General Biology & Lab (4 credits)
    9. Child Development (3 credits)
    10. Nutrition (3 credits)
    11. Anatomy & Physiology & Lab 101 (4 credits)
    12. Anatomy & Physiology & Lab 102 (4 credits)

    *Before going to a nursing program, I know that I need Chemistry with its lab component and Microbiology with its lab component.

    What do you suggest that I do? Are there any schools that you would recommend? Should I go for my ASN/ADN or my BSN? Eventually, I want to be able to get my MSN. So I know that it is a long road ahead, but I also have my family and education to balance.

    Thank you for any help!
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  3. 7 Comments so far...

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    I think your best bet is to take those two classes at CCP again to get better grades and boost your overall GPA. Also most colleges won't accept science courses after 5 years. In the Philly area, most hospitals are trying to become magnet status and by the time you graduate there will be quite a few. That will impact the RNs in our area that are ASN educated vs BSN. If you want to work in a hospital look for BSN programs. If you prefer home care or LTC facilities then go the ASN route. Of course there are other areas but do some research and find your preference. There are so many nursing schools in our area but you should first decide where you see yourself working so you can choose the right program. Hope this helps!
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    Thank you for your feedback, Parks22! I did retake those courses that I got an F in at CCP. Those classes were the first level of A & P in which I got an B+ in the lecture and an A+ in the lab and then an A in Intermediate Algebra. My current college said that some schools do "academic forgiveness" where you can retake a class that you did not receive a C or higher, get a better grade, and have that better grade go toward your GPA. The failure will still be on your transcript, but will not affect your GPA at your current school. I am just not sure if CCP does that.
  6. 0
    Oh...
    PS: I did not retake those courses at CCP though. I retook them at a community college in Kansas.
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    Hey arianna.lee23 !! I live in Northeast Philadelphia currently and some good programs are Manor College, Abington Memorial Dixon School of nursing, Holy Redeemer. Gwyneed Mercy College just to name a few. Most of them are ASN/ADN programs... University of Penn and Thomas Jefferson have great programs for BSN. Hopefully this is help GOOD LUCK!!!
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    Try LaSalle (my alma mater), Drexel, Holy Family, Jefferson in Philadelphia, Widener, Villanova, West Chester in Philly Suburbs for BSN.

    Philly metro area has about a dozen hospital and overlying health systems (big hospital health systems that support community hospitals) that are Magnet...I suggest going for the Gold and get your BSN...even non-magnet hospitals prefer BSNs, and they are hiring BSNs before ADNs (or not at ALL).

    I highly recommend LaSalle or Holy Family if you plan to work...LaSalle has a program catered to working professionals, for two years straight of nursing courses, named the ACHIEVE program.

    I also considered Drexel's program, which has a co-op component, which allows you to work on a nursing unit for a semester. They also have great post-baccalaureate courses and an DNP program.

    Each of the programs I listed were based on your current coursework you completed, which matches well with most of their requirements. You still have at least 4 classes to go...If you want to bypass CCP, you can take these courses at the university. If you are concerned about cost, I wonder if you still qualify for assistance under your husbands GI bill. Research scholarships from the school, the government like the HRSA, and other private entities, as well as government funding.

    Research and go for the GOLD!!! Good luck!!
    Last edit by LadyFree28 on Apr 3, '13
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    I don't think it matters where you retook those classes. LadyFree I'm at La Salle now and love it! I believe obtaining my BSN is the right choice for me and will of course prepare me to become an NP one day.
  10. 0
    There are a great many options in the Phila area for the education needed for a nursing career with 5 diploma programs and about 20 colleges offering either the ADN or the BSN (some, like Jefferson, offer both). I would agree for the most part with the advice given by the previous posters in terms of the BSN, though you may want to consider the ADN as a lower-cost stepping stone to that (ADN through a community college and then an RN-BSN at one of the lower cost colleges). Getting a BSN using this route can be done for about $15k, where a BSN at a local college can range up to $100k (Penn but Villanova is not far from that and Drexel is up there too).

    The one thing I would urge you to seriously think about before committing to nursing is the reality of the job market. Those 25 nursing programs in and around Phila produce over 2,000 new RN's each year. The number of new nursing positions in the Phila area has averaged somewhere around 220 each year over the past several years now. While this doesn't necessarily mean that there are 10 new RN's for each nursing job opening - there are postings to fill slots when nurses retire or move for example, that are not counted as new nursing jobs and quite a few of the new grad RN's move out of the Philly area as well - it does point out that it is tough environment to find a nursing job in. While grads from the top programs like Penn usually don't have difficulty, those from the second tier programs (which are basically all the programs besides Penn ) are having difficulty. ADN grads from the community college programs have it even tougher. Not trying to discourage you but I do think you need to be certain that a) you are prepared to put the considerable effort it takes into becoming a nurse and b) you understand that it's likely you will have some difficulty finding a nursing job when you're through with school.

    Best of luck to you.


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