Confused about schooling!

  1. Hello! I am very interested in working with babies as a nursing career. I've found several different nursing choices, including mother/baby, neonatal, and postpartum. I am most interested in working with the babies and mothers after delivery, but am willing
    to work in any of the areas I mentioned before. My question is, how do I get started in something like this? I am in my senior year of highschool, and will be sending in different applications soon. I have read on some sites that you need to complete four years of college to begin a nursing program/college, and I've read on others that you can go directly from highschool to a nursing school.

    I have been looking at UCF (University of Central Florida) for college, which also has a nursing program. However, I am also looking at Florida Hospital College of Health Sciences. Can anyone in the Orlando area, who is a baby nurse help?

    Basically what I'm looking to know, is how do I go about getting into the baby nursing programs?

  2. 2 Comments

  3. by   elkpark
    Welcome to allnurses!

    This is confusing for people new to nursing, because there are several different paths in nursing to get to, essentially, the same place.

    You can enter a diploma, ADN, or BSN nursing program straight out of high school, same as you would go to college for anything else after you graduate from high school. Diploma programs are 2- or 3- year programs that are connected to hospitals. ADN ("associate degree in nursing" -- actually, the degree you end up getting is usually an AAS or ASN) programs are community college nursing programs. BSN (baccalaureate of science in nursing) programs are college/university programs. All three of these types of programs prepare and qualify you for the national RN licensure exam, and you get licensed after you've passed the exam. Everyone gets the same RN license, regardless of which type of program they completed. There is lots of info elsewhere on this board about the pros and cons of the different types of programs. There is an entire "Registered Nurses: Diploma, ADN or BSN?" forum located under the "General" tab at the top of the page, with nothing but discussion of this issue!

    More recently, schools have introduced "accelerated BSN" programs, which are designed for people who already have a BA or BS in another subject and now want to enter nursing. These programs are "accelerated" because they omit all the general education requirements for a BS degree, which those people have presumably already completed (when they finished their earlier degree), and the nursing content is also condensed and accelerated into a shorter amount of time. Because of the "earlier degree" requirement, a high school graduate would not be eligible for one of these programs.

    There are also the so-called "direct entry" Master's programs in nursing, which also allow people who already hold a BA/BS degree in something else to enter a program which combines basic nursing education (seriously abbreviated basic nursing education!) with a Master's in nursing program. These programs, also, would not be a possibility for someone coming out of high school.

    Hope that info is helpful! You can narrow down your search (for information and for schools) to those with traditional diploma, ADN or BSN programs, and then you only have to figure which type of program would be best for you. That is a very personal choice because it involves so many variables (cost, location, time, many other things). The "best" program for one person might be a poor choice for another person, etc.

    The US system trains RNs as "generalists," that is, you study all the main areas of nursing in school (and are tested on them all for licensure, and then can choose to specialize in whatever area you choose after you're licensed. So, one thing you don't need to consider in choosing a school is what specialty interests you. There are graduate programs in nursing that offer a specialty in caring for infants (NNP) or mothers/babies (CNM, WHNP), but that is an additional step "down the road" after you are licensed and working.

    Hope this info is helpful. Best wishes for your journey!
  4. by   bluechick112

    Most nursing programs are 4 year programs. The exceptions are accelerated BSN programs (which you already need to have a BA or BS to be considered for) and master's programs and such. But since you're coming directly out of high school, I assume those are out of the question for now. You have a few routes you can choose from. First, you can go to the traditional 4 year BSN program. Second, you could choose to do an ADN program (although most people who get their ADN are encouraged to go back to school and get their BSN or master's). Third, you could go to school to get your CNA, then LVN, then do an LVN-RN program to get your RN license. You can absolutely apply to nursing schools directly out of high school. The first two years of nursing school consist of "prerequisites" like anatomy, physiology, chemistry, statistics, nutrition, psychology, microbiology, english, etc.

    I chose a different route. Instead of applying directly to nursing school, I chose to attend a junior college or community college and complete all my prerequisite courses (this route is COMPLETELY acceptable and if you look around this forum you'll see a lot of us chose this path). Once I finished all my prerequisite courses, I looked into nursing programs around the area and did nursing school applications. Once you've finished your prerequisites, those count as the first 2 years of a nursing program (in MOST schools--SOME schools only consider it the first year of their nursing program...but those schools are pretty rare) and thus you can transfer into a nursing school and only have the last 2 years left. This option leaves you with a lot more money considering community college classes are VERY inexpensive in comparison to nursing school classes, who will charge you thousands of dollars more. This helped me out because the private school I want to attend costs around $50,000/year! This way I only spend $100,000 instead of $200,000!!!

    It's really up to you, but I thought I'd throw in my two cents since it really saved me a lot of money. I'd recommend the community college route to anyone!
    Last edit by bluechick112 on Jun 22, '09