Don't know which nursing school route to take!

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    Hi everyone, hope everyone is having a smoother experience than me. I am so frustrated!!!! I just want to get into a nursing school and get started!!
    Is cost something most of you adult students are looking at? I am truly kicking myself, I had it good, was a nursing BSN major at a local university straight out of high school, no hassle, just got accepted right in because of high school grades, etc. I FOOLISHLY dropped out of the program. This was almost 15 years ago. Now here I am a divorced mother of two young children really chomping at the bit to get back in nursing school. I have found this is definitely not a cakewalk trying to get into one now. Now, it's I have to take 75 hours of CNA classes and a NET test for one, or most schools my science classes need to be retaken because it's been so long since I took them before. There is one school in KY I can get right in an LPN program and then bridge over to RN, but the COST is a deterent. I don't know how I'm going to live if all my loan amounts go to tuition, with nothing for living expenses. I am finally, although very reluctant to, just thinking of trying to attend a LPN school, then going on to do an online LPN to BSN program. I don't know how wise that kind of career path would be. I am trying to see about getting in an Accelerated BSN program, but it's the COST of the tuition that is getting me. You can only get so much in loan amounts if you are already a college graduate. My own personal preference is ultimately to have a BSN, but ADN would be fine for a while, this has just become so disheartening. Is there anyone out there who had really hoped to go for your BSN, but because of life circumstances have to settle for an LPN school and then bridge up?
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    Cost is absolutely a factor here. My husband is the sole income provider in the family and it's a military income to boot (= not much), so that plus two kids... well, the cash certainly isn't flowing freely around here! I was accepted to a direct entry BSN program at a private university, but ended up turning it down for a couple of reasons but cost was a main factor. I ended up choosing to go the state university route instead where I'd have to work my behind off to finish pre-reqs and then apply to a highly competitive program and hope and pray that they want me. Hit and miss on whether I make it or not I guess. But with the cost being half of what it was at the private university, I really don't have a huge choice in the matter If I didn't have the GI Bill under my belt (I'm prior service military myself), there's no way I could do BSN at all without either doing student loans out the wazoo or going the LPN route like you. I would not be surprised at all if there are many, many others on this forum in similar circumstances to your own.
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    I know you feel disheartened but you cannot look back now! I am a student with two degrees already. Due to life circumstances and finances I am not going to attend an accelerated BSN or MSN program. Instead I am paying cash to attend an ADN program. When I gradate from this program I will transfer to the 4 year University and attend the RN-BSN bridge while working full-time.

    It is no big deal!!! People like us who do it differently (choose not to attend an Accelerated Program or a Regular BSN program right away) end up with the same results even if it takes longer. You need some way to live and survive, right? Do not think about people who have different circumstances who can take a shorter route. Those people are not paying your bills and can probably BARELY pay their own!

    Besides, a former LPN who is a RN is a RN! A RN with an ADN is a RN! A former ADN RN with a BSN is still a RN! Get the picture? Think positive, be positive, and you will eventually reach your goals.
    Last edit by MBARNBSN on Dec 29, '06
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    Thanks for your response. It's nice to know there are others in the same boat. I am about in tears now over the waiting, and the waiting, and the whole long drawn out admission process to complete. I think it's harder to get in that in used to be. Even the university I attended and once admitted into nursing school, has changed their admission requirements and it's tougher now to get in. As much as I would love to get in an Accererated BSN , I have to look now are more community college based
    programs because of tuition costs. If I were still living at home with mom and dad, fresh out of high school, no responsibilities, no children, etc, then hey, no problem, but that isn't the case anymore. It helps to come here and see how others are going at it or what their input is.
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    Thank you MBA2BRN for your post, I REALLY need a boost of positive thinking right now. By the way is that picture of YOU? That is a stunning pic!

    But back to the subject at hand, I am SO frustrated. Now it's getting to the point I just want to get IN somewhere. I was shooting for an ADN school at a community college (again tuition costs being a big factor), but now I'm having other ideas. I know I ultimately want to get my BSN so I am wondering if really financially it might be wiser to get my LPN at a local community college that's even closer than the other community college with the ADN program I have been hoping to get into, because of it's tuition costs and slightly shorter length of time to complete, and THEN go straight on to complete an online BSN. The whole time frame of things to reach my ultimate goals is frustrating in that aspect though, but oh well, what can you do. Any thoughts anyone?
    Last edit by cajjj on Dec 29, '06
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    Quote from cajjj
    But back to the subject at hand, I am SO frustrated. Now it's getting to the point I just want to get IN somewhere. I was shooting for an ADN school at a community college (again tuition costs being a big factor), but now I'm having other ideas. I know I ultimately want to get my BSN so I am wondering if really financially it might be wiser to get my LPN at a local community college that's even closer than the other community college with the ADN program I have been hoping to get into, because of it's tuition costs and slightly shorter length of time to complete, and THEN go straight on to complete an online BSN. The whole time frame of things to reach my ultimate goals is frustrating in that aspect though, but oh well, what can you do. Any thoughts anyone?
    Don't lose hope! Here are a couple of ideas:
    1. Do you own a home? If so, you can take out a HELOC (home equity line of credit) for your tuition and living expenses while you are going to school.

    2. Are you working now? If so, you can take out private bank loans for nursing school. (This is particularly helpful for people who already have non-nursing bachelor's degrees.) The rate may be a little higher, but the banks generally have good relationships with the schools (you can which ones at your school are affiliated with specific banks). The banks see you as a good risk because they know you will get a job when you graduate (nursing shortage helps!). If you quit your job before you apply for the loan, they will not give you one. However, if you quit your job after you receive the loan (because you will be in school full time), they don't care. (Really!)

    3. If you have a non-nursing degree bachelor's already, you may want to consider an accel'd BSN RN program. Some of these programs are 12 months to 15 months in length (Check out the specific program). You can get loans from the govt because you will be considered a "junior" in the program. I did that and it was extremely helpful. The school can also give out grants or additional loans, work study, etc, depending on your financial status. Believe it or not, private universities often give more financial aid to cover their larger tuition bills than state schools. But you've got to have the grades for the pre-reqs. Have you done those yet?

    Do not give up! You can do it! Best of luck to you!
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    Quote from cajjj
    Now, it's I have to take 75 hours of CNA classes and a NET test for one, or most schools my science classes need to be retaken because it's been so long since I took them before. There is one school in KY I can get right in an LPN program and then bridge over to RN, but the COST is a deterent. I don't know how I'm going to live if all my loan amounts go to tuition, with nothing for living expenses. I am finally, although very reluctant to, just thinking of trying to attend a LPN school, then going on to do an online LPN to BSN program. I don't know how wise that kind of career path would be. I am trying to see about getting in an Accelerated BSN program, but it's the COST of the tuition that is getting me. You can only get so much in loan amounts if you are already a college graduate. My own personal preference is ultimately to have a BSN, but ADN would be fine for a while, this has just become so disheartening. Is there anyone out there who had really hoped to go for your BSN, but because of life circumstances have to settle for an LPN school and then bridge up?
    The other thought is that you can challenge some of your pre-req classes (especially if it's been awhile and you don't want to retake them) by doing the Excelsior testing (check with your school if they accept it). Generally, Anatomy and Physiology classes must be taken within the last 5 years, but other subjects like English writing, psych, sociology, etc can be longer than that.

    You do not have to take CNA classes. I didn't and applied for the accel'd BSN program. Most of my classmates did not have CNA classes or EMT certifications either. So you may want to recheck your info about CNA classes as a requirement. Feel free to PM me. You can do it!!! :angel2:
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    Every person's in different situations. I have a BA from back in 2000....I was looking at the ADN route but the local community college would have me start all over with the pre-reqs; their policy states the transfer credits must be within 5 years. There is a 16-mth acc BSN program nearby that accepts all of those credits. I am at the comm coll right now because I didn't have the A&P and microbiology classes but will go the acc BSN route because it actually ends up being cheaper, since it would take many more semesters to go the ADN route. Luckily I do have the GI Bill also to help me out and my husband will be working full time to support us when I am in school (he's in school full time right now working on his M.Ed) so we're set.

    No need to regret the past...if nothing else, you will appreciate nursing school and being a nurse much more now! Whatever it takes to get you to your end goal, via the means that work best for you, just DO IT.
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    I do agree with live4rachael who states that "every person's in a different situation.." what's good for one person isn't necessarily good for everyone.

    I'm hoping to get in the night program for the ADN program next fall so that I can still work during the day. I have no option, and that's okay. Luckily I work at the college, and live only 5 minutes away which takes away a lot of the commute unless I go to clinicals which will be only one day a week. That's my situation, and not anyone elses.

    OP you need to look to see what works best for you and your two children. The past is the past and as much as we would love to be able to go back in time and correct those times, we need to get out of that mindset.

    I would caution against getting a HELOC if you are able. It is better to get a student loan which is fixed (not variable like a HELOC), plus you will be able to hold off paying your student loan at least 6 months after you finish school and if even then you can get a forebearance if there if you are not able to pay back...a HELOC has no grace period and again the interest is variable and can be high (10% or more).

    You need to sit down and look at your different options. If you want to start as soon as possible, which program will allow you to do that? If money will prevent you from taking that first option, what is the next. It'll work out...it'll just take some planning. If you can go for the RN right away, I would suggest that because maybe you can't go right to school to bridge over from the LPN to the RN. At least with the RN you'll have a little more autonomy and also more employment options than an RN. I don't see your age listed but I figure that you are about 33? Just work on getting your initial nursing goal and then worry about getting your higher degrees if that is what you ultimately want.

    Best of luck!
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    Quote from MBA2BRN
    Instead I am paying cash to attend an ADN program. When I gradate from this program I will transfer to the 4 year University and attend the RN-BSN bridge while working full-time.

    Those people are not paying your bills and can probably BARELY pay their own!
    I think this is excellent advice. I am all about doing it as fast as possible but I also will only do what I can pay cash for. Since I have my LPN already I don't believe that I'm losing that much time to do the CC ADN and then BSN since I will get credit for my LPN nursing classes. Just my two cents of course but I don't buy into the theory that school debt is "good debt" lol, no debt is good debt in my opinion!


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