I want to become a RN, need all the help/info I can get

  1. I am presently employed in (like so meny other Americans) what USE TO be a good job with great pay and bennies, but I can see the writing on the wall concerning my industry and wish to change cariers and become a RN. I have been to see a councelor at my local colege that offers a two year degree in nursing, but I am having a hard time getting enough info on how to start the process to be confident that I am going about it in the best way to give myself the best chance for success. I plan on setting up an apointment to see the councelor again once I get all the info here I am going to get. So I feel it would be of great help if anyone can think of any questions thay feel are of great importance I should ask during my session.

    In short I desperately need advise and councel from a nurse or preferably nurses with a "been there seen that, done that wish I had done it this way insted" level of education experience to help me avaiod as meny pit falls as as possable. I would be starting totally from zero and have not been in any form of schooling in over 14 years. My job requiers that all my classes be taken during the evenings or if possable on the week ends, and I can only go part time. I can find out what all my pre-reqs are from my local colege but I have no idea how to go about desiding which classes to take first, and I feel I need to start out slowly at first untill I become a more capable student so as to take on as large a credit hour load as I feel I can handle. I am trying to find out considering I have not been in school in 14 years if there is any order to as which classes I should take, or which if faced with the choise between two or more classes which would be the easior or better of the them for me to take. Like organic chemistry class Vs chemistry class would be a good example. Class and or course selection is where the advise of someone who has "been there, done that" can save me a lot of grief and potentally have a huge impact on my nursing education and the ease or dificulty I experience while doing it.

    I already know that once I must take my nursing clinicles I will have to quit my job as the only collage near me with a two year degree program only offers clinicles during the hours I normaly work. I also have a few questions I would like answered concerning a possable alternative method for my obtaining my RN degree. Im sure I am not the first person to think of this.

    How feasable or possable and advisable is it for me to first earn a LPN/LVN certificate while working and then quit my old job and work second and third shift as a LPN while going to school to earn my RN? On average what percentage of the colege credits I will earn as a LPN are acceptable/transfearable to getting a RN degree? How long will it take for me to earn a RN degree after I become a LPN if I go to school at or near full time? Does anyone know of any schools offering LPN programs near north west Indiana? I found two. One offered by OLyimpia colege, the other by Westwood colege, both programs are one year and cost from $18,000 to $23,000. Both cost quite alot more than what I would pay to go to South Suberban Colege to get my RN, and is this cost typicle of LPN programs?.
    Also does anyone know of and can recammend a excellent computer course I could run at home on my Dell that would re-teach and tutor me on algebra to the level I would need for nursing at least good enough so I could "test out" of having to take it. I already took the entrence tests at SSC and tested out of all classes they allow except for algebra and I nearly scored well enough to do that. Good enough in fact that the councelor recammended I brush up and retry. I also would like to know if anyone knows of and can recammend a good computor program that can teach a compleat novice how to type, as typing well sems a valuble skill for any colege student. Lastly, what is anyones advise on taking any corses offered by my colege over the internet? are there any dos and donts of taking my colege corses over the internet? are there certain ones it simply is not a good idea to do so with?

    Well thats quite a lot for me to ask in only my second post, so I will stop at this point and see what replies I receive and than take it from there.

    I do not wish to sound overly dramatic, but this carier change I am atempting is the single most important desion I have ever made save for getting married and becamming a father four years ago, so getting as good and accurate advise to help me in doing so is of the utmost of importance to not just myself but my family as well. I can not tell all that read this how sad I am finding myself having to leave a once great and honerable profession that to some extent is because of the radically changing American job market, but overwhelmingly I have been forced to change cariers because of the level of corruption and utter incompatence of those charged with admistering my profession that has reached the level of a mortal sin by comparison.

    Greatest of thanks to any and all who help me out with the benafit of their knowledge and for the time it takes you to do you.

    Sincerely,
    Arthur.
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  2. 3 Comments

  3. by   EricJRN
    Arthur,

    While people have made it through LPN programs while working, it's probably not as easy as it sounds. You'll just have to look locally and see whether or not there are programs that offer part-time schedules that would accomodate people in your situation.

    Your state's board of nursing can be a great place to start your search for programs. Check out this link from the Indiana Board of Nursing:

    http://www.in.gov/pla/bandc/isbn/programs.html
  4. by   DaughterofRuth
    As for when to take what classes, this is information you need to get from your college. Especially for the ADN programs, typically there is a sequence in which you should take the pre-requisite classes (those you need to take before applying for official entry into the nursing program and clinicals - sciences, etc.). My community college has a flowchart detailing which class comes first:

    College Algebra ---> Intro to Allied Health ---> Anatomy & Physiology1

    Given that all colleges are different, specific information from the college you intend to attend is THE most important thing for you to base your decisions on. You said you already spoke with an advisor at your school. My school has a separate advisor just for the allied health programs - you might want to check to see if yours has something similar.

    Like you, I'm back in school after a long time away (I'm 40yo). I, too, work fulltime and if I want to pay the mortgage and keep food on the table I have to keep my job as long as possible. So I take Saturday and online classes. Yes, this can be done!
  5. by   al7139
    You have lots of questions that can really only be answered by a college counselor. The advice to see if there is a separate councelor for the health care professions is a good one. My school had one who was a big help. I too did not make this decision to change careers until later in life. I had been out of high school for 17 years when I went back to school. Every school has different requirements for pre requisites, but I started out with the basics: English, Math, Basic Biology, Basic Chemistry, Intro to Psychology, and a computer class. From there, I advanced to the more complicated subjects like A&P and Microbiology. One thing I will say is unlike some of my fellow nursing students, I completed all my pre requisites prior to starting the nursing program. Because of this I was able to devote more time to my nursing studies, and did not have schedule conflicts. We are graduating in May, and I know some students that may not graduate because they are missing a required course unrelated to nursing. Also, in spite of the fact that you have not been in a classroom in a while, I wouldn't worry, it could be an advantage to you due to maturity and self discipline.
    Good Luck!
    Amy

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