Military wife trying to plan nursing school

  1. Hey guys! Needing some advice from people who have been in a similar situation. Sorry if this is too much info but I feel it's necessary. I am a navy vet, military wife and mom to a 3 year old and pregnant with my second. Before the navy I did 2 years of college so after I got out of the service I've been finishing that up. Prior to the navy my gpa was not good.... Around a 2.8. Since starting back up I've gotten straight A's and I consider myself strong academically. I'm currently 9 classes away from my social science degree (my reason for this major was because it best fits the random classes I took as a kid, it was a good way to make something out of nothing in a short period of time, and I can do it while raising my son) but I have ALWAYS planned to go into healthcare. We are moving to MD, where I planned on finishing my degree online, fitting what nursing pre reqs that I can into my degree, and taking the rest at a CC next to where we'll be living. We are pretty sure we'll be stationed in Jacksonville after that (where we are now) because of my husbands platform, but of course nothing is definite. My problem is: All nursing schools in jax exclude me from the traditional BSN program if I have a bachelors already, leaving only the accelerated option which is A. not possible with my husbands deployments and kids and no support system. Some of you may have done it, but I know myself well enough to know that I couldn't. B. will not be covered by my GI bill at the accelerated rate. C. ABSN are really competitive to get into with only about 36 seats, and my GPA from 10 years ago was not great, although I do forsee finishing all my pre reqs with a 4.0. So my question is: Should I stop now, while I'm 9 classes away from my bachelors in hopes of having more options to get into a traditional BSN program and save 10 months of GI bill that can then go towards that degree? 2. finish my bachelors in social science now, complete my pre reqs in MD and accept that I'll have to get an ADN degree at a CC and then bridge to BSN because that will be my only option (besides one private school who will let me in the trad with a bachelors, but that would be my only shot).

    If I stop now I'll feel like a failure... again... and I can't even believe having a degree might actually make my life more difficult. I also don't have years and years to apply to await acceptance since we are only in one spot for 3-4 years max. Trying to make the best of my somewhat complicated situation and would appreciate any honest (and respectful) feedback. I'm driving myself crazy with pros and cons and need fresh insight.
    Last edit by daniflorida on Mar 9
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    About daniflorida

    Joined: Mar '18; Posts: 7
    Specialty: 1 year(s) of experience

    12 Comments

  3. by   MilliePieRN
    I don't know if you know, but lots of cc adn programs are tougher (more competitive) to get into than bsn programs. I would vote hold on the bachelors now and get into a bsn program. If you must take classes, take prerequisites for the bsn you're ultimately seeking.
  4. by   daniflorida
    I didn't mean that they'll be easy to get into, but they're far less competitive than the bachelors programs in jax. There are around 6 CC programs here so better chance. Thanks for your advice!
  5. by   nflores78
    TBH you will either have to stay behind if you get into a program in MD or just have to wait till yall are stable. Yes I know military...stability what is that?? My husband will be retiring soon, i got a pysch degree meanwhile he did his career and worked various jobs. now that he nears retirment, i have been able to finish up prereqs and applied and got waitlisted for AACC starting Spring 2019, hopefully Fall 2018 spots will open up. Weigh your options and think about it. My children are 10 and older so Im in a different stage of life. School is rough with children and Nursing School is a different kind of animal
    Good luck!
  6. by   daniflorida
    Thank you and congrats on that accomplishment!! I actually planned on just finishing remaining pre reqs in md so I'd be ready to apply to schools at the next duty station as soon as he got orders. Excited for this stage of life for you all-- well deserved!
  7. by   idkmybffjill
    Actually, if you get stationed at Jax, UNF allows those with a previous bachelor's degree to be considered and placed in the regular program. I just had my interview yesterday there and I'm being considered for both programs, and the admissions coordinator mentioned being able to say you only want to be considered for one track or another. There was one nursing student at a workshop who talked about how she chose the regular track even tho she could have gone accelerated because it fit her life better.

    UNF also only uses your overall GPA in making sure you have over the minimum requirement (2.8 for the regular program, I think). After that, they don't care about your overall GPA and use your prereq GPA in ranking people.

    Edited to add:
    But to me, unless you are going to use the degree later on, I don't see a reason to use up some of your GI bill on classes that aren't going toward something. I'd focus on getting the prereqs completed and earning amazing grades in those. Then, you can go on to apply to any of the BSN programs and the ADNs.
    Last edit by idkmybffjill on Mar 10
  8. by   meanmaryjean
    Why spend valuable resources on a degree you are never going to use?

    Have you looked at Online University | Accredited Online College Degrees | WGU They offer BSN in Florida and all of the coursework is online, clinicals are in a compressed format- and the program is designed for working adults. WGU is an extremely military-friendly university.
  9. by   daniflorida
    I must have confused UNF with having the same policy as UF... thanks for clearing that up for me haha I've been in a haze trying to plan my next move. And that is good info to know, I was hoping someone would comment who had first hand experiences with Jacksonville nursing schools. Very logical advice, thank you!!! There really is no benefit to finishing this bachelors I suppose.
  10. by   daniflorida
    I love this program and got really excited when I found out about it!! However they only have clinicals in daytona which is 2 hours from me. But... I'm going to look into rotation length and see if I could swing it if I moved across town.
  11. by   sasera
    Hello fellow Navy veteran,

    Who told you the GI Bill won't pay for an ABSN? It's paying for mine! The GI Bill annual cap is 22k-ish per year. My school is 13k/quarter, so more than the 22k/year. HOWEVER, the VA "year" starts in August, while my program starts in May. So May-Aug is one year, Aug-May is another year. Don't be discouraged! Also check to see if the schools you're interested in are Yellow Ribbon schools and then the school will pick up the remainder of the tuition that the GI Bill doesn't cover.

    And why bother getting a degree you don't intend to use? I did, and I thought it would make me proud, but it really doesn't. If you know you won't use it, stop wasting your GI Bill.

    Hang in there, make sacrifices, and stay positive. You're not a failure if you quit your BA in lieu of something better suited to you. If you really want a BSN, you will find any way you can to get there.
  12. by   daniflorida
    I'm so glad I posted on here- no one told me they wouldn't pay for ABSN, but the VA website says they will not cover accelerated rates and that was a major reason for not choosing this track. Of course, I never thought to look into what the VA year is, etc. Love all this corrected information I'm getting!!!!!!!! Thank you
  13. by   WanderingWilder
    I wouldn't spend time getting a degree I don't intend to use. It doesn't make you a failure it makes you practical. I get the draw to have a degree after working so hard but if you aren't using those classes towards the bsn its just wasting time and your GI bill. Just do the nursing prereq classes that you need and then apply to a RN program.
  14. by   Hospcorp
    I also vote for doing your nursing prereq class and improving your GPA. I'm sure you'll do well on your entrance HESI/TEAS. Don't waste your GI Bill on a degree you're not going to use. I'm also a mom, veteran, and nursing student..You can do this! The benefits of your GI bill are awesome. Make this change while you still have your educational benefits and everything is financially covered. I really think you should apply to both BSN and ASN programs. I'm doing an ASN program now and plan to continue my BSN online. Sometime I feel like I waited too long to start school, but everyone does "life" on their own timetable and I wouldn't have traded my military experience or my life choices for anything..in fact, I think it's given me more motivation, drive and determination during school. I wish you the best! I have no doubt you'll get into a program at your next duty station.

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