Well first I really want to become a nurse. I'm just so confused on how to do it. I will be graduating with a bachelors in psychology this spring semester. I am really wanting to start pre-reqs in the fall. However, I don't know what to do to become a RN. Will I have to get an LVN first? or straight to an RN? If I get my LVN first how do I go about getting my RN? I live in the San Antonio area and I don't know what school has what I need. Also, does anyone have experience with financial aid after earning a degree? Did you get enough to pay for school? What is better the accelerated program or traditional?
Jan 4, '13
LVN & RN are two different types of licenses - LVN is not a pre-requisite for becoming an RN. In order to become an RN, you first have to complete an accredited program. This only provides you with an educational degree (Associates, Bachelors, etc). Then you have to pass the national licensure examination (NCLEX) to actually become an RN. I strongly urge you to seek a BSN because that has become the entry-level requirement for most hospitals. Some SA hospitals still employ LVNs, but the majority are working in nursing homes or other non-acute settings. New grad RNs with Associate degrees are finding it very difficult to get jobs in larger Texas cities... if you choose this route, you may need to relocate to a smaller/rural area.
But you're in luck - SA has several options for BSN. UTHSC is extremely competitive.. you'll need a stellar GPA, so you may want to check out your other options. You will find that the more a program costs, the less selective it usually is - LOL. Although it is an option for people who already have a bachelor's degree, I am actively discouraging people from the 'accelerated' BSN programs. They are uber-stressful due to the need to compress everything into such a short time. And, hiring managers in my organization are no longer employing these new grads due to previous bad experiences... less clinical exposure/competence & difficulty 'fitting in' to entry level nursing jobs. They won't even interview any entry-level MSN grads - there really aren't any positions in which they fit.
I seem to recall that there used to be a really great 'educational ladder' program in SA - with agreements between CC-based LVN, ADN programs and university-based BSN (UTHSC) program. It simplified the process of advancing from one level to the next because there was not need to re-analyze previous course work. You may want to talk to someone to determine if there is still an agreement in place. If so, you could begin at a lower level and have full confidence that you would not have to repeat any courses as you move on to a higher level degree.
Please avoid commercial schools (investor owned, for-profit). They are very expensive. They use high-pressure 'sales techniques' to lock students into (sometimes shady) student loan agreements and cannot even come close to the quality of faculty that you'd find in a traditional academic setting.
Jan 5, '13
Thank you so much! Would you know of any good schools in SA that offer a RN programs? I was thinking of SAC but i'm not really sure what it is. I was thinking of taking the pre reqs at Northwest Vista.
Jan 5, '13
See if you can talk to an academic adviser.
Feb 23, '13
If you will already have your bachelor's, look into the accelerated BSN program at UTHSCSA...this track allows you to directly get your BSN instead of getting an associates or diploma (LVN) and then having to go back to school later to finish and get your BSN. The accelerated track is the exact same curriculum as the traditional BSN track, but done in a shorter time frame because you don't have to take the summer off. Check out the UTHSCSA website for info - they also offer an open house/webinar monthly for more specific information that will answer all of your questions.
You will of course need the required pre-reqs, and Vista is a great place to go. I've been there for the last year and have been very happy with the instructors and guidance.
Hope this helps!
Last edit by tx2stepper on Feb 23, '13
: Reason: TYPO
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