Quote from CrufflerJJ
There are online nursing schools (see the Distance Learning forum on Allnurses) such as Excelsior. It may or may not be for you, depending on your preferred style of learning. Some states do not accept Excelsior grads for licensure, while others (such as GA) require that you do 500 hours of unpaid clinical time before they'll issue you a GA RN license. This is due to the lack of clinical time in the Excelsior program. As I understand it (I MAY BE MISTAKEN on this, though), your only "clinical" time in that program is the weekend or weekends of practical skills testing. These weekends are a very intense "hands on" test environment - not the best for learning clinical skills. Numerous folks choose this route, however, so it must be "doable."
Best of luck!
Yes, the issue some (an increasing number) of the states have with Excelsior College (EC) is the absence of supervised clinical experience, which they require of all other
nursing programs they approve. The EC program is a "self-learning" program in which they provide the outline of material on which you're going to be tested, and it is the responsibility of the individual learner to seek out that knowledge and master the clinical skills. The CPNE weekend is not at all "clinical" in the traditional nursing school sense, and not at all about learning
skills (during that weekend); it is a "final exam" type situation in which you demonstrate to the proctor that you have mastered
the required skills and knowledge.
To the OP, I would encourage you to talk to all
the nursing programs in your area (ADN, BSN, whatever) and see what they have to offer you. There are many possible paths to a nursing career, and the "best" choice for each individual is a v. personal choice based on many variables. There is nothing wrong with getting an ADN initially; the majority of US RNs are ADN-prepared and never (feel a need to) move beyond that. If you start out with an ADN and decide later that you want to continue your education and expand your opportunities, there are a kazillion of "BSN-completion" programs, many of them on-line, all of them based on the idea that you're employed full-time, that make it relatively painless to complete the requirements for a BSN degree.
Accelerated BSN programs are designed for people who already have a BA/BS in another area -- but they're called "accelerated" because they cram an entire nursing program into a shorter amount of time (minus the general ed degree requirements, that is). They are extremely
fast-paced, rigorous, and demanding. The schools encourage you not to work at all while doing an accelerated program; some students work part-time and manage okay with that. I doubt it would be possible for anyone to work full-time while doing an accelerated program (and be successful in the nursing program, that is). There are a bunch of threads on this site by/about people in accelerated programs; you may want to review them if you're interested in that option.
There are a few "part-time" basic nursing programs around, but not many. Basically, you need to consider any "basic," entry-level (preparing you for licensure) nursing program the equivalent of a full-time job (at least
). There is a lot to master. Lots of people cut back and work part-time while they're in school; some people are able to manage working full-time while attending school, but please do think of that in terms of holding down TWO full-time jobs
for the duration. Some people "bite the bullet," quit their jobs and take out student loans for the whole schmear. Again, the "best" option is a very personal decision.
Welcome to allnurses! There is lots of info and support available here. Best wishes for your journey!