I am literally making myself sick with my situation ... Any help/advise is greatly appreciated.
I was living in Seattle the past 8 years working dead-end job after dead-end job when I finally realized that I needed to make a change for the better regarding my career choice. I was working full-time and decided to take one class at Seattle Central Community College just to feel it out since I haven't been in a school setting for 18 years now (I am 31) and I was a little scared about overwhelming myself and not doing well. Regardless to say, I did a thousand times better than I thought I would and exceeded my own expectations and was really excited, which was a great feeling. Working full-time (7-5:30) and just taking the one class (6:00-9:00) pretty much took up all my time. After taking one class a quarter I felt like a hamster in a never-ending wheel and a degree that would take me 2-3 years would turn into something that would take me 6-7 years. And once my basics were out of the way, every other class was only offered during the day, which would mean looking for another job that would pay less than the one I already had and I was already just scraping by week to week.
I am originally from Texas so I thought it was high-time I go back to my roots (even though I really didn't want to - I have grown very fond of "city living") to be closer to family and have the opportunity to go to school full-time. I am currently enrolled and ready to start Galen College to obtain my LVN/LPN license in April. The program is a year and at first I couldn't be more excited about it. My sister is an LVN in Corpus Christi and is making 20-25/hr. So, the thought of me making that kind of money for something that I WANTED to do really excited me and I thought I would be able to finally get somewhere. After looking at the job market in Seattle it seems as though LVNs/LPNs are not getting hired at local hospitals. I was aware that I would more than likely be working in a nursing home setting with a LVN/LPN license, but it looks as though all jobs are in the Tacoma/Burien area (somewhere I don't want to live).
After realizing I would not get a job in the area I would like to live as an LVN made me rethink my options. Galen College offers an LVN-RN bridge program that is an additional 18 months. So, I figured I would work in Texas as an LVN, get some experience under my belt, continue with the bridge program and then head back to Seattle (the place where my heart calls home). The problem I am now having is that Galen College is not accredited and every job posting for Seattle RNs requires degrees from an accredited institution (mainly requiring a BSN), even though I will sit and pass the same NCLEX.
I am a really confused as to what this "diploma" of nursing is and if I would be able to work in Seattle with this certification. Once I obtain my LVN certification and possibly complete the bridge program the only option where my "credits" would transfer to obtain my BSN is University of Phoenix. Is this a good option? It seems like it's the only way to work full-time and continue with my BSN. I would complete my BSN through UoP before my "number" would come up to get into a nursing program at a community college. I know people in both Seattle and San Antonio that have been waiting YEARS to be accepted!
Looking at job postings in San Antonio seem more promising and it seems as though I would be able to get a job with my RN diploma, no problem. The thing is, I don't want to live in Texas. Is my dream of becoming a RN in Seattle completely unobtainable? I have tried contacting the HR dept. in a few Seattle hospitals and even calling the BON in both Texas and Washington and just keep getting, "That's a good question!" with no real answers. I left Texas for a reason and REALLY don't want to be here longer than I have to. Seattle is looking further and further away and I am getting a little discouraged.
Any advice or information is greatly appreciated.