I, too, was a college dropout. I had completed about 45 credit hours at North Carolina State University back in the mid to late 80s. At the age of 40, some 20+ years after my first college experience, I enrolled in Bryant and Stratton College in Willoughby Hills, OH. (I'm originally from Cleveland and moved back 11/05). Bryant and Stratton's Associates Degree RN program is 5 semesters, 4 months per semester with no summer break except for a 4 week break from mid Aug to mid Sept. I.e. 20 months from start to finish.
Anyway, because I had some previous college, I was able to get credit for most of the first semester non-nursing classes like Psychology, Eng 101, Math Survey, etc. I took 18 hours instead of the prescribed 14 in my first semester (2nd semester of the program) and went on to finish in a total of 16 months!
Like someone else said, private colleges are expensive but
all the community colleges in my area claimed to have a 2 to 3 year waiting list for their RN programs. I applied to Bryant and Stratton in April 2006, started in May 2006 and finished in August 2007.
The downside is that I still owe the college $1,800 and I can't take the NCLEX until I pay them. It was more bad financial planning on my part than the cost of the college which was about $7,000 per semester. All but the $1800 was covered by financial aid and non-credit-qualifying subsidized student loans. Had I been in the state 1 year before I started school, I wouldn't owe anything but to qualify for the Ohio Instructional Grant, one must be a resident of the state for at least 1 year.
Our school's NCLEX pass rate is comparable and or better than the local community colleges AND
BSN programs and all of the previous graduates that I've talked to who are currently working as nurses feel that they know as much or more about nursing as compared to most of the graduates from other schools
that they work with.
Here in Cleveland ADN and BSN nurses start at the same $22.50/hour (Cleveland Clinic and University Hospitals) so the extra two years isn't an immediate advantage.
Anyway, that's my experience.