I am a junior in RIC's nursing program
, so I may be able to help you out a bit. The second degree students blend right in with the traditional students, with the exception that you would not have to take any of the gen-eds (history, english, etc.). Otherwise, it really isn't much different. However, you can petition (as a second degree student) to take the first 4 nursing classes together. I WOULD NOT recommend this.
The normal course of the nursing portion of the program is to take 2 nsg classes per semester for 6 semesters. You could shave off a semester by taking the first 4 courses in your first semester of the program, but it is very intense taking them over 2 semesters.....I can't imagine taking them all together, unless you don't work or have other committments.
portion of the program is 3 years long, NOT including pre-reqs. Some students take summer clinicals to speed up the process, but keep in mind there are limited spots for these classes.
The program is intense. Between lectures, clinicals, papers, and studying, you don't get a break. RIC also has something called ATI testing. Starting your second semester, you will receive a book for every nursing clinical course that you take. You need to complete the book and take a computerized exam at the end of the semester for that class. If you do not pass, you get another shot. Upon a second failure of the ATI exam, you are given a failing grade for the course and have to repeat the entire course again (even if you have an A in the course, failing ATI twice means you fail the class).
You can only repeat a nursing class once; after that you are kicked out of the program. Right now I am in Psych and Maternity. The ATI book for each
of these courses is over 400 pages....and you are expected to read them in your spare time (LOL!).
I think the program is as organized as it can be. I've had good experiences and bad ones, but overall I think I will come out with a good handle on things, ready to pass NCLEX. They also make sure you get the courses you need, no matter what. It may not be exactly what you want, but you will graduate on time when you're in the nursing program (as long as you pass!).
Passing grades in the program = 74% minimum
Clinical sites range from Women and Infants to Butler, Arbour Fuller, Miriam, RI Hospital, Roger Williams, etc...
Getting into the program:: RIC accepts students who started there as freshman as first priority. Then, they save a few spots for transfer and second degree students. It is VERY competitive. You need to take Chem 105, Chem 106, Anatomy, Bio 108, and two psych courses. It is also in your best interest to take Micro and Physio before applying. I think this gave me an advantage.
Your grades in the sciences will be weighted most heavily; specifically Anatomy, Chem 106 and Developmental psych.
I would highly recommend going the BSN route. It may take a bit longer, but in the end you will have more opportunities and a better chance of advancing the clinical ladder in the future. You will also have a great foundation for grad school, should you be interested in that. Please don't think I'm knocking the ADN programs...I'm not....but with all of the competition for jobs right now, I think having a BSN will give you a leg up.
Good luck, let me know if you have other questions.