Is it okay to go to a community college?

  1. Okay, three questions:

    1. Do CRNA programs care about which school you go to?
    2. Will going to a community college affect my chances of getting into
    the program?
    3. Would it be okay to do most of my lower division courses at a
    community college then finish at a good university for nursing, like
    UAB?
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  2. 14 Comments

  3. by   VandyNurse714
    I honesty don't know what CRNA schools think of what college you went to, but my guess would be that they would look at all the details keeping the "big picture" in mind. Meaning, where you go to school is an important detail, but it may or may not be a make-or-break factor, depending on the school.

    From a person who went a private university in Nashville that is very known for it's nursing program, I would say to you...you get what you give. I have a TON of student loan debt. If you or your parents can afford going to an expensive university that has a good nursing reputation, then by all means, attend that University. Do not, however, make the mistake that most people make when assuming good nursing school always produce good nurses. Nursing is a dynamic career choice. You will get out of it what you put into it. Colleges do their very, very best to prepare you for the nursing world, but no college will ever be able to teach you everything you need to know. You will learn most everything when you enter the workforce after college.

    So, if I were you and couldn't afford it, I would consider attending a more expensive school for my upper level nursing courses or not at all. I received a very, very good education, but honestly, I kick myself all the time for the insane amount of money I spent for it. Especially when I look around me and realize my fellow nurses are doing just as well. I may know a thing or two more than them sometimes, but I do believe I would have known those little "extras" anyway just because I am an overachiever and very diligent in my studies. I enjoy learning about nursing, and I read all the time. I really made it a point to LEARN while I was in college, not just cram to remember stuff on the tests.

    And remember, a "C" nurse from a community college could definitely turn out to be a better nurse than an "A" nurse from UAB, Vanderbilt, or wherever. It's about hard work, practice, desire to learn, and a real love for the art of nursing.
  4. by   DIGNOUT
    My entry into practice was at the diploma level (yes, we are still out there). I earned a concurrent AS at a junior college (yes, there are junior colleges still out there). I completed a BSN at a local university while getting good experience in CCU. This was the best pathway for me, though it isn't for everyone. My diploma has brought me no shame. I have been accepted to VCU for August 2008. The point- whatever your entry to practice, make the best of it, make it count, and work hard. Good luck to you.
  5. by   Sean04
    I would say yes. I got an ADN at a local community college, got my BSN fom VCU. Took all science course at a community college and I start the CRNA program at UNCC/Carloinas Medical center in January!
    I think most colleges probably look at he whole package, experience, references, certs, interview, etc....
  6. by   ready4crna?
    I have an ASN, BSN, and am currently in what I will humbly state is the best CRNA program in the world. (Dont care what USNWR thinks! )
    The grades matter, the degree of professionalism (certifications, committees, etc.)you show is important, the name on the sheepskin you hold matters not.
  7. by   EricJRN
    To the Pre-CRNA Inquiry Forum.
  8. by   TangoLima
    Of course, everyone has their own issues to deal with, so if you have to go the Comm College route, then by all means, go for it.
    However, in order to go to CRNA school, you will have to get a BSN from a 4 year school anyway. So, if you can swing it, and you're sure you want to do nursing & CRNA, then I highly recommend going to university.

    I went to Comm College for my AS and nursing pre-reqs. I had straight A's in all my pre-reqs and a 3.83 GPA. When I applied to nursing school, Mercer turned me down. I couldn't believe it, so I called to ask what their criteria was. I was specifically told that they accepted others over me because I got my pre-reqs from a Comm College, even though I had straight A's.

    Just my .02.
  9. by   MediHawk
    I personally feel that this is not a problem. Some excellent students that I've met in college began in the community college setting since it helped them to prepare for a more rigorous academic setting within the university. It takes the edge off by helping you to ease into college life both academically and financially.

    However, I will warn you that going from a small community college to a large university can be quite overwhelming as it relates to the physical and academic settings. Keep in mind that upper division courses can be very difficult, if you are unprepared to handle lots of reading, writing, and critical thinking. Therefore, it is best that you challenge yourself throughout community college and strive to maintain a very high GPA since the universities will know that the community college setting is not academically rigorous and will be ranked less. Also, be sure to communicate regularly with your academic counselor at your community college since he/she will help you devise an academic schedule that would make you more competitive for admission to a nursing program.
  10. by   shandsburnRN-CRNA
    Here's what I did and was shorter than the straight BSN route....

    I was a Paramedic prior to RN, I went through a cross-over program which gave me my RN in 1 year. (traditional ASN is 2 years)......

    Worked in an ICU right out of school and immediately began a RN to BSN program. In 1 1/2 years I had my BSN and had met the 1 year experience minimum mandated by most programs. (2 1/2 years altogether for me, even with a full 2 year ASN program you still have a BSN and 1 1/2 years experience in 3 1/2 years rather than 4 years of BSN then 1 year ICU for a total of 5 years.)

    But it all depends on what is available to you, if you don't have a local unversity that offers a RN to BSN program then the route I took won't work for you. However, alot of RN to BSN programs are now available fully online minus a clinical rotation, University of Central Florida is one such program and they will set the clinical up for you in whatever location you live. (Florida, Hawaii, Colorado, New York.....)

    Anyway, I think what all this rambling boils down to is....NO a community college ASN degree is not going to hurt you. Not studying and getting less than acceptable grades will. So take the route that best suits you, keep your goal in mind and get started...your time will come.
  11. by   beedog13
    I FULLY AGREE with all of the posters who have been stating that a 4-yr. school pedigree from "the right school" is absolutely NOT essential to gain acceptance to CRNA school. I got my LPN and ADN from the same community college in Ohio. I earned high marks in all sciences and classes that transfer to 4-yr. schools, but I goofed around with several "B's" in LPN school and even hit rock bottom with one "C" and a few "B's" in my LPN to ADN program (nursing classes). Alas, over the 3 sem. it took to complete my BSN, my worst grade was an "A-". Luckily for me, those "B's" and that "C" never made it into my cumulative GPA because my 4-yr. school only counted my LPN hrs. as "technical credit" and my ADN nursing classes counted for nothing (they accepted a passing RN-NCLEX as a CLEP-test for like 50 sem. hrs or so--not the classes themselves). I graduated my BSN with a cumultive 3.87 GPA, maintained a 3.97 GPA for the 3 sem. at my BSN school, and previously did well in all of the harder classes earlier in my education. After 18 months in the ICU (as of today), and relying on the other strengths of my applicaion, I got into U. of Cincinnati to start Fall'08. Don't worry about a dent in your hubcap much less getting your ADN from a cheaper, more personal community college...just make sure you shine at whatever school you get your BSN from--they look heavily upon what your last two years or so looked like.

    **Beware of some online BSN's--they are not all created equall! Many (not all) CRNA schools will not even look at you unless your BSN is from a "mortar and bricks" institution.**
    My advice: Look for a "mortar and bricks school" with as many online components as possible. And get the ICU experience while you are working on your BSN--it will literally save you years (like one of the previous posters suggested). Good luck!!!
    Bryan
  12. by   BamaCRNA2B
    I have heard that several nurse anesthesia programs around the southeast are raising the cut off GPA for interviews (despite stating that a 3.0 is required) due to inflated GPAs related to online RN to BSN programs that the programs think are too easy. What harm would it do to go ahead and get your BSN to start with if you know that a masters degree is your goal? None.
  13. by   shandsburnRN-CRNA
    I agree with Bryan on the online BSN suggestion. As I stated my BSN was an online program, but through a proven "mortar and bricks" institution. There was no difference in what the on campus students and the online students were responsible for or expected to accomplish.
  14. by   beedog13
    Bama and Shandsburn have made some more good points:
    When I decided to finish my BSN, my wife had just been accepted to law school, we also found out she was preggers with baby #1, I was working full-time plus alot of on-call hours in the O.R...I needed the flexibility of alot of online classes. I emailed no less than 20 CRNA program directors with questions about online BSN's (esp. Regents, Phoenix, etc.)--the vast majority said "no way" and a handful said that it would be "ok", but they heavily handicap online-only GPA's in their applicant pools r/t over-inflated GPA's. My wife deferred her admission for one year (just long enough for me to finish). I found light at the end of the tunnel through several online classes, some videoconference classes, and a handful of on-campus classes (the harder ones--CHEM series, pathophysiology, etc.)

    I will agree to disagree wih Bama about going straight through a BSN program--I personally benefitted a great deal from practical RN experience gained at work while finishing my BSN classes, not to mention the fact that you get into a situation where you surround yourself with alot of experienced people (intensivists, maybe anesthesiologists, senior RN's, RT's, etc.) whose brains you can pick about/for ideas. The ICU time is as important as any component of your application process. While I regretted having to spend time in the ICU after my BSN because I worked in the O.R. while finishing my BSN, the O.R. time is what inspired my desire to be a CRNA--all's well that ends well. You will serve yourself well to only need the BSN to draw to a close to apply--ICU ime already in your pocket. You will easily save at least one year...maybe more...plus the $ you earn working with your ADN will help defer your BSN costs (some of your BSN-only classmates will be working as CNA's or in some name-tag job at a mall or something--YOU will already be a NURSE!)
    Bryan

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