I am 42 and hoping to go back to school in a year or so if accepted into a program. I am taking my pre-reqs during that waiting period. I already have a BS in Psych so can apply to most 2nd degree programs. Here is my dilemma:
The accelerated program I am looking at is at ETSU, Johnson City, about 90 minutes away from me. It will take me 5 straight semesters to go through and graduate from the program. I will just have turned 45 when I get out of the program. My main concern is the speed of the program and all of the traveling time I will incur, especially during clinicals.
The other route I am considering is the AAS/RN program at Walters State Community College in my hometown of Morristown. NO driving time! It's a 2 year program and I could be accepted as soon as this fall to start classes January 2012. I would most likely make the fall 2012 start up if not accepted early. Either way, I'll be closer to 46 when I graduate but ONLY with an associate's degree. Then I could take the on-campus satellite program through King College which also takes 2 years. Classes meet once weekly at night so the program is created for the working RN. So, now I'm almost 48 when I get done, but things would be at a slower pace and I wouldn't have any extra driving time for the 4 years that I am in class.
However, I'd rather not be working going to school. I'd rather just go straight through and get my BSN. My ultimate goal is to get my FNP, possibly in psychiatric nursing. A program in that is available at LMU, 50 minutes from me. Of course, that is another 18 months or so, so I am looking at a LONG term of schooling and starting classes when I'm 43.
Cost for the 2 options is equal when you consider the cost of gas to drive to ETSU so much, so money is not a factor.
Does anyone have any advice having "been there, done that?" I'd also appreciate any sharing of experiences at nursing program at ETSU, Walters State, King College or LMU.
Jun 2, '11
How about a third option? Apply to Walter State. Upon acceptance, apply to ETSU's Dual Degree program. You will take WSCC nursing classes Spring and Fall. Your first summer you have 2 classes for ETSU on the Sevierville WSCC campus. From there on, all classes needed for ETSU are ONLINE! You will never have to drive to Johnson City at all. And you will have you're BSN 1 yr after your AAS. That's what I'm doing (and I'm 42 now-I'll be 1 month shy of 45 when I get my BSN). If you have any questions about the program, just ask!
Jun 2, '11
So your option is a 3 year program total? I will have to consider it. How do you get your clinicals done? Thanks for the info!
Jun 2, '11
Well, technically it's 4 yrs if you count the year I spent on pre-reqs and gen ed classes. But yes, it's 3 yrs. 2 yrs of WSCC and the 2 summers that you're in WSCC and then a Spring, Summer, and Fall at ETSU. BUT, those are all online. There are no clinicals-technically it's an RN-BSN program, only your working on your BSN part before you finish your Associates. I am taking Pathophysiology and Health Assessment right now at the Sevierville campus. I'm taking Comp II (which is for my BSN) this Fall with my Nursing classes. You won't have to do this since you have probably already covered all the Gen Ed classes with your previous degree. So I'll take another Gen Ed next Spring with my WSCC nursing classes. Then an ETSU course in the summer (online). After I graduate in Dec 2012, I will have classes (online) Spring, Summer, and Fall (generally 2 spring and fall and 1 in the summer). Most RN-BSN's don't require clinicals since you already have a degree. This is only the second semester that they have had this program. It's only with WSCC that I know of. You can check out the actual schedule on their website.
Jun 2, '11
I did go over and look at the program. I may be able to get out of most or all of my Gen Ed based on my previous degree. It is TOTALLY different than the Accel 2nd degree as the Accel program has practicums, which I assume are "hands on" learning sessions. I can't imagine graduating with my RN/BSN and not having had any clinicals or hands on learning. Maybe I am missing something here?? I would love to talk to you more about this option by email or phone. Not sure if I can post my email on the boards and I don't have enough posts to message you privately!
I really appreciate you responding!
Jun 3, '11
Your PM made total sense. Basically, when comparing the AAS/BN and Accel. RN/BSN programs FOR ME, it comes down to how fast I want to attain my degree. If I prefer less travel but a LONGER time in school, I'd go with your option. If I'm willing to suck it up and travel and spend LOTS of time in school for 15 months, then I go the Accel. route.
I have lots to think about. There are pros/cons to both options. Thanks!
Jun 3, '11
You're very welcome. Let us know what you decide to do!
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