Advice to become a male nurse...

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    Howdy!I am currently a junior enrolled at Texas A&M university, in college station. About a year ago I was interested in becoming a doctor and started looking into the field. But the more I looked, the more I was interested in the field of nursing, I think it's a good fit for me (more patient interaction, less time and money then med school, and I am not in it for the big bucks). With that being said, I have decided to get a degree in University studies (basically a choose what you want degree) since I will be pursing a accelrated BSN degree. I have already taken 2 years of german, and am planning on taking 2 years of a spainish as well obtaining the rest of the pre req courses required by Texas A &M health science center and the UT nursing program,So my question for you is this is there anything that I can do that will help me get into either of these nursing schools? I am really interested in this career, and would like to stay close to home if possible.
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    Just curious, was nursing the only other health career you looked at? There are a lot of really great health care professions - many with a lot better career prospects, autonomy and income. You do realize that the door to subsidized financial aid essentially stops when you complete your first bachelor's degree. Accelerated programs are very expensive, especially if you have to finance them with private loans. Hiring outlook for new grads from accelerated programs are not very rosy. Employers tend to favor those with a traditional degree. If you know that you want to pursue nursing, why are you continuing to work on a generic degree? This would seem to be a waste of your time and money.

    You are aiming for 'Cadillac' schools with HUGE applicant pools for a very limited number of seats. Stellar GPA will be a must - you'll be competing with the best of the best. I would advise you to look at a few other schools also.
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    I second HouTx's previous comment 110%. A little bit about me and why...

    I graduated high school in 2006 and fiddled around not knowing what I wanted to do for a living. I had friends that went to work, friends that went to community college, and friends that hauled off to big Universities, UT Austin and Penn State, just to name a few.

    Fast forward to August of 2010 and I have finally decided I wanted to do nursing, having both parents, an aunt, a neighbor, and two friends go into the field...keep in mind I had ZERO college experience behind me. I went to a local community college after quickly ruling out the outrageously expensive and unnecessary large universities and after testing out of the "basics", I was eligible and applying to an LVN program, which I was accepted to in August 2011. The program only required "basics" math, reading, english...and only 1 Intro to A&P course. Easy peezy.

    I will now be graduating with my LVN in August of this year and I have my prerequisites completed for my RN already, so I could begin that transition in January or August of next year. Tack on a year or 2 after that for my BSN and you and I will basically be in the same place except for two things.
    1- I will be in far less debt
    2- I will have more experience

    It is because of these two things, HUGELY important things I would advise you to either consider a different field of medicine, or consider a different school/educational path. To be brutally honest, choosing a generic degree route with a fast tracked baccalaureate program, from what I have heard from nurses that know a great deal about it here in Houston, will get you almost laughed out of an interview as a new hire in most major hospitals. (Not literally, of course) Finding your first job will be immensely difficult, though.

    The thing a lot of people forget, is that nursing is like no other profession when it comes to earning your credentials. A degree in the traditional sense of the word means a hugely different thing than if you were to choose some floofy crap, let's say "Liberal Arts." A big university with a huge name and a great GPA will do you wonders there. Not even close in nursing. Most places around Houston, if the hospital hasn't went magnet status, will take an RN with a few years of experience over a new grad BSN without thinking twice, and if you are hired with your bachelor's, it means no more than a few extra stitches on your lapel. You will usually be paid the same as an RN with the same experience RN (RN = ADN = Associate's degree). It's a tough truth, but it's the truth.

    My advice to you is this: Since you HAVEN'T chosen a concrete nursing career path already, transfer your credits to a more sensible community college and get your Associate's (RN) there. Work for a year somewhere and have your employing hospital pay for your online bachelor's degree. The programs online are COMPLETELY online, take a year and are about $16,000. If not that and you want to stay where you are......

    Either get on a dedicated, tried and true path to earning your bachelor's degree as quickly and as most cost efficiently as you can OR choose a different medical profession, although if you heart is telling you nursing, then you have the bug and will love it as we all do.

    I hope some of this helps. It's hard advice to get after you've already been going to school, but that comes with the territory of switching majors after already being at a big university. I'll have my LVN by Christmas and be about 4k in debt, max. After that, my employers will be paying for the remainder of my school and I'll have my BSN (ready for CRNA school) by 2015/2016. Keeping in mind that throughout this whole process I will be working in a hospital gaining experience, rather than sitting in a university classroom compiling debt. In nursing my friend, experience is usually more valuable than credentials. BTW...I'm going to be a male nurse also! Welcome to the club! Best of luck to ya!
    not.done.yet likes this.
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    Howdy!

    To start off, I am on the same track as you. About to graduate Texas A&M - College Station with a Bachelor of Science in Entomology in August. Once I graduate, I'm planning to complete an Accelerated BSN Program.

    I definitely agree with HouTx's comment. Please take the time to volunteer or shadow different medical professionals and confirm that nursing is for you before you finally decide the BSN is the right fit. I have spent several weeks moving around different areas of hospitals volunteering and shadowing. I noted several which interested me and after several 'heart-to-heart' conversations with family involved in the medical field, decided Nursing is where I would like to be.

    As far as your degree, I'm not sure if 'University Studies' is a B.S. or B.A., but that, as well as which pre-requisites you have completed in your undergrad are essential in confirming your eligibility for any nursing program. With my degree, I was able to incorporate nearly all of the pre-requisites into my degree plan.

    After reading the first two comments, I cannot disagree. They both provided a different aspect which I have not seen myself. Although, do not feel disheartened.

    My recommendations for you would be:
    1. Set up appointments with Admissions Counselors from each University you are interested in.
    - The value of meeting with an Admission Advisor/Counselor is crucial. Most advisors will provide an honest insight in your chances of being accepted into, and surviving their program. (Yes, surviving.)

    2. Find time to get in a hospital environment. (Either volunteer or shadowing)
    -Not only will this help you decide what you want to do, it will also be valuable when submitting applications

    3. Finally, do not give up. Where there is a will, there is a way. (Not always an easy way...but still.)


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