Confused in San Antonio...

  1. Hi everyone....I recently moved to San Antonio and am currently going to College for the first time to get my prerequ's out of the way. I'm still a little confused as to what route to take with my education. My best friend just finished at St. Phillips and got accepted to UTHCS and my plan was to go that route too to get my BSN right away. I've also been talking to a few people and I've gotten mixed reviews on what is best....to just get my ADN at a local community college with a nursing program and get into a hospital that will pay for me to get my BSN later, go straight into my BSN like my best friend, or get my certificate and skip all the way to get my MSN. One lady that has her MSN told me that all hospitals in San Antonio have up to 100% tuition reimbursement for anyone wanting to get their BSN or MSN, but I'm not sure how true that is.
    What's making it a bit tough is that I'm 26 and I have 2 kiddos, with my DH in the Army (and going to Iraq next month for a year and a half)I want to hurry up and get my career going before we have to move again. I'm going to school while my kids are in schoo so that I can be there for them when they get home and on the weekends, so time is of the essence for me and I feel a bit restricted on my school hours. Because of this, I have no idea how long it's going to take for me to finish up school and I want to really get the best education because I'm serious about nursing.
    Because of those personal reasons, I keep hearing to just get my RN quickly, and later on go for my BSN. I DO know that I DO want a bachelors in nursing eventually...that's not a question...I just don't know what options are open to me, what schools would be good, and what's going to benifit me most when we do leave to another state. Anyone have any advise??
    •  
  2. 20 Comments

  3. by   caliotter3
    Your situation is complicated by your husband's military status and the fact that you have 2 children. Do you have a viable support system to allow you to go to school full-time and take care of your family? How are your finances? Your best bet, not withstanding what programs are avail and what you can get accepted at, would be to go for a 2 yr program. You have to really plan out your logistics and must be very careful when you do get into the nrsg part of any program not to let your family responsibilities become a problem. There are many instructors and nrsg school administrators that will actively penalize you if your family or work resp get in the way of anything dealing with school. Likewise, you need to make certain that you have a good support system (hopefully separate from school personnel) concerning your husband's duty in Iraq. This is a sad bit of a warning, but something you should be aware of. Look for other nrsg students who are in a similar boat, and you can band together to help each other get through it. Also, few and far between, there are special programs looking to help people like you. The military has scholarship programs (try the Officers Wives Club or Army Community Services). The BSN option will always be there. There are even online RN-BSN programs which will become available. Good luck to you. You are embarking on a very difficult road. Always feel free to come to this site for advice concerning anything about a nrsg career. There is always a member around who can help or who can point you in the right direction.
  4. by   Soapy
    Thanks for that bit of info. As for the support system I have, my SIL, which I'm pretty close to is here and has offered to help. I also have a few of my DH's co-workers and their wives offering help, however little it may be I'm sure I can find someone to help me out if I REALLY need to. My problem (and I know this is more of a personal thing for ME and I'm going to have to get over eventually,) is that I believe my kids are MY responsibiliy, not anyone else's, which is why I'm often reluctant to ask for help, but I know I do have some if I need it. By the time I start on any nursing program, my DH will be back from Iraq and would be more able to work something out with my schedule. Right now I'm going full time to a community college, and I just go to school every day while my kids are at school and I squeeze in some time for my homework. THey're old enough to keep themselves entertained and help me out with housework and things like that, which makes it a lot easier. However, I know that nursing school is more demanding and time consuming that what I'm doing now, which is why I was asking for more info.

    In regards to our financial situation, we're good. My DH is an E7 (higher enlisted) and we are very careful and frugal with our finances. He's told me to put our kids, who are 8 and 5 in some kind of daycamp or childcare during the summer months to allow me to go to summer school. That's a very big option that I feel I'm going to have to take if my SIL's schedule doesn't allow me to leave them with her. My BF who got accepted to the University of Texas Health and Science Center, did mention that during her interview, they made it sould like they didn't really want anyone who had other family or more serious commitments, which really bothered me, but I have been aware of that. Sadly, you confirmed that it's a common practice, thank you for the head's up.

    So far, a 2 year college is looking like the best thing for me, but I want to get all the facts and all the choices I have. I have about 2 more years or so until I apply to any nursing prgm, but I want to have a plan in place as soon as I can.

    Thanks for your info, it was very helpful.
  5. by   vamedic4
    It sounds to me as if the 2 year program might possibly be the best for you. ADN programs get you into the field and earning money faster than a BSN program would. It will be difficult on you with all the coursework you'll have, but the end result will be more than worth it. And as you stated, you can always go back and get the BSN later if you wanted.
    And I know that many employers, mine included, have 100% tuition reimbursement,whether it's for RN, BSN, MSN...whatever you wish.

    Good luck in your studies.

    vamedic4
  6. by   Soapy
    Thank you very much, that info helps a lot.
  7. by   Soup Turtle
    I just finished my prequ's at St. Phillips and I really enjoyed attending that school. St. Phillip's doesn't have an RN program, unless you're an LVN, so you'll have to transfer somewhere else unless you want to become an LVN first. San Antonio College has an RN program with no waiting list. The only catch is it's competitive and you probably won't get in unless you have all of your prerequ's completed and a mix of As and Bs (at least) in your classes. You can apply with a C average and A & P I, but I wouldn't bother They said they get about 1200 applications a semester and accept about 120.
  8. by   Soapy
    I'm going to Northwest Vista College right now, and the career advisor lady, who's an RN came up with a degree plan in which all the classes I take at NVC, are ones I'll need to get my BSN. All the electives are what I'll be needing to get into UTHSC or SAC. I'm very serious about getting a high GPA and my BF who also just graduated from St. Phillips as well, was just accepting to UTHSC. She said that they've told her that the nursing program at SAC isn't as good as the one at UTHSC, and people graduating from SAC aren't getting as good of jobs as those from Incarnate Word or UTHSC. I kinda find that hard to believe....would you happen to know anything about that?

    If SAC is only accepting 120 out of 1200 applicants, how does it work that they don't have a waiting list? I'm not familiar with how waiting lists work.
  9. by   Soup Turtle
    Quote from Soapy
    I'm going to Northwest Vista College right now, and the career advisor lady, who's an RN came up with a degree plan in which all the classes I take at NVC, are ones I'll need to get my BSN. All the electives are what I'll be needing to get into UTHSC or SAC. I'm very serious about getting a high GPA and my BF who also just graduated from St. Phillips as well, was just accepting to UTHSC. She said that they've told her that the nursing program at SAC isn't as good as the one at UTHSC, and people graduating from SAC aren't getting as good of jobs as those from Incarnate Word or UTHSC. I kinda find that hard to believe....would you happen to know anything about that?

    If SAC is only accepting 120 out of 1200 applicants, how does it work that they don't have a waiting list? I'm not familiar with how waiting lists work.
    I don't know which programs are better or worse...haven't heard anything about that. SAC doesn't have a waiting list because they rank all applicants each semester and accept the highest scoring ones. You can apply right before the deadline, and if your score is high enough, you'll get in.
  10. by   Horseplay
    Nursing schools can seem a little reserved re: student's other commitments but with the large number of applicants applying for such a limited number of slots, they try to choose the applicants most likely to make it through to graduation. Missing classes happens to all of us from time to time but the problem with nursing school is that missed clinicals are very difficult to make up. I understand your hesitation in asking others to help with your kids, I felt the same way until I realized that asking for help was a short term solution to make our situation better for my whole family. There are few careers that are as flexible for family commitments as nursing - particularly when you might need to follow a transferring DH!

    With regards to SA, I work in a teaching hospital here and frequently have the opportunity to precept nursing students from each of the nursing schools, as well as work with a staff of 60 on my floor that consists of nurses from each of them. I can tell you without a doubt that the SAC students/nurses receive an excellent education and come out as great nurses. I've seen no difference between the ADN and BSN prepared nurses in practice.

    So study hard, keep up your GPA, and if you want to save some time, give SAC a call. After graduation you can take the RN-to-BSN program and let your hospital pay for it (mine covers 100% tuition reimbursement up to $1200/yr). Good luck!
    Last edit by Horseplay on Jan 25, '07
  11. by   texasrn9
    Please share the hospital with 100% tuition for education.
  12. by   mandeeh
    Hi, I am currently attending SAC for my ADN. I am in a great program that helps pay for my tuition, and I heard from them that the SAC program is one of the best for the clinical experiences we have. I was told that we have more cilinical experience than students attending UT. I dont know how true that is since I dont go to UT, but that is what I've heard. You are going to have to learn to ask for help! Especially when you actually get in the RN program. It is very competitive, but it is also doable. The more pre-reqs you have done, the better. If someone else has one more pre-reqs completed than you, they will be ahead of you. You should have no problems with the pre-reqs, but nursing school is another thing entirely. It is very demanding and can be hard to keep up with. If you get your pre-req done fast, then you may be done before you guys get relocated. The peogram that I am in has students that finish their pre-reqs in one year and ADN in two years. You can be a nurse in 3 years if you do your pre-reqs fast. If I were you, I would call UT and see if they can tell you how the schedules are for the different semesters. The schedules at SAC change a lot depending on what level you are in. Good luck in whatever you decide!!
  13. by   Soup Turtle
    Quote from mandeeh
    Hi, I am currently attending SAC for my ADN. I am in a great program that helps pay for my tuition, and I heard from them that the SAC program is one of the best for the clinical experiences we have. I was told that we have more cilinical experience than students attending UT. I dont know how true that is since I dont go to UT, but that is what I've heard. You are going to have to learn to ask for help! Especially when you actually get in the RN program. It is very competitive, but it is also doable. The more pre-reqs you have done, the better. If someone else has one more pre-reqs completed than you, they will be ahead of you. You should have no problems with the pre-reqs, but nursing school is another thing entirely. It is very demanding and can be hard to keep up with. If you get your pre-req done fast, then you may be done before you guys get relocated. The peogram that I am in has students that finish their pre-reqs in one year and ADN in two years. You can be a nurse in 3 years if you do your pre-reqs fast. If I were you, I would call UT and see if they can tell you how the schedules are for the different semesters. The schedules at SAC change a lot depending on what level you are in. Good luck in whatever you decide!!
    Do you know anything about the clinical uniform? I know it has to be all white, but can the scrub top be "different"? (tie in the back, button in the front, etc.) Any rules for a stethoscope? (color, type, etc) I want to buy as much as I can ahead of time. Thanks for any info!
  14. by   mandeeh
    Yes. the uniform is plain white, but it doesn't matter if it is button up or if it ties in the back. Some of the uniforms tops have a lot of frills (lace,etc.) they want them to be as plain as possible, but they are not extremely picky. Did you get accepted? If so good luck, if not, good luck with your application! No rules for the stethoscope, mine is a very bright pink.

close