I just saw your post! I graduated from the SA Galen LVN program this June and went straight into the ADN program so I can answer your questions about Galen at least. I also have had clinicals with Hallmark students and will give what ever info I know.
Yay, SACC accreditation. This means they are now regionally accredited so all colleges and universities should
accept their credits. The agreements are a bit outdated as now you can go anywhere. Hallmark is not regionally
accredited so most BSN programs will take you but you may have to do core courses(English, history, etc) again, they will only accept the nursing courses.
Yes it is 27 months but for 15 of those you can be working as an LVN and got to online classes, what I'm doing, for the ADN part.
If you go from Galen's LVN to RN program you do not have to take the PAX RN and if you have taken the SAT in the past 5 years with a certain score, you don't have to take either. To be frank I have not heard of a single person failing the PAX PN anyway. The easy part is getting in the hard part is staying in. Each quarter the class sizes shrink from people failing.
Personally I will be paying around $36,000 total. I transfered some credits which saves money and if you don't have these try and take some CLEP tests. Also DON'T buy new. At orientation, there is a textbook and uniform
sale by former students or most are on craigslist. I spent $200 for my LVN year
rather than $1000 for all new.
Also Galen will be offering a BSN program by late next year. This would mean a BSN in 39 months. Admission to each program is automatic with a 2.5 GPA.
Over all I quite like Galen. The instructors are usually nice and after SAC for my last degree it is positively heavenly. After talking with some other schools and having clinicals with them I also feel more prepared skills wise as I had to show some ADN students some things!
As for jobs, almost anyone will hire a ADN including the fancy hospitals as long as you promise to get a BSN in 5 years. As RN-BSN programs are 1 year(and most entirely online), this gives you PLENTY of time. They will sometimes pay for it too. Salary isn't really increased but you have more prospects for advancement later. After all, who wants to be a floor nurse in their 60s?
Sorry this was so long but I love talking about school. If you have any questions please ask!