Making a choice of Schools

  1. Hi everybody,

    I just want some feedback about the various Nursing Schools in North Texas, like UT Arlington, Baylor (Downtown Dallas), Brookhaven and El Centro.

    I've done some research into the four of them and the main differences I can find are:

    * Brookhaven and El Centro are Associates of Nursing; while UT Arlington and Baylor are BSN minimum. I don't want to start a whole ADN vs BSN flame war, but I'm leaning twards the BSN.

    * Brookhaven, Baylor and El Centro are an easy DART Ride from my house while UT Arlington is at least a 30-45 minute commute depending on the time of day.

    * It seems like the ADN schools take fewer students than the bigger schools. I know UT Arlington takes 100 students each Spring and Fall Semester while Brookhaven and EL Centro take between 30 & 50 students once a year [Generally the Fall of the year].

    * Some of the Colleges, like Brookhaven and El Centro, prerequisite classes fill up so fast during enrollment that the person who has to go down to the college and enroll in person end up not getting in the classes at all. I guess that's one of the advantages of going to a larger school. You get in the classes you need instead of having to take some class like Art instead of A&P.

    * I'm wondering how schools like Baylor and UT Arlington handle transfer students like myself. I've got 60 transfer hours from a Community College (Brookhaven College) and would like to transfer to a school that allow me the best chance to get in a Nursing program.

    THose of you on the boards who have any sort of experience with any of the four schools that I mentioned above give me some feedback. I'm willing to listen to both the good and the bad and will give you a slice of Chocolate cake with Chocolate frosting just for giving feedback. I figure you might enjoy that with Coffee.

    Thank you,

    Mr. Beef
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  2. 42 Comments

  3. by   Finallyat40
    I graduated from the ADN program at El Centro in December of 04. It is a very challenging program, both from the clinical and didactic points of view...but I guarantee you....you WILL be sought after for employment.

    Also, El Centro has admissions in both the spring and fall and they admit approximately 70 students there....then there's also a satellite at Northlake in Irving that I think admits around 30 or so, so they really admit quite a few. The requirements for admission to the El Centro program are much more stringent re: GPA than many of the four year programs, so if that is a problem, your decision might already be made. As long as you're registered for 6 hours at El Centro, you receive a free DART pass, good for rail or bus for the semester....these are priceless!

    Another advantage of the ADN versus BSN....I graduated with zero student loan debt, whereas, my friends who graduated from TWU and Baylor each had more than $25,000 in debt, and UTA had about $20,000. That's a half a years pay right off the top. I make the same amount as the nurses with BSN's at this point....yes, I may someday choose to "upgrade" my degree, however, at this point, my employer (parkland) will pay for it, therefore, again, no college debt.

    I don't know if this will help you or not, just my personal opinion.

    Jamie
  4. by   Mr. Beef
    Quote from Finallyat40
    I graduated from the ADN program at El Centro in December of 04. It is a very challenging program, both from the clinical and didactic points of view...but I guarantee you....you WILL be sought after for employment.
    I'm expecting a challenge where ever I go. The employment thing is also a nice thing to know as well. I'm not looking at moving outside the state for employment because Dallas has been my home for 28 years 9 months [I spent a summer in Naperville, IL with family when I was young and was so glad to be back when I came home] and I don't expect to go anywhere any time soon.

    Quote from Finallyat40
    Also, El Centro has admissions in both the spring and fall and they admit approximately 70 students there....then there's also a satellite at Northlake in Irving that I think admits around 30 or so, so they really admit quite a few. The requirements for admission to the El Centro program are much more stringent re: GPA than many of the four year programs, so if that is a problem, your decision might already be made. As long as you're registered for 6 hours at El Centro, you receive a free DART pass, good for rail or bus for the semester....these are priceless!
    I must have missed that on the El Centro Web Site, or I had El Centro and Brookhaven mixed up. The only thing that bugs me about those two or three schools, if you include North Lake, is that you pretty much need a 4.0 GPA on the prerequisites just to have them look at your application. The classes I have taken I have a 3.14 with only 1 or 2 pre-req's already taken and those I made B's in.

    Brookhaven has the worst Professors teaching their A&P and I tried signing up at El Centro in the summer for A&P I and II, but had to drop before the summer started because I had personal issues.

    The bus thing is something I put into the equation because of the constantly shifting gas prices and parking at Community Colleges is at a premium unless you get there early in the morning or late in the afternoon.

    Quote from Finallyat40
    Another advantage of the ADN versus BSN....I graduated with zero student loan debt, whereas, my friends who graduated from TWU and Baylor each had more than $25,000 in debt, and UTA had about $20,000. That's a half a years pay right off the top. I make the same amount as the nurses with BSN's at this point....yes, I may someday choose to "upgrade" my degree, however, at this point, my employer (parkland) will pay for it, therefore, again, no college debt.
    I'm already into debt (not that much debt, but still) from another career choice that I have only worked for 2 years making comission before deciding to go back to college.

    Quote from Finallyat40
    I don't know if this will help you or not, just my personal opinion.

    Jamie
    Thank you for your opinion Jamie. It has helped me get closer to a decision.

    Here's your slice of cake and cup of coffee. Now is that one lump or two? Milk or Half and Half?

    Thank you,

    Mr. Beef
  5. by   486121020
    I don't know what your GPA is, but if you are a transfer student coming into UT Arlington I hope it is high.They give priority to individuals that have at least 30 hours at UTA. Some of the individuals who transferred into UTA this semester and applied were upset when they didn't get in or put on the waiting list. One guy was even complaining that he had a 3.6 GPA (he was put on the waiting list), however he just transferred in from TCCC. I knew a girl who started out at TCCC and got in with a 3.8 GPA. I think the issue is a lot of the transfer students coming in this semester underestimated just how many students actually start out in the nursing program here. I know a lot of people with his same GPA who got into the program, the main difference being they started at UTA or had at least 30 hours at UTA.

    However, it just really depends on how many people are applying for that particular semester and how well you stack up against the competition. This last cycle 475 people applied and UTA only takes 100 students per semester. You may get in, you may not, or may get put on the waiting list. I would apply to UTA, they have a really good program ( I am not just saying that because I am a UTA student). The December 2005 graduating class had a 100% pass rate on the NCLEX. Good Luck
  6. by   Katydidit34
    Unfortunately, no matter what program you choose, the competition is fierce. You just have to do your best on your prereq's to be competitive. Apply everywhere. That's my best advice. Good luck!!!
  7. by   Mr. Beef
    Quote from 486121020
    I don't know what your GPA is, but if you are a transfer student coming into UT Arlington I hope it is high.They give priority to individuals that have at least 30 hours at UTA.
    That's something they did not mention on the web site. Thank you for sharing that little tidbit of information. My GPA for future reference is about 3.14. It's been a while since I looked at it, but that is the latest one I can remember.

    Quote from 486121020
    I think the issue is a lot of the transfer students coming in this semester underestimated just how many students actually start out in the nursing program here. I know a lot of people with his same GPA who got into the program, the main difference being they started at UTA or had at least 30 hours at UTA.
    That was one of my main concerns being a transfer student to UT Arlington. Do they give priority to students already in the college or at least have some time at the school. I would have to take some prerequisites first and I would more than likely take them at UT Arlington so that would give me some time at the college first.

    Quote from 486121020
    However, it just really depends on how many people are applying for that particular semester and how well you stack up against the competition. This last cycle 475 people applied and UTA only takes 100 students per semester. You may get in, you may not, or may get put on the waiting list. I would apply to UTA, they have a really good program ( I am not just saying that because I am a UTA student). The December 2005 graduating class had a 100% pass rate on the NCLEX. Good Luck
    Would I like being put on a waiting list, probably not, but I guess much like Medical School you just don't put all your eggs in one basket. As I said in my first post, that's why I'm looking at schools that are close to me so I can put out a shotgun application to all the schools and see which ones bite.

    The 100% passs rate on the NCLEX is a nice thing to hear about a school because that's one of those intangable factors you look at when you look for a school.

    Here's your chocolate cake and coffee. Everything you need for the coffee is on the table or in the mini-fridge.

    Thanks.

    Mr. Beef
  8. by   Mr. Beef
    Quote from Katydidit34
    Unfortunately, no matter what program you choose, the competition is fierce. You just have to do your best on your prereq's to be competitive. Apply everywhere. That's my best advice. Good luck!!!
    That's one of the things that I don't like, competition. I'm just not a competitive person by nature, and sometimes I wonder if it is worth it going into something as competitive as Nursing School.

    I'm planning to apply to the 3 ADN and one BSN School around me and will hopefully get into one of those. I dropped Baylor off the list because of the whole religious aspect of the school, and I'm not that religious.

    Here's your slice of chocolate cake, and coffee. I hope you like your coffee black.

    Thanks,

    Mr. Beef
  9. by   maurabartley
    I've heard Mt View (one of the schools within DCCCD) is starting their ADN Nursing program Fall '07. It is based on Brookhaven's program. You can also take your prereqs (A&P) at any of the DCCCD campuses.
  10. by   Mr. Beef
    Quote from maurabartley
    I've heard Mt View (one of the schools within DCCCD) is starting their ADN Nursing program Fall '07. It is based on Brookhaven's program. You can also take your prereqs (A&P) at any of the DCCCD campuses.
    Mountain View is clear on the other side of town from me, but might be worth the bus ride from my house. If I'm in one of the new classes in 2007 or 2008, then it might be one of the best kept secrets in Dallas County.

    If I had to put them in any kind of order: Brookhaven (Farmers Branch, Closest to me, and an easy bus ride to and from there), El Centro (Downtown Dallas, about an hour DART bus ride from my house still an easy place to get to), North Lake (Irving, I'd have to learn a new campus, plus parking is a nightmare out there), and Mountain View (Does not start until Fall 2007, but might be worth the bus ride)

    I knew about the Pre-Req's thing a long time ago because my younger brother was looking into going into the Nursing Program at Brookhaven, but he made a 'C' in the first half of A&P. He then decided to go a different route through college and eventually got a degree in computers. He's now helping take care of my ailing Grandmother and doing nothing with his degree.

    Thanks for your help. My sister made a yummy strawberry & kiwi tart if you are not in the mood for choclate cake. We're out of regular coffee, but have plenty of Decaf, because I'm the only one that drinks it.

    Thanks,

    Mr. Beef
  11. by   txspadequeenRN
    I am going to give you a suggestion and expand your choices past Dallas County .I know you are looking into UTA but the Nursing schools in this area have some serious competition :smiley_ab and although most dont rely on GPA alone it usually is a big factor. Navarro College has a ADN program (Ellis County) and then there is Collin County community college. Im just trying to open you up to more options you could wait years to get into some of these nursing schools and no one wants to wait. Of Course there are more in this area but the communte would be much longer. Have you thought about TCC , it is hard to get into but I hear they have a great nursing school. I received my AA in LIberal Arts there. If you must stay local think seriously about El Centro. You may have to retake some classes to bump up your GPA and if your sciences are out of date you may need to retake them. But its a good school. Please forgive the writing skills my thinker is not thinking....
  12. by   Mr. Beef
    Quote from txspadequeen921
    I am going to give you a suggestion and expand your choices past Dallas County .I know you are looking into UTA but the Nursing schools in this area have some serious competition :smiley_ab and although most dont rely on GPA alone it usually is a big factor.
    I'm mostly sticking with Dallas County because I can get affordable In-County tuition at the Community Colleges, and it's not a commute like some of the others in the tri-county area.

    Quote from txspadequeen921
    Navarro College has a ADN program (Ellis County) and then there is Collin County community college. Im just trying to open you up to more options you could wait years to get into some of these nursing schools and no one wants to wait.
    Ellis County is just a bit far out of the way since I live in North Dallas than South or East Dallas (my brain does not want to do geography right now.). Collin County might be a lot closer than UT Arlington, but there's the whole sticky thing about tuition.

    Quote from txspadequeen921
    Of Course there are more in this area but the communte would be much longer. Have you thought about TCC , it is hard to get into but I hear they have a great nursing school. I received my AA in LIberal Arts there. If you must stay local think seriously about El Centro. You may have to retake some classes to bump up your GPA and if your sciences are out of date you may need to retake them. But its a good school.
    What's TCC; Tarrant County College? If it is, that's about as far as I want to go. Actually scratch that I just did the Mapquest thing; an 80 mile round trip just for class is a bit much. If I can get closer than I'll take it otherwise I'll take it as a last resort.

    Everybody here seems to sing El Centro's praises. I did a little bit of research and it looks like a good program, and it's a lot easier to get into than Brookhaven's. I'm going to have to take all the classes over again just to improve my GPA. I figure I can take two in the Spring and two in the Fall, and be ready for Spring admissions.

    Quote from txspadequeen921
    Please forgive the writing skills my thinker is not thinking....
    Looks like someone needs a caffine boost. I just brewed up a fresh pot, and have some chocolate chip cookies while you're at it.

    Thank You,

    Mr. Beef
    Last edit by Mr. Beef on Nov 2, '06
  13. by   lexcourben
    Mr. Beef,

    Take another look at Brookhaven/Mountain View. Since they received full accreditation in the spring they're going to alternate classes every semester. They're doing a Summer '07 start at Brookhaven and a Fall '07 class at Mountain View. Also, your gpa won't be as much of a factor because it's a point system based on your test score on the entrance HESI exam, your gpa and how many support classes you've completed. They take the top 60 students, do an interview and then pick 40 from there.

    Brookhaven has info. sessions the 2nd Tues. of every month. I believe the next one is Nov. 14th. Also, check out their website; they have updated it to show all the new info.

    http://www.brookhavencollege.edu/ins...vices/nursing/

    Good luck with whatever program you choose.
  14. by   nfsaldal
    There's also NCTC in Gainesville. It's about 30 minutes north of Denton. I graduate from there next month. I'm not sure how far north you live but it may be worth looking into.

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