Hospital Diploma Programs in VA

  1. 0 Hi,

    I'm trying to find more information on hospital-based nursing schools in Virginia. From this site, I gather that there are only a handful of these schools left in the state. The ones I am particularly interested in are listed below, since I would prefer to avoid northern VA and I'd like to live in a larger city.

    Riverside Hospital (Newport News)
    Sentara Norfolk General Hospital
    Bon Secours Memorial (Richmond)
    Southside Regional Medical Center (Petersburg, near Richmond)

    Can anyone offer feedback on their experience with the nursing diploma programs at these schools? Do any of these schools offer tuition abatement programs, where your tuition is covered in exchange for a promise to work for the hospital for a certain number of years? For those of you who have done a diploma program, do you feel that it equipped you adequately for the challenges of professional nursing?

    Also, does anyone have recommendations for other hospital-based schools in VA or elsewhere? A friend of mine is in nursing school in Pittsburgh and he has had a great experience so far. I am willing to look out of state.

    Just so it's clear, I am planning to speak to representatives at these programs, but I am impatient and hoped for some on-the-ground feedback if possible. Thanks for any help you might be able to give me!
    Last edit by despitetheserains on May 2, '07
  2. Visit  despitetheserains profile page

    About despitetheserains

    From 'Locust Grove, VA'; Joined May '07; Posts: 4.

    24 Comments so far...

  3. Visit  llg profile page
    0
    Riverside and Sentara both offer scholarships in exchange for work committments. I don't know the details. Nor do I know about the other 2 schools.
  4. Visit  despitetheserains profile page
    0
    Quote from llg
    Riverside and Sentara both offer scholarships in exchange for work committments. I don't know the details. Nor do I know about the other 2 schools.
    Thanks for your reply!

    (For future reference if anyone is reading this thread, neither SRMC nor Bon Secours offers a tuition abatement program, although both offer scholarships. Bon Secours in particular has a line in their financial aid information that says that they believe the responsibility of paying tuition rests on the student and his or her family.)
  5. Visit  cherokeesummer profile page
    0
    Quote from despitetheserains
    Hi,

    I'm trying to find more information on hospital-based nursing schools in Virginia. From this site, I gather that there are only a handful of these schools left in the state. The ones I am particularly interested in are listed below, since I would prefer to avoid northern VA and I'd like to live in a larger city.

    Riverside Hospital (Newport News)
    Sentara Norfolk General Hospital
    Bon Secours Memorial (Richmond)
    Southside Regional Medical Center (Petersburg, near Richmond)

    Can anyone offer feedback on their experience with the nursing diploma programs at these schools? Do any of these schools offer tuition abatement programs, where your tuition is covered in exchange for a promise to work for the hospital for a certain number of years? For those of you who have done a diploma program, do you feel that it equipped you adequately for the challenges of professional nursing?

    Also, does anyone have recommendations for other hospital-based schools in VA or elsewhere? A friend of mine is in nursing school in Pittsburgh and he has had a great experience so far. I am willing to look out of state.

    Just so it's clear, I am planning to speak to representatives at these programs, but I am impatient and hoped for some on-the-ground feedback if possible. Thanks for any help you might be able to give me!

    I can tell you about Riverside from experience. They offer a Power of One scholarship which will pay for school in return for work commitment however it has recently changed and you are not eligible to apply til your last year. So the first year you would be getting scholarships, loans or other means.

    I do personally believe a diploma program is good b/c you are required to have certain classes prior to so you do still get the material you need as far as textbook material but you get a ton of clinical experience so I think its a great option. I already have a degree so I didn't want to spend time in another four year school for nursing...lllloooong time.

    Now if you have never had any college I'd say maybe try a community college rather than diploma b/c you have to get some prereq's anyway but that is just my opinion! I think overall a nurse is a nurse and the clinical skills are the most important (and communication) at the bedside. If you wish to do further things with your RN title, I'd suggest furthering your education - I am going to be looking into an RN to MSN program b/c I already have a BA so I don't want to spend a ton of time in another school!

    I don't know much about the other programs but I'm sure they will give you lots of information!
  6. Visit  junebug62 profile page
    0
    I was scanning the Va forum, and wanted to add that Lynchburg General/Centra Health has a program. I would do it in a minute but it is full time and I would have to work. Best, Scarlett
  7. Visit  luv2jrts profile page
    3
    I just graduated from Riverside School of Professional Nursing on July 26. The Power of One scholarship is very competitive. You have to have a GPA above 3.5 (I think??) or something pretty high. Two people in my class received the scholarship out of 29 so just be sure to do your research first. I recommend the program highly. If you call the school they can give you a bunch of info. If you would like a specific contact, Nancy Koehler is the registrar and is very nice and extremely helpful. I would do a diploma program again in a heartbeat and I would recommend one (specifically RSPN) to anyone who asked!
    AnnieMae*, cherokeesummer, and nursn4me like this.
  8. Visit  nursn4me profile page
    0
    I am very interested in applying to Riverside Regional Professional Nursing evening program. I was hoping someone would come along to vouch for their program. Glad to hear that they had a satisfied student. Thanks for the info luv2jrts!
  9. Visit  luv2jrts profile page
    1
    Quote from nursn4me
    I am very interested in applying to Riverside Regional Professional Nursing evening program. I was hoping someone would come along to vouch for their program. Glad to hear that they had a satisfied student. Thanks for the info luv2jrts!

    You are very welcome! Feel free to email me if you have any questions or want any additional info: luv2jrts@hughes.net. Good luck!
    nursn4me likes this.
  10. Visit  anonymurse profile page
    0
    While stationed on the Peninsula, I ended up taking family members to local hospitals and visiting friends there. After studying the different workplace cultures very intently (there was a huge difference), I knew where I wanted to work. So I went to school there. It doesn't have to be any harder than that (but then again, I didn't ask what I'd be making until my wife asked me, which was a couple weeks after I'd been at work--to me it's all about finding a home, a place I won't have to quit after the minimum hire term because I looked for the wrong things, or because I trusted what people and advertisements said rather than using my own eyes and ears).
  11. Visit  vamedic4 profile page
    0
    Quote from despitetheserains
    Thanks for your reply!

    (For future reference if anyone is reading this thread, neither SRMC nor Bon Secours offers a tuition abatement program, although both offer scholarships. Bon Secours in particular has a line in their financial aid information that says that they believe the responsibility of paying tuition rests on the student and his or her family.)
    That's too bad...sounds like they just don't need nurses as bad as they may say, huh?

    Anyway, I hope you are successful should you choose to attend RRMC School of nursing. Years ago I was a student there and I can tell you that the diploma program is intense. You'll have your core nursing courses and also your A/P, chem, micro, english, and other basics to do at the same time (unless of course you've already completed them). It's quite the commitment-something I wasn't able to do back then. I lasted only one year of the three.
    Good luck!
    vamedic4
  12. Visit  amberfnp profile page
    0
    Hi there. I also went to RSPN and thought it was pretty good experience. You definately get a lot of clinical experience, more so in the day division program versus evening/weekend. I did the evening/weekend program which worked well for me. I did all the pre-req's before starting. My son was 4 months old when I started and I worked full time. It was intense at times but really do-able.

    There seemed be a lot of financial aid available. There was someone who literally walked you through the process of filling anything and everything you could to get help. There were options for grants if you agreed to work for them. There was also an anonymous scholarship fund. The amount I received increased every semester. They also let you know of local scholarships such as the Newport News Medical Society.

    I graduated in 2001. Since then I have heard they have made some curriculum changes but I don't know if it's for better or worse.

    I know of someone who started the RSPN program and left after one year and is now at Sentara. His Mom says that it is way more technologically geared than RSPN was, as they use palm pilots and downloads in place of some textbooks and seem to do more clinical stuff in the hospital setting earlier on and less community based stuff. I really don't know much about Sentara's curriculum.

    Hope that helps.
  13. Visit  cherokeesummer profile page
    0
    Quote from nursn4me
    I am very interested in applying to Riverside Regional Professional Nursing evening program. I was hoping someone would come along to vouch for their program. Glad to hear that they had a satisfied student. Thanks for the info luv2jrts!

    I recommend them too
  14. Visit  AnnieMae* profile page
    0
    Hello,

    I am currently a student PN. I am very interested in Riverside's evening & weekend RN program. I have a few questions:

    1. What is the homework load like? Is it doable for someone working full-time?

    2. What are the instructors like? Good, bad, okay?

    3. What is the overall experience like?

    4. How hard is it to maintain a high GPA there?

    Any current students out there???

    Any other random or specific commentary about your actual experiences there???


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