WGU (Western Governors) no longer "Accelerated and Affordable"

  1. The Western Governors Pre-Licensure BSN Nursing program is no longer an "accelerated" program. It used to be a 2 year program, it has now been extended to 2 1/2 years. I believe the change was made about 1 1/2 years ago. Its unfortunate they extended it 6 months. Not only does it take longer to get through the program, it also costs about $4500 more. This brings the program cost up to ~$24,000, close to other traditional private BSN programs. I heard the reason for the length extension was to allow students to complete pre-reqs during the first few months and to extend the pediatric and obstetrics classes/labs/clinicals. Although this is still a good program, the extension was unnecessary. They could have taken one week away from other classes and added it to peds and ob.

    Although WGU can't really be considered Accelerated and Affordable anymore at least it is still Accredited.
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    About Hexum944

    Joined: Nov '10; Posts: 45; Likes: 13


  3. by   klone
    Its RN-BSN program is still accelerated and affordable.
  4. by   WGU-Director
    Hi nursing colleagues,
    I would like to respond to clarify the comments posted about the WGU prelicensure nursing program in the interest of accuracy and full transparency. WGU's prelicensure program is designed as an alternative for working adults who need to continue to work FT. It is not (and never has been represented as) an accelerated program as those intensive programs require more than FT commitment to school making them more difficult for working adults to manage and generally are 12-18 months in length. Accelerated programs also require different approvals through Boards of Nursing.

    The WGU prelicensure nursing program is still 2 terms however all students are required to complete a full six-month pre nursing term prior to being accepted into the nursing program. This term was formerly 3-months and has been extended by 3 months to a full six-month term based on student feedback and heavy course loads. The total cost of the 2-year nursing program is $17,550 and the prior term or pre-nursing term costs an additional $3,750 bringing the entire program cost to $21,300. This is still a highly affordable degree as compared with State University Nursing program tuitions which generally exceed $10,000 per year.

    Last month, the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) reported that more than 55,000 qualified nursing students are being turned away due to lack of capacity in nursing schools. Our program isn't for everyone but it does offer an option for working adults, a group that often doesn't have many options to obtain a BSN in nursing.
  5. by   Theone40
    I love WGU. I work full-time and there would be no way for me to support my family and do a bachelors program at the same time. WGU has an amazing program that like the previous post says is for working adults, and quite inexpensive at under 30,000. WGU is extremely affordable compared to the alternatives in my area. It is actually less then what I paid to become an LVN. In los Angles private schools start out at 60,000 plus for just an ADN, and ya it is a little shorter but I would rather save 40-60,000 and do 6 more months of school (West Coast University in Los Angeles starts at 130,000.00 for a BSN). I don’t get why everyone is in such a rush, does 6 months really make that much of a difference?
    I am in the process of submitting my application for upcoming cohort and the experience has been nothing but amazing. I have recommended WGU to every one of my friends and coworkers. Two coworkers have also registered with WGU and they also are very happy with WGU.
    My advisor is also amazing she has been extremely supportive and informative. Even when I have called and she was not available another advisor has been able to answer and help out with any question I have.
  6. by   Hexum944
    WGU's motto or slogan is:

    "Online. Accelerated. Affordable. Accredited."

    This is a university slogan, not one that is only being used by a few different programs. This same slogan is also found on the cover of the "Program Guide Book" to the "Bachelor of Science, Nursing (Prelicensure) BSPRN" book. Certainly it is meant to apply to the prelicensure program and to attract students.

    Adding $3,750 essentially raised the price of tuition approximately 20% overnight. This price hike in addition to the extended program completion time only encourages students to look elsewhere. In the extra 6-18 months this program takes over traditional accelerated programs, nurses could attended and graduated other programs and could have made $30,000-$90,000.

    WGU is a great school and the nursing prelicensure program is a great program. I still highly recommend it. It is just very unfortunate the school has taken this longer and more expensive route. I want to see WGU and this program thrive, and I don't see that happening with these changes. I hope I'm wrong.
  7. by   Theone40
    I believe it is beneficial for pre-licensures student’s to have an extra 6 months. You have to remember that pre-licensure means you are staring with no experience. The added 6 months help to teach basics such as taking correct blood pressure. Someone with no medical background would have no idea how to do this and how to tell if a patient is arrhythmic or has another other issues.
    Here is another example of accelerated nursing, I work with a home health agency, we had an RN go out and open a case, I was assigned as the follow up LVN. I received report from the RN stating that the patient has a pacemaker. I schedule an appointment with the patient, go do my assessment and find that the patient has a port-a-cath not a pacemaker. I looked through his discharge paperwork nothing about a pacemaker. Then i called the MD just to make sure, and guess what no pacemaker. This RN went to a WCU cranked out in 2 years.
    Nursing has become a sport to see who can finish first; it is a business especially in California. Private schools like WCU have over saturated the market with new grad RN’s. Most private school salesman like WCU convinces most new students to register by telling them that if they finish early they will make more money. Two of my friends fell for that line, they finished their BSN with WCU. Each paid around 95,000 they have been looking for hospital jobs for about 9 months. They have very little or no experience, just clinical experience, and cannot get hired. Two other RN’s that I work with at the home health agency, graduated from PCC with an ADN, they also cannot get find a job. They have been able to differ or change terms of their Sallie Mae loan but private loans they have to start paying. Yes there is a demand for nurses in California but no one says a demand for experienced nurse’s not new grads. That is why experienced nurses from other states and countries are shipped in.
    I personally believe accelerated BSN schools should be no less than 3 years, especially if you are coming in with no medical background. The more education one receives the better.
    I see from previous post you are in the WGU pre-licensure program, how are you liking the program? I will hopefully start this march.
    If you know of another private school with a BSN program that is shorter or more important less expensive then WGU I would love the info, I’m all for saving money...
    Last edit by Theone40 on Jan 10, '13
  8. by   Hexum944
    Yes, I am in the prelicensure program and overall I really like it. There are several flaws, as with all programs, but its a fairly new program and hopefully they will work the kinks out. They do not ask students for their opinion on important topics such as program improvement though. I really think they should regularly contact us to see what we feel could be improved upon. I highly recommend the program to everyone.

    Extending the program will have no effect on students practicing and perfecting taking blood pressure and other vital signs. Those skills are not included in the extension. We learned those over two days and practice them in future labs and all clinical intensives. If you were hoping those extra six months will give students more practice to those and other skills, I am sad to inform you that it will not.

    Your story about the nurse giving incorrect information is unfortunate. Hopefully the nurse was accidently referring to another patient, but who knows. Nurses, doctors, physical therapists, etc make mistakes every day.

    West Coast University should be avoided at all costs by prospective nursing students. They are the most expensive program I am aware of, and employers do not want to hire their graduates. You can get bad grades in college and still get accepted there if you are willing to pay outrageous tuition prices. Nursing demands more outgoing, dedicated, and bright people. I know there are some brilliant people that attend WCU, but when you look at their NCLEX pass rates, retention, and class profile statistics, you will see what I am referring to.

    I don't know of any programs that are less expensive than WGU, except for hundreds of community college programs. But those are only ADN programs. Mt. St. Marys is more expensive but is much more prestigious and turns out very prepared nurses and get hired immediately out of school. That program is only a year long. Then they start making money sooner and it ends up costing less than attending WGU or a community college. Concordia is 18 months, a full year shorter than WGU, and is not much more expensive. And then the nurses can work for a a full year before WGU grads can, and make $65,000 a year, which also ends up costing less than WGU.
  9. by   Theone40
    I'm curious what is the curriculum/content for the 6 month extension ?
  10. by   RN*mommy
    I'm not in the prelicensure program, however I'm in the RN-MSN track and all I wanted to add is that I've been contacted at least once, maybe twice in the almost 6 months I've been in the program with surveys asking me how I feel the program is and if I can offer any suggestions for improvement. I've found that WGU has an excellent "open door policy" for a school that exists outside of my home. My student mentor is my first line when I have any problems or concerns. In fact she recently went above the call of duty in helping me with a situation and I emailed her supervisor thanking her for hiring such stellar employees.

    As I said before I'm not a novice nurse, but I do have friends who have been on waiting lists forever to get into nursing school and if WGU is assisting in getting more nurses into the field, then I'm thinking it's well worth the price for anyone who doesn't want to be on a waiting list for 2+ years. If this option had existed in my state when I was in nursing school, I would have definitely considered it.

    I'm glad you like the program and in the end I really hope you feel that you got what you paid for. Nursing is one of the most rewarding careers, and this is a second career for me. I'm sure the extra clinical and class time will benefit you in the long run. Your future co-workers too when you have an extra six months of experience under your belt!

    Best of luck to you!
  11. by   alotusforyou
    2 1/2 years for a BSN? I'm not trying to make light of your frustration at all, but that still seems like a good deal to me. I wish I could take it in Arkansas. Locally, I have the option to get an ADN in 2 1/2 years or a BSN in 4 years.
  12. by   EVLGNUS
    i'm a current prelicensure student and 6 months additional is ok for my entire cohort, it's still affordable compared to other BSN schools that will cost $40-70K. Schools will always change based on what the earlier students' progresses are. The prelicensure being 2 yrs or 2 1/2 yrs is really intense. Me and my cohort mates share episodes of crying sometimes but we strive to make it work. :-)
  13. by   heyitsmary
    Hi everyone!

    I just finished my interview for the ABSN (fall 13) for MSMC. My dilemma is that I also got into WGU's nursing program.

    MSMC would cost me 60K and WGU 23K.

    MSMC is a year long and WGU is 2.5 years long.

    I really don't know what program I should attend.

    I know MSMC nurses are very reputable and get hired right after they graduate. What about WGU graduates?

    Any thoughts?
  14. by   Hexum944
    Quote from heyitsmary
    Hi everyone!

    I just finished my interview for the ABSN (fall 13) for MSMC. My dilemma is that I also got into WGU's nursing program.

    MSMC would cost me 60K and WGU 23K.

    MSMC is a year long and WGU is 2.5 years long.

    I really don't know what program I should attend.

    I know MSMC nurses are very reputable and get hired right after they graduate. What about WGU graduates?

    Any thoughts?
    Congrats on getting in to both schools! If I were in your situation I would look at two main things:
    1. Can I handle an entire nursing program crammed into 1 year?
    2. Is it worth paying more for MSMC since I will graduate and make money sooner than WGU?

    Regarding 1: I know a nurse who did the ABSN program at MSMC and she said it was very difficult. Cramming all the information in one year created a year of hardcore constant homework. But she was able to graduate on time.

    Regarding 2: In one way, MSMC would cost less than WGU. If you go to MSMC and graduate in one year, you will have 1.5 years to work before you would have graduated WGU. Therefore, if a standard nurse starts at $60,000 a year, you would make $90,000 in that 1.5 years. Therefore MSMC could theoretically save you money. However, due to the high cost of MSMC, you will probably have to take out student loans and the interest will have a marginal decrease on the savings.

    If you live near MSMC and think you can handle the one year program, I would say do that. MSMC makes great nurses and has the best reputation around. If you chose MSMC make sure you live near the campus, sitting in hours of traffic before and after school for an entire year can break you. If you are unsure if you can handle the MSMC workload, don't want to pay student loans for 10-20 years, and want a more relaxed school environment (and you can work while attending WGU), then I would chose WGU. You just have to decide which of the two fits you best. WGU nurses get hired very easily, I personally know of some at Cedars Sinai and Kaiser.