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Accredited vs. Non-accredited RN programs

Posted

Specializes in Orthopedics. Has 14 years experience.

Hi, I'm new to the forum and a soon-to-be (I hope) RN student. I have a BS in Kinesiology and after college ended up working customer service in the outdoor industry. After 4 years of asking myself how I ended up in that field, what I wanted to do, and becoming a bitter person ... I quit. I started taking nursing school pre-reqs (as my A&P was outdated and I never took microbio) and my plan was to apply to an accelerated program. In the meantime, I took a job as a CNA/Caregiver at an assisted living facility for Alzheimer's and love it! (That also helped to confirm I made the right decision of quitting my old job and moving to health care).

Well, the school I was REALLY interested in seems to be having issues (funding, etc) so they're not sure if they will be offering it anymore. I found another new school but they are not accredited as a baccalaureate program (which can take up to 4 years I'm told by the Commission of Higher Ed). So, instead of a BSN, it's an "upper division RN program", with all the same classes and is 20 months long. The nice part is I've been accepted and it's a for sure go to start in April. The bad part (too me) is I won't finish up with a BSN. For $28,000 (it's a private school) that part kinda bugs me. But as of right now, I don't have too many more options, as the next sure program I can get into starts Summer '06. I just don't want to wait that long, and I'm very excited about becoming a nurse!

I'd like to have the option of continuing my studies (going for an NP or other nursing-related master's), but don't those programs require a BSN, not just a BS? I read some other postings that stated it depends on the school. What if you have the right coursework? Does that count for anything? I'm still crossing my fingers that the other accelerated program will continue, but they won't know for a few more months.

If anyone has any experience with non-accredited baccalaureate programs, let me know. What if it becomes accredited after you received your diploma? Would another school accept that as coming from an "accredited" school then? Is their much of a pay/salary difference between BS vs BSN? Again, I'm sure it "depends". J Other advice or insight would be appreciated as well!! Thanks!

akcarmean, LPN

Specializes in Home Health Care,LTC.

While you are waiting most nursing programs have other classing tied into the semester that are not considered pre-req but are part of the program that can be taken without being in the nursing program. Are their any of those you can take while waiting. Your experience of being a CNA before you start the program wil be of great assastance (sp??). Good luck wi th your decision and keep up posted.

Angie

Hellllllo Nurse, BSN, RN

Has 15 years experience.

Just make sure that whatever program you choose, you will qualify to write the NCLEX-RN exam once you graduate. If not, you won't be able to obtain a nursing license and won't be a nurse.

This is the most important thing to consider when choosing a nursing school/degree/program.

adventuregirl, MSN, NP

Specializes in Orthopedics. Has 14 years experience.

Just make sure that whatever program you choose, you will qualify to write the NCLEX-RN exam once you graduate. If not, you won't be able to obtain a nursing license and won't be a nurse.

This is the most important thing to consider when choosing a nursing school/degree/program.

Thanks for the advice and input. I've spoken with the Board of Nursing (to confirm) and yes, I'll be able to sit for the NCLEX-RN once I'm done with the program. I've also learned that there are some MSN programs out there that don't require a BSN, just an RN or other BS. So, though it may be slimmer pickings if the school does not get it's accreditation before I return for grad school, it's still a possibilty. This private school is still Plan B if Plan A (an accelerated BSN program) does not work out. It's still a better option than Plan C ... waiting another year + while working for low pay as a CNA. Luckily, I do like my job and I'm happy I made the transition.

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