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After prereq downtime.


I am going to be finishing my prereq's in the fall (A&P2 and Statistics), and fully expect to get into nursing school. The issue I have is that the current community college I am going to only starts nursing classes in the Fall. There are other schools I think I could get into that start in the Spring but they are much more expensive. There is only one other school I may go to (hour commute which will suck) that is a community college and starts in the Spring. I have no guarantee of getting into that one, but will try.

I have no wish to have any student loans after college. I can afford to pay as I go with community college. While the more expensive schools may start immediatly I can not justify dropping 20k just so I can start 8 months sooner.

I am going for my associates and was thinking that if it is possible to take some classes that will move me along closer to my BSN while I wait for Nursing school to start. I also thought that a second degree may help me (maybe healthcare office admin), or to learn Spanish or sign language to make myself more marketable. I thought about taking the classes to become a CNA so that I would have that experience under my belt.

My ultimate goal is to become an RN, and than have my employer pay for the classes for me to get my BSN. Out of the things I listed what do you think would be the most beneficial for me to do? (I can do more than one, just don't want to waste my time/money on something that will not benefit me later).

My community college does not require any chemistry to get my associates so I have not taken any (although the classes are available). They also have a nutrition class that may not be a bad idea to take (once I go for my BSN I considered a minor in Nutrition).

Also, are there any certifications or anything of that nature I could do to be productive?

Oh... and my first post HELLO and Thank you!

During your wait getting CNA certification and working in this field would probably be most beneficial. You would get some great hands-on experience and feel better prepared in your nursing classes.

Wish you the best on your journey!

If you are planning on continuing on for your BSN it would make the most sense to start completing any prerequisite classes you would need for a BSN program such as chemistry. Check into the schools that you would be interested in doing your BSN bridge at to see what their requirements for their bridge program are and which classes you may not have taken yet.

The CNA class would be good if you wanted to be working as a CNA before and when you are in your nursing program. It will start helping you learning time management, getting comfortable with some of the skills that you will be learning in fundamentals and get you comfortable talking with patients. Do keep in mind that you can test for your CNA certification after your first semester of nursing school. So depending on if you want to seek out a job as a CNA before your program or not may make a difference if this is something worth pursuing now or waiting.

Learning another language such as Spanish and it being beneficial in my opinion really depends on the demographics of your area. If you live in an area that has a large Spanish speaking population this could be helpful (or you are thinking of moving or working in such an area).

Edited by Leonardsmom,LPN
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If you're not already working, some hospitals offer tuition reimbursement and nursing scholarships for classes going towards the nursing program. Some hospital networks allow you to qualify just for being part time. Getting basic patient care experience may help familiarize yourself and possibly aid in networking for job opportunities outside of your clinicals. Since you are able to be flexible, taking general courses towards your BSN is a good way to past time. I totally agree with you about going the affordable option. Even if you may inquire some debt it's better that u took care of your pre courses on your own. I took a CNA class to understand the basics. However, it wasn't mandatory to have the certification to work in the hospital I work at as a tech because they train you anyway. The benefit of taking the CNA class was that my instructor scheduled recruiters to speak with us and after the course was finished, she forward a list of students to a particular hospital where I now work with. So if you do plan to take a CNA course, I encourage you to ask them about job placement opportunities available to their students after they finish. I didn't take the class at my local CC for that reason.

In my personal opinion, I think you should wait to start in the Fall at the school that you originally wanted to go to. You've got the right idea: knock some classes out of the way for your future BSN. Talk to an advisor and see which courses you may be allowed to take while not yet in the program. You could also take some classes that you may not need necessarily, but that may help you for future employment--perhaps a Spanish for Health Professionals class, since Spanish is very prevalent in certain parts of the country. It would also serve you well to become a CNA, as others have said. Use the time to be productive!


Specializes in Gastroenterology, PACU.

I'm with everyone else who says to start working on BSN pre-reqs. I also think it might be beneficial to get certifications out of the way that you will need in the future. This includes BLS and ACLS through the AHA. ACLS might be a toughie without pharmacology and EKG knowledge, but it will help in nursing school, and it will look impressive to future employers and to schools which you're applying. There are some great strip books online. You definitely need to know basic rhythms before the class, or there's a 95% chance you're going to fail your megacode and be lost in the class as a whole.

Also, start learning pharm in general. Get some top 300 flash cards and start studying.

Smart girl! That is exactly how I did it, and am so glad I am debt free!! Look at the schools you will do your RN-BSN bridge with and take the prereqs at CC during your downtime. While everyone else is watching Netflix, you will be speeding up your education AND saving money. Good for you for doing this without tons of loans :-)

Well, I talked to my advisor and he said that while there are classes that could help as far as doing well in certain classes, there were no classes that I could now that would get rid of prereqs in the future. I had hoped that since that most of the BSN work seems to be paperwork I could take some Microsoft class or some such thing to get it out of the way now, but apparently that is not the case. He also said that after my first semester of Nursing school I would have what it takes to be a CNA, so that seems like a waste of time/money. The certifications are even worse, it would actually harm me to take them now because I need a certain amount of 'contact points' and those are most easily gotten through getting certs, and if you already have them they don't count. He could come up with nothing as far as a second degree goes to help with nursing... so I can not think of anything productive to do towards my degree in those months of downtime. The only real thing that could help would be to learn Spanish.

I could just work like crazy and hoard money like a miser. Just kind of depressing putting everything on hold for 8 months.

I'm not too sure that I'm understanding what your advisor said about certification in regards to getting your BLS. It's usually valid for two years through the AHA. Does your school not accept a BLS certification from an outside source?

Having a CNA is optional depending on the school it can aid in helping you find a job performing basic patient care while you wait. Working in healthcare before you start can help you get use to the basics but may or may not be necessary depending on the case.

As as for taking classes towards a BSN it depends on the BSN program you want to attend and what they require. Good thing is you have tons of options. You can relax until you start or pick up something to do while you wait. Don't feel down. You've been accepted already so you already won half the battle by have a plan in place 8mo from now. Best of luck!

The way it was explained to me is that part of the course requires "Contact points" which you can gain through various activities. They are a large part of the class, and must be done. Completing certifications gains you points, but if you already have those certs you can't use what you have coming in to count, and you can't retake a cert for the points. Furthermore it looks like I am going to have to pay for the cert again once I get to that point in nursing school so I would be paying twice and also not getting credit for it and would have to find something else to do for those 'contact points'.

Needless to say, that is not something I want to do.

Just working and saving seems to be my only real option after I get in. I may learn Spanish along the way, I can see that being useful. I have heard that Houston is one of the best cities for starting nurses and have considered moving there and it would benefit me knowing Spanish.