Are Accelerated programs worth the money!

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by Firenurse81 Firenurse81 (New) New

I have been thinking of pursuing a nursing career for a long time, and am now at the crossroads for picking a program. I have been an EMT for 6 years and a paramedic for 1 and my ultimate goal is to be a flight nurse. I have finished all of my perquisite for nursing school and have applied to many 2-year programs, but most are with a waiting list 2 years +. Since I have a BS degree, and ems experience another option I have been thinking about is a accelerated BSN program, but they are so expensive (40,000+)! Also, I believe that my grades will not be competitive enough for traditional BSN programs (around 3.3 gpa) So, my question is, is 2nd degree accelerated programs worth the money or should I wait it out for a program?

sunray12

sunray12

637 Posts

Check out your state u's. Some of them may have accelerated or 2nd degree BSN programs and you'd get to save some money by paying in state tuition rates. The admissions rate varies from school to school but it doesn't really vary between accelerated post-Bachelor's BSN and regular paced BSN so if you're eligible for one you're eligible for another. Also the definition of "accelerated" depends on the school. e.g. In my state one state u has a 12 month accelerated BSN, but another state U has an "accelerated" BSN which is actually 2 years. Also accelerated means that you are able to pass each module on time. So accelerated might not end up being accelerated if you don't make the grade in a class or clinical and end up having to repeat a semester. Just some things to keep in mind. Good luck with your search.

Firenurse81

Firenurse81

9 Posts

thanks, very helpful post...i will have to look into ca BSN program requirement more closely than, thanks.

ZenStudent

ZenStudent

39 Posts

I am in a similar situation! I have decided to turn down the ABSN program I got into because I can't take out a loan for 60K at this point. I have been warned by many that you should do your best to remain debt free. I think it is one of these situations where there is no perfect option and each choice has its ups and downs. I am sticking with a two year ASN program at a CC which is not my top choice since I have a BA, but money is always an issue. Of course some have told me to just pay the money and get my BSN but I know that for me, I am not comfortable being in debt like that. Some people have no problem just buckling down, working overtime and paying it off--I am not like that! So whatever makes sense for you will be best. Good luck!

Firenurse81

Firenurse81

9 Posts

yep...it sounds like you have the same mind set as me...that is a substantial amount of cash no matter how you look at it...considering the economy as well and hiring freezes, I think I am leaning towards the ASN programs...i can always take online class and get that BSN down the road I guess...

babysaverRN

babysaverRN

Specializes in Neonatal ICU-Peds Flight Nurse. Has 9 years experience. 33 Posts

hello firenurse81...i def think its an individual choice. i'm just about to finish up an accelerated program and to me it is well worth the money. i just really wanted to start working and start making decent money ASAP, so i went with the accelerated option. plus, i figured i'd save money only having to take out a loan for living expenses (rent, food, etc.) for one year versus two, had i chosen to do a 2 year program. there are also scholarships and other sources of aid out there that you might be eligible for. i received a scholarship that covered half of my school's tuition, which was a huge break for me. you could always apply to some accelerated programs and see what type of financial aid/scholarships they offer you and then make a decision. and btw..a 3.3 is by no means a low GPA, your experience as a EMT/paramedic will get you very far on your nursing school apps!! either way, good luck and do what's right for you!

Firenurse81

Firenurse81

9 Posts

that's encouraging ...you are right, it cant hurt to apply, and see what type of tuition relief is out there... sounds like student life is almost over for u congrats!

apocatastasis

apocatastasis

Specializes in Psychiatry, ICU, ER. Has 4 years experience. 207 Posts

I'm almost 12 months into the Alternate-Entry MSN program at UT-Austin... 4 months to go in this awful pre-NCLEX marathon!

I'm of two minds about it and can only speak for my experience; if you asked another person in my program or someone at a different school, you might hear an entirely different story.

If I had to start all over again, I'd still do the accelerated route over an ADN... but I'm 24 and think it depends on where you are in life. The younger people in my program are coping better with the stress/workload but it's harder on our bank accounts. The older students seem to have the opposite problem.

Make no mistake, no matter what you do, it'll be hard. As for me, I graduated with honors from a tier-1 Southern university in 2007. Looking back on it, I was totally, shockingly unprepared for how much stress this AEMSN program would be. Even our instructors with PhDs and MSNs are always like, I can't believe you'd do this to yourselves.

That's not to say a regular BSN or ADN program isn't difficult, but I have friends doing both, and I think the AEMSN stress is on an entirely different level. Can you handle it? The bar is set very high and the learning curve is extremely steep. You start out knowing nothing and next thing you know, 10 months have passed, you're physically and mentally exhausted from non-stop stress, anger, and humiliation (often at the hands of your instructors, who went through the program themselves). You're worried about getting kicked out of school due to incompetence like some of your classmates, and, by the way, the NCLEX is coming! :uhoh3:

There are benefits to the MSN program. You don't have to deal as much with the crap nursing courses, because there's not as much time for fluff. Those that make it through our program are, on the whole, very successful in nursing and rise quickly to prestigious and exciting places. We have a unique, diverse, mature, and interesting set of students, many of whom have had successful careers. It's good to be in that kind of supportive, if trench-like, environment.

Expenses are definitely of concern. I'm from Louisiana and paying out of state tuition at UT. $32,000 out of pocket for tuition, first year alone (~$15,000 for in-state)... and thousands more for books, background checks, NCLEX, uniforms, equipment. Because of the fast-paced nature of the program, it's expense after expense after expense; most of us feel like we're near poverty as a result.

It's a hard decision to make, but I think that in the end, it'll pay off either way. Best of luck to you, feel free to PM me if you have any specific questions! :smokin:

Firenurse81

Firenurse81

9 Posts

lots to digest in that post...thanks for the incite

Jo Dirt

Jo Dirt

Has 9 years experience. 3,270 Posts

Some people will try to tell you there is no price tag on education but I say there is. Why would you spend 40k on something you can do a lot cheaper? 3.3 is just fine for a GPA. Mine is between 3.1 and 3.2 and I'm about to graduate from a BSN program.

Jo Dirt

Jo Dirt

Has 9 years experience. 3,270 Posts

There are benefits to the MSN program. You don't have to deal as much with the crap nursing courses, because there's not as much time for fluff. Those that make it through our program are, on the whole, very successful in nursing and rise quickly to prestigious and exciting places. We have a unique, diverse, mature, and interesting set of students, many of whom have had successful careers. It's good to be in that kind of supportive, if trench-like, environment.

I'll just say that even with my fluff classes it will be a heck of a lot cheaper (BSN and MSN together) than cutting to the chase with an overpriced "accelerated" degree, and in the long run the time I would have saved in an accelerated program won't amount to a lot.

babysaverRN

babysaverRN

Specializes in Neonatal ICU-Peds Flight Nurse. Has 9 years experience. 33 Posts

I'll just say that even with my fluff classes it will be a heck of a lot cheaper (BSN and MSN together) than cutting to the chase with an overpriced "accelerated" degree, and in the long run the time I would have saved in an accelerated program won't amount to a lot.

just an fyi...not all accelerated programs are 40k+, it all depends on the school. my school offers an accelerated and traditional BSN program, and the cost is exactly the same. but doing the accel route you save 1 year of living expenses and make money sooner than the traditional route. there are state schools that offer accel programs that are much cheaper than 40k, so "accelerated" doesn't mean it's overpriced, it's all dependent on the school. if you want to go to a top-tier university, then of course you're going to pay the price, whether you're in an accelerated or traditional program.

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