Why is finding a nursing school so hard?

  1. It is to the point where I am stressing myself out. I begin researching schools about two months ago, and if there's not some huge waiting list, there's a high list of applicants and only a small group that are accepted, oh and then there's $126,000 for West Coast University. I mean dude c'mon now.

    Here's my deal I am 28 years old, male, been unemployed for a year and a half and have decided to pursue a career in nursing. I worked as a security guard for kaiser for 6 months when I was 19 and loved the fast pace hospital setting. With that said I have never been to college up until Jan. of this year when I attended University of Phoenix for a class. I actually loved it, but had doubts in my head about being happy as a visual designer in 10 years. So, I decided to stop going to Phoenix and start taking pre-reqs at the local JC here in Los Angeles while I research nursing school options.

    Well since I begin my research I've come across the following schools:

    1. Everest College
    2. West Coast Univ.
    3. Mount Saint Marys
    4. National Univ.
    5. American Univ. of Health Sciences
    6. L.A Allied Health

    Now the problem I am facing is number one I do not have any college credits besides the one class I took at UOPX(Gen 200 class) and number two because I was a new student at the JC I got a sucky registeration date and missed out on all the pre-reqs that I need this summer. I ended up taking a water treatment class, along with a public works class, just to get my grants, and loans. So here I am stuck, wanting to start pre-nursing school as early as Winter session(Jan/Feb 2010) but don't know what school to go to due to cost, bad reputation, low NCLEX passing rates, accredidations, etc..

    What should my scatter brain self do? What would you do? I mean the one thing that stays in my mind is that no matter what I can in debt myself $126k and try to go to WCU - which might not work because I have bad credit.
    Grrrr I am so stressed! Oh, and my career goals are to go on and get my Masters, and do some advance practice( FNP,PA maybe) anyone have any input?
  2. Visit jwannab profile page

    About jwannab

    Joined: Apr '09; Posts: 48; Likes: 7
    from US

    11 Comments

  3. by   funkyooster
    well, first of all, i'll start with GOOD LUCK.

    when i started my classes at a CC in LA district, no one, i mean absolutely NO student was willing to help me out due to high competition in the field of nursing. even the counselor i saw back then didn't help me out that much. well guess what, she isn't even around anymore. go figure...given the competence at her job...

    so here it goes.

    WHATEVER YOU DO, DO NOT REPEAT MORE THAN ONCE in Anatomy, Physiology or Microbiology (some schools take Chemistry into consideration as well). *remember this*

    now, i understand the frustration of not being able to register in the pre-reqs, especially Anatomy and Physiology, but go the first (many) days and stick around. with the budget cuts in LADCCs, a lot of classes were dismissed, but the teachers understand the situation as well and most of the time, are pretty generous about giving out add slips.

    if possible, try to start off with Anatomy, Chem, Math and English during Fall '09. (make sure your placement tests are over with!)
    then second semester, try for Physiology, General Psychology, American Gov't, Language, Sociology
    third semester Microbiology, Life Span Psychology, American History, Nutrition, Speech
    fourth, whatever you've got left.

    it's going to take you (minimum) 4 semesters to complete the pre-reqs. let me remind you, whatever you do, DO NOT REPEAT science classes. i'm cursing myself because i've got 2 repeats and bottom line, i can't apply to any LADCCs.

    also remember not to take more than 6 semesters with the pre-reqs since a lot of schools have the 5 years recency policy for science classes. you want to give yourself some grace period during the time you apply and (possibly) reapply if rejected or wait listed.

    another route is to simply apply into a 4 years college/university as undergrad student and try for their BSN program eventually. you still have to complete the pre-reqs, of course, and there's no guarantee in into their nursing program, but i'm sure the chances are higher when applied within the same institution.

    other than that, if money isn't a huge factor as compared to time (think 4 years!), West Coast is the way to go.

    i hope i was of some help.

    again, good luck!
  4. by   touchhealth
    Also, see a counselor at your CC and see what is required for priority registration status...you might be able to establish it enough to get you into classes in a subsequent semester.

    Look closely into whether you want to become a NP or PA...they have different pre-requistie requirements, and many PA schools are done at the bachelor's level, not the master's. Since many PA schools require a certain amount of direct pt care (either as an EMT, RN, etc.) it would be best for you to do an associates RN degree at CC, and then continue for the PA.

    DO NOT pay over 100 grand for nursing school. NOT worth it. If you are willing to coast a bit, wait for the cheaper schools. The degree is the same, and the pay rate is the same for a 1st year nurse whether you have an associates or bachelor's degree. Lastly, you might look into getting a certification as a CNA (certified nursing assistant) which could land you some direct pt. work while you're trying to get into the field. These courses run about 8 weeks (I'm about to start one in a few weeks)...normally you work either in home health or in LTC facilities, but sometimes you can get a job at the hospital.

    ...oh and volunteering is a great way to get an IN at a hospital for future employment..

    All the best to you in your pursuits, I know it's quite complicated but if you are dedicated to the process you'll get there!!
  5. by   WittleOnesRN
    I got in on the first try at Fresno City College. They do a lottery system. I never even had to go to the school till I got accepted.

    Santa Cruz's Cabrillo college has a waiting list. You could get on that as a back up.

    When I was looking for a school I used the BRN to help me. http://www.rn.ca.gov/schools/index.shtml
  6. by   WittleOnesRN
    Oh another thing!!! You can get a job in a hospital. Many hospital have PARADIGM programs and they actually help you get into a RN Program through the hospital. It is a special program the hospital cooridinates through the college. It is pretty cool because they really want to keep when you become a RN.

    Here is the link to my school http://www.fresnocitycollege.edu/index.aspx?page=681
  7. by   Lenee925
    Quote from LiLOncRN
    Oh another thing!!! You can get a job in a hospital. Many hospital have PARADIGM programs and they actually help you get into a RN Program through the hospital. It is a special program the hospital cooridinates through the college. It is pretty cool because they really want to keep when you become a RN.

    Here is the link to my school http://www.fresnocitycollege.edu/index.aspx?page=681
    LiLOncRN, you are just to cool for school.
  8. by   student200977
    My sister just started at American University of Health Sciences, and she likes it so far. Its a private school too, but it costs a lot less than West Coast University. It costs about $65,000 year. Requirements are that you already have your pre-reqs completed else where, and the good thing is they accept twice a year. :imbar
  9. by   jwannab
    Thanks for all the info guys. I am going to just focus on the prereqs right now, and go to a few info sessions. I was able to get a sociology class because some people dropped for the summer so that's cool. After summer I will focus more on what school I am going to go to. I also figured that I will take a CNA program over the summer so that I can begin working in the industry, and maybe work on an agreement for a hospital to pay a portion of my tution.

    As I stated before thanks again guys and gals.
  10. by   Seyma
    What I did was take all my general education courses my first 3 semesters. By the time I started my nursing prereqs I had enough credits to give me priority registration in those hard to get classes. It's important to finish up all your GEs before you start the nursing program because the courses in the program itself are going to consume so much of your time that you wont have any left for your GE courses at least if you're going into a BSN program. I'm starting a BSN program this fall and the first semester is 14 units and I'm so happy I don't have to add any GE classes onto that.

    Another thing... don't automatically rule yourself out for acceptance into a 2 year college or a 4 year university. You're starting out with a blank slate which is good. Cal States are around $10,000 total for tuition. If you work hard and do well you won't have to fork out over $100,000. So don't be discouraged just yet...i know it's hard not too.
  11. by   Seyma
    Quote from funkyooster


    another route is to simply apply into a 4 years college/university as undergrad student and try for their BSN program eventually. you still have to complete the pre-reqs, of course, and there's no guarantee in into their nursing program, but i'm sure the chances are higher when applied within the same institution.
    :
    As far as I know, there is no favoritism for students applying into the nursing program within the institution they are currently enrolled in. Everyone is judged the same...but I could be mistaken. I'm basing this statement on the southern california nursing programs that I researched (cypress college, csulb, csuf, long beach city college, a few others)
    Last edit by Seyma on Jun 7, '09 : Reason: typo
  12. by   Faeriewand
    Well you did ask what would we do so I will tell you and I think it is a good way to go. I went to a publicly funded LVN school. Cost $2,500 which included all the books and the uniform. It is a great way to go because you go to school right away and you don't need ANY COLLEGE. Then when you are working as an LVN you can take college classes to get to the RN level.

    Another great option is to join the military. They can send you to school for the LVN. Some will do RN. Or you might want to train as a medic which would be really cool. You serve your country and it doesn't matter if you are scatter brained because you learn how to do what it is they want you to do. They send you to school and pay you too.

    I think these options are something you should think about. If you want to get your feet wet take an EMT course and work as one. The pay is way better than a CNA.

    Good luck and keep us posted.
  13. by   cur10u5el15sa
    "let me remind you, whatever you do, DO NOT REPEAT science classes. i'm cursing myself because i've got 2 repeats and bottom line, i can't apply to any LADCCs."

    Hi what is LADCC I dropped two of my science classes as well

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