Denver School of Nursing--BSN experience - page 7

Hi there, I'm starting this thread for people interested in the Denver School of Nursing. I'm starting the BSN program in Oct 2006, and I'm going to try and post regularly to give new/prospective... Read More

  1. by   kaiteelinn
    Hey everyone! I thought I would post to this thread because I have seen a lot of misinformation about DSN. I am currently a student at DSN and am about to complete my third quarter in the full BSN program, that means i am taking my didactic classes as well as my nursing courses. My nursing classes do not start until OCtober 2011.

    I have to say a few things about our accreditation. Currently we are accredited with the career College commission. This accreditation allows us to get financial aid and transfer credits to to the university of phoenix. About two weeks ago we had a visit from the Team from the Higher Learning Commission - National Commission on Accreditation and they told us all that they recommended DSN for approval of the accreditation. This still needs to be finalized and may take up to 6 months, ( i am quoting our asst. dean) and we have our final walk through from the NLN people for our specialized accreditation. With the Team from the Higher Learning Commission - National Commission on Accreditation accreditation, we will have a regional certificate that will allow all of us to transfer our credits to any school. I also asked the asst. dean if we would be grandfathered into the accreditation if, god forbid, we weren't approved until after I graduate. She told me yes because I am attending the school while it is in candidacy status.

    Also, I have noticed quite a few people putting their noses up to DSN, and i have to say, that DSN is an amazing school. the staff is amazing and really care about how well you do. They truly want you to succeed and our labs are amazing! We even opened a separate annex building with an OB lab and new computer lab. Plus the class size is manageable and allows you to get the one on one help you need.

    All i can say is wonderful things about DSN. My only complaint is that it takes them until the very last minute to get out our schedules and sometimes the line to the copier is long. DSN is amazing and if you're looking for a school that will help you succeed, it is it!

  2. by   Pat Lu
    DSON does NOT have NLNAC Candidate Status for the basic RN or BSN nursing programs that you are looking for, never have, and probably never will in the near future. If they tell you that at the office, they are totally misleading you. They've been lying to students for years, and with a high price tag to boot. They have a candidate status for an educator program (not the program you are looking for). If and when they do get that, it takes years before they MIGHT get approved. They are not in a position to get approved. You can check the NLNAC site yourself at:

    Secondly, I recently called several reputable hospitals around Denver, such as UCH and Sky Ridge, and they, and many other hospitals will NOT hire you unless your school has either NLNAC or CCNE accreditations, even if you have 6 yrs of nursing experience. I have heard of DSON students having issues finding choice jobs, or any jobs for that matter. Some hospitals won't even hire you unless you have a BSN. Some states and hospitals are more needy for nurses, so they might hire you. The RN job market is tougher than the national average in the Denver area - unless you're ok with nursing homes in the evening/weekend shifts and/or remote or sub-par places.

    And, lastly, you WILL have issues if you want to further your academic career without having gone to a properly accredited school - I already just called a few schools to confirm that...But, if you're ok with an RN and ok with not being able to apply for choice jobs, and are ok with paying top dollar for this school (i.e. CO state in pueblo costs half as much), then good luck. DSON is way overpriced for what you are getting for your money. But, I think practically everyone gets, the benefit is no wait.
  3. by   jjhc2006
    Hi jlp-c! It's nice to hear from a future fellow DSN student! I met with J.J. back in November and just took the entrance exam a few weeks ago. I recently received my acceptance letter and am looking forward to starting the accelerated BSN program in April. Are you doing the BSN program as well? Have you taken the entrance exam yet? Good luck to you!

    Pat - I understand exactly what you are getting at. When I moved here to Colorado, I was shocked that there were even programs out there that are unaccredited. With that said, I am not one to just take someone's word on something like candidacy status - especially not from someone who works for DSN. So, I have researched it on my own and feel fairly comfortable with my decision to attend DSN. I am curious, the NLNAC site link you provided, does show DSN as being in candidacy status until Fall 2011. You say they are not in candidacy status though. Can you explain what you mean by your statement? Just curious and don't want to start something on here. It seems that many people who are either for or against attending DSN can be very mean. I LOVE healthy discussion!
  4. by   jjhc2006
    I apologize Pat Lu. I see that you say that they have "candidate status for an educator program." What do you mean by this? It states that they have candidacy status for "nursing education units." Isn't this something we would want? Please educate me on your thoughts.

  5. by   Izzy11
    i think nln just changed their terminology. if you look at it, it says "nursing education programs" but then it also says they are baccalaureate and associate. to be a teacher, you need to have a master's, so i'm pretty sure this is referring to the adn and bsn programs.

    having said that, there are still in candidate status so there is no guarantee they will get the accreditation. so it is still a risk going there. i don't know about the hiring issues, but i know that very few graduate programs will accept a dsn degree.
  6. by   jjhc2006
    Thanks for your input Izzy11. I imagine that if DSN ever does get national/regional accreditation, applicants will be flooding their offices. Only time will tell. Are there any DSN graduates out there willing to speak about their employment seeking experience? It would be interesting to hear how they are accepted by hospitals in the area.
  7. by   Izzy11
    They've been flooded with applicants for the last couple of years. I think a big factor was up until recently it was a non-competitive application process, except for the competition of trying to get through on the phone on the call-in day.

    I'm friends with two DSN grads - one was in their second class and the other graduated about 2 years ago - and they both have good jobs. One is at Denver Health and the other at Triumph. But they also got in before the market really tightened up. The way things are in Denver now, I can see where hospitals would prefer grads from the accredited programs since they have their pick.

    Again, as someone else mentioned earlier, if you are interested in DSN, call some hospitals and ask if they are hiring DSN grads. Do your own research. I was going to apply there, but I want to be an NP, and the only NP program I could find that would accept a DSN degree is the University of Phoenix. So that ruled out DSN for me.
  8. by   jjhc2006
    Sounds like you are a lot like me Izzy11 when it comes to researching. You simply cannot investigate too much when it comes to your education. Although I have many RN and PA friends saying I would make a good NP, I don't have any desire to go that route. So, I am mainly concerned about employment should they not receive accreditation by the time I graduate. I am willing to pay my dues during my initial employment, but would like to eventually end up with my dream job.

    Good luck to you! And thanks for the advice/input.
  9. by   Izzy11
    That's the same boat we're all in. I know my first job is going to be whatever I can find, and that's fine. Good luck to you as well!
  10. by   jjhc2006
    Thanks Izzy11. I called and spoke with the recruiting/HR offices of Centura this morning and was told that they do in fact hire DSN graduates. She said that there was a little controversy over the issue and that the conclusion was that if they are willing to open their doors for clinicals to DSN students, that they are willing to hire them as well. She said it would be crazy not to hire any DSN graduates when their hospitals go through the effort to help train them. She did say that the job market is tight, and that the way to get hired quickly is to make a good impression during clinicals (common sense). But, the problem is that schools release an average of 400 new grads every four months, making the likelyhood of one having to take a job in a skilled care facility a very real possibility. Oh, and she said the key is to make sure and get a bachelors degree.

    Lots of information out there!
  11. by   Pat Lu
    Hi Back ALL RNS-TO-BE...I think everyone answered all the questions just fine...DSN is NOT accredited by NLNAC, and, I don't even see that they have candidate status for the ADN or BSN program. Even if and when they do have candidate status (let's just say they do), that means NOTHING. It's like me trying to apply for med school without any of the pre-reqs. I can apply and get my name on a list, but I'm not getting in. They have claimed that they are on this list for many years, but have yet to actually get on it, and have yet to get certified. It takes about 2 yrs to get approved, IF they follow all the protocol, AFTER they get candidacy status. I do not believe that they are in a position to PASS this rigorous protocol at this point, or they would have the proper accreditation by now. I'm sure there are some jobs out there for DSN students, but you are WAY limiting yourself at this VERY difficult time in the economy. As was mentioned, some won't even hire you if you don't have your BSN. So, they may be nice people over there at DSN, but the heavy price tag for getting in easily will cost you even more in the long run. Now, there are certain parts of this country that don't care about the accreditations - but, that would mean moving and/or taking sub-par jobs. If you are ok with that, then great. I love Colorado, and want to be at the best jobs, with the best shifts, advancing at the best rate, and getting paid top dollar. Yes, we all have to climb some ladder, but if you think you really deserve the best because you are a caring person, and have excellent critical thinking skills, with a great attitude, and want to advance, then I suggest that you don't cheat yourself by going to places like DSON. They may teach you the same things, but it's the reputation that counts unfortunately in today's world when it comes to getting RN jobs. Yes, maybe years ago, they took anyone, and maybe in years to come they will. But, not today. So, if you are an awesome well-rounded person going places, please don't get fooled by this route. AND, remember, some schools won't let you in if you didn't go to CCNE or NLNAC schools...SO, if you want to advance any time in the future, you would have shot yourself in the foot a second time. Now, if they were as cheap as a community college, then maybe it would be worth all that risk...but, cost the same as UCDenver, one of the best schools in the nation. There are a bunch of community colleges that cost half as much as DSN, that have NLNAC candidacy status, and are more likely to get certified over DSN...maybe think about those, ladies !
  12. by   jlp-c
    Hi jjhc2006

    I also completed my testing in November -- I've got my acceptance letter.

    I'm just finishing up on the background check, physical, etc. And counting down until April. Yes, I'm also in the April BSN program.

    I'm looking forward to starting already -- best of luck
  13. by   jjhc2006
    Thanks for wishing me luck! Looks like we will be in the same cohort! Look forward to meeting you. I too have to finish up the last minute things and am working hard to get really organized so the transition into ns is a fluid one. Will you be taking patho at DSN or have you already completed it? I just finished it in December. Do you know anyone who is already in the program? I know the first quarter schedule changes with each new cohort, but would like to see a sample of a previous student's schedule.

    Good luck to you too and congrats for making it this far!