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Critique my plan!

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I'm 40 and we have a child to support and a car payment to make. I have a job making $50K and need to keep it as long as possible. I will get my CNA in March and should have my CNA II by the end of July. I already have a BS degree in an unrelated field. Here is my plan...

Current through May 2012 - continue to work full-time at primary job

January '11 - May '11 - A&P I

March '11 through May 2012 - get CNA, get 1 shift per week job (hopefully at hospital)

May '11 - August '11 - A&P II

August '11 - December '11 - Microbiology

January '12 - May '12 - Intro to Soc, Dev Psych

May '12 - quit current FT job, keep 1x weekly CNA job, enter accelerated Diploma program and finish in 4 semesters

By the time May '12 rolls around we will have paid off the car and will only have regular monthly living expenses to pay. All of this is, of course, predicated on my acceptance into said program. There are other programs around me and I will apply to them as well for back-up purposes but the accelerated program is the one I'd really like to get into.

Had you already had some college, so those are the only classes you need to take to get into your program? My school also requires English 101 & 102, Art, Human Growth & Development, math, a gym credit, and a communications class.

shaas, ASN, RN

Specializes in Aspiring for a CCRN.

It's feasible for pre-requisites. Working full-time during your A-BSN is not recommended, as you already seem to know.

I'm assuming that you're working a regular 9-5. If you're on a 9/80 with alternate fridays off, then it would be easier. Just make sure that you find night/on-line courses so that you can maintain work and school.

Good luck to you. Stay focused.

Honestly, if you already have a full-time job which pays $50k per year, I think your best bet is to keep doing what you're doing. First of all, college is expensive and the costs add up quickly. I can barely justify the amount I am paying/have paid and I am 25, not 40. Second, it's great to have a plan, but if there's anything you should know about nursing school, it's that a plan will only get you so far. There's no guarantees that you will get into the program right when you apply or whether you will be successful the first time around in your classes.

The last thing is that nursing school is very difficult. Chances are, if you're just deciding to do this now, then it's not something you've "always wanted to do," or it would be done already not something you're just thinking of. Those that go into nursing for a reason other than because they have always wanted to be a nurse, are often not successful. I have seen tons of people come and go who wanted to be a nurse "for the money," or because "it's a good job." It's not for the weak hearted.

I hate to be blunt, but you asked for people's opinion, so there you go. Good luck...you'll need it.

Edited by TtotheG

Looks pretty good to me.

It might be hard to get one shift a week. You might need to take two (Sat/Sun). Once you are in, it will probably be easier to get to prn where you could sign up for one per week. In which case, I'd switch the A/P II to the longer fall term, when you might have the one shift per week, and CLEP the Soc and the Psych by studying them on your own along with the other classes and/or on breaks until you are ready to take the test.

I am 42, I worked full time through nursing school. It wasn't difficult if you are organized. And, I had a 3.76 grade point average. If you put your mind to it, you can do it.

It may be better to do your Intro to Soc. and Psychology in the summer term because they are easier, and the A&P II in the longer fall semester. My school offers them as five week summer classes, so they could be done back-to-back.

Sounds like a good plan. Just curious does the accelerated program require you to have a CNA? Or do you just want the experience? It seems like an odd requirement for a program made for those are presumably already working at something else. My ADN program doesn't require it and gives very few entry points for it. Just curious. Also don't listen when people discourage you because you are starting late. Many schools have programs esentially made for people seeking their second careers because they make great students. Many hospitals think older nursing graduates are very desirable new hires. Good luck!

yeah id skip the cna part. You'll go from making $50,000 a year to like $8 an hour. :down:

Thank you all for your input. It's a long story, I've always leaned toward psych and AMH-NP is my goal now. I was dissuaded in college when I wasn't so focused and driven and then ended up falling into an easy career where I made decent money. My choice of career change now is both necessary and well thought-out however it may appear on the surface. My goal is not to get into nursing because of $. My goal is to get into what I always wanted to do but never did for a variety of reasons. In the interim I would like to maintain my FT job as long as possible to minimize the negative financial impact on my household. At the same time I would like to gain clinical experience. A PRN position as a CNA I and subsequently CNA II should allow me to do this while I work on pre-reqs and keep my FT job. Once I enter NS I would drop the FT job but keep the PRN CNA job.

It may be better to do your Intro to Soc. and Psychology in the summer term because they are easier, and the A&P II in the longer fall semester. My school offers them as five week summer classes, so they could be done back-to-back.

I had not thought of this, and I think your suggestion has a lot of merit. IYO is there a significant disadvantage to NOT taking A&P I and II back to back? If I do as you have suggested I would have a semester gap between A&P I and II and I don't want to "lose" ground I've gained if you know what I mean!

Sounds like a good plan. Just curious does the accelerated program require you to have a CNA? Or do you just want the experience? It seems like an odd requirement for a program made for those are presumably already working at something else. My ADN program doesn't require it and gives very few entry points for it. Just curious. Also don't listen when people discourage you because you are starting late. Many schools have programs esentially made for people seeking their second careers because they make great students. Many hospitals think older nursing graduates are very desirable new hires. Good luck!

The diploma program I'd like to get into requires that you be listed on the NA I registry with the state BON, but not that you have worked. I just want the clinical experience. I tend to think that any clinical experience will be helpful and since I will have a year and a half before stating NS (assuming I'm accepted in my desired time frame) it seems like there would be benefit to having a few shifts per month. I think it would also make my school application look better as well although I do not know how much that aspect is considered when they are making their decisions.

IYO is there a significant disadvantage to NOT taking A&P I and II back to back? If I do as you have suggested I would have a semester gap between A&P I and II and I don't want to "lose" ground I've gained if you know what I mean!

I took Biology this past spring, and am now in A & P this fall. I was worried about the summer gap, but honestly it all came right back to me. The first three chapters we did in A & P were pretty much a repeat of what we learned about cells in Biology. I would not be too worried about forgetting everything over the summer. A & P II will just build on A & P I and you will add to the body systems you have started to learn. Our class uses the same book for 1 & 2.