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Did I take the bait (for profit school)?

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I'll try to keep this concise, since most of you probably interested in my life story. Also, if it isn't annotated in your profile, can you post whether you're a student or nurse in your response? I've seen a lot of posts here that are making me question my decision to go the for-profit route for my school.

After a stint in the military and some time as a defense contractor, I'd realized that I wanted to move back home to MN, where I'd have to start a new career. I found that I was interested in healthcare, having performed some low level medical tasks here and there in the military (most complicated stuff we trained on were starting an IV and needle chest decompression) and found that I wasn't extremely queasy. A BSN seemed like the way to go. I applied to the University of Minnesota up here and was denied. This wasn't that much of a surprise since my HS grades were terrible, although I was hoping the 31 I got on the ACT, my veteran status, and the fact that 12 years had passed since I had been a student would factor in would swing it the other way. My backup plan was initially to go the CC route and hope to transfer to the U of M's BSN program, but I'd also found Herzing's BSN program about that time. I did some initial research and found that:

- They are approved by the state BON and accredited by CCNE.

- NCLEX pass rates for the first two graduated classes since the program was launched are 83% and 88%.

- Clinicals are done with an established local health network.

- Its a full 120 credit program.

To me, this passed the sniff test, but I've seen a lot of comments about for profit schools on here. I looked at student reviews for Herzing, and found many complaints across the country (its mostly an online school, but the BSN is 100% classroom/clinical), although there were only positive remarks left for the BSN program in MN. I'm trying to figure out if the comments on for-profit schools are solely aimed at obvious non accredited scam schools or if there are other downsides to these for-profit schools other than the prohibitive tuition costs. Am I going to use up my GI bill on this program and not be able to find a job or be at a serious disadvantage when trying to find desirable jobs? They claim a 97% employment rate after graduation, but I don't know if or how that can be independently verified.

NurseGirl525, ASN, RN

Specializes in ICU.

I'm trying to figure out what campus you would attend. Some are accredited and some are not. Personally, I would not go there. Pass rates in the 80's is not really all that good. My school has a 100% pass rate. I looked at schools in the high 90's and above. Also, those job placement rates are bogus. As long as someone has a job, any type of job, they are considered "placed". So if you graduate in nursing but get a crappy job at McDonalds, you are considered placed and having a job. They do not help you get a job when you graduate. It's all on you to find any job and then report to them that you found one. Stay away from these schools, they tell lies.

Going the cc route to even just get your RN is going to help you maximize your GI bill. You are better off staying away from places where you even have a doubt in your mind. I am a recently graduated PMHNP who went the CC route and I made it just fine and probably in record time since I graduated with my ASN in 2009.

Take some college classes at a cc to get your feet wet see how you are going to do. You will need pre reqs for nursing start with those (make sure they will transfer). Most colleges don't accept an act score from 12 years ago so you may have to take a different entrance test at the community college. If your grades in your pre reqs are good you will be able to go anywhere you want to go!

The only reason I have a doubt in my mind is because of what I've read here. I have a suspicion that much of what I've read here are students or future students parroting things they've heard and conflating all for-profits and scam for-profits. If there is somebody in the industry that can confirm the doubts and fears I've seen posted here on AN, I would absolutely change course.

The CC route actually has me a bit worried up here. The CC's will award an ASN and then feed students into "Metro State University" for the BSN. The problem being that Metro State doesn't have NCLEX pass rates for two of the last 4 years posted to the state government website, including last year. As an alternative, I could go to the state school an hour a way, but that would be tricky since I own my house and can't really just pull up stakes and move.

Ideally, I would've liked to get into the University of Minnesota's program, but it appears that ship all but sailed when I didn't get in there as a freshman for my pre-reqs. I took the ACT last September (2013), so that should have been considered. The U of M takes about 150 students into their BSN program each year, but at least 90 are earmarked for U of M freshman who did their pre-reqs there. That leaves 60 spots for the rest of their students and anybody else that wants to get in. Its extremely competitive even for a nursing program because you have a chance to do your clinicals at the Mayo Clinic.

Anyway, the main reason I made this topic was to see if there was a stigma in hiring for-profit university graduates in the job market. I still feel confident in this school, but felt that I'd be doing myself a disservice if I didn't peer a little closer at the attitudes towards for-profit schools I've seen here.

pmabraham, BSN, RN

Specializes in Hospice, Palliative Care. Has 3 years experience.

Good day, golson:

Thank you for your service to our country!

Solid schools have an NCLEX pass rate in the mid to high 90's. Anything lower than a 90 is, well, low (does not pass a sniff test in my opinion). If the community colleges are accredited and get your ADN, you can take the NCLEX (you don't need a BSN to take the NCLEX). Then get your BSN online (there are many accredited institutions) or go local.

Thank you.

Okami_CCRN, ADN, RN

Specializes in Critical Care. Has 4 years experience.

The CC route actually has me a bit worried up here. The CC's will award an ASN and then feed students into "Metro State University" for the BSN. The problem being that Metro State doesn't have NCLEX pass rates for two of the last 4 years posted to the state government website, including last year. As an alternative, I could go to the state school an hour a way, but that would be tricky since I own my house and can't really just pull up stakes and move.

The reason why the NCLEX-RN pass rates are not listed on the BON website is because you would be eligible to sit for the NCLEX once you have attained the ASN/Diploma. Metro State University is an RN-BSN program and accepts those students who hold a valid nursing license, so you are just completing the courses for the BSN degree, you would already be an RN.

For example, I go to a community college and graduate this December, my school has a contract with a local university where I can go to finish my RN-BSN degree. However, there is a university that I am interested in other than the one affiliated with my school. I am not obligated to continue my education there.

meanmaryjean, DNP, RN

Specializes in NICU, ICU, PICU, Academia. Has 40 years experience.

The big red flag for me (besides what the other posters have stated) is the clinicals at "an established local health network".

If those are their words, I'd be wanting to know EXACTLY what facilities are used. Do the community college and an online RN>BSN program. You'll get much, much more bang for your GI Bill buck. OR sell the house and free yourself from the limited choices you have currently.

Best wishes!

HouTx, BSN, MSN, EdD

Specializes in Critical Care, Education. Has 35 years experience.

THANK YOU FOR YOUR MILITARY SERVICE.

Just take a Google on "vet friendly nursing programs" and you may be very surprised at how many top-notch schools are offering special consideration for military veterans. I encourage you to do so before locking yourself into a high-cost mediocre commercial program. Wishing you all the best on your nursing education.

Thank you for your service!

I am going to attending North Hennepin CC's nursing program starting in the Spring and plan on going forward with my Bachelor's. I was concerned as well about Metro State's reputation because I've read several comments on here talking about how MS didn't have the best reputation. I emailed my nursing advisor at NHCC and she told me that you are not obligated to go to MS after you've finished your ADN from a CC here. It is just easier since once admitted to the CC's program, you are also admitted to Metro State's as well. She also said the MANE program is in the process of recruiting more university's around here to collaborate with so that students may finish their BSN at other schools.

Knowing all this, I've been thinking about doing my ADN at NHCC and then following with a BSN from MSU Mankato since their RN to BSN program is all online.

Good luck to you!

First of all, thank all of you for your responses.

meanmaryjean, that is me being vague, not the school. I just couldn't remember the system off the top of my head, but it is a legit system that I'd heard of before. I can't (or more like won't) get rid of the house.

Okami, that actually makes a lot more sense than what I was thinking, thank you.

PMAbraham, MN across the board is looking kind of rough for the pass rates. Oddly, another for profit school has the highest pass rate. All but one of the public schools that has a 90% or above pass rate are out of my area. Even the one in my area is kind of a drive. http://mn.gov/health-licensing-boards/images/Number_and_Firsttime_Success_Rate_of_NCLEXRN_Candidates_Educated_i_021009.pdf

Virgo, looks like Century College in White Bear Lake is in the MANE program, that could be an option for you.

I'm probably going to give this thing a try for at least the first semester and see how they do business. Worse comes to worst, I'll drop and jump into a CC. I could eat the cost of one semester at a CC if need be. After scouring google, I can't find complaints against this particular program. I like that it is not online and also like that it is 36 months straight through without stops. I'll be sure to let you know how it goes. Again, thanks to all of you for your responses.

Does Century have an RN to BSN program as well? I was under the assumption all the CC in the MANE program allow you to continue on to Metro State

PMAbraham, MN across the board is looking kind of rough for the pass rates. Oddly, another for profit school has the highest pass rate.

NCLEX pass rates, by themselves, don't necessarily tell you much about a school. Suppose I tell you School A has a 100% pass rate on the NCLEX, and School B has a 90% pass rate. Sounds like you would be better served by going to School A, right? Suppose you know that School A starts with an entering class of 60 students each year; of those 60, a few drop out because of family/personal issues, and the school flunks out another 45 students over the course of the program. They end up graduating 10 students of the original 60 (yes, there are nursing schools "out there" with those kind of numbers), and, of those 10, 100% pass the NCLEX on their first try. School B admits an entering class of 60 students each year. A few drop out because of family/personal issues. A number of the remaining students struggle with the coursework or with personal issues/challenges at various times, but the school provides tutoring services, faculty are available for advice and assistance, and the basic philosophy of the school is to really help their students succeed. They graduate a class of 55, and, of those 55, 50 pass the NCLEX the first time. That's a passing rate of 90%. Now, which school would you rather attend?

Obviously, a really low NCLEX pass rate is a bad sign (although, in the case of a school with a history of high rates, a single year with a poor pass rate is often an anomaly that reflects something specific that was going on at the school that particular year and can easily be addressed). However, there are a variety of sneaky ways schools can manipulate their pass rates -- one of the most popular is to find a way to weed out over time everyone you think might have a chance of not passing on the first try, and only graduate the very best students (best at testing, I mean; not necessarily the ones who will make the best nurses).

SeattleJess

Specializes in None yet..

Going the cc route to even just get your RN is going to help you maximize your GI bill. You are better off staying away from places where you even have a doubt in your mind. I am a recently graduated PMHNP who went the CC route and I made it just fine and probably in record time since I graduated with my ASN in 2009.

Take some college classes at a cc to get your feet wet see how you are going to do. You will need pre reqs for nursing start with those (make sure they will transfer). Most colleges don't accept an act score from 12 years ago so you may have to take a different entrance test at the community college. If your grades in your pre reqs are good you will be able to go anywhere you want to go!

...or prerequisite grades, either!

Edited by SeattleJess
Spelling again

Virgo, my mistake, they are a feeder just like Anoka-Ramsey and NHCC.

SeattleJess, I took the ACT SEP 2013.

OK, just to close this out in case somebody finds this site via a google search (like I did), I contacted three local hospitals' HR departments and asked them if they hired Herzing grads.

North Memorial has not gotten back to me.

Regions Hospital told me that they do hire Herzing grads.

Hennepin County Medical Center told me that they hire from any CCNE accreditted school, including Herzing.

duskyjewel

Specializes in hospice.

I don't really have a comment as to whether you should go to the school in question, but THANK YOU for doing some research and due diligence, and not just jumping blindly! More people need to be like you.

SopranoKris, BSN, RN

Specializes in Critical Care. Has 6 years experience.

If you get your ADN from a community college, University of Minnesota won't care one iota what your high school grades were. If U of MN has an RN-to-BSN offering, I would highly suggest you go that route!

Nonyvole, BSN, RN

Specializes in Emergency.

I was talking with a student at a local for profit school that is accredited, has very good NCLEX pass rates, looks amazing on paper. Half of this student's cohort is no longer there. Half. And this student was getting stressed out about their chances of passing.

The students? Hate to say it, but they're not so hot. There are always the hidden gems, but for the most part they aren't at the hoped-for level during their clinical rotations. The ones that do know their stuff spend a lot of time teaching themselves and not doing the bare minimum. I heard one student tell their clinical instructor that the lecturer had said to simply look up the answers in the back of the book instead of trying to answer them on their own first!

And as to NCLEX pass rates being an indicator of how good a school is? My school, which is considered to be one of the best in my state, had second-quarter 2014 first-time tester pass rates of 89%.