7 years to become an RN in California

  1. I am a licensed LVN in California with only a few month of experience
    in infant recovery care.
    I recently inquired with various CA junior colleges who offer an LVN
    to RN "advanced placement program".
    The requirements are always the same:
    To just apply for the 2 semester program, they require an LVN license,
    completion of 5 unit classes in Microbiology, Physiology, and Anatomy.
    Then there is a 2 to 3 year waiting list. Then you can finally do the
    full time 2 semester program, then you have to do your RN board exam.

    It is very difficult to do more than one class at a time for the 3
    required classes in Microbiology, Physiology and Anatomy, given that
    they all have extensive lab and homework requirements. So that
    represents 3 semesters of studies.
    3 semesters of studies, then 2 to 3 years of waiting, then 2 semesters
    in the program, that is a total of 4 years of time to just go from
    LVN to RN.
    If I count the time required from the High School degree to the RN
    degree, I come up with 6 to 7 years of study to get just a
    AA degree in nursing and an RN license.
    If you don't go through the LVN step, the waiting time to get into
    the full 4 semester RN program is a solid 3 years usually, so it is
    still 6 to 7 years of study.

    If one goes to a State college, one can get a Bachelor's degree
    in Nursing and an RN license in just 4, maybe 5 years.

    So why would anybody choose the junior college path?
    Did I miss something?

    Happyanne
  2. Visit happyanne profile page

    About happyanne

    Joined: Sep '06; Posts: 3

    18 Comments

  3. by   TinyNurse
    My little sister tells me that all of the ADN programs have 2-3 year waiting lists in her area.
    I told her that if she's going to have to wait 2-3 years, she might as well look for BSN programs with openings now.
    Hearing about all of the waiting lists is amazing.
  4. by   Sheri257
    Quote from happyanne
    So why would anybody choose the junior college path?
    Did I miss something?

    Happyanne
    Yeah ... you missed a lot.

    I don't know how it works at other schools but, at my school you can totally beat the waiting list by passing the LVN challenge exams. The LVN challenge exams are basically the final exams for first and second semester. If you can pass them, you don't have to take those semesters.

    The backlog is for first semester so, if you can pass that first semester challenge exam (which most LVN's do) you go directly into second semester and beat the waiting list. At my school, that saves you three years right there.

    If you can pass the second semester exam you can beat the waiting list and skip the entire first year of nursing school ... saving three and a half years .... although it's a much tougher exam and a lot of LVN's don't pass it.

    Because of the waiting lists there are, actually, more advantages to LVN-RN transition programs.

    :typing
    Last edit by Sheri257 on Sep 26, '06
  5. by   lsyorke
    Quote from happyanne
    If one goes to a State college, one can get a Bachelor's degree
    in Nursing and an RN license in just 4, maybe 5 years.
    Take out the wait list for comparison. You are comparing taking one class a semester at a community college to a full time schedule at a BSN program.
  6. by   Sheri257
    Quote from happyanne
    If one goes to a State college, one can get a Bachelor's degree in Nursing and an RN license in just 4, maybe 5 years.
    Not in my area ... all the bachelor's programs have waiting lists also so ... there's no time savings. In fact, it takes you longer. Especially since they have more cirriculum requirements than ADN programs plus ... the 2-3 year waiting time.

    :typing
  7. by   puresass
    Quote from happyanne
    So why would anybody choose the junior college path?
    for those with a BA/BS in another field, you don't get financial aid when you go back to school afterwards unless it's for grad school & i can't afford to pay for another BS all by myself, so i'm going for my ASN since it's cheaper (by $300-$400/unit).
  8. by   Quickbeam
    for those with a BA/BS in another field, you don't get financial aid when you go back to school afterwards unless it's for grad school & i can't afford to pay for another BS all by myself, so i'm going for my ASN since it's cheaper (by $300-$400/unit).
    This is true...aid really becomes non-existent once you have a bachelor's in anything and want to get a different one. I did find it was cheaper for me to go to an accelerated BSN program than it would have been for me to go ADN, taking into account opportunity costs.
  9. by   GeminiTwinRN
    I took 12-18 hours each semester beginning in the summer of 2003. Granted, I had 27 hours transferred going in to the degree, but I am expecting to graduate in December 2006.

    If you take one class per semester, I imagine it will take you quite a long time. That's why I took all my classes as I was going, all the while on the wait list. Our admission was points based, so by the time I was admitted, I had almost all the points we could have, plus had finished every single one of the pre-reqs.

    That's the way I'd recommend it. Took a total of 3 1/2 years to complete, (not counting the 27 hours I transferred in), but it was nowhere near 7 years! sheesh! I'd go out of state if I were you. That's ridiculous!

    Good luck!

    oh, and I forgot to say that in our program if you are an LPN, you enter in the summer before the 2nd semester of the RN program automatically, they call it a "bridge", and you just skip right over the 1st semester of the program. So all you figure is that you'll have the 3 semesters left of the ADN program left, plus whatever time it took you already to have gotten your LPN. That's the total it would've taken.
    Last edit by GeminiTwinRN on Sep 26, '06
  10. by   MedSurgeMess
    Any of you wonderful LPNs having this trouble, go to the link below and see if this is for you. Many at my hospital are doing this and say it is good. Hope this is helpful

    http://www.indstate.edu/degreelink/programsFrame.html
  11. by   HairCanada
    I think that this is something you might consider. When starting a university 4 year program right out of high school, you are in full time school, 5 days a week for 4 years. Most of us who take the junior college route do so because we are working adults, and cannot commit to a 40 hour class schedule, plus clincal and study time.

    Hindsight 20/0, yes I should have gotten my nursing degree when I was 18, still lving at home with no children. But, that is not the case, and I am doing the best I can, as most of us here are. With that said, i to share your general frustration, I am a fulltime dad, employee, and Nursing student and it is difficult, to say the least. Cheers and good luck!
  12. by   firstyearstudent
    There are plenty of community colleges where I live near Los Angeles that do lottery, not waiting lists. If you apply to multiple programs, the chances of getting in are quite good. I didn't have a problem.
  13. by   firstyearstudent
    Quote from Quickbeam
    This is true...aid really becomes non-existent once you have a bachelor's in anything and want to get a different one. I did find it was cheaper for me to go to an accelerated BSN program than it would have been for me to go ADN, taking into account opportunity costs.
    That certainly wasn't true for me -- just the opposite in fact. I was ineligible for federal funds but I got a need-based Board of Governor's fee waiver from the State of California community colleges for my tuition in spite of a previous B.A. Why? Because ADN is considered job training.
  14. by   rach_nc_03
    I also had the money for tuition issue- thousands to get a BSN, free for my ADN, as it was job training, and I was laid off from the tech sector.

    Until more BSN programs (and financial aid for said programs) become easier to do when you're a working adult, nurses will continue to go this route en mass.

    I calculated the time it would take for me to get a BSN vs. getting an ADN, then MSN through a bridge program- the MSN route was actually faster.

    And now I have an employer that will pay my tuition and expenses in full for the MSN, so the whole kit and kaboodle will be free.

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