Experienced Viewpoint Please?

  1. I am currently in the process of applying to schools. I am looking into 4 different programs near me. Because I have a degree already, I can complete each program in 4 semesters once accepted. I know that there are routine and sometimes heated discussions on here about BSN vs ADN. I'm not trying to take into consideration the cost or the type of degree really. My concern is coming out of school and feeling confident. In your experience what produces your most confident new nurses? Am I better off going to an ADN program - do they have more hands on clinical time? Are there specific criteria in a program that I can look for? Does it all just boil down to me and how I react to things, or maybe just my luck of the draw in clinicals?
    For those of you that have been there and mentored and guided new nurses on their journey - what knowledge can you share with me to pick the right path? I know that ANY program will prepare me to pass the NCLEX, but can I make choices now before I start school to better my chances and feeling more confident when its time for me to lace up my shoes as a "new nurse"? If so - what would those choices be?

    I appreciate your time and value your feedback!
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  2. Visit hurricanekat profile page

    About hurricanekat

    Joined: Oct '17; Posts: 135; Likes: 144

    20 Comments

  3. by   3peas
    I don't believe ANY program will prepare you for NCLEX. Each school has their own NCLEX passage rates and you should pay attention to those, that will give you a good clue as to how good a program is. If you already have a degree my advice would be to enter a program at the same level of degree you currently hold or higher. I would also ask people in your area about each school and pick the one with the best reputation. I would not go to a for-profit school that is the only piece of advice I would offer. Many roads lead to nursing-LPN, RN (ADN, BSN) MSN direct entry, etc. No one can really answer these questions for you regarding program or right path, you need to pick the right path for you. I will generalize and say that ADN programs focus more on skills but don't be nervous about learning those skills, you will learn them in all programs. I've precepted nursing students from ADN and BSN programs and they've all been wonderful and knew their stuff. I've also learned more from some LPN nurses that I was trained by than any BSN nurses. Keep your excitement and pick the program right for you.
    Last edit by 3peas on Mar 10 : Reason: Grammar
  4. by   Guy in Babyland
    Quote from hurricanekat
    I'm not trying to take into consideration the cost or the type of degree really.
    Cost and type should be part of your decision. If your long term plan is MSN, then go for a BSN especially if you already have a BS degree. Cost is also a factor. Spending $50-60k for a degree will put you in a financial burden for many years after graduation.
  5. by   hurricanekat
    Quote from Guy in Babyland
    Cost and type should be part of your decision. If your long term plan is MSN, then go for a BSN especially if you already have a BS degree. Cost is also a factor. Spending $50-60k for a degree will put you in a financial burden for many years after graduation.
    What I should have said is that 3 of the programs are within $1000 each per semester. One program is a bit more but it isnt too much more. The one thats more is my last choice but cost isnt a consideration because they are all stAte schools ans reasonably and similarly priced.
  6. by   hurricanekat
    Thank you 3peas. I appreciate your response. I will continue to talk with people. One of the schools Im looking at graduates less than 25% of their starting class which kind of worries me.
  7. by   Guy in Babyland
    Quote from hurricanekat
    Thank you 3peas. I appreciate your response. I will continue to talk with people. One of the schools Im looking at graduates less than 25% of their starting class which kind of worries me.
    It should worry you. They weed out all but the best students in order to make their NCLEX pass rate high.
  8. by   sallyrnrrt
    Ok, my comment is going to make some "pop some popcorn "

    diploma hospital based program, if you can find one
  9. by   Cowboyardee
    Don't even consider going to a school with a 25% graduation rate unless you are getting a MUCH better deal there than elsewhere AND you are an excellent test taker. It's a trap.

    As for other stuff, your skills and confidence coming out of school will largely be a function of how many clinical hours you get in school (which is why the recommendation for a diploma program isn't bad, if that's what you're after). On the other hand, a bsn is necessary in some markets, so its wise to look around at the jobs you think you might want to apply to eventually to see if they hire bsn only.
  10. by   hawaiicarl
    Back when I went to school in the dark ages the comparison used to be that ADN students were better off the block, because of more clinical hours, while BSN students usually passed them within a year or two of practice, because of the larger theory background. Depending on your market area, BSN is currently the entry to practice level required, depending on demand.

    Cheers
  11. by   maxthecat
    I would go for the BSN simply because it opens up more hiring opportunities for you. If you go ADN, you most likely will have to go back and get your BSN anyway.

    Used to be said that ADN's got more clinical hands-on experience than BSN's, but I don't think that's the case today. Neither route prepares you to come into nursing knowing what you're doing--you learn that on the job. The problem with diploma these days is that you do graduate with much more clinical experience and are much more ready to step onto a floor with the confidence of knowing what you're doing--but most places won't hire diploma-prepared graduates these days, so getting a job would be a lot tougher.
  12. by   KelRN215
    If you already have a bachelor's degree, an accelerated BSN program is probably your best bet. There are many areas of the country that are "BSN only", especially for new grads. Not strictly in that ADN programs will still exist and some places will hire them but in areas where there is a surplus of nurses, it's an employer's market and they can be choosy.
  13. by   Ruby Vee
    Quote from hurricanekat
    I am currently in the process of applying to schools. I am looking into 4 different programs near me. Because I have a degree already, I can complete each program in 4 semesters once accepted. I know that there are routine and sometimes heated discussions on here about BSN vs ADN. I'm not trying to take into consideration the cost or the type of degree really. My concern is coming out of school and feeling confident. In your experience what produces your most confident new nurses? Am I better off going to an ADN program - do they have more hands on clinical time? Are there specific criteria in a program that I can look for? Does it all just boil down to me and how I react to things, or maybe just my luck of the draw in clinicals?
    For those of you that have been there and mentored and guided new nurses on their journey - what knowledge can you share with me to pick the right path? I know that ANY program will prepare me to pass the NCLEX, but can I make choices now before I start school to better my chances and feeling more confident when its time for me to lace up my shoes as a "new nurse"? If so - what would those choices be?

    I appreciate your time and value your feedback!
    Find out how much clinical time you get in each of the schools. The more clinical time, the more comfortable you're going to be coming out of school. It's been my experience that the MSN as entry crowd is the hardest to precept. Clinical skills are worse than ADN or BSN, time management and critical thinking seem to be worse as well. AND many of them think they know more than the mere BSN nurse because of their MSN . . . not knowing how much they don't know. Now that could be just the MSN programs in my area compared to the BSN and ADN programs here.

    If you can get your BSN at the start rather than having to go back for it later, there's some advantage to that. Once you start your first nursing job you're going to have SO MUCH to learn. I doubt minor variances in clinical time will mean a great deal. But if one program has significantly more clinical time, that's the one I would look at.
  14. by   llg
    Quote from Ruby Vee
    Find out how much clinical time you get in each of the schools. The more clinical time, the more comfortable you're going to be coming out of school. t.
    I have to disagree with that, Ruby. The quality of those clinical is also important. Where I live, there are some programs whose students have a reasonable number of hours of clinical -- but the quality of the instruction (and the amount those students are allowed to actually do in clinical) is pathetic. You can't just look at the number of hours of clinical -- but you have to look at the quality.

    For me ... choosing a school should be about determining the quality (with an eye also on cost). Look at the number of students who flunk out of the program and the NCLEX pass rate. Also, look at the amount of clinical hours.

    But also look at where those hours of clinical are done. Are they done at the leading facilities in the region? If not, why not? Do those leading hospitals not accept those students?

    Also ... if you can find out ... where do most of the new graduates find jobs? Are they the types of jobs you want? If not, why not? Will the leading hospitals rarely hire those graduates often -- or just ocassionally?

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