Help me decide between 2 Nursing schools

Nurses General Nursing


Hey Everyone:

First post! I need some advice and guidance. I have been accepted into two Nursing programs in 2 different states. One in Iowa and one in Texas.

The nursing program in Texas is an LVN program and the one in Iowa is an RN Program. I would like to be an RN and that is my goal.

The RN Program in Iowa seems very well put together as far as curriculum (for instance, pre-requisites are in the curriculum), but I've heard some negative feedback from RN graduates. Some have said they didn't feel prepared for the NCLEX and failed the first 2 attempts.

The LVN Program in Texas is in my hometown and has an excellent reputation. I have to take Pre-requisites to get into their RN Program. These same pre-requisites are offered in Iowa's RN Program.

I'm not sure which program to pursue. I would spend a year at Texas with their LVN program, then have to wait a year while I get the remainder of my pre-requisites and work as an LVN and then apply for their LVN to RN Program in the fall, so it might take me at minimum 3 years from now to become an RN

In Iowa's program, I would enter as an RN student and graduate in August 2011 as RN with an Associates Degree. With Texas, the very soonest I could finish any RN degree would be May of 2012. My LVN training would be from August 2009 to August 2010, then a year off to take care of pre-requisites, then apply to the LVN to RN Program.

With Iowa's RN Program, I start and finish as an RN. With Texas, I start as an LVN and then finish that and then reapply to finish as an RN. Iowa is a 2 year program and I don't have to worry about waiting lists or being accpted. With Texas, what if I don't get accepted into their LVN to RN program when I apply for it? What if I have to wait another year and still no guarantee of acceptance.

That's what's holding me back from the Texas LVN Program. While I believe that Texas has the better training, Iowa has the RN program.

I'm going to be new to nursing and I was wondering, if I went with Iowa, how would that affect me working in Texas? Would I have to do additional training to be licensed in Texas?

I would prefer Texas as far as location and family but would be very disappointed to go through the LVN program and then not get accepted into their RN program. With Iowa, I would not have to worry about that.

What would you do? If Texas was the place you would eventually want to end up, but Iowa has accepted you into their RN Program? Please let me know what you think. Thanks!

Specializes in Endoscopy/MICU/SICU.

Hey Jimmydaves,

You can tapply for your licensure in whatever state you want. So, you can be living in Iowa and apply to the Texas BON for your license, take the NCLEX in Iowa or Texas, pass and get your Texas RN license!! Also, I believe Texas and Iowa are both compact states, so you really have a multi-state license, including those two states and about 20 others that you could practice in. So, the licensing shouldn't be a problem.

I know it's hard to leave your parents, but if you let them know you'll be back for sure in two short years, maybe they will cut you a little slack....

Good luck with your decision!!

Specializes in Med/Surg, LTC, Rehab, Hospice, Endocrine.

OP-Just something to think about. If you want to ever transfer states, you have to be careful about taking the LVN/LPN-RN route online. Some states will not accept online RN schools, or are very selective on what schools they will accept. If you have the time and inclination, go straight for the RN route. For some, it's easier to do the LVN/LPN to RN route, just because you get to work in the field at a decent pay sooner. If I could have I definitely would have gone straight for my RN.

Kylea, I agree with your assessment and that's what I'd really want to do. I feel that it's easier to do the LVN and then the LVN to RN Route. In Texas where they accepted me into their LVN Program, I originally applied for the RN program, but my pre-requisites were over 5 years old, so what I took in 2002-2004 would not be considered. The head of the Nursing Department told me that I would have a better chance at being accepted into their LVN Program, so I applied for that and got accepted. Of course, at the same time, I received an acceptance letter from Iowa for their RN program.

The school in Texas has 4 pre-requisite classes and they also give credit for 5 of the classes offered in their RN Program and they are called co-requisites. So there are 4 pre-reqs and 5 co-reqs. The 4 co-requisites carry more value with respect to grades and are used in the determininig process for acceptance into the RN Program. The 5 classes are called co-requisites and you are given credit for taking those 5 classes before the start of the RN Program but you get 1 point credit for each of the classes you've taken. Then the remaining factor is your scores on the TEAS Test which I believe is used, primarily in Texas, as an entrance test for RN's here.

The Iowa RN program has those pre-requisite classes as part of their curriculum, so instead of making taking Anatomy I & II this Summer in Texas, Iowa would offer those same classes in the Fall and Spring. Likewise for Microbiology and Math, same thing.

The plan of action that the head of Nursing came up with in Texas was for me to get Anatomy I & II out of the way during this summer, take the LVN Program from August 2009 to August 2010, then because I would still need Microbiology and Math, get a job as an LVN and then take a night class in the 2 remaining pre-requisites and any co-requisite classes and then in the Fall, apply to the LVN to RN Program which would also give me time to study and take the TEAS test as well.

The Texas program, compared to the Iowa program, just seems a little bit complicated. I'm taking classes (pre-reqs) that they don't teach in their program and I'm having to use my time and money to get those classes for the Nursing dept. to use towards my eligibility for acceptance into the LVN/RN program. Now, this wouldn't be so bad if I knew I would be accepted into that LVN/RN program which would be starting in Fall 2011 and I'd finish in May of 2012. Now compare that with Iowa. I would start in the Fall of 2009 and finish in August of 2011. Almost a year's difference. Plus I would not have to take any of those Pre-reqs that Texas requests because they are offered in Iowa's curriculum.

The one pre-requisite for every student at Iowa though is taking a Nursing Assistant Certificate Progam over the Summer. 2 days a week at 6 hours a day and in 2 months, you have a Nursing Assistant Certificate before you even enter into Iowa's RN Program. Iowa just seems to have a very logical system set up. Having students go through a 2 month Nursing Assistant program I think is a great way for someone to get right into what nursing is all about and get a taste of what their chosen career path is going to be, plus you could use that Nursing Assistant Certificate as a means to work on weekends maybe and make some money during the school year.

I have a 2 year Iowa RN program vs a Texas LVN program with the "possibility" of getting into Texas' LVN/RN program a year after graduation, in the Fall of 2011. The RN is my goal. What if I don't get accepted into Texas' RN classes in the Fall of 2011 or the Fall of 2012, 2013, etc. I think at that point, I would be kicking myself for not taking Iowa's 2 year program and have that RN degree under my belt. If I had more of a guarantee of being accepted in Texas, I could do this, but I feel that the Nursing field is just getting more and more competitive as people change careers into a field that is more secure than others.

I have to do this for myself and as much as I want to stay in Texas, my chances for what "I" want are much better in Iowa. With the exception of getting my LVN in Texas and then getting into an online LVN to RN program, then I would look into that seriously. I do have a close friend that graduated from the same school in Texas as an LVN and then went online to get her RN degree, passed the RN Boards and got a very nice job in Texas as an RN. I have not really looked into the Online thing, but that may be the "only" thing that would keep me in Texas and close to my family.

I really appreciate all of the advice that I have received because I feel it's been fair and unbiased and you don't always get that from friends or family and this website and forum are just excellent. I'm glad I found it and it has been very informative and useful. Thank you.

hi jimmydaves, u are right there are many options so many its hard to choose between the two, try making a realistic list of all pros vs cons in all aspects, such as options in education, relocation, finances, ultimate goal, time frames, travel time ect. after making list whichever has more pros than cons go for it, good luck. which ever u decide is where u were meant to b

jimmydaves ask ur friend what online school she went to maybe u could go to the same one and online education for nursing is becoming more and more popular nowadays allnurses has forums on online nursing schools, start researching these schools now and making calls, if u really dont feel comfortable with relocating then dont but apply to other rn schools in texas. thats one of the great things about nursing there are so many options that iit is limitless. just get excellent grades and u may not have 2 worry about getting accepted into the lvn/rn program u will b accepted get excellent grades in school and test and network with school dept of nursing and instructors.

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