Hi! New and need input.........

Students General Students


Hi all,

So glad I found this website. I'm starting to get discouraged and I haven't even started the Nursing Program. I have a number of questions that I'm hoping you can help me answer.

A bit about myself. My name is Kris. I am 27 years old (single) and living in California. I'm originally from Boston and moved out to Cal 4 years ago. I have my Bachelors degreee in Criminal Justice and Psychology with a minor in Sociology. My plan was to become a police officer after graduation. I made that decision at 18 years old and upon graduation decided against it. At 18 I definitely was not ready to make such a decision. After my internships etc., figured out that it just wasnt' for me. Since then I have been working as a Legal Assistant. Not very fulfilling but it pays the bills. Sitting at a desk in front of a computer all day trying to be something I'm not has really taken it's toll on me. I'm tired of just "getting through the day" and not feeling good about what I do.

What really has given me the push that I needed was my sister being diagnosed with cancer. We live together which has been great. I have been able to be there through everything. I know this may sound crazy but that alone has really changed me and my perspective on my own life and the quality of it. We have been through so much over the past 6 weeks and during this time she has asked me several times when I am I going to do what I was meant to do - be a nurse. I'm going for it!!! My sis is doing great. She'll beat it I'm sure.

Sorry for being so long winded.

My questions

1) the two local programs are extremely competitive therefore grades are important but it also sounds as if you need some experience as a med assistant, CNA, etc. Is that true? One of the counselors said that might be a good idea to work as a med assist prior to nursing. Has anyone else gone this route?

2) if that is true, should I go through med assistant, CNA program prior to nursing school? (it appears as though the med assistant program is about 2 years, same as ADN) Why would I take 2 years to complete that when I could be working towards my nursing degree?

3) I will need to continue working while attending school and many of the pre-reqs are not offered in the evening. If they are offered it's only class. It will take me forever to get the pre-reqs done before even entering the Nursing Program. Is anyone else in the same boat? Won't it take years upon years to finish??

4) The question I keep asking myself. Do I go for the BSN or the ADN. For me ADN makes more sense time wise and then I can always go back lto school but I also think I should get my BSN and be done. I don't know?

Any feedback would be much appreciated. Thanks for the help.

P.S. Sorry if I sound a bit ignorant but this is all brand new to me and the process seems to be a lot more involved than I previoiusly thought.



35 Posts


I hope your sister is doing well !! Congratulations on your decision to go back to school for nursing !!!

I'll tell your my story(condensed)-I have a BS in Human Services/Sociology and couldn't find a job to save my life. (everyone wants a masters degree). so, I worked a great job at AT&T. Until February when I got laid off.(along w/400 other people). It was then that I realized this was an opportunity to do something I've always wanted to do !! Nursing !!

So, I too looked around at the local colleges. If your 2 colleges are REALLY competitive, I would still go for it, but if you don't succeed there-look into a 1 year LPN program. That is what I'm doing. Even though I have a BS already-I'm lacking the science prereq's...So, I'm going to go the LPN route-then work as an LPN while doing the prereq's at night. Also, the colleges here allow LPN's to "bridge" into the RN program-while taking a year off the program's length !!

I know immediately following my post will be others telling you to go straight for the RN !! Which if you can-go for it !!!! But if not, then I urge you to check out the LPN schools as well !!

Good Luck and let us know what happens !!



149 Posts

Hi Kris,

I would make appointments to go talk directly to the *nursing* advisors at the schools you are interested in. They are the ones that can tell you what you need to know about the prerequisites for their programs and are usually much more knowledgeable than the general advisors. I've gotten a lot better information from the horses' mouths (so to speak) than from any of the general advisors I've spoken with. Some programs do require you to be a CNA first, some don't. The program I'm going into does not, but does give you extra points on your application if you are already a CNA.

The medical assistant program here is only three quarters long; I'm pretty sure that it is only a year-long program to get certified. If you want to do the AA, it is two years, but the second year is all liberal arts classes. The CNA program is only one quarter, or you can do it in three weeks through the extended learning center.

As for which to do (RN or BSN), it is really dependent upon many things. BSN programs tend to be even more grade competitivie, so for some people (like me) it isn't a choice. My grades from when I was in school ten years ago are pretty mediocre, so it will take a lot of credits to be able to raise my GPA to where it needs to be to get into the BSN program. I'm planning to do the one year RN to BSN as soon as I'm done with my two year degree. A BSN is probably a smart thing to get in the long run, but you can definitely still get a good job out of nursing school with your ADN.

I also think that getting your LPN then doing a bridge to an RN is a great idea! I'm also lucky that my program is a "ladder" program -- after the first four quarters I'm eligible to sit for the LPN test, and the RN after seven.



95 Posts

In SF bay area, there are a couple of schools that offer entry level masters programs (programs that are designed for people who already have a bachelor's in another are and are interested in going into nursing), you get credit for the work you have already done, become eligible to sit for RN boards and come out with a masters in case management...just another option. (Samuel Merritt, and I think USF or CSU Hayward)

As to the prereqs, keep looking into courses at other jc's, if have friends who did their prereqs in the evenings while working. Try the schools that offer nursing programs first they usually offer the classes more frequently....There's Chabot, but I do not know how far north you want to go.

As to the CNA/MA issue. Most of the places I looked into wanted some sort of experience and you get admission points for it. However it was the same points whether you had experience as a cna, ma, ward clerk, or volunteer. They were just looking for some related experience that demonstrated your interest. I went the volunteer route (you don't have to go to school for it and you can pick away at it a little bit at a time while you are doing your prereqs.

ADN 2002

155 Posts

Hi Kris,

Don't feel bad; I think everyone feels ignorant when they first get into something like this. I am in an ADN program and it's wonderful. I'll graduate in May with my RN and will be able to go right to work. I had NO previous medical experience before entering this program, and I was actually one of the first people accepted into my class - it was based on grades alone. Many of the people in my class have families to support, so they do work and go to school - it is possible! I don't know about your local program, but for mine, the only pre-reqs were A&P 1 and 2 and those don't take long to get through. The rest of the pre-reqs can be done while you're in an ADN program. But, whatever program you decide to go with, I agree with the others that have responded to your question - go and talk to the director of the program. They are there to help you and nothing pleases them more than if they're able to help a student that wants to be a nurse to be a nurse. Hope this helps-

Kristin :p

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