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I need some advice please!!!

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by MMDearing MMDearing (Member)

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Hi my name is Meg and I would really like to become a nurse, I am a military wife and we are about to move to our next duty station and will be there for a solid 4 years. We are not 100% sure where we have 2 options. I have taken some pre req's such as Intro to Psyc, Developmental Psyc, College Algebra, English 101 and 102, US History. We are more then likely moving to Yuma, AZ or Cherry Point, NC. My question is what can I do to best prepare myself for becoming a nurse. I looked at NAU's courses and it looks like their program would take my 6 years by the time I've finished my pre req's and done their nursing program. I thought becoming a BSN would only take a total of 4 years. I just really want to become a nurse and I'm not sure what route would suite me best seeing as to how I have 2 small children. ADN - BSN ?? I would just like some advice! Thanks y'all!

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4,041 Visitors; 288 Posts

The ADN program would be shorter, the ones in my area are 2 years long, however the wait list to get into them are anywhere from 3 to 5 years. The traditional BSN programs are 4 years, but with some of your prereqs out of the way, it should only take you 2-3 years. I'm not sure why the school you looked into takes 6 years. That seems really long. I'd research other schools/programs in your area to know what you're up against. I dont know how the programs work in AZ or NC, so hopefully someone from those regions can comment.

From my understanding there is no difference between ADN and BSN nurses regarding pay and employment, however, if you wanted to eventually teach nursing or move into the administrative/management side, you'd need your BSN. And of course, if you wanted your masters degree, you'd need a BSN. Anyone, please correct me if I'm wrong about this...

Good luck whatever route you decide.

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KtHospiceRNCM works as a RN Case Manager - Hospice.

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I took 2-3 classes per semester (part-time course load), including summers, and I think it took me 2 1/2 years to finish all the pre-reqs my school required. I just started an ADN program last week and it is a 2 year program. The program is nearly full time itself. Since I am a CNA already I get to "skip" that course.

The best thing to do is just to start and don't stop. If you want a Bachelors then it will probably take you as long as you said - but doing nothing will take just as long. :) You can always do an Associates program and get the Bachelors later - online even. Apparently that is what many ADN students are doing these days since no clinical time is required as far as I understand and it is cheaper that way for some. That is the route I will be taking, personally.

The only thing I would look into is if you and your husband will be staying in the state you will be potentially getting your license from and if not, will it be difficult at all to get one in the state you plan to move to. I'm not sure if that is an issue at all but best to be sure before putting in the work and having a headache later ??

You can do it and if you feel nursing is what you really want to do - then do it! Slow and steady wins the race!! You will make it happen and in the end you will be glad you did it! I felt like it would take me FOREVER to get all my pre-reqs done and get into a program but I did it and it feels like the time flew by.

Go for it!!:) :) :)

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KtHospiceRNCM works as a RN Case Manager - Hospice.

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My school no longer has a waiting list.. they have changed the entry process and maybe other schools will start to do the same eventually. Now, entry is based on test score(s) and GPA based on specific pre-reqs for nursing. My school used my GPA, how many of the pre-reqs I had completed and the composite and reading scores from the TEAS exam. So the top 88 or so students are allowed entry into the program. I think this is a far better way than a waiting list! I didn't "get in" on my first try but did on the second.

Did anyone else have this process for entry also? Just curious how common it is.

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4,041 Visitors; 288 Posts

My school no longer has a waiting list.. they have changed the entry process and maybe other schools will start to do the same eventually. Now, entry is based on test score(s) and GPA based on specific pre-reqs for nursing. My school used my GPA, how many of the pre-reqs I had completed and the composite and reading scores from the TEAS exam. So the top 88 or so students are allowed entry into the program. I think this is a far better way than a waiting list! I didn't "get in" on my first try but did on the second.

Did anyone else have this process for entry also? Just curious how common it is.

The community colleges in my area are still using a wait list, hence the 3-5 year wait :uhoh3:. The program I got into is an ABSN program (at a university) and was based on overall GPA, nursing prereq GPA, application essays, curriculum vitae, and previous degree. There is no wait list for my program. If you don't get in, you reapply the next year. The entry process varies greatly between BSN and ADN programs, and even from one ADN program to the next.

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14,830 Visitors; 2,642 Posts

My school no longer has a waiting list.. they have changed the entry process and maybe other schools will start to do the same eventually. Now, entry is based on test score(s) and GPA based on specific pre-reqs for nursing. My school used my GPA, how many of the pre-reqs I had completed and the composite and reading scores from the TEAS exam. So the top 88 or so students are allowed entry into the program. I think this is a far better way than a waiting list! I didn't "get in" on my first try but did on the second.

Did anyone else have this process for entry also? Just curious how common it is.

My school, a BS program (and all the ADN programs in my area), have competitive admissions. It's based on pre-req GPA and essay.

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14,830 Visitors; 2,642 Posts

Hi my name is Meg and I would really like to become a nurse, I am a military wife and we are about to move to our next duty station and will be there for a solid 4 years. We are not 100% sure where we have 2 options. I have taken some pre req's such as Intro to Psyc, Developmental Psyc, College Algebra, English 101 and 102, US History. We are more then likely moving to Yuma, AZ or Cherry Point, NC. My question is what can I do to best prepare myself for becoming a nurse. I looked at NAU's courses and it looks like their program would take my 6 years by the time I've finished my pre req's and done their nursing program. I thought becoming a BSN would only take a total of 4 years. I just really want to become a nurse and I'm not sure what route would suite me best seeing as to how I have 2 small children. ADN - BSN ?? I would just like some advice! Thanks y'all!

What makes you think NAU will take 6 years? They require 120 credits to graduate....that's pretty standard for a 4 year Bachelors degree.

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972 Visitors; 18 Posts

3-5 year wait list??? Wow!!! Also I think that NAU will take 6 years because they have all the pre-req's they want you to get ( i still need many of them ) and then they have an 8 semester program setup for nursing.

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10,202 Visitors; 535 Posts

Hi my name is Meg and I would really like to become a nurse, ... I have taken some pre req's such as Intro to Psyc, Developmental Psyc, College Algebra, English 101 and 102, US History. We are more then likely moving to Yuma, AZ or Cherry Point, NC.

1. Do LPN in one year full time or 2 years part time. Offered at vo-tech schools. Some run only full time days for one year, some have full time evening 3PM to 10 or 11PM one year, some offer a part-time days 2 years, and a few managed to stretch it to full time 18 months full time days. LPN may be more family friendly and not as difficult, and might fit your total time constraints from family. Then keep chugging away with your college prereqs for BSRN, or enroll in a college ADRN, but most college RN degrees are full-time straight through and you'll have to shake loose of the family to have time for clinicals and the off-hours research and prep work that you do for them, and also to attend your day classes.

Check w/ your local One Stop unemployment office and look at their WIA / TAA training provider list, because any good established LPN program and probably LPN and RN and CNA programs will be on there, with cost data and also a salary range for grads of it, and the % of them that found employment. And you can look that up online, in most cases, b/c it's a state government created list. Some states overhaul theirs and it might be that time of year. Then, call the local One Stop or drop by. Somebody there has that data. It's their job.

With LPN, you generally earn $15 to $22 /hour, base pay, and that is enough from some people. Here, LPNs usually work in nursing homes, not in hospitals or doctor's offices. And you don't get much transfer credit when you go for AD or BSRN. But you are working as a nurse and making a decent wage. My college classes were full of LPNs who were disgruntled, saying "We do everything that the RNs do, except make the bucks." It was like, their slogan.

2. Enroll in college full time now for ADRN or BSRN, and find a daycare or whatever you need to do to shake loose of the kids. Sorry, but you moms who have children THEN decide to have a career, instead of doing it the other way around, don't make it easy for yourselves. For about the past 40 years, two good incomes per household have been better than one. In late '80s, average American family of 4 in the average-cost cities needed $56k gross income to cover expenses, save for retirement, and have disposable income leftover. Before the recent real estate crashes devalued homes, that translated to at least $85k to $100k gross family income per year. And people why it's financially nip and tuck for them all the danged time.

NAU uses the HESI preadmission test. If you search for that here, you'll find my input as well as other applicant's experiences (regarding test content and study materials), and a link to download a free McGraw-Hill nursing entrance exam study guide. HESI and PAX are very similar test material.

NAU also admits two nursing classes per year, Fall and Spring. That is a good thing, because it shortens the waiting time for a new class to open up, It also means that the classes get offered both Fall and Spring, which is a real lifesaver for anyone who fails one and has to repeat it. Their requirement for health care volunteer experience is goofy. All "real" health care requires specific accredited training plus a valid license. You can deliver magazines and escort visitors as a hospital volunteer, lol. Call up NAU and say you're new to the area, and ask where do people volunteer. I guess they just want to make sure that you have actually seen what hospitals, clinics, and nursing homes look like and smell like inside, so that you don't mistake them for the country club or something. >;-)

http://www4.nau.edu/academiccatalog/2009/Educational_Programs/Health_Professions/Nursing/BSNursEM.htm You take at least 47 units, and they tell you which ones are critical. Keep in mind that you might get equivalent courses at a community college. If it doesn't require a lab, you can use online courses. Just work with NAU to make sure that you get courses that transfer in.

A few nursing schools fill their classes on a first-come-first-served basis. That is, they do a preadmission test, also look at GPA, and they add more students to their next starting class as they get qualified applicants from the test sessions. Example: They do 4 NLN PAX tests over three months. You need a certain test score, say 80%, and a certain GPA, and you are in. So, they fill their class some more after each of the test dates, until it's full.

More schools pool all of the "good" applicants, then evaluate the applicants, do interviews with the better ones, do another cut after the interviews, and notify everyone by a certain date whether they are approved, waitlisted, or rejected. Schools do whatever they want to, so just know what that is.

3. If you just want to chip away at ADN or BRSN prereqs part time, here's the list I tallied up for somebody else today. I am a career changer. I have degrees already and I looked extensively at LPN, diploma RN, ADRN and somewhat at BSRN programs but there are no accelerated second-degree-BSRN programs close by, and I didn't like the locations of the ones up here. Most were in dead Rust Belt small towns, and I've already had freaking enough of Rust Belt, small town families, and the Small Town Mommy culture of those small towns. I want out of all of that, like a rocket. :D Anyway:

Always required, for college programs or diploma programs:

Human Anatomy

Human Physiology

Microbiology (might be General, or might be a special nursing-oriented one, so check what's accepted by your program.)

Nutrition (you might need one that makes you do diet plans - definitely check what your nursing program accepts or requires)

English -- College Composition I

Psych -- Introduction to Psychology . .

Psych -- Human Growth & Development:

CPR for Health Care Providers and possibly including a customized First Aid training

Chemistry - for some diploma programs. You need it for BSRN. So take it anyway.

Very likely for a college degree program and maybe for a diploma RN:

Chemistry -- freshman chemistry , one or two semesters, may or may not include organic chemistry

College Algebra - and that one will never hurt you, You need algebra for pharm calcs.

Comp 101 general computer use course for using Microsoft Office

English -- Business and Professional Speaking

phys ed - at least one semester

Soc -- Principles of Sociology

Sometimes:

Psych -- Abnormal Psych (need it for BSRN anyway)

Ethics (usually a philosophy course)

Strategies for Academic Success / College Study Skills (a freshman lever "study habits" class)

Those are general requirements that I found most schools require. Most BS/BA programs require you to complete only 309 hours of it at that school and some nursing courses and nearly all gen ed and science courses will transfer in. But your mileage may vary, hehe, so do your own research for specific schools you are interested in. If you know that your goal is BSRN or higher, why not cram as much of that gen ed and science as you can into your pre-work. Having it under your belt will definitely make the PAX and HESI preadmission tests a piece of cake. Community colleges help cut the total cost, and you can get a ADRN at some of them. But sometimes the private schools have the vacant seats, and also have the endowments to give scholarships. So, work all of the angles. Being military might open up some wallets that the rest of us don't have access to.

Best wishes for success, too! :-)

Edited by Streamline2010

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Samantha79 works as a NICU RN.

3,443 Visitors; 166 Posts

I'm a military wife as well. Your best bet is an ADN. Then wait until your next PCS (after the 4 year billet you are about to start) and do an RN to BSN bridge program. Most schools offer a bridge program. I say do it this way because if you start one progam at a school you have to finish it there. I don't know of any school that lets you transfer nursing courses. So if you started a BSN and for some reason it takes you more than 4 years you will have to stay behind to finish that program. I'm doing the ADN and then when we transfer I will look into an RN to MSN program (I already have a BS in business). Good luck on whatever you decide!

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14,830 Visitors; 2,642 Posts

3-5 year wait list??? Wow!!! Also I think that NAU will take 6 years because they have all the pre-req's they want you to get ( i still need many of them ) and then they have an 8 semester program setup for nursing.

According to this (see attached) the pre-reqs are done in the first two years (they say to apply during your third term) and the last two years are nursing classes.

http___www2.nau.edu_~nurse-p_docs_Trad_BSN_Application_new.pdf

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972 Visitors; 18 Posts

WOW! Both y'all gave such amazing advice, THANK YOU SOO SOO MUCH! I have lots to look into and I really like the idea of doing ADN at one duty station and then the bridge program at the next. Having to move mid BSN would not be good at all. Really if I could just find a way to help pay for daycare (because oh lordy it's expensive) I would do as much school as I could handle! Right now I'm doing only night courses at a community college until we move at the very beginning of next year. So my husband is able to watch the kids. I know this won't be an option once we move because his schedule won't be as consistent. Samantha, with you being a military wife in school as well do you have any advice for helping bridge the costs of expensive childcare? (I'm just assuming you have children, if not then sorry about that!)

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