GEP or Associate's Program? Advice needed.

  1. Hello, all. I am seeking out advice about nursing school, especially from those who have switched careers to go into nursing. My situation is as follows:

    I graduated with my BA in Secondary English Education, but have been unable to secure a permanent teaching position in the 1.5 years since graduation. It is not unusual for the best districts to get near 1000 applications for one open English position - even the "bad" schools are getting in excess of 100. That being the case, I'm looking into pursuing nursing as a career, given it was always something I had an interest in. My ultimate goal would be to become a Women's Health Nurse Practitioner; I'm just not sure of the most effective and efficient way to go about achieving that goal.

    I'm considering two options:

    1) Attend Truman College to obtain my Associate's Degree in Nursing, and then take (and hopefully pass) the NCLEX-RN. After that, I would, ideally, find work as an RN and, after a year or two, go back part-time (while working) to earn my Master's to become a WHNP.
    2) Attend UIC's Graduate Entry Program, which would allow me to take the NCLEX-RN after a 15-month accelerated program. After that, I could work as an RN while continuing to take classes to earn my Master's and eventually be credentialed as a WHNP.

    My concerns/questions:
    -How well-regarded is the Truman Program? If all goes according to plan, I would be graduating after the Spring 2012 term. I would hope that, by this point, many of the hiring freezes for new grads would have let up a bit, but, even if that is the case, are Chicago (and surrounding area) hospitals reluctant to hire individuals with just an Associate's in Nursing? Would my BA help, despite the fact that it's in a different discipline?
    -I have read some threads regarding the city colleges and HESI exam controversy. Is this also happening at Truman? I would hate to spend all of that time and money pursuing a different career, only to find myself out thousands of dollars with no degree or certification to show for it.
    -Are there any other GEPs besides UIC that you would recommend I look into? I've glanced over DePaul's, but it seems extremely cost-prohibitive. This is a major concern for me, as I still have 25k to pay off from my first degree.
    -Are there any other good avenues for obtaining an RN license that I am leaving out?

    Any other advice or insights based off your experience or the experience of those you know would be greatly appreciated. I'm trying to figure out what would be the best plan for my future, but I'm getting nervous about the costs involved and the career opportunities that will be available once I graduate.

    Thanks in advance for any advice offered.

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    About Christie00

    Joined: Jul '09; Posts: 7


  3. by   purplerabbit2012
    have you looked into ABSN programs? It's an Accelerated Bachelors in nursing.... look into Loyola.
  4. by   MedOncIllinoisRN
    You could apply the UIC'S GEP program, but it is super competitive. For the Women's health specialty, you really need grades close to 4.0, very strong GRE scores, and some healthcare experience, wheter it is from volunteering, CNA, LPN, or something like a Doula.

    There's no harm it applying, but don't count on it. I know this past year there were only a couple spots for the CNM specialty. Not sure about the WHNP, but I would imagine it was similar.
  5. by   TheSquire
    Additional options: apply to either Rush's GEM or DePaul's MENP. Both will get you farther along than just an ADN, and I know that you'd finish DePaul's program with only a year left on your APN of choice. Also, like UIC's program (which takes forever to get into) you'll be eligible for GradPLUS loans.