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Is Excelsior RN Program a good program??

Excelsior   (20,039 Views 20 Comments)
by andersjoh52 andersjoh52 (New Member) New Member

745 Visitors; 3 Posts

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Hello,

I am finishining up my last semester of schooling in the Respiratory Care program, and I am also a EMT (my job that im currently in and have been doing for over 14 years).

One of my major long term goals however always has been to be a CRNA.

2 years ago, I choose Respiratory over Nursing because of two reasons: #1 was the affordable schools in my area had long wait lists (1 year to 2 years) regardless of high grades, and the RC program didnt have one, and #2...I thought Respiratory would give me a nice "foundation" into CRNA school and also look good on an application.

The plan that I had was 1 of 2 options:

Plan A: I already hold a bachelors degree in Psychology, so I was looking at accelerated BSN programs

Plan B: Excelsior RN.....This is the plan I am leaning towards because it is BY FAR the most cost effective, cheapest, most convienient.

My state (New York), where Excelsior is located accepts Excelsior obviously, and I just wanted to know if anyone thought this was a good program?

I am most concerned about the CPNE exam because i've heard horror stories about that.

I am also concerned about the lack of clinicals? How much of a difference does this make if you get hired at a hospital from the moment of orientation to actually working on the floor?

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7 Likes; 13,737 Visitors; 11,114 Posts

Be very, very careful. Just because one state accepts grads from a program to take the NCLEX for licensure there does not mean that another state will grant licensure by reciprocity if state 2 doesn't recognize that program. The number one reason for denial is lack of appropriate clinical hours.

 

https://allnurses.com/nursing-online-distance/warning-excelsior-students-377432.html

 

There are a number of accredited bachelors-in-anything-to-BSN/MN programs that are accepted everywhere-- the Mass General Institute of Health Sciences in Boston is one. Why not do that?

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JustBeachyNurse has 10 years experience and works as a Nurse.

10 Likes; 1 Follower; 98,897 Visitors; 13,943 Posts

This is an individual decision. To do any distance education program one must be self-disciplined and highly motivated.

There are several states where your Excelsior AS/AAS degree is not eligible for initial licensing by examination but endorsement only with specified hours of experience, California you are not eligible for licensing as an RN via examination or endorsement.

Start with this thread: https://allnurses.com/excelsior-college-online/excelsior-college-distance-808335.html

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missnurse01 has 18 years experience.

16,695 Visitors; 1,280 Posts

I did EC after having 6+ years of nursing experience as an lpn. It made the cpne much much easier and the examiners all asked me if I had previous experience b/c of it. Obviously people are able to do it, but I would think that the hands on learning that employers want you to know as a new grad isn't something that you will learn. they have added a whole lot of clinical type tasks to the EC program since I started, so I know that there is more there. Hopefully an RT/EMT EC grad will chime in and be able to advise you. I did EC, then online rn-bsn thru univ of wyoming, and will start crna school in the fall.

good luck to you

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745 Visitors; 3 Posts

I guess the reason why im looking harder into excelsior is because of the convienence and cost....you cant beat it.

Although like you said, it does kind of suck that i'll be recognized as an RN in NYS, but if I were to travel out to California just on vacation or something, I technically under California law am not a RN

But, luckily for me, I have zero desire to live or travel to any of those states that don't accept Excelsior, so I guess it could be a fit for me if I choose Excelsior

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745 Visitors; 3 Posts

So to anyone who can answer, what are the exams like for every subject/content matter, and if your a grad of the program, most importantly how did you prepare for each of these Exams?

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BSNbeDONE works as a Registered Nurse.

24,277 Visitors; 2,317 Posts

There are so many resources that have study materials. Excelsior has its own bookstore and provides a list of recommended texts for each exam. I knew of some students who simply googled the necessary topics from the free study guides provided. I would recommend keeping your distance from publishing companies, though. That costs thousands of dollars and you still have to pay for the exams from EC. Lots of students supplemented their studying with materials from Study Group 101 and various resources found on eBay.

As far as the exams themselves, if you prepare well and study hard, you should have no issues. One of the main issues encountered by students with a medical background is the fact that they, (we) tend to rely on real-life experiences during test time. The thing to remember is that EC exams are based on textbook theory; not on how we addressed that issue on the floor last night or out in the field yesterday. If you can separate the two and rely upon what you studied based on the EC content guide, then the exams are extremely doable. Mind you, Excelsior College grants many degrees and my ASN is proudly displayed in the front room 'for your reading enjoyment'.:yes: But on the same token, they darn sure are NOT giving them away! By the time you receive yours, you will have DEFINITELY earned it! And I can hardly wait for this time next year to display their/MY RN-BSN next to the ASN for more reading pleasure!:roflmao:

Good luck with your decision!:wavey:

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68 Likes; 14,535 Visitors; 850 Posts

As previous posters have mentioned, there are some potentially problematic issues that need to be considered when looking at EC, but on a positive note, I know 2 RTs who have found success becoming RNs through EC. One went on to become a NICU nurse and the other worked in CVICU to gain some solid nursing experience and then went on to become a CRNA. Good luck!

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missnurse01 has 18 years experience.

16,695 Visitors; 1,280 Posts

I have a good friend that was a medic and transitioned well however his wife was a nurse and was able to teach a lot of clinical stuff. He is also a voracious reader so was always reading up on things, procedures etc. it is doable, you just have a lot more to teach yourself and you may be a fish out of water as a new grad. I do not know if people do clinical refesher courses prior to their first jobs. You don't always get experience with a ton of tasks in a brick and mortor school either.

Hoping an rt/emt grad will chime in for you.

As for the tests I made sure I studied everything on the free study guides and that went well for me. I received all A's. I only had to take the nursing classes thru them, I had the other prereqs done.

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Going from a Paramedic to RN through Excelsior is not easy. Excelsior is a Center for Excellence through the National League of Nursing. Check it out. About 20 in Nation (John Hopkins is on the list). You MUST initiate your learning. All information is provide upon your initiative. NO "Gotchas". I am fixing to retake the CPNE. Clinical Performance Nursing Examination when I hear bad things about how "picky" the examiners are these are things that Excelsior spells out in the CPNE Guide as REQUIRED. A degree from Excelsior would mean Nothing if their standards were only on paper and not in practice. I started in February 2012 and was able to get a CPNE date in December 2012. I worked my butt off. I would love to help you. Enroll directly into Excelsior. I am repeating without penalty. The examiners were 100% professional and according to Excelsior standards published. What more do you expect. Good luck with whatever decision you make but know that Excelsior is FAIR. I urge you to contact them directly before you make your choice.

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Esme12 works as a emergency ,critical care,cath lab,open heart,traum.

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I guess the reason why im looking harder into excelsior is because of the convienence and cost....you cant beat it.

Although like you said, it does kind of suck that i'll be recognized as an RN in NYS, but if I were to travel out to California just on vacation or something, I technically under California law am not a RN

But, luckily for me, I have zero desire to live or travel to any of those states that don't accept Excelsior, so I guess it could be a fit for me if I choose Excelsior

I'm going to caution you VERY CAREFULLY AGAIN.......there are schools that will not transfer well. Excelsior recently had issues in New York with con currency issues.

"only those states that have explicit education requirements of concurrent theory and practicum will some nurses have licensure issues.

excelsior college new york nursing graduates have had same issue recently. see state board licensure requirements here]

These are states having concerns over concurrent theory and practicum, so I would look at other 37 states to obtain license:

Alabama

Arizona

California

Georgia

Illinois

Kansas

Louisiana

Maryland

north Dakota

Oklahoma

Vermont

Virginia

Washington"

and more states are following suit. There are CRNA school's that will NOT accept these programs readily. CRNA programs are VERY competitive. If CRNA is really your goal....your best bet is an accelerated BSN from a brick and mortar program or masters entry. You have a Bachelors degree....use it.

Talk to advisers before you make a commitment. Visit the Pre-CRNA Inquiry forum you might find it enlightening.

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JustBeachyNurse has 10 years experience and works as a Nurse.

10 Likes; 1 Follower; 98,897 Visitors; 13,943 Posts

There are no issues with Excelsior and NYBoN. Especially since Excelsior is based in Albany, NY and fully approved by the NYBoN as well as a center of excellence by the NLN.

Edited by JustBeachyNurse

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