I graduated from Stanbridge College in Irvine back in October from their LVN program. I started out in the part-time program and realized it was way too slow so I joined the full-time program. It took a lot of sacrifice because I was still working full time at my current job. I'd work a 12 hour graveyard shift as an Emergency Medical Dispatcher (1800-0600) and have to be in class by 7am. Let me tell you it was hell! My first year in the part time program was amazing thanks to the best instructor who's changed my life. Unfortunatelly, he no longer works at the school. I've heard the program is now almost up to $30,000! It was $25,000 when I signed up and they gave us the biggest piece of crap laptops that could not have cost more than $100. To tell you the truth, the school sounded more glorified than it turned out to be for the most part. But there were still a lot of good instructors (as well as terrible that I hope they've gotten rid of by now) that really made my education worthwhile.
The clinical instructors I worked with were really good although I now wish they still would have pushed us more. The only negative thing I really have to stress on is that you have to be prepared to possibly have instructors being switched around on you a lot. We went through a lot of instructors during our last term and it made it really frustrating and difficult keeping up with the different teaching styles. Also, a lot of the power points had not been updated as well as the tests so we would have questions that were not supposed to be in our tests and were promised they were going to be deducted from our total score but never were. This cost me not getting an "A" by 2 points in the maternity section which I was furious about!! Nothing was ever made to fix the scores but thank God I still managed to graduate valedictorian.
Anothing thing that really ticked me off was that I signed a contract for the part-time program stating that all the NCLEX fees and livescan fees would be paid for but come the end of the year I was forced to pay the registration fees as well as the livescan fees or else my papers would not be sent out to the Nursing Boards. This reallllly made a lot of the students mad but we had no time to put a fight because of the possibility of our papers not being sent out in time. Anyways, our program encountered a lot of problems with fees and whatnot but in the end we all just wanted to be done and get out of there to move on with our life so we just let it be.
I'm super thankful for their ATI program though. This program is hard but works amazing! It gave us headaches and made us cry sometimes because you really need to know how to study and think like a nurse but let me tell you it is the answer to passing the NCLEX. I ran into some problems with the Nursing Board because they misspelled my last name so I couldn't register until it was changed (and it took them 5 1/2 months to fix it!!!!!! TALK ABOUT STRESS!!!
) so I wasn't able to register for my test and take it until about 6 months after I had graduated and I still passed without having studied one bit after I graduated. I actually just got my liecnse in the mail about a week ago
. All I did was take the exit exam that ATI offers which is pretty much a refresher of everything you studied since the beginning. The way you are trained to answer ATI questions is the same way in which you will answer the questions for the NCLEX-PN.
So overall, after all my rambling, I'd take Stanbridge over Concorde and all those other vocational nursing schools. A lot of students from those colleges who failed the nursing boards the first time would come to our NCLEX reviews and oh my goodness they had horror stories compared to what we were complaining about at our school. I'm pretty sure Stanbridge still has 100% passing rate as well for the NCLEX.
Word of advise though, if you're doing part-time, make sure you are enrolled in a community college program working on your pre-requsities for an RN program. This way you'll be able to enroll in the LVN to RN career ladder program much faster. If you're doing the full-time program though, make sure you don't work full time like I did unless you want to drive yourself to near insanity for really good grades haha. I recommend working for HomeHelpers which the school offers pretty much a guaranteed position with while you're going to school. It looks great on your resume and have gotten many job offers after graduating thanks to it. Good luck and let me know if you have any questions, I'd love to help!