Need some advice from someone who has completed nursing school..

  1. I didn't know where else to post this, so I figured this would be OK.
    It's kind of long, so I apologize in advance.

    My name is Mary and I am going to school at NSU Natchitoches in Louisiana.
    I am in my third year of school. I started off in nursing (BSN) my first year, but then changed my major to Graphic Design because I was so scared of clinicals. Now I feel like I made a mistake, and have re-entered the nursing program, only this time with an ASN. The only way I can keep my financial aid is if I complete my current degree and add on an Associate's Degree.
    If I do this, I will have to begin clinicals the same semester I am working on a senior art show for my Bachelors degree in Graphic Design (as well as the same semester I would complete the Graph Design degree).
    The way the clinical rotation works at NSU includes taking general education courses along side clinicals to allow students to maintain full time status during clinicals.
    The semester I would start clinicals, (to remain on track and not lose financial aid) I would only need two clinical courses. I was wondering how clinicals work and if it is possible to do them while taking other courses (such as the two courses in my other degree I would need to graduate that year). It would be the only way I can succesfully complete the degree program.
    Ok thanks so much for reading and I hope I wasn't to confusing with my questions.
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    About sockmonkey70

    Joined: Oct '06; Posts: 60; Likes: 17


  3. by   nurse4theplanet
    Our clinical days are reserved for Tues and Thursdays. Depending on the semester and the instructor, you never know whether you will be doing 12-hr or 6-hr clinical days, nor which day if it is our school does not allow us to schedule any classes on those days. However, we can take extra classess on M-W-F, since these are when lectures (2 hours) are scheduled. My school also requires that we are enrolled as full time students (12 cr hrs), which means that we have to pick up 1-2 extra courses a semester. Nursing school will be very demanding on your time, and it may prove too much trying to do the art show plus nursing school. If you have to work, etc...this will only add to your stress. I understand your plight about financial aid...however, if nursing is truly what you wish to do then perhaps it is worth taking out student loans. Most hospitals offer student loan repayment. I would not recommend giving up the Graphic Design Degree, after all, you are nearly finished...and it gives you something to fall back on.

    Finally, as the saying goes..."where there is a will, there is a way." You can always attempt both, and hope for the best. Be open with all instructors and try to get them to work around your nursing schedule.
  4. by   sockmonkey70
    Thanks for your reply. I am already taking out student loans in addition to my scholarships, so that is my problem. I can't exceed a certain amount of hours. If I do, I can't take out anymore loans. Also, I have to remain a full time student, so trying to fulfill both of those criteria make things quite interesting. I would have no problem graduating with my first degree and then working souly on the ASN, but then I wouldn't have enough hours to satisfy full time status within those four semesters. If I did have full time status (taking some extra courses to fulfill 12 hours every semester) I would exceed my hours for student loans and get no financial aid. That is the reason I need the overlapping semester..It's my only loophole to keep financial aid for 4 semesters of clinicals.
    I don't have a job, and the two art courses I am taking would be independent studies. That's why I was thinking it may be possible to do both at once. Especially if I work on my senior exhibition the semester before I graduate and get most of it out of the way. I only have 30 hours to complete my Graphic Design Degree (two semesters with 15 hours) which I will have to stretch over 3 more semester (due to the rotation of courses). This will give me extremely light course loads(I could scrape by with 12/semester, where as I usually take atleast 18)
    Last edit by sockmonkey70 on Oct 9, '06
  5. by   nurse4theplanet
    If it will take you three semesters to complete your GA degree, then why not complete nursing first with financial aide and come back to complete your GA degree later, out of pocket? Is that an option? How certain are you that you want to work in nursing rather than graphic design?
  6. by   sockmonkey70
    I am 99.9% certain I would rather be a nurse. It's what I have always wanted to do. Anytime I am in a hospital I feel at home. I don't know how to explain it. The atmosphere is appealing to me.
    Art is something I have always been really good at and really loved, but I think it would be more suiting for a hobby..a good relaxation method. And maybe even some freelance work on the side
    The way our system works, the Bachelor's would have to be completed before the ASN. Its weird, and complicated..As I imagine this whole scenario I have explained is. I have 25 hours of 72 hours in the ASN, and 95 of 125 hours in the Graphic Design degree. I am too far into it to completely throw it away. And it would ruin my financial aid.
    Also, I am very close with all of my art prefessors, and I am the vice president of our honorary art fraternity (president next year). I would really hate to let the dept. down because they expect alot from me, and have all been so supportive. It really is a great department.
    I am just so confused. If I could start over, I would never have left the BSN program. Hindsight is 20/20 *sighs*. Now I feel like I have screwed up beyond repair. I wish I had enough money to pay out of pocket for school
    Last edit by sockmonkey70 on Oct 9, '06
  7. by   nurse4theplanet
    Have you checked out the second degree programs designed for students who possess a bachelor's degree in non-nursing majors?
  8. by   sockmonkey70
    I am unsure what you mean..But if you are talking about a second bachelors' degree..I am unsure how it works at our school. I know to get a second bachelor's/associte's degree you have to complete it within "so many hours" or you don't get to keep all of your previous courses.
    I have been talking to so many people (Registrar, Nursing Advisors, etc)and none of them seem to have any solution for my problem. They basically tell me to figure it out for myself because it is ultimately my choice.
  9. by   nurse4theplanet
    There are accelerated RN programs called 'Second Degree Programs' for students who wish to become a registered nurse that already possess a bachelor's degree in a non-nursing major: like graphic design, accounting, teaching, etc. I don't know much more than that, but they are becoming very popular for many people who have decided to switch careers or can not find a job in their field after graduating. Perhaps someone who is in such a program will see your post and add to this info. Try doing a google search for this type of program and see if there are any schools that offer it in your area. You seem like a prime candidate.
  10. by   nurse4theplanet

    try this link and read about the programs in your area.

    I am thinking that perhaps you could pass up the ASN program and just finish out your GA degree, then go into one of these accelrated RN programs...without jeopardizing your financial aid or overloading yourself.

    Just another option to consider in case you feel like you can't do the ASN and GA at the same time.
  11. by   sockmonkey70
    Thanks so much for all of the help and advice. There are no accelerated RN prgrams in my area (Louisiana, Texas, Mississippi)
    I know I will figure something out though. Maybe I can take out private loans rather than federal loans for the semester that would exceed the maximum amount of hours.
  12. by   sockmonkey70
    I know I have the brains for it. When I went in to add Nursing back to my degree program the advisor was hesistant until she pulled up my ACT/SAT's and grades. She said I would be a shoe in for clinicals when I apply.
  13. by   augigi
    This is a 2 year accelerated RN degree in Louisiana:

    That is just one, I found a bunch in the states you mentioned on google.
  14. by   sockmonkey70
    Thanks! I found a couple of more that look like possibilities at Tulane and Our Lady of the Lake.