Nursing schools WITHOUT wait lists?

  1. Okay, so I'm rather bummed right now. I just got done with an academic counseling appointment at my local community college and they say that their RN program is full for the next three semester starts, and the earliest I could hope to get in would be Spring 2020. I'm 38 years old right now and I will be two weeks shy of 40 if I wait that long.

    I hate waiting. I wouldn't even be able to fill all of that time with gen-ed courses that would go toward a BSN... at most I would have two semesters of those, and with there being a summer semester, that isn't even a full calendar year.

    I want to do either an RN track, an accelerated BSN track for people who already have a bachelor's in a different discipline, or an accelerated MSN track for the same people. I like the idea of going to a community college because they tend to be cheaper. Something in Ohio would be best, because I could get in-state tuition. But, I'm open to anything and willing to move anywhere as long as the cost of living isn't outrageous (no NYC metro, no LA metro, none of that). I have a strong GPA and GRE, and plenty of work experience in a health care setting.

    Do any of y'all know any schools where a guy like me wouldn't have to wait more than a semester or so to get in, that don't cost a fortune? (I don't want huge student loans.) I could deal with a Fall 2019 start because I can go full-time with gen-eds in Spring 2019, but I don't want to wait for Spring 2020. I was hoping to start in Spring 2019. Yes, I know I will be 45 anyway, if I'm lucky, and my choice is do I want to be 45 and not a nurse or 45 and a nurse... I've heard that a lot... but I look at it like this - if I could be 45 and a DNP or 45 and an RN, due to wait lists and whatever, I would prefer to be 45 and a DNP.
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    About RomaniGypsy

    Joined: Jan '18; Posts: 34; Likes: 19
    Specialty: 1 year(s) of experience

    21 Comments

  3. by   Sour Lemon
    Just start looking anywhere that interests you. I'm under the impression that the majority of nursing programs are competitive entry. Wait lists seem much less common.
  4. by   meanmaryjean
    Playing music in health care facilities is not really "work experience in a health care setting" as schools consider it. (I am not dissing your work- just pointing out that you are not interpreting "work experience in a healthcare setting" the way 99.9% of us who work in healthcare/ nursing education would.)

    I really think you would do well to take a CNA course and get some ACTUAL hands-on healthcare experience.
  5. by   RomaniGypsy
    Quote from meanmaryjean
    Playing music in health care facilities is not really "work experience in a health care setting" as schools consider it. (I am not dissing your work- just pointing out that you are not interpreting "work experience in a healthcare setting" the way 99.9% of us who work in healthcare/ nursing education would.)

    I really think you would do well to take a CNA course and get some ACTUAL hands-on healthcare experience.
    Well, it's something anyway. Plus I have several months working as a maintenance guy / central supply guy at a nursing home.

    I might do that CNA course... might... I just don't get why I would have to wipe poop for ten bucks an hour in order to be a competitive candidate for nursing school. I'll wipe poop, but I'd rather do it for much more than ten bucks an hour...
  6. by   Wiggly Litchi
    Quote from RomaniGypsy
    Well, it's something anyway. Plus I have several months working as a maintenance guy / central supply guy at a nursing home.

    I might do that CNA course... might... I just don't get why I would have to wipe poop for ten bucks an hour in order to be a competitive candidate for nursing school. I'll wipe poop, but I'd rather do it for much more than ten bucks an hour...
    As a CNA, I'd also love to get paid more than 10 bucks an hour haha, but that's a discussion for another time. Being a CNA isn't for the faint of heart - sure, it's not glamorous work by any means, but it's one of the most rewarding jobs I've ever had. I feel like the clinical experience I've gained has given me an edge in my nursing classes that very few of my cohort has. I'm confident with my communication skills and this puts my patients at ease, I know my way around a ward, and I have a skillset that I can expand upon and utilize in my future nursing practice.

    Clinical experience is so valuable and I wish that all aspiring nurses did a stint as a CNA. Some folks (not all) are tied up on the whole glamorous TV nursing side of things; they balk at the fact that as nurses, they're still gonna have to clean poop (but for $30+ an hour haha).
  7. by   RomaniGypsy
    Quote from Wiggly Litchi
    As a CNA, I'd also love to get paid more than 10 bucks an hour haha, but that's a discussion for another time. Being a CNA isn't for the faint of heart - sure, it's not glamorous work by any means, but it's one of the most rewarding jobs I've ever had. I feel like the clinical experience I've gained has given me an edge in my nursing classes that very few of my cohort has. I'm confident with my communication skills and this puts my patients at ease, I know my way around a ward, and I have a skillset that I can expand upon and utilize in my future nursing practice.

    Clinical experience is so valuable and I wish that all aspiring nurses did a stint as a CNA. Some folks (not all) are tied up on the whole glamorous TV nursing side of things; they balk at the fact that as nurses, they're still gonna have to clean poop (but for $30+ an hour haha).
    That's the thing - I'd clean poop for $30+ per hour. (And if it's my wife, who recently developed IBS or some other nasty as-yet-undiagnosed gastrointestinal malfunction that isn't an infection, or my son who is still in diapers, I'll do it for nothing. Nobody ever likes the smell of poop, but it doesn't nauseate me. If I must, I can hold my breath or breathe through my mouth.)

    There is one other potential issue though. I've heard that being a male CNA makes at least some patients uneasy. For example, at one of the nursing homes where my wife and I perform music regularly, I recently discovered that a professor who had taught at my college when I was a student there is now a resident. I never had this professor but we've struck up a friendship and one of the things he told me was that he does not like being showered by a male aide. (He's not nuts about female aides either, but he said that if he must be showered by someone, he'll take a female anytime.) I've read about this being an issue at least regularly enough to warrant mention.

    I _can_ do all of the things a CNA would do. I just don't relish the thought of doing it regularly. Maybe that's just because the only CNAs I see with any regularity are those at nursing homes... maybe hospital CNAs don't have to clean poop and bathe people as frequently... who knows. I know that the work has to be done, and that the patients who are mentally sharp generally appreciate the work of a CNA for that reason... but I could never understand why they'd want to do the dirtiest work in the nursing home for ten bucks an hour. (Heck, even Wal-Mart nearby is advertising wages starting at $11 per hour.)

    Yet, as I said before... I might do it... there is somewhat of a pride issue here as well... "I have a college degree in physics, computer programming, and mathematics... I'm 38 years old... and I'm cleaning poop for ten bucks an hour." (I wouldn't have this pride issue cleaning poop for 30+ bucks an hour!)
  8. by   Wiggly Litchi
    Quote from RomaniGypsy
    There is one other potential issue though. I've heard that being a male CNA makes at least some patients uneasy. For example, at one of the nursing homes where my wife and I perform music regularly, I recently discovered that a professor who had taught at my college when I was a student there is now a resident. I never had this professor but we've struck up a friendship and one of the things he told me was that he does not like being showered by a male aide. (He's not nuts about female aides either, but he said that if he must be showered by someone, he'll take a female anytime.) I've read about this being an issue at least regularly enough to warrant mention.

    I _can_ do all of the things a CNA would do. I just don't relish the thought of doing it regularly. Maybe that's just because the only CNAs I see with any regularity are those at nursing homes... maybe hospital CNAs don't have to clean poop and bathe people as frequently... who knows. I know that the work has to be done, and that the patients who are mentally sharp generally appreciate the work of a CNA for that reason... but I could never understand why they'd want to do the dirtiest work in the nursing home for ten bucks an hour. (Heck, even Wal-Mart nearby is advertising wages starting at $11 per hour.)
    Shortened the quote a bit because I wanna focus on this part - I don't think anyone's in CNA work for the paycheck haha, though some do make a career out of it and that's cool too.
    I find a lot of satisfaction in my work, even if I ignore the pay, I feel like I benefit greatly from my work. I get to build relationships, see people recover and be a part of that recovery, I help people gain their independence and that to me is worth way more than $10 an hour.
    As for the pride thing, I'm not sure what to say. CNAs do much more than clean poop, and I think if people stopped seeing us as nothing more than mere arse-wipers, then we might get some more folks to scope out healthcare.

    As for the male CNA comment - yes, it can be tough, but for the most part it's not too bad. People have their preferences and that's cool. There are certain patients of mine that do not want a female CNA, so we accommodate them as best as we can.
  9. by   sama34
    Riverside Community College (located in Riverside, CA) has no waiting list. Pre-requisite courses don't expire. Cost is approximately $6000 for 2.5 semesters. Unfortunately, it is California and it can be pricey to live here. Look at Moreno Valley, Colton, or San Bernardino for housing (cheaper than Riverside). They don't require transcript evaluations, but all transcripts must be received by the school before the deadline (October 1st for Spring 2019 start). Application period is NOW thru October 1st. You'll find out mid-December if you get in, and program starts roughly 2 months later during mid-February.

    Also, they will be starting a Concurrent Enrollment Program next year to get your bachelor's at the same time as your ADN. They currently have bridge programs for students interested in getting a jump-start on their BSN, to begin during Summer semesters.
  10. by   verene
    Broaden your search to include community colleges, BSN programs, and ABSN programs outside of your immediate area. Look at the admission criteria for each program and how closely you align with it, and what additional coursework or experiences you may need, and how closely you align with a programs' critera (are you going to be a shoe-in based on the program's criteria or is it more of a long-shot). It helps to make an excel spreadsheet.

    Also lay out the cost of tuition and fees for each program, as well as cost of living in the area where the program is located, current income, likely income as an RN, and map out total costs of going to each program - including cost of living, and factoring earning information (current, how much you'd have to cut back to school, over time, and change in salary), and see where true cost ends up.

    Now sort through it and figure out your own priorities - is it more important to get in right away? to save money? to stay in your current location? and apply to programs based on where they rank for you.

    As for a CNA course - I don't think it is required to get significant work experience as a CNA before school (though I think it can be helpful), but more and more programs give extra admission points for completing the training. Other programs don't care if you have the liscense but want to see that you know what you are getting into and working as a CNA is a great way to show that you understand what working in healthcare really looks like, aren't afraid of hard work, and aren't going to freak out in nursing school the first time you are asked to wipe up poop or give someone a shower. Nursing programs want students who know what they are getting into and who aren't going to drop out of the program or quit in their first year of two of being a nurse because the reality of working as nurse is different from what is seen on TV or understood in pop culture.

    My thought on CNA work is to look at your current finances - how do CNA wages compare - if it is going to be a significant decrease in wages and ability to support yourself, probably don't actually work as one and look at other ways to get healthcare exposure. But if you are working a relatively low paying job - might as well transition to one which will provide work experience that counts for the profession you are trying to get into.
  11. by   hopefulkim99
    Quote from sama34
    Riverside Community College (located in Riverside, CA) has no waiting list. Pre-requisite courses don't expire. Cost is approximately $6000 for 2.5 semesters. Unfortunately, it is California and it can be pricey to live here. Look at Moreno Valley, Colton, or San Bernardino for housing (cheaper than Riverside). They don't require transcript evaluations, but all transcripts must be received by the school before the deadline (October 1st for Spring 2019 start). Application period is NOW thru October 1st. You'll find out mid-December if you get in, and program starts roughly 2 months later during mid-February.

    Also, they will be starting a Concurrent Enrollment Program next year to get your bachelor's at the same time as your ADN. They currently have bridge programs for students interested in getting a jump-start on their BSN, to begin during Summer semesters.
    What school will they be partnering with for the concurrent BSN?
  12. by   RomaniGypsy
    Quote from verene
    Broaden your search to include community colleges, BSN programs, and ABSN programs outside of your immediate area. Look at the admission criteria for each program and how closely you align with it, and what additional coursework or experiences you may need, and how closely you align with a programs' critera (are you going to be a shoe-in based on the program's criteria or is it more of a long-shot). It helps to make an excel spreadsheet.
    I'm willing to do all of that if I must... but it is time-consuming... so I figured I'd ask people if they had any tips for me. A shortcut would be nice. But, I can move pretty much anywhere, and I'm willing to look into just about anything as long as it won't cost me a fortune or make me amass a fortune in student loans.

    Quote from verene
    Now sort through it and figure out your own priorities - is it more important to get in right away? to save money? to stay in your current location? and apply to programs based on where they rank for you.
    It's more important to get in right away. We don't save much, doing what we do now. We're not tied to our current area - yeah, we own our house so to speak, but we know a guy who'd buy it and we can always sell to someone else if we must. I don't want to continue subjecting my infant son to our lifestyle of being on the road constantly. It's only a matter of time before we're involved in a catastrophic accident (we've already had several animal-collision accidents) and that's not something I want him exposed to. Frankly, I'm ready to ditch the car for a while and just ride a freaking bicycle everywhere. I used to ride my bike a lot more often than I do now.

    Quote from verene
    As for a CNA course - I don't think it is required to get significant work experience as a CNA before school (though I think it can be helpful), but more and more programs give extra admission points for completing the training.
    I'll do the training. It can be done in a half semester at the college where I've been taking classes.

    Quote from verene
    Nursing programs want students who know what they are getting into and who aren't going to drop out of the program or quit in their first year of two of being a nurse because the reality of working as nurse is different from what is seen on TV or understood in pop culture.
    I haven't had cable since I moved out on my own... 13 years ago.

    Quote from verene
    My thought on CNA work is to look at your current finances - how do CNA wages compare - if it is going to be a significant decrease in wages and ability to support yourself, probably don't actually work as one and look at other ways to get healthcare exposure. But if you are working a relatively low paying job - might as well transition to one which will provide work experience that counts for the profession you are trying to get into.
    I could do it part time, but it probably would be a pay cut or at least no overall pay raise.
  13. by   RomaniGypsy
    Quote from Wiggly Litchi
    As for the pride thing, I'm not sure what to say. CNAs do much more than clean poop, and I think if people stopped seeing us as nothing more than mere arse-wipers, then we might get some more folks to scope out healthcare.
    Oh, I know y'all do much more than that. It's just that certain other aspects of the job aren't quite so universally distasteful. Feeding people - no big deal. Pushing people around in their wheelchairs - no problem. Lifting people in and out of bed, in and out of a chair, etc - no big deal as long as you're strong enough to do it and don't have back problems. I'm not sure that everyone sees CNAs as naught but "arse wipers"... I know I don't... it's just that that's probably the biggest aspect of the job that deters people. If the job entailed everything else a CNA does except wiping and showering, I doubt there'd be a shortage of CNAs anywhere.

    But... you have piqued my curiosity. Some questions:

    1) In what type of facility do you work?

    2) Approximately what percentage of your work time is spent cleaning up poop (off the person or off any linens, the bed, etc), showering people, and otherwise "toileting" people? (And would you say that that's about the average that any CNA working in the same type of facility could expect?)

    3) What types of people don't want a female CNA? (Is it just the chauvinistic males who believe that females are inherently less competent at everything?)
  14. by   RayyRN2b
    "I might do that CNA course... might... I just don't get why I would have to wipe poop for ten bucks an hour in order to be a competitive candidate for nursing school. I'll wipe poop, but I'd rather do it for much more than ten bucks an hour..."

    RomaniGypsy-
    I'm a little confused on your perception of nursing...Unless you are in an outpatient setting, you will most likely be cleaning up poop as a CNA AND as an RN. And no, working in a hospital vs. nursing home does not mean less poop and bathing. I'm a CNA in a hospital and we have plenty of patients admitted directly from their nursing home! Even if the patient is someone who lives at home independently, many situations will come up where I will have to help them wipe or take their poop from the bedside commode to the toilet. You can't escape the poop, that's just part of the job. And trust me, nurses are the one's helping me do it all. In fact, Nurses do all the things a CNA can do plus their jobs as an RN.

    As far as your pride goes, there are MANY people who have previous degrees and careers and have become CNAs on their way to becoming a nurse. I am a CNA with a Bachelor's in Health Science and will begin nursing school next month. There are MANY others who are highly educated who work as CNAs. I believe my job has exponentially helped me prepare to be a nurse. Any school will appreciate this experience, too. Being a CNA helps you communicate with patients, learn how to problem solve and multitask in a stressful environment, truly understand what it means to be a nurse, and learn medical skills through hands on tasks and observation!

    The Gender Issue- It is very rare that a patient will refuse you as a nurse because of your gender. And that is perfectly fine if they do..there are plenty of others who can take your modest elderly lady to the bathroom. However, nurses do many tasks that might make a patient feel unconformtable, too. For example, foley catheters! I personally don't think your gender is something that should stop you from becoming a CNA because you will run into similar situations as a nurse. It's an easy fix!

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