Choosing between RACC and Reading Hospital School of health sciences

  1. Help! Any students or alumni from either of those schools on here that could help me? I have been accepted to both programs and I can't decide which school to attend. There are pros and cons to both options it seems! I heard some horror stories about RACC so i'm leaning toward RHSHC but then again, i haven't heard much of ANYTHING about Reading Hospital's program. I need information on what my schedule would look like at both schools but I can't seem to get answers from either school on these questions. Would one look better than the other on my resume? RACC would give me an associates (but I already have a previous B.A.) and reading hospital would only be a diploma. If I were to someday go for my BSN would that matter?
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    About LindsG

    Joined: Nov '10; Posts: 5


  3. by   ashleyisawesome
    i went to racc for one semester, and from my personal experience i would say go to reading hospital. the people at racc that run the nursing program are heartless and purposely weed people out. our first semester class started with 90 and ended with 46. im not saying its impossible, but i think it would be a more pleasant experience to go to reading hospital. i transferred out to st luke's hospital (in bethlehem), which is also a diploma program, and i love it. the faculty are much more supportive, and diploma programs give you a lot more clinical time, which is nice, because you get more experience.

    dont worry about "only" graduating with a diploma. it does not matter when you are getting hired, an RN is an RN. and if you plan on bridging over to a BSN, any school that has an "RN-BSN" program will take diploma RNs.. which is most places that have BSN programs. and since you already have a BA, you probably will only have to take a few more nursing classes and be done with it.

    as for the schedule, i can tell you what mine was like at racc for the first semester:
    Mondays- class 10-12
    Tuesdays - Lab 11-3
    Wednesdays - class 11-12
    Thursdays and Fridays - Clinical 8-2:30

    *the lab time varied depending on what group you were in. some people had lab on Wednesdays after class so they had nothing on Tuesdays, and some people had lab on Tuesday at a different time. (i forget when)

    im not sure how the reading hospital schedule is.
  4. by   LindsG
    Ashley - thank you so much for your response! I have been leaning toward reading hospital but its so much cheaper at RACC (like $16,000 less!) that it is hard for me to not factor that in! On the other hand, I am a mom and though my grades so far are really good, I don't want the extra unneccesary headaches because I know it's going to be super tough doing this as it is! It would also be nice knowing my clinicals will be right there at RH instead of potentially having to go all the way to lancaster or something (which is pretty far for me!). Also, as far as schedule goes, it usually gets more and more involved by the final semester right? Should I expect basically full time hours taken up during the week by my final semester at RACC?
  5. by   ashleyisawesome
    yes, at racc it is more and more the farther along you go. i understand where you are coming from, it is a lot cheaper.. i dont know, i just really do not like raccs nursing program. it might be worth it,if you can really tough it out, bu youve got to be really strong to make it through. good luck whichever you decide... oh and the farthest you would have to go would be ephrata, which is like 20 minutes from reading, but it was far for me.
  6. by   kdrose01
    If you already have a degree, why would you spend that much to attend a diploma program? You could attend Cedar Crest College for probably somewhere around the same price and earn an actual degree from a much more reputable program and instantly be more competitive by already having the BSN in hand. Or DeSales. I think there are some other good programs in the Lehigh Valley as well. Oh, or Bloomsburg. I would explore all options before signing onto RH's program. My mom's a nursing a professor and has told prospective students the same thing. Good luck!
  7. by   LindsG
    kdrose - I completely understand what you are saying about doing a second degree program for my BSN. I looked into that and really wish I could but I live in Birdsboro (between Reading and Pottstown) and Allentown is about an hour drive (plus however far I may be sent for clinicals) and West Chester (the other program I looked into) is an hour drive the other direction. I REALLY considered it but I have a 2 year old (and plan to become pregnant with my second in the middle of nursing school and taking a year off) and I just don't think I could manage an accelerated program PLUS the long drive! I could end up at Brn Mwyr Hospital (1.5 hrs away) for clinicals and have to go in the night before to research my patient. Maybe i'm stupid for not considering that anyway or looking too much for the ideal situation. I understand nursing school is going to probably be the hardest thing i've ever done in my life so I guess i'm looking to keep those hardships to a minimum to decrease my chances of dropping out! And then sometimes I wonder if i'm really cut off for this if i'm not willing to accept those challenges? Maybe I don't want it bad enough. I just don't want my family to completely forget I exist I guess i'm hoping once I get my ADN/Diploma (whichever I go for) i'll work toward an RN-BSN bridge program if I feel it's necessary still. I know Drexel has an online one for that.
  8. by   kdrose01
    That is definitely a tough situation and I wish you the best. How about Alvernia? They're in Reading and may even have a part time program. I'd definitely talk with professors/instructors at all the schools to get a better idea about the work load and how to juggle it with a small child and one possibly on the way. An accelerated program definitely won't work for you, but maybe a part-time program would work best. Best wishes!

    P.S. Check with local hospitals to see if they hire non-BSNs before you enter either Reading or RACC. I know a lot have not been hiring ADNs.
  9. by   LindsG
    kdrose- thanks for the reply! I've looked into alvernia as well...and honestly thought that would have been the answer I was looking for but....they are EXPENSIVE!!!!! I can't get financial aid because this will be a second degree for me and I did the math yesterday. If I took all the classes I possibly could at RACC and ONLY the nursing courses at Alvernia, it would still cost me $37,950!!! For 55 credits!! So that's out.

    At this point if hospitals really aren't accepting ADN's at only option might end up being quitting the nursing thing altogether . I just took a unit clerk position part time at reading hospital and during my interview the nurse manager asked me if I planned on ever getting my BSN. I told her that eventually that was in my plans but that the only programs in the area were just too far. She did tell me about Drexels online RN-BSN program which I didn't know about...but that will still require me to become an RN first. That is definitely something i'm considering but it still comes down to money then! If I went to Reading Hospital (my first choice) it will be 22,000 and then another 18,000+ for my RN-BSN. I could do RACC (if I don't fail out or quit!) for 6,000 and Drexel for 18,000 which is much better....but again, what if i don't even make it through RACC's program?

    Anyway I am pretty certain that both Reading Hospital and St. Josephs in my area still do hire ADN's BUT they prefer a BSN. I guess i'm sorta hoping that having a part time job at Reading Hospital, AND going for my Diploma at Reading Hospital, will result in me getting a job at Reading Hospital?

    I definitely have a lot to think about still and it all just makes me head spin.
  10. by   kdrose01
    Well, you already have a good in as a unit clerk. Would they pay to send you to school? It's worth considering! You could even start by just doing the prereqs if you haven't already and some you can even do online (A&P, Micro, nutrition, stats, etc.) and get that out of the way. I wouldn't give up. Where there's a will, there's a way. But I'd definitely consider seeing if 1) the hospital you're currently for will foot the bill, and 2) if they're likely to hire you afterwards without a BSN. They may even pick up the bill for the RN-BSN later. You have lots of options, so don't panick yet and don't let your head spin!
  11. by   salinax1
    Hi, I am in the exact situation as you! And I live in Birdsboro with young children too, how ironic. I am currently at RACC and have been for 1 year, I like RACC but have heard horror stories about their clinical program. So, i applied at the School of Health Sciences and I got in. Now I dont know what school to go to. So I can relate to you! I will give you this advice, I really like RACC and have had a nice experience so everyone that says they're horrible I would disagree with (except clinical~I dont have any first hand experience with)RACC is very affordable also. But please keep me posted on any new things you get info about, and I will do the same. Good luck on your decision, maybe I will see you there whichever we decide
  12. by   LindsG
    salina - how funny!! Congrats to you for getting into both schools as well. I have been taking pre-req's at RACC also for the past year and also have not really had anything bad to say....but thats just pre-reqs. What classes have you taken and who were/are your professors?? Interested to see if we've had the same professors at all. Wouldn't it be funny if we were in the same class? I am taking A&P2 right now. My professor is my least favorite professor so far and she intimidates me. If the clinical instructors are like her, I could see how that could be a problem...but my chem professor and A&P1 professor have been 2 of my favorite professors ever! I wouldn't have so many reservations about RACC if it weren't for all the horror stories I keep hearing! Not even just on here. I met someone in person last year who said the same thing. She transferred to Alvernia. Apparently they have made a lot of changes to their program though (including admission criteria) so who knows if that will make a difference. I also have a friend whose sister and cousin are both going to Reading Hospitals program...both of them have young children and both of them are doing very well and loving it. Without a doubt, Reading Hospital would be my choice if cost wasn't a factor. I also keep getting cold feet and asking myself if I REALLY want to be doing this at all and missing out on the early years in my kid's lives. Every other day I am considering dropping out...yet I just can't. There's just this pull that keeps me going...but I wonder sometimes if i should choose the cheaper school just in case I get to that first semester and HATE nursing and end up dropping out! Thats a horrible way to think of this but that's where i'm at right now. I have so many doubts...about whether i'll be a good nurse, whether i'll make it through school (even though I have 4.0 at RACC right now), and whether i'll even LIKE nursing. That's a huge part of why I accepted this part time job as a unit clerk. I need to see first hand what nursing is. Anyway, i've gone off on a tangent now! Good luck with your decision as well! Maybe i'll see you at RACC's orientation on the 16th?
    Last edit by LindsG on Feb 18, '11
  13. by   salinax1
    Hi again, yes I will be there on the 16th! I also just paid my confirmation fee at School of Nursing yesterday. What I am going to do is go to both orientation sessions and then make my decision. As for your worrying about nursing, its an excellent field,job security, good pay and making a difference and did I mention flexability so you dont have to miss out on your childrens moments! I think you will be fine, you made it this farI dont know you personally but I would like to give you encouragement and say with a 4.0 you will be a great nurse, you sound dedicated! I am currenlty in A&P I with Dr.Soponis and I like her.I was accepted at RACC as an alternate because technically not done with A&PI but I too have a 3.9 GPA and they took that into consideration.Apparently the alternates are filling up spots quick.The only classes I have left at RACC are A&PII and micro. I wish you so much luck and your not alone. I am sooooo stressed too, I guess we can get a better feel for things once at the orientationI am also meeting with Financial Aid for School of nursing, I can keep you posted on what they say.That is my first choice also. Glad I found someone going through the same thing as me!
    Congrats on the Unit clerk position, I used to work at OCC Health in the hospital, it is a great place to work and yes you will get a feel for how nursing really is! I love it(Im already a Medical Assistant).Keep in touch
  14. by   cheer12
    hello, I'm currently a student at the reading hospital school of nursing. It truly is a great program. I absolutely love it and I'm so glad I didn't choose a different school. They do have an agreement with Alvernia now that you can get your BSN with them. A lot of students that are in my class took their pre-req's at RACC and transferred to reading hosp. If you have any questions let me know!