Jump to content

Potential Nursing Student looking for some advice


Hi Everyone,

I am considering going back to school to become an RN and could really use some advice on where to begin and what to do in my situation.

Here's some background:

I am a mother of 3 kids (2 are under the age of 3) and I have a Bachelor's Degree in Business Management and Masters degree in Business Administration. I currently work at a hospital in Information Systems and have been there for about 2 1/2 years.

Since I was in undergrad I wanted to go into nursing school, but the fact that I would have to take science classes intimidated me (not one of my favorite subjects) and with the strict academic requirements involved with Nursing, I figured Business would be the safer option.

Over the years I have thought about going back to school for Nursing one day, and now that I work at a hospital, I've grown to admire and appreciate the work that nurses do and I think a career in Nursing would be more fulfilling for me.

However, I don't want to take out loans for another degree (currently aggressively paying off my student loans), so I would only do it if I was able to cash flow nursing school. My hospital offers tuition assistance that may help a little bit, and I also plan to look into scholarships, if I can qualify.

I guess my questions are:

1. How do I get started? What should I look for in a school? (I want to do an online program)

2. What's the average tuition for an accelerated RN program? Are there Community Colleges that offer an accelerated RN program?

2. I am the primary source of income in my home and because of my 3 kids it's not feasible for me to not work. Is it feasible for me to still work full time during the program? Has anyone else done it and what's your experience?

3. With a Master's degree in another discipline, does that cut down the time with the Accelerated RN program at all?

I know there's a lot here so thanks for reading through. I want to make sure I'm approaching this the right way and with a good understanding of what to expect.

I appreciate any advice or suggestions you can provide!

Rose_Queen, BSN, MSN, RN

Specializes in OR, education. Has 16 years experience.

1. You will not find a 100% online program. Clinicals absolutely must occur in person; there may be a possibility of online didactic classes. There are programs that offer an evening/weekend option, where you have a 3 hour class once or twice a week in the evening and clinicals every other weekend. You will want to look at accreditation status and BON approval. Programs must be approved by the state BON in order to be eligible to take NCLEX. ACEN and CCNE offer voluntary nursing program specific accreditation, which some employers are requiring and makes the transition to graduate school easier. Look at NCLEX pass rates. You'll want to go to a school that is at least at the average level for the state or higher. A low NCLEX pass rate indicates the school is not doing a good job of preparing students for licensure. Look at completion rates. Does the school accept a huge number of students into the program but only a small percentage actually graduate?

2. While there may be an average cost, programs vary widely depending on private/public and for-profit/not-for-profit. You'd be best served researching the options in your area.

2.2. Yes, it's possible for students to work during the program, but that is largely dependent on the individual. Some are able to balance school/work/home; others need to reduce involvement outside of school.

3. The only way another degree will reduce the time required to complete a nursing degree is if it includes the prereq classes. Nursing classes are frequently prerequisites to each other; for example, most start with a rotation in med/surg nursing and introduce the specialty rotations after that. You build on what you learned the semester before. Even if you could try to take 2 semester's worth of clinical classes in 1 semester, it would be seriously overwhelming for the vast majority of students.

I personally change my major from biology to nursing at the end of my sophomore year. Fortunately, both are similar in what classes are required in freshman and sophomore year. I still ended up graduating a year later tan planned because of the classes I needed.

Thank you Rose! I greatly appreciate your advice and will take it into consideration as I move forward.