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Pre-Nursing Student Needs Educational Path Advice

Posted

Hello,

I am new to this community and am hoping to find some advice. I will be completing my schooling in California. I am at the very beginning of my path towards becoming an RN. I already have a bachelor's degree in Sociology and have satisfied most of the basic GE requirements. On 1/25 I will be starting my prerequisites (Biology, Chemistry and a lab). I am planning on finishing Microbiology, Anatomy and Physiology during the next semester at my community college.

My question is this - how do you choose which path to follow towards becoming an RN? I have learned there is the option of becoming an LVN/LPN first, and then a 30 unit bridge program available afterward. The other options are and associate of science degree, or a BSN program at a four year college. The option I am most interested in is the associate of science degree, but there are so many to choose from, and each has slightly different prerequisites. I'm feeling horribly overwhelmed. I have also been told that having a bachelor's degree will bump me to the bottom of many wait lists. Also, I have discovered that most RN programs won't accept your application until the prerequisites are finished. What are you supposed to do in the meantime while you wait to hear if you are accepted?!

I'm looking for any advice possible as I start down the seemingly long path ahead of me....just have to stay positive and keep focussed!

HouTx, BSN, MSN, EdD

Specializes in Critical Care, Education. Has 35 years experience.

Sorry you are experiencing such a high level of frustration with this process. I know it doesn't help much, but nursing education is a bit different and these differences explain some of the snags you are running into.

Nursing programs have a very high attrition rate. It is not unusual for only 50% of an incoming class to make it to graduation. Therefore, most schools do not bother reviewing applications or granting admission to anyone who has not completed all pre-requisites. This does not seem to stop the continuing flood of applicants. Nursing is suddenly very popular as a career choice again -- Especially for people who are seeking a "recession proof" job. However, like most popular conceptions about nursing - this is a myth.

Pre-requisite classes can be a real drag but obtaining a VERY high GPA should be your focus. Entry into nursing school is extremely competetive and this is one of the critical determinants. You may be tempted to search for an 'easy' path that guarantees more rapid entry - such as enrolling in an LVN program or opting for a commercial school. But I would advise you to focus on obtaining your BSN. This investment will pay off in the long run and open the door to career advancement possibilities. Have you looked at any 'second career' BSN programs? These normally have a faster pace and fewer applicants so you would have better odds for acceptance.

Best of luck to you! Hang in there - you are in for the ride of your life.

I was intimidated by the BSN programs, though there is an excellent one offered at the same college where I finished my undergraduate work. My main focus this coming year will definitely be high grades in all prerequisite courses, even though chemistry and microbiology make my knees shake! Should I be trying to knock CNA training out of the way as well?

I'll look into second career BSN programs. I thought an associates degree sounded more doable, but at this point work is work and if I'm going to commit to an uphill path, I might as well choose the wisest one.

*[i just checked out the program offered at CSU San Marcos. The prerequisites made my head spin! I don't foresee myself in college for another four years. I think I'll keep focused on the A.S. path.]

I spoke to a friend in Seattle this morning who recently completed her BSN program and is now a licensed nurse. She has yet to find employment, and so do many of her classmates. Unfortunately, I think nursing may have gained the reputation of a "slam dunk" career, but in reality it seems there's certainly no overabundance of jobs. Thanks for the advice.

Edited by BeanTrees