Hello Allnurses.com family:
I have so many questions. I don't want to write a dissertation...lol, but here it goes...:-) I am one of the many Americans who you can say is underemployed. I am in the process of trying to complete some of my nursing prerequisites. I have decided to change careers and enter the medical field. I eventually want to become a registered nurse. Due to my current student loan balance, I do not want to take out anymore student loans. So, in order to not place a financial strain on myself, I have decided to attempt to go the frugal route by taking my nursing prerequisites at a local technical college where tuition is less than $100 a credit hour. I plan on transferring those credits into a nursing program that does not have a waiting list. I currently live in Georgia where I have been told that there is a massive nursing educator shortage. Due to this factor, majority of the schools here in Georgia have a waiting list for nursing school entrance. Since I have to support myself, I will have to work a full-time job. With that being said, I will have to either attend a flexible program that allows me to continue to work full-time. My challenge is that I can only locate for-profit colleges that may potentially provide me with flexible scheduling. After doing research, Chamberlain College of Nursing and Bauder College that I have located that do not have a waiting list. After completing my prerequisites, I do not have the time to wait until a school has a spot for me. If those two schools that do not have a waiting list, which I know are expensive, be the smartest route to take for my nursing education?
I have been doing a lot of reading about nursing. I kind of want to get a head start as far as my very seen skills hands-on training. Would you advise a pre-nursing student to purchase books nursing skills? In addition to a book, I saw that on eBay people are selling nursing skills videos that are concurrent with a lecture book. Would educating myself I had of time be beneficial for me? If it would be beneficial to me, Chamberlain College of Nursing has a blog about current nursing students who have created do-it-yourself nursing skills simulators that you can create with things that you have at home. Does anyone know of any websites where you can purchase hands-on skills kits so that a nursing student may be able to practice their hands-on skills at home? I know how rigorous and strict the nursing curriculum is and since I am investing in myself I want to make sure that I receive the best quality of education so that I can become a successful professional nurse. I am also thinking about taking a memorization improvement course that allows me to learn things quicker. I think this will be beneficial for me since nursing requires you to remember and know so much. There is a website, pmemory.com, that I have came across and it looks like the course has been very successful. I wonder if this would be a good thing to do as well? I have so many questions.
Also, there is a website--straighterline.com. This website claims that you can take courses with them and transferred to your local college. Has anyone had success with this website?
I may have to go the licensed practical nurse route, which I know that Chamberlain College of Nursing does not offer. What is your view on for-profit colleges? I have heard of success stories from nurses who have graduated from for-profit college programs such as Galen College of Nursing in Florida, Keiser University in Florida and Virginia College in Florida. I want to make sure that I get the most hands-on skills training as nursing is more of a hands-on or shall I say technical (applied/application) skilled profession. The for-profit colleges that I have mentioned provide some of the most hands-on training in the industry. These schools may also be supplied with pretend hospitals or skills labs that have mannequins that are relatively close to a human where students can practice their hands on skills
Jul 19, '13
Second paragraph, second sentence.....as far as my *very seen*<--should be omitted..sorry... skills hands-on training...
...there are other grammatical errors.....I sincerely apologize!!!
Jul 19, '13
What comes to my mind when reading your post is the highly over-used phrase, "If sounds too good to be true, it probably is!" First, I am not a nurse, but I am starting my nursing program this fall, and my advice would be to be very careful and research the for-profit schools you are thinking of. I would research their accreditations (NLNAC, ACCSC, quickly come to mind). Schools will tell you they are accredited, but you need to research exactly what. Also, I have rarely found nursing schools that are "flexible" when it comes to schedules. Clinical placements are getting more difficult to come by, so you go when they tell you. I know some students are able to work full time, but you have to be careful in schools that make it seem like it is no big deal to work full time and attend school. I highly respect those that do because I can only imagine how difficult that must be! You just have to go into it knowing what to expect.
Also, and this is completely a personal opinion, I would not buy any skill videos. You are going to be correctly taught those skills in lab in school, and you really do not know the quality of the videos you are buying. As for the memorization courses, as I am finding out in patho this summer, nursing is not just memorizing facts. It is about the ability to put everything together as a whole and be able to critically think your way through situations. You will get plenty of opportunity in the science courses to memorize facts and apply them.
It can get very frustrating with the wait lists that schools have, but do not let fancy skills simulation labs pull you in. There needs to be quality instructors to go with them, and you need to have the education that local facilities value so that you can find a position once you graduate.
Jul 19, '13
I live in Georgia as well. I am not aware of any school here that has a waiting list. Most of the BSN and ADN programs here are merit-based admissions. I would research these schools a little more thoroughly.You definitely don't want to spend close to 100k on just a BSN by going the for profit route.
Jul 20, '13
I graduate a for profit school in Sept. with an ADN. Definetly check into accreditation. If the school does not have NLN, its not the end of the world, you will still be able to find a job and you will still be able to continue your education. Regional accreditation is generally better than National, once you graduate with your ADN it will be much easier to get into a state school (I am looking at USF since I live in Tampa) which will be much more cost effective as well.
For the most part, I really like my program. We haven't had the best clinical sites, but we are still very new campus. Most of the teachers are fantastic, and I like the smaller classes, I was able to start right away, and most of my previous college credits transferred in. You just have to figure out what's best for you in your situation. Then you need to find programs in your area that interest you and do plenty of research on the specific school before enrolling.
Jul 22, '13
Not all schools maintain 'wait lists'. Some may simply require you to re-apply if you don't get in. The shortage of qualified nursing faculty is one issue, but colleges & universities are also reluctant to fund any additional faculty spots because nursing is a very expensive program to provide... much more expensive than other types of majors.
Keep in mind that those advertisements claiming that for profit (investor owned) school have the "Most hands on" training are paid for by those organizations. Nursing education is highly regulated, and all accredited nursing schools have to have the same amount of training. BEWARE - for profit schools are more likely to use simulators rather than a real clinical environment because hospitals in many areas do not provide them with clinical training sites. Please be very cautious. Some of the very large (and most highly advertised) schools are close to the brink in level of student loan defaults.. once they exceed this, their students will only be able to obtain private loans because the program will no longer be eligible for government subsidized loans.
Cost is a very real issue. Please do not mortgage your future by paying out mega-bucks to a commercial school for a degree you can obtain for 1/10 the cost at a traditional program. Nurses are not paid well enough to afford high student loan repayments. If you default on your loans, you will not be able to renew your nursing license.
Keep in mind that you will probably not be able to find work in a hospital unless you have a BSN. And it may take a loooonnng time to find your first job as a nursing new graduate.
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