Hi everyone! I will first apologize in advance, because I tend to be very long-winded in forum posts, so feel free to skim and scan and get the general information and post your thoughts.
I'm a 36 year old HS Spanish teacher, very unsatisfied in the position, and I can't imagine conjugating the same verbs over and over for the next 25 years (and yes, I have to teach certain information). I have no other teaching options unless I go back for further certifications, however, the administration politics in my school have gotten so bad that the current principal has pretty much poisoned our staff and everyone dreads coming to work and no one wants to be here. It's a very sad situation.
I never went into Education as my first choice. I never "wanted" to be a teacher. It was pretty much my "only option", after I took the easy way out as a 20-21 year old and only majored in Spanish. Everyone always thought I'd make a great nurse, but I didn't want to push myself with the math and sciences when I was "young and stupid".
My Current Status:
I made the decision to change careers and pursue nursing. Through the University of Binghamton in NY, they have an accelerated track program where after 4 semesters (Summer - Summer), I will have a BS/RN in Nursing. I needed to take 6 classes as pre-requisites due to my lack of science and math background. After completing my pre-req courses, in May 2010, I will begin this 1 year, intensive program, hopefully with a full scholarship
through the UHS hospital program here in my area.
Classes I needed to take:
Chemistry 1 & 2
Anatomy & Physiology 1 & 2
I could not fit Chemistry anywhere in my schedule due to the local schools only offering it during the day and I am still employed as a teacher. I was told that 2 courses were offered online through Columbia Southern University and they would be accepted. I am just about done with my Chem 1 class and I should definitely get an A in it. I will start the Chem 2 class towards the middle of June, after taking a couple of weeks off.
Online/Distance Learning History:
I did my entire MSEd (Masters program in Education) online through the University of New England. As a fulltime working parent, I was able to juggle my time and work at my own pace and proceed through the program with a 4.0. I also, as said above, have done 1 Chem course online and will be receiving an A in it and hope to receive an A in Chem 2 too.
My Problem/Decision to Make:
Now, I am currently enrolled in A&P 1 & 2 and Statistics through my local community college (1/2 hour drive away). Classes are set to start 5/26. I only have A&P 1 the first session (which is good because I am still working until the end of June). The classes are 4 days a week, with 2 nights being a lab that does not get out until 10:30 at night (meaning, I won't get home until 11pm at night and up at 6:30 am the next morning for work until I am out at the end of June). The second summer session (when I am not working), I am signed up for A&P 2 (the same night class schedule) and the Statistics class is a MORNING class! So, I'd drive in 3 days a week for Statistics, come home for a few hours and have to drive back to the university for the 4 days a week A&P 2 night class, with again, 2 nights being lab until 10:30 at night (remember: 1/2 hour drive each way to the university)
Soooo - I realized that the University of Rochester offers A&P 1&2 and Microbiology as distance learning classes and my university will accept their credits as pre-req credits. Now, obviously, when I do distance learning, there are no labs involved and my future-nursing program is okay with that (I'm not sure why, but they are.) Here's my quandry. Will I lose out on too much hands-on practice if I do these 3 classes online instead of actually driving to the campus and participating in the class and lab? Will I be ready enough to enter the actual nursing program in the summer 2011?
I have a positive history of being good at distance education classes, but I do not have a huge math/science background. I did take A&P in high school and in pre-reading an old textbook, I remember a lot
of the terminology and body structures, etc, which surprises me. I have to take Statistics on campus as an actual course, because there is no distance-ed Stats course listed on their "acceptable transfer credits", so I will have to drive to the university 3-times a week during summer session 2 only.
I was thinking: Sign up to do the distance ed classes for A&P 1&2 and Micro to save on my driving time, late nights and general sanity (but miss out on the potential helpful lab work) and then, on my own spare time this summer when I am not working, I can volunteer at the hospital and see if they can have me doing more than just delivering flowers and/or answering phones. I can tell them I'm a pre-nursing student, who in 1 year hopes to be actually working at the hospital as an actual nurse and I'd like to be able to do as much as they can let me do legally. Maybe working at the hospital or walk-in clinic would give me a better taste for what I am going to encounter than an actual A&P/Microbiology Lab.
So - please, your thoughts, advice, suggestions. I only have until Friday to make this decision, because that is the last chance to be able to get 100% refund on my summer classes I have signed up for through my local community college.
Will I be prepared enough without lab work?