Preparing for Vanderbilt's Prespecialty program

Specialties NP


Hi! I've been struggling to figure out what would be the best way to apply to Vanderbilt's prespecialty program. I ultimately want to be a pediatric nurse practitioner. I'm graduating with a non-nursing bachelors degree. I am considering 2 choices:

1) Work as a Patient Care Tech for a year and apply to Vanderbilt

2) Attend Columbia State Community College and get an ADN

By going to Columbia State I'd still have to do the 2 years of school...the first year would just be a semester shorter.

Is it worth the high tuition/debt to go to ? Would having an ADN make my chances of being accepted go up or better prepare me ( it worth the extra year I'd have to wait to apply)? Btw, I live here in TN and will be graduating from Vandy. So, I'm partial to it :)

So many questions....

Thanks ahead of time!

Specializes in Nephrology, Cardiology, ER, ICU.

By getting the ADN first, you could then work as an RN and get some experience which would make the NP program that much more understandable.


Are you doing your undergrad at ? I finished the prespecialty year and am now in my MSN year there. Several folks in the program did their undergrad at Vandy (not me) in a 3-2 program. You may want to speak with your academic advisor about that since my understanding is that they are given preference for admission to the program.

Being a full-time employee at VUMC would give you some financial advantages with tuition; I'm not certain how long one is required to work there prior to taking advantage of that benefit. I imagine you can find information about that at the VUMC website.

As for the difference in tuition costs, only you can answer that. If what you're talking about is one year of employment deferred by waiting to enter the program, you're looking at somewhere between $70 - 90K in lost income (pretty rough number I know, but you can see more salary survey information at the Advance for Nurse Practitioners website). You could subtract the tuition cost from that and get an idea of how much that year of waiting would cost.


Thanks for your reply! I had never really thought about the possible income it would cost me to wait-good point! I'm an undergrad at , but I'm not doing the 3-2 program... It's too late since I'll be graduating this May. Good luck in your second year! Did you have any prior nursing experience when you applied for the prespecialty program? I think I'm just going to skip getting my ADN and hopefully Vandy will prepare me enough for passing the NCLEX and what not...if I get accepted, that is :)

The program at VUSN will DEFINITELY prepare you for NCLEX. You should call and get the exact numbers, but I know the first-time pass rate is very, very high. I took mine last week and felt well prepared by both my coursework, clinical experience, and the Kaplan Review course that is offered on-site at VUSN at the end of the pre-specialty year.

I did not have prior nursing experience, but had been a certified medical assistant for several years. That really helped me with the basics of clinical lab during the first semester since I had some skills already. That experience came in most handy when dealing with people - touching people's naked bits, talking to them about very personal subject matter, asking lots of nosey questions, etc.

The mix of students in the program is so diverse that I think you would find you fit right in. In my first clinical group we had everything from very young people who had not even worked a part-time job yet in their lives, to men who were changing careers, to me - the older lady with lots of job and life experience. We all worked together very well and learned so many things from each other.

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