I have been reading this forum for weeks, but this is my first post. I did a search and while I come up with questions that are close to what I'm looking for, my situation is a little more unique so I thought that I would start a new thread. My apologies if this has been asked/answered a hundred times.
First of all, let me say, I am a married 39 year old woman with 4 kids and two B.S. degrees (a B.S. degree in communication disorders, and a B.S. degree in Information Science). This will be a 3rd career change for me, and I believe, my last. My mother was a nurse and always talked me out of being a nurse because while she LOVED being a nurse, she felt like it was a very difficult career for many reasons. I listened to her for my first 2 degrees but now have decided that I know what I want to do, what I've always wanted to do, and I'm going forward. She and I are different people yet very much alike. The good thing is, I am definitely prepared for the 'bad' in the field! I've also talked to my friends in the field currently and they all love their jobs...although not always without frustration. Then again, what job is without frustration?
So, here I am with 2 degrees. I earned a 3.9 GPA from Pitt for my second degree. 3.0 from Penn State for my first degree (what can I say...I was young and much more interested in my social life then!).
I will be going to Westmoreland Community College in the fall to start taking some of the science courses that I don't have (A&P, Chemistry, etc...) to prepare myself for nursing school.
My initial options now are (1) an accelerated BSN, (2) ADN program at local community college or (3) Diploma hospital based program in the city.
Both of the accelerated BSN programs in Pittsburgh require intensive study througout the summer - which I cannot commit to with 4 kids. So, I think that is out - for now. I may return after I have my RN to get my BSN in the even that I wish to move up in my career and it's needed. Otherwise, I have no desire for another B.S. degree. My last two prepared me for overall work in my field, but were not focused, so someone coming from a computer tech school was most certainly a better programmer than me initially. But I was of course able to recite Presidential History, which came in handy ;-) Considering I have two degrees, I'm not sure I need another one...but if I absolutely do I will do that in the future.
So that leaves me with a community college program (Westmoreland - even though I live two minutes from CCAC, I live in Westmoreland county and will drive 30 minutes to their campus to save nearly $150 a credit), or a hospital based diploma program.
I've heard good things about the WCCC program, but am concerned because all of their clinicals are at local regional hospitals and I think I would prefer clinicals at some of the larger hospitals in Pittsburgh or a level I trauma center, etc...However, I am wondering if an ADN is 'better' than having a diploma in the job search.
I have talked to the people at UPMC Mercy SON and I really liked what they had to say. But I am very concerned that this is a diploma program. I know I will have no trouble getting a job at UPMC (which, let's face it...is everywhere)...but if I want to leave UPMC then I am concerned that the diploma might hurt me. The UPMC schools of nursing have a terrific reputation - better than WCCC in my research - and higher exam pass rates as well. But it's that pesky diploma thing that's getting me....
Otherwise, the UPMC program looks positively perfect for me. July and August are their off months (perfect), they have Clinicals at Mercy which is a level I trauma center (perfect) and they have a tuition forgiveness program in which I pay the first year and UPMC will pay the second if I agree to work for them for 2 years. So, cheaper tuition and a secured job (perfect, perfect).
So, the nuts and bolts question is - will the diploma hurt me when trying to get a job outside of UPMC, OR if I wanted to pursue an RN-BSN or RN-MSN program in the future?
Has anyone attended either of these places where they could reccommend (or not) one of the programs over another?
Basically - Help! I am driving myself nuts with the BSN vs. Diploma vs. ADN!
Sorry to be so long winded - but I'd love some insight, input, advice, etc...