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Two BS degrees, third career change to nursing....which is what I have always wanted to do but didn't for one reason or another! Looking forward to learning a lot on this site as I apply to nursing school programs.

jlpsu's Latest Activity

  1. jlpsu

    Just took PSB for UPMC Mercy, ask away!

    Yes...we were able to use a calculator
  2. jlpsu

    PSB Panic

    Hello All, I am taking the PSB RN test at the end of August...and I'm panicking about it! I have been out of highschool for (ahem...) 21 years. I do have two bachelors degrees, however, so it's not like I'm not used to studying, etc...or that I haven't been exposed to a lot of vocabulary in my life. I have been studying for weeks already for this test. I have the Barrons Nursing School Entrance Exam book, the McGraw Hill Nursing School entrance exam book and I purchaed the ebook from Mo-Media. All have been helpful in their own ways. I am doing ok on the practice tests...but without time limits. I'm afraid once the time limits kick in I will be a mess. Also, I am not doing well on the analogies portion of the practice tests...(i.e...dog is to puppy as cat is to kitten, etc...). That is a really easy example..but some of them are confusing! For example..one of them was Sun:Mercury::Sun: (Earth, Venus, Jupiter, or Neptune). I chose Neptune because Mercury is the closest to the sun, and Neptune is the furthest. But no...the answer was Venus...because it was the NEXT closest one to the sun. Another example; Trout:Fish::Bull: (snake, pig, cow, sheep). I chose Cow because a bull is a type of cow...but the answer was snake, because a bull snake is a type of snake. How the heck am I supposed to know what they are looking for??? There are also a lot of those questions in the book that assume you know other things...like who wrote some obscure play or Italian musical terms. How on earth do you study for something like this? They could literally ask anything. I'm doing fine on the math and reading comprehension. Science will be fine as I at least have a direction to study...but the vocabulary and the analogies have me worried. So, for those of you who have taken this LATELY (Because I think they changed this test in 2009), please tell me how hard you found the PSB-RN exam. Are the books accurate portrayals of the exam...or are the books harder? Did anyone find a book that was MORE like the PSB than other books (since the books are used for multiple exams). I am truly in a panic..and that can't be good! I need to score in the 65th percentile in order to even apply to my school of choice. Not 65%...65th percentile. I don't even know what raw score would = the 65th percentile. HELP! (and thanks :-) )
  3. Well I know you are all over at the facebook group, so hopefully someone checks in here to help me with my question! How hard was it to get accepted to Mercy SON? I'm taking all of the sciences this year at Westmoreland CC, hoping for admission to Mercy in Aug 2012. My highschool transcript is not good (2.4 GPA) but that was 21 years ago. I also have a bachelors degree from 1994 at Penn State (GPA 2.8...better, but not great!), and then I have ANOTHER bachelors degree from Pitt from 2003 with a 3.98 GPA (THERE it is!). It took me a while to figure out what I want to do in life. I will be 40 when I start nursing school next year. So I'm wondering if there are any other career changers out there? Hopefully Mercy will look upon my most recent college grades to see that I have clearly learned from my past educational mediocrity and can absolutely handle the work. I won't be done with my WCCC classes before I apply - but I"m hoping that I can at least show good midterm grades. My first step is passing the PSB tests, of course. I'm a nervous wreck about them because the last time I saw highschool algebra was in HIGHSCHOOl, 21 years ago. I bought 2 books to study though, and hopefully will be fine. So, how hard is the admissions to Mercy? It's really the only school I want to go to. My second option is the program at WCCC -but it's a distant second. Any insight or words of wisdom would be great! Thanks!
  4. jlpsu

    Average IQ of a BSN nurse

    I think the poster *might* be asking for herself. i.e. If SHE is above average intelligence could she be a nurse. The answer of course, is...It Depends. I'm just starting school so I may be way off the mark (although I do have two BS degrees which may or may not indicate intelligence), but after reading these boards for a long time, it seems that education and clinical skill are not exactly correlated. You could be a genius and have no bedside manner and be a crappy nurse. Or you could have just squeaked by in nursing school to go on to learn a ton on the job and be one of the most respected clinical nurses around. But of course, I'm "just" going to a diploma school - so what do I know? ;-)
  5. jlpsu

    ADN or BSN. Which is better??

    I'd say that while you may have more schooling - it does not necessarily follow that you are 'trained better'. In my city - many of the diploma programs have a much higher NCLEX pass rate than some of the univeristy BSN programs. I live in an area where diploma programs are still very very present and have a higher reputation among employers than the community college programs...and a higher percentage of students passing than the ADR programs and many, but not all, of the BSN programs. A BSN and an associates or a diploma trained RN all take exactly the same test to become an RN. That is why many say the pay is the same. To advance in the field of nursing, it is generally recognized that you will need at the minimum a BSN. But that doesn't mean you are a 'better' nurse. I am going back to school for nursing this fall. I have two B.S. degrees under my belt already. In my situation I am getting my RN license first at a well reputed diploma program (hopefully!), then going back for my RN-BSN. I'd rather start off in a program with over 1000 clinical hours in it, feel confident as a bedside nurse, and THEN go back and have the luxury of studying more theoretical or general nursing processes. I'll go back for my BSN eventually at some point, but until then I may be seen by many of the nurses with a BSN as lesser educated, which is a crock. Maybe I can have my name tag say B.S., B.S., RN. (that's a joke, people). I'm new here....and I have to say I'm fairly surprised at the infighting among nurses as to the type of education one gets. I think as long as you are a great nurse, it shouldn't matter. My mom was a nurse for 40 years....Diploma trained back when that's all they had. Worked her way up into Nursing Education and had a long beautiful career...all without taking one darn class in Presidential History or Poetry. A BSN is GREAT and a WONDERFUL accomplishment and everyone who has one should be proud. But it does NOT automatically follow that it makes you a better nurse. Period. It CAN make you a manager or an educator or put you on a path to being an NP...but that's as far as I'm willing to go....
  6. jlpsu

    Too old to worry about BSN?

    So here is my situation. I have not one...but TWO bachelors degrees in other fields. 1st B.S. degree (straight after highschool) from Penn State in communication disorders , and then I went back 10 years ago to Pitt and got another B.S. degree in computer science. You could say I've had a hard time deciding what I want to do in life...I am now 39 years old, married with 4 kids and I feel like I finally know what I want to do, and what I've always wanted to do in fact (I was held back from pursing nursing in years past for a myriad of reasons). Anyway, I am going back to school for nursing. I cannot do the accelerated BSN programs because of the intensive nature of the classes in the summer. With 4 kids, it's just not possible. So, I am going to take classes at the community college and then apply to the nursing school at our metro hospital. I am fortunate to live in an area that has 6 or 7 diploma hospital based programs still thriving and spitting out excellent nurses with excellent reputations that are often hired from the hospitals that sponsor the programs. Their NCLEX pass rates are MUCH higher than that ADN programs locally. I decided to do this too late to apply for this fall, so I will be in nursing school starting next fall - and I will be 42 years old by the time that I am done with all of this. People keep telling me that I will want to get my BSN as soon as possible after that - but the idea of another BS degree does nothing for me. I could possibly see myself in an RN-MSN program...but even that...I'd be 50 when I'm done with that! Not appealing. So, is it ridiculous at my age to think that I can have a long, successful career without a BSN behind my name? I also keep hearing that a B.S in another field + R.N license does not = BSN. I don't get that. Why not? I have all of the general ed, liberal arts, etc...that the BSN gets, and I will have the RN education that the BSN gets. Would I really be held back from holding a management position because I have a BS + RN and not a BSN? Seems more like semantics to me.
  7. jlpsu

    WCCC or UPMC Mercy SON?

    You know what? Nevermind! After that incredibly long winded question (sorry about that, I tried to edit it but it was after an hour and it wouldn't let me!), I found a link to the NCLEX pass rates. WCCC's pass rates are much lower than Mercy's (78% vs. 88% for 2010) so I think I'm going to stick with my gut and go with Mercy's program. Thanks for reading!
  8. jlpsu

    WCCC or UPMC Mercy SON?

    Hello All, 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... Thanks!

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