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Career change from bench scientist to pre-nursing student (nursing student January 2012).

spore2008's Latest Activity

  1. spore2008

    Pitt Accelerated BSN

    Hi Sully23, Tuition is about 42-44K. I had to take out loans: both subsidized and unsubsidized from the US government. Be proactive and fill out your FAFSA. I had to take out about 4K in private loans to cover the difference. Also, I do not know if you are male, an underrepresented minority, or financially challenged. There was a scholarship of 10K offered to 4 students in my class and for the class before me. Hopefully, the scholarship will still be offered. Since I do not fit into any of those categories, I did not apply for the aid. There is very little tuition assistance for second degree students. My cohort is about 1/4 male. About 1/4 is about 30years and older (max 36), probably about 1/2 are in their early twenties (just graduated or 1-3 years out of undergrad). Most folk are from PA (in state tuition) though some have moved to Pittsburgh in the last few years or so. I am older and from out-of-state. A true career changer. Good luck. And any other questions, please ask. Spore
  2. spore2008

    Pitt Accelerated BSN

    The weekly class schedule is intense. Mondays I am in class from 8am until 6.30pm, Tuesdays 9am to 4pm, Wednesdays 9am-11am and then same minor committments; Thursdays and Fridays are clinical days and we are in the hospital from 6.45am until 3.30pm. We have not had any exams yet. Our first one is tomorrow. If you can live close to campus or on a bus line, I'd recommend it. This way you can sleep later on clinical days! I live about 2.5 miles from the nursing school. Sometimes I drive, sometimes I take the bus. If you have already taken Nutrition, you will likely take a 1 credit independent study which involves some homework and attendance at 3 lectures (partial) during the course of the semester. For clinicals we are divided into groups of 7 students. I know those students a bit better. FYI, I'd say about half of the class is in their early twenties, about a quarter just graduated from undergrad. I am over 30 and about quater of the class is in that age range. About a quarter of the class is male. Almost everyone is from PA...I am not. Any other questions, just ask. Spore
  3. spore2008

    Pitt Accelerated BSN

    Hi Sully23, Congratulations on your decision to attend Pitt's Accelerated Second Degree Nursing Program. I started the Accelerated Program at Pitt on January 4, 2012. Everyone in my cohort-all 27 of us-are considered undergrads. (This is strange to me as I spent over 7 years in grad school getting a PhD! I am an undergraduate student all over again.) This is point is important because your status as a student has implications for the type and amount of funding you are entitled to from the government. For financial aid, you will be a fifth year undergrad. Almost everyone is local to the Pittsburgh metro area. Many students commute to school. I may be one of the only out-of-staters. I moved to Shadyside from NYC a few months ago. My trip to school is painless. Others are in their cars for an hour or so. My weekly schedule is brutal. I hope you are a morning person. Mondays class is from 8am-6.30pm; Tuesdays 9am-4.30pm; Wednesdays 9am-11am; Thursdays and Fridays 6.45 am-3.30pm. Thursdays and Fridays are clinical days. Of course, the schedule changes each term. If you have more questions, please ask away. I remember I felt more settled once a student answered mine. Spore
  4. spore2008

    Should I major in nursing or other science?

    There are many direct entry programs for people who want to pursue nursing but have an undergraduate degree in another discipline. Thus, it is possible to major in Biochemistry and then pursue a direct entry nursing program in which you can become a nurse practitioner. These programs are approximately 3 years in length and are, in general, quite expensive. On the other hand, you can earn a BSN and the licensing exam, work as a nurse and then apply for a three year program to become a nurse practitioner. I bet the amount of tuition money is the same in either case.
  5. spore2008

    Should I Take Micro or A&P II Over the Summer???

    I took A & P I and II and my community college. I took A & P II over five weeks during this past summer. The pace was brutal: 8-1.30 M-W; Th 11-1.30. But then I was finished and had another A. Microbiology was a doozy and many of the students were having a tough time in the course-even those students who had done well in all of their other classes. Like the PP said, much of this boils down to the instructor, the exams and teaching style. Also, how quickly you need these classes completed may factor into your decision. Good luck
  6. spore2008

    PA or NP

    Another thing to consider is PA school has specific prerequisites required that are most likely not covered while you were in BSN school. These courses are you standard premed courses and include a Bio sequence, 2 years of Chemistry, Physics, Math and English. It is true NP will be shifting over to DNP (doctorate in nursing practice) degree which takes three years. Some schools no longer offer the MSN for NP degree. A PhD in nursing (doctorate in nursing) is more for education and teaching and research and not clinical practice.
  7. spore2008

    Best Chance

    There are plenty of students who graduate with a bachelors in a non nursing area and then immediately apply to the accelerated BSN and Direct Entry programs. I think perhaps the most important thing to consider is tuition. You are currently at a private university with a steep bill. The above mentioned nursing programs are not cheap at all, public schools with in state tuition are cheaper than privates. Consider how long you want to be in school and how much debt you wish to burden yourself with. Otherwise, keep up with what your doing...you are just finishing your third semester at college and have a long way to go!
  8. spore2008

    Nurses Masquerading As Doctors (INSULTING)

    So how do you all feel about PhD psychologists being called "Dr.?" Is it not also confusing when a psychologist is compared to a psychiatrist? I have a PhD and whenever anyone calls me by "Dr," I feel uncomfortable. I believe context is everything...apples and oranges. Yes, DNPs are doctors. But different type of doctor. The word "doctor" simply means more than one thing! As a patient I would want to know the credentials of anyone who was providing medical care at any level.
  9. spore2008

    Online Pathophysiology Class

    I am finishing up an online pathophysiology course from Butler Community College in Kansas. The 4 credit course is $650 for out of state residents. Both A & P I and II are prerequisites. This is my first online course ever and though I prefer the traditional mode of learning, it was not a horrible experience. The class was my last prerequisite for an accelerated BSN program I will be attending in January.
  10. This is a second career for me. I start an accelerated nursing program in January. Currently, I am most interested in psychiatric nursing, nursing research, education and public health. These are areas I have already been somewhat exposed to in varying degrees. I am hopeful, once in school, I will be exposed to other areas of nursing that I also find interesting. But either way, there are already quite a few areas for me to pursue.
  11. spore2008

    Prerequisites Question

    I would definitely ask if your work experience will count against the time limit on course work. I graduated from college in 1998 with a degree in Neuroscience and I have a PhD in Molecular Genetics from 2008. Every school I asked gave me waivers for the courses I took during my college career and the beginning of my graduate career. The science classes in question included Microbiology, Chemistry, Biochemistry and Organic Chemistry. All I had to do was ask. Good luck.
  12. I think much depends on the individual student. You need to consider your academic aptitude, stress level and financial responsibilities. I finished my prerequisites between spring and summer 2011. My classes included: A &P I, A & P II, Statistics, Developmental Psychology, Nutrition, Pathophysiology. I was not working while taking this course work. I got A's in every class. I wanted to move as quickly as possible into a nursing program.
  13. spore2008

    Nursing vs. Engineering

    Nursing most definitely has a clear impact on people's lives. No doubt, the goal of biomedical research is to improve humanity. The difference is a question of time. Nursing is direct application in the here and now. Research application has a more ambiguous time target. Nursing and engineering are very different career choices. If we were to consider a Venn diagram of the two fields, I imagine I would see very little overlap.
  14. spore2008

    Pre-requisites and moving to another state?

    Unfortunately, nursing schools individually decide their prerequisite courses. True, there is a prerequisite "core" which typically includes anatomy and physiology I and II and microbiology. After those three courses, prerequisite courses can go haywire and include some oddball coursework (ethics, speech, computers). Science courses tend to "expire" but the time frame each school gives can vary substantially. I doubt it matters where you take your prerequisite courses as long as the school is an accredited institution. Most schools do not take kindly to lab science courses being taken online. And to be honest, I would not want to take a lab science online. I think your plan is sound. Call the schools and find out. Try to move to a location where you can apply to more than one school in case you do not get into your first choice.
  15. spore2008

    Nursing vs. Engineering

    In the beginning I found lab science to be intellectually satisfying. I loved using my hands and my brain and being surrounded by relatively intelligent people. What I came to realize is that my work had zero immediate impact. It is possible that what I studied may bear fruit one day but I highly doubt it will happen in my lifetime. For example, the paper on which my thesis work is based on has been cited 10 times. Five years of work and ten citations. I considered practical alternatives to a career in science and applied to a few nursing schools. Matriculating in a nursing school is more of a pragmatic decision rather than a passionate choice. From experience, I know it is entirely possible for passion to fizzle and then what are you left with?
  16. spore2008

    Nursing vs. Engineering

    No, I never studied engineering. But I have a PhD in Molecular Genetics and was a bench scientist. I am starting nursing school in January.