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"For Profit" Schools? (sorry so long!)

(This was cross posted on the student nurses in general section, but thought I'd post it here for the local connection. I'm talking about ODU and TCC and then ECPI/MCI and Virginia Career Institute. Thanks for your opinion!)

I've been taking prereqs to apply to the RN programs where I am (we have an ADN through a community college and a BSN through a university). My husband is in the navy and we found out that we're not going to be here long enough for me to finish either one of these programs without staying behind. I can't apply until next semester and that's starting next fall - and that's not even guaranteeing I get in. I have a great GPA, but so do many of my classmates. There are only so many spots and some people are waiting two years after taking prereqs just to get in. This has led me to look at other options. We have two "for profit" career institutes here. Both offer LPN programs and one also has an RN program. The pros are- I can start the LPN program in January and be finished before we move. I haven't talked to the school with RN program, but I don't have a computer pre-req (I wonder if I can test out of it). The downsides are - well, firstly the cost! The LPN program is $25000! While this is overpriced, I will be able to start and be finished sooner! The RN program is $35000 - but I have many of the classes already, so maybe it won't be as much for me. Also, I'm worried about the reputations of these schools. I'm worried what future employers will think of going to a "career institute" versus the traditional community college or university route. What's your opinion or experience?

I'd encourage you to look at the RN prereqisite requirements of state schools near your husband's next duty station. You'll likely be able to qualify for instate tuition (as a military dependent) when you move and might be there for long enough to complete a RN program.

You could then use this next year to take the prerequisite classes (A&P, college writing, etc) while you are still in Tidewater.

This would give you another option -- taking RN classes in both places.

Good luck

I also agree that you should look into your options at your husband's new duty station. Perhaps you could apply for a spot now. Also look at the for profit schools at your new location. Don't stay where you are now unless it is the best choice for you.

I would also suggest that you not be so concerned with the reputations of the schools. Employers will be looking for your license, RN or LPN, and will, for the most part, not be concerned with how you got it. Quality and reputation of the school would only come into play if you intend to go for higher education or internships, grants, etc. For a generic staff nurse job right out of school, you are served well by any school that allows you to sit for the NCLEX after graduation. Good luck.

Thanks for the opinions! We're not moving for another two years or so, so I have the time to complete the RN program if I can start sooner. I have all prereqs except a computer class. If I apply for ODUs program, I won't start until fall and won't be finished before we move. If I get into TCCs program, I may start in fall or I may be cohorted into the spring cohorts- and that's hoping that I get in this semester. I have a stellar GPA and great letters of rec, but I know my competition (especially at ODU b/c that's where I am now) does too. I still won't be finished before we move. I'm already 27 so I don't want to spend our next two years here just waiting to apply to the program in CA when I could actually be practicing when we move. I do appreciate your thoughts and opinions! Just thought I'd clarify a bit on the situation. :)

Do you want to be a RN or a LPN? While many used to view the LPN as a step on the ladder to become a RN, this step adds time and thousands of dollars. This same 'old school' approach encouraged people to pursue the LPN, then ADN, then BSN, then MSN (with several years of work at each level). Life's too short to be in schoool for all those years.

If you like the LPN role, then pursue that option. If you want to be a RN, then aim for that now.

Thanks! I'm committing to the RN program here. I was only considering the LPN program because of time but I would want to go back to get my RN later. By pursuing my RN now, I won't have to go back to school and spend so much money again (especially if it's a proprietary school!). Thank you so much for the advice!

Please beware...

I briefly considered going to MCI. I choose not to and am glad I didn't.

Here are some of the things that I found to be wrong with them...

1. WAY TOO overpriced. ( I have friends working on their PhD's that aren't paying that much.)

2. I was looking for a job in the area on career builder. I saw an ad looking for people interested in a career in sales. When I clicked on it, the job title was something to the effect of "education counselor" or something like that for MCI. In other words, when you speak to them rather than getting an actual college counselor you get a sales rep. (And I certainly felt that vibe talking to the people there that I interacted with.)

3. I also saw somewhere online a whole forum of people who were in litigation and getting nowhere with MCI over their tuition. If memory serves me, in several of the cases, but certainly not all, the issue was that the student had dropped out but was still required to pay for the whole entire program, even if they had only completed part of it. If I am remembering correctly, some had even tried to assemble a class action lawsuit, but had failed b/c they had signed something upon enrollment that somehow nullified their ability to do that.

4. I also saw online, (and I believe this was a more general thing for their parent school ECPI, but it applies as the policies are the same) where several students were having trouble transferring credits and or getting jobs.

5. I personally know of one employer in Hampton Roads that will not hire MCI graduates.

6. The Biggie: They are not yet accredited by NLNAC.

I tried to confine my answers to things that could be verified by another source. However if I were to include things that fall under the category of pure hearsay,the list would be a lot longer. In fact, I was out to lunch talking with a friend about the possiblity of MCI, and a woman at a neighboring table who had been listening to me weigh the pros and cons, piped up and told me all manner of disturbing things. And while, I am not able to verify the things she told me, I learned enough on my own to steer clear of them. I have just heard terrible thing after terrible thing.

My heart goes out to anyone in nursing school. I am currently struggling through it and I know how hard it is. And I am sorry for any consternation that my post causes, especially to those who are already enrolled as students there. I do wish you the best. But, everything I experienced when I was checking them out, combined with all of the negative stuff I found online, makes me feel I have to speak up and tell folks to at least investigate them thoroughly.

My personal impression is that they prey on people whose lives are over a barrel and need a solution now. I get the very strong sense that as an institution they don't care about the students, only about the bottom line. I believe this is exhibited in practices like having an application that is not merely a school application, but a finacial agreement. Or in the fact that I couldn't get anyone to tell me the tuition until I walked into the building and and was put through a series of questions. I was an out of state resident at the time, and they refused to tell me this information over the phone. And it wasn't in the paperwork they sent me. Tuition information shouldn't be a secret. It should be clearly stated.

My point is, please please please investigate them.

Thanks for you reply. It is expensive and it is a business. They are sales people and I directly asked my sales rep/admissions counselor about "his cut" and he said that he does get a bonus when I graduate - not when I enroll, but when I graduate. There is a contract and in it there is a refund policy expressing the exact amount of money you get refunded per percentage program complete. If you have federal financial aid and you withdrawal, then you owe them (the federal government that sponsored you to go to school) back too. Richmond's campus is NLN accredited and Newport News is in the process (per NLN's website). VB campus is still too new to apply. I spoke to an HR hiring manager at the hospital where I volunteer and she said that she has no problem hiring MCI grads. The retention rate is low and many people don't make it - that's because there aren't as many prereqs (like a&p b/c it's built into the cirriculum) to weed out those that can't handle nursing school. Of those that do make it to the end of the program, there's a 96% NCLEX pass rate and 95% job placement three months before graduation.

It is a lot of money, however I'll be finished in less than a year and half versus the three years for the traditional route (b/c I wouldn't be able to start until August if I'm not put on the waiting list). That's a more than years worth of working salary that I wouldn't have had if I had gone the traditional route.

I have an awesome GPA and was in the 98th national percentile on my TEAS. I was able to secure scholarships for my first seven months. In August, I can renew my scholarships or my husband will be able to transfer his GI Bill to me (new GI Bill takes effect next August).

After talking to five current students (in nursing programs and other cirriculums), three recent nursing grads, and the hiring manager, I've made my decision.

It is a propriertary school and they sell their education - it's up to the individual to actually do the work to deserve it.

I know this is really really old... ;) but I'll chime in anyways. I hope you went to the school you wanted. No need to wait YEARS to get into a program ;)

Both of those options are overpriced IMO

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