Please excuse my long post...If you would like you can just read the last paragraph lol
Hello! I am currently in the military, and had a few questions about nursing programs. I would like to get some information from people who have first hand experience...Right now I work as a lab tech. Mainly I work in microbiology, my other concentration has been blood bank. I do have experience in the other sections, but these are my favorites.
I have 2 more years left on my contract and would prefer to do nursing over lab. I enjoy the medical field, but would much rather work with people than their...fluids lol. Since I am in the military, I can not go to nursing school while I work. So, I am getting a degree in Psychology with a minor in biology. I have read about the BS-RN programs and most of them just require a bachelor's in anything. The program I am in will satisfy most of the pre-requisites, so that is why I have chosen it. I would just like some advice on choosing a program. Currently I live in Germany, so any program in any state is fair game, since I can declare residency there before leaving here. I have no kids/spouse, so I can really relocate anywhere and get in state tuition. I do have my GI bill but would potentially like to go to CRNA school, so I am saving it for that. Meaning, I will finance my RN degree out of pocket.
The big thing I am debating is going into a BS-RN school (which they offer many places, but I CAN go live with my parents while doing it, I don't want to but it is on the table), or a program I found through UVA. It's a BS-CNL. I am leaning toward this program because I can get a Clinical Nursing Leader degree which is a master's in 2 years. The other programs range from a year to two and just supply me with a BSN. Both will allow me to be an RN. I know the latter will be much more work but I am ready and excited just thinking about it! Do you all think this is a beneficial program, or do you think that the BSN will suffice in me being more competitive applying to CRNA school? My ultimate goal is CRNA for now, but I may change specialties later down the line. I am wondering if any of you have gone through a CNL program, did you go after already having a BSN, or like me who has no nursing experience? Any responses are appreciated!
May 1, '13
If your goal is to become a CRNA, get a BSN and a few years experience in ICU. The CNL is something you do after you have several years of experience. Get the BSN first.
May 1, '13
I was just speaking with one of the nurses I work with here. She told me the same thing. There are other programs that offer a specialty as a master's. She said just focus on the RN portion first, I completely understand, but I want to maximize my time, if that makes sense. I would prefer to be able to pick a concentration I enjoy and get the master's in it. Did you find a specialty while doing your clinicals in that you were interested in, or did it take more time? Would you suggest just waiting?
May 1, '13
Personally, I would choose the CNL program. UVA is an excellent school and its degree is respected. I work with a fairly recent graduate of that same UVA program who is an excellent staff nurse who is moving quickly up the career ladder.
The CNL degree will give you several career options that will not be available with a BSN. Exactly how committed are you to the CRNA role? You don't sound 100% committed. If you are 100% committed, then the CNL is an expensive detour. But if you would be interested in other options, the CNL would be the better choice.
As I tell a lot of people ... before you invest in a graduate program, it is wise to really think through what you want your career path to be. You'll need to figure out what you want your career path to be before you can decide which program would be best to get you there.
And no matter what you choose, there is the possbility that you will change your mind. Which mistake would you rather make? Does one potential regret seem more unattractive to you than the other? Sometimes, you make choices based on wanting to avoid a certain regret later -- rather than basing it just on what you hope to gain.
Good luck ... no matter which route you choose.
May 1, '13
Thank you for your responses. To the above, I was really interested in the program. I like the fact that they give individual teaching. I think that is invaluable especially as I would be on an accelerated track. I think this is my best option becasue, while I think I would like to be a CRNA, I would like to keep my options open. I may find something that I prefer more so during my clinicals.
May 2, '13
We have had a number of CNL grads from UVa go on to Advanced Practice programs (as well as DNP and PhD) after a year or two of practice. Since CNL grads have a MSN degree already, they could progress to a Post-Master's NP certificate (fewer credits). This fall 1/3 of the Post-Master's NP students will be CNL grads who are returning for specialty preparation.
May 5, '13
How do they pay for the Post-Master's NP certificate? I read they do not qualify for aid?
May 5, '13
Most are using employee benefits to pay for it. The UVa Health System provides $5250/year for fulltime RNs. We also are planning on developing a CNL-DNP track (which would qualify for federal and School aid since it would be a degree).
May 6, '13
I wish UVA offered a Post Masters-DNP track because I assume that would qualify for financial assistance?
May 6, '13
We offer a post-MSN DNP track for those with specialty preparations (NP, CNS, Public Health, etc). We do not offer a CNL-DNP option for Fall 2013.
The faculty are working on a generalist MSN to DNP option (for CNL, MSN in Education, etc) that would permit students to earn a NP or CNS certification along with the DNP. This may be an option for as early as Fall 2014.