experienced RCVT (cath lab tech): accelerated BSN vs ADN in Los Angeles?

  1. Hi,

    I realize there are TONS of posts about these programs, but i haven't found any answers that pertain to my situation here in LA, so any local advice is greatly appreciated!

    I'm a 15+ year male cath lab tech (RCVT) with an A.S. degree in Cardiopulmonary Technology. When pulling my transcripts to look into going back for a nursing degree, I realized that I have 109 credits with a 3.91 GPA. I also have my ACLS and CPR certs.

    My goal is to work as an ER nurse for a few years, and then take travel assignments (as I have in cath lab). I would rather go for BSN than ADN, but I am also looking for the fastest path with least student debt when it's over (yeah, aren't we all, lol). I've spent the last 3 weeks trudging thru the myriad of complex info, contacting nursing advisers and schools, and have only more questions but few answers.

    So, considering my location (Los Angeles/Orange county area), and background, my questions are:
    What's the best pathway out of these options?

    1. Accelerated Bachelors->BSN programs: This seems like the best option (since I might be able to finish my B.S. with 11-15 additional credits and then finish the ABSN within 12-16 months of entry), but I need to find any college that:
    ~ will allow me to apply my old (1995) credits towards a general B.S. in Health science or similar degree.
    ~ is in LA area or has classes online.
    ~ is accredited so the BSN program will accept me.
    I've checked into a B.S. in cardiovascular tech, but none are local. Anyone heard of Nova Southeastern University in FL? Or another online/LA college that might match my needs?
    West Coast costs almost $100k for BSN, and Mt St Mary's only takes women, and Azuza requires religious protocols that eliminate that option. Any other LA ABSN programs I'm missing?

    2. Transfer into BSN program as 3rd year student: CSU-LA and CSU-longbeach both have BSN's for transfer students....anyone gone this route? Since I've missed the fall semester start, the earliest I could hope to get in would be Fall/2014 (by taking pre-reqs starting spring/2014).

    3. LA ADN programs: Citrus, Cerritos, and LA tech all have ADN programs ranging from $4k-7k in tuition, which seems like a GREAT deal, but again, my earliest start date would be fall/2014. And that's IF they take my old credits and I make it in the 1st round of applying (hoping my exp & certs might help with that).

    So I'm seeking advice from those who have either researched these paths, or are on (or have completed) these paths to turn their A.S into a nursing degree here in SoCal.

    It seems like all my options lead to a nursing degree in 2016, but if I spend $50k-60k taking online classes now and ABSN next fall, I could finish 3-6 months earlier with a BSN instead of ADN.

    Thanks for taking the time to read this long essay, and thanks for any advice about my options in the LA area!
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    Joined: Sep '13; Posts: 2


  3. by   Plutonium261
    I hear you with the wanting to finish school as soon as possible with the least amount of debt. Lol. It's great that you have an associates degree already because that in itself eliminates a lot of the general education classes that you would have to take. There are also a few other things to keep in mind when looking into (transferring into) programs. Regarding BSN programs there will always be a few classes that can only be taken at an upper division school (some type of a university) that you cannot take at a community college or college of the sort. Cultural Sociology or some schools refer to it as Cultural Anthropology or Cultural Pluralism for example is one of the classes. Also unfortunately regarding the transferring of credits or classes to or towards any program, one crucial thing to know is that most colleges in general, let alone most universities, will always have an expiration attached to some science classes (like A & P, chemistry, microbiology, etc.) and for good reason. Science is such a subject that is constantly and will always be evolving and changing, new things being discovered, and new ways of doing things. That is the realism of science. And so they put expirations on classes for reasons like that. The longest I've seen on a science classes expiration is about ten (10) years with mostly now a days I believe they're usually 5-7 years before they expire. As far as I know that's something you can't really get around, but I could be wrong. I personally am starting at West Coast University (BSN) this upcoming January, for a number of reasons but mainly because I'm tired of waiting and at my age I unfortunately no longer have the luxury of waiting to get into a program. And I personally know 7+ RNs who've graduated from WCU and all are great nurses. Sorry I don't know too much about your specific (current) profession and how that will correlate with getting into a nursing program. No matter what school you choose though just remember, dedication, priorities, hard work, an unwillingness to give up, and a positive mind set will take you far in life. Sorry my reply was so long hahaha. Hope this helps in some way. Good luck my friend.