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Suggestions on Educational course

BRenee81 BRenee81 (New) New

Hi folks!

I'm currently a CST, just graduated, and looking for a job. However, I do not want to spend my entire career as a Scrub Tech. I am considering starting my pre-reqs for Nursing School in the spring, and I would like to go as far as advance practice, either as a Certified Nurse Midwife or Nurse Practitioner. That said, I have no idea where to start. I have to work and support myself and my kids while I go back to school, so that makes things a little bit more challenging. I am thinking of taking things a step at a time - signing up for the nursing program at my local community college. My question is this: Is it advisable to go for an Associate of Arts in Nursing with a plan to return to school for a BSN at a state university (private schools are almost completely out of the question due to the outrageous tuition costs) or should I focus on a transfer program at the community college level and forego nursing there completely? How demanding time-wise are clinicals for BSN students?

Thanks in advance!

NurseGirl525, ASN, RN

Specializes in ICU.

If you are in California you probably want your BSN. Cali is a very impacted state. Depending on your work hours you may have to find a nighttime/weekend program. You have to have a certain amount of clinical hours to sit for the NCLEX. Those programs though are few and far between.

loriangel14, RN

Specializes in Acute Care, Rehab, Palliative.

Yes you will be hard pressed to find night time/weekend programs but they do exist. Clinicals vary but generally they are day shifts during the week and they start very early in the AM.


Specializes in L&D, infusion, urology. Has 2 years experience.

Don't bother with the AA. Just look at the prereqs for the programs to which you plan to apply, take those and your general ed (your community college should have a list of all of these- line it up with what you need for nursing), and then apply to nursing programs.

BSN programs (and ADN programs) are very time-consuming. In addition to clinicals, you have lecture, a TON of reading papers, clincal write ups/care plans, your own studying for exams, group projects... It's a lot. People manage to work AND have kids AND get through nursing school, but you need to be able to manage your time well AND have something that keeps you sane.

Programs are not flexible with work schedules, generally. There's the odd evening program, but you'll need to really do your research to find these. Most are all over the place (like mine- I attended a CSU). Our clinicals were two full days per week, and the write-ups for those generally took me 4-6 hours each week. That's just one assignment.

I saw clinical groups from other schools as well. We were there Thursdays and Fridays on days (0630-1500), but I know one school is Saturdays on the PM shift, some are on Fridays on PMs, some are on Tuesdays and Wednesdays on days, it all just varies. Then when you get to your senior preceptorship, your schedule is whatever your preceptor works. Could be nights, could be days, could be the same days each week, but most likely isn't.

If you choose an ADN program, you can always bridge to BSN later while working. Some BSN programs are now 2 years through the CSUs (I know of Long Beach and Sonoma State, but I'm sure there are others), so they don't take any longer than an ADN program, except for maybe an additional prerequisite or two (like statistics).

I know that's a lot of heavy information all at once, but that's just a reality check for CA nursing programs. I have many classmates that worked and are parents. I tried to work, but my boss wasn't understanding of my schedule and workload, and I had to quit. If your workplace is more understanding, you may do better.

Also, depending on the age of your kids, many colleges offer daycare or preschool on-campus. It's worth looking into if any of your kids are that age. :)

Good luck!