BSN but not RN

  1. I'm in need of major help, advice, suggestions.

    Got my BSN in '99, tested and failed TX board NCLEX in 2000. I didn't retest due to lack of confidence and marriage/children commitments. Plus, been travelling the world with my military husband and currently in Japan.

    Fast forward 7 yrs., I'm ready to regain my life and would love nothing more than to finally pass the NCLEX and be an RN.

    I know that TX requires you to pass NCLEX within 4 years of graduation. I have obviously exceeded that limit. I read on their website that I would have to "reeducate" in a nursing program. Does that mean, I have to do an entire BSN program all over again?!?!?

    I've also been reading a lot online about RN refresher courses but almost all of them say they're for "licensed RN's wanting to return to the nursing field after years of absence." Well, I was never a licensed RN, so I don't think I qualify for these programs. I can't find a program for a BSN graduate who was never RN licensed.

    I've contacted the TX BNE requesting info. on any refresher courses that I might qualify for. But from past experience, they're not really good at returning emails.

    I've also contacted RN refresher programs just to see if they can shed some light on my situation. I'm anxiously awaiting their responses.

    I'm at a loss. I don't know where to go from here. I've wasted 7 years already, doing nothing but working odd jobs here and there paying off 4 years of school loans. I have nothing to show for my hard work. I kick myself in the butt for not retesting during that 4 yr. period.

    ANy input would be greatly appreciated. Will I really need to repeat a BSN program? Online refresher programs/courses? Best study aids? HELP!!!
  2. Visit melnjp profile page

    About melnjp

    Joined: Nov '06; Posts: 7


  3. by   Tweety
    Good luck!

    Seriously, only the Texas BON would be able to answer your questions. But hopefully someone who has been in a similar situation will be in the know.
  4. by   ZASHAGALKA
    Not only the Texas BNE, maybe.

    Since you have never been initially registered, you might be able to apply for initial licensure in other states as well.

    Almost every one of them would require some form of re-education, but that might allow you the opportunity to 'forum shop', if you will.

    Most States, in order for you to apply for initial licensure require that you grad from an NLN program (not necessarily in that state) AND have never been licenced before (that would be different petition, licensure by endorsement, if you already had a license). Then, there would be the extra requirements because you grad in 1999. But, those extra requirements would probably vary, state by state, and might vary considerably.

    The point is: just because you grad in Texas does not mean you are bound to obtain initial licensure in Texas.

    One other thing: the ability to apply for initial licensure in another state might depend on how far you got in applying for initial licensure in Texas. Again, that is probably a rule that varies, state by state. Since you obviously applied far enough to take the NCLEX, some states might consider that enough vested in the process to first seek initial licensure in Texas. But, maybe not. If you have a more convenient state, due to living there or being stationed there now, you might check with THEIR BON as well to see if it is possible to apply for initial licensure there and what the rules would be.

    Last edit by ZASHAGALKA on Nov 28, '06
  5. by   melnjp
    Hi and thanks to all those who responded. I heard back from the TX BNE, and I will have to "re-educate" in a nursing program before I can apply for licensure and take the NCLEX.

    I also heard from the nurse "refresher" programs and they too require that I have an existing RN license.

    I just don't know where to go from here. I'm all for re-educating myself. Seven yrs. is a long time and I'm certain many things have changed. I have no problem returning to school/clinicals/preceptorship. But I just don't know how to search and find a program that suits my needs.

    I can't do an RN refresher program. I can't do RN-BSN. I can't do BSN-MSN because they all require me to be a RN who's had a license at one point or another. What am I supposed to do? Get another BSN? I think I'll be the first person to hold that kind of credentials in the history of nursing!!!

    And to add to my dilemma, I'm stationed in Japan. We have universities/colleges on campus but none that offer nursing courses/degrees. I need an online program for the didactic portion and a college that will allow me to do clinicals at our base hospital.

    I'm still looking into other state boards and options but I have a feeling I'm doomed!
  6. by   augigi
    Did you find out exactly what classes you'll have to take? There are many online programs which are flexible and permit you to take it from there and organize your own clinicals. Try University of Phoenix - you could email and ask, they are very responsive to answering things quickly and should be able to tell you what they can do.

    I would investigate another board of nursing before you do this. Some may have different requirements with regard to how recently you graduated.
  7. by   nursing85
    I don't know if you're gonna believe this, but....I graduated in '85, from a BSN program. I took the boards and failed. I got married, entered a lucrative career in hi-tech. Now my kids are bigger and I was DRIVEN to pass the boards. I bought all kinds of stuff to review, Kaplan on-line QBank, Kaplan Flip-O-Matic drug book, Saunders review, "Incredibly Rediculously Simple Review". I took the boards after 3 mo's of INTENSE studying on Oct. 26 -- I'm now an RN! You must know you need an ATT before you can even apply to take the exam. I called the school I graduated and met with nsg. dept there to get old records, etc. Then proceeded to BON in my state (not TX). It took a lot of work, but I was up for the challenge. If you are determined, YOU CAN DO IT. It MUST take your 1st priority...over grocery shopping, picking up kids, dinner, laundry, dr. appt's etc. I hope this helps you. Talk with your school 1st. If they authorize you an ATT and then you talk with BON in TX, you should be in good shape.

    GOOD LUCK -- let me know how you do.
  8. by   augigi
    The school cannot authorise an ATT - as far as I'm aware only the board of nursing can do this.
  9. by   melnjp
    Thank you nursing85 for such an inspirational story!!!

    After spending countless hours on this forum, I've learned a lot from other people's experiences.

    I don't have the time or energy to contact each state board individually. I've already wasted 7 years. I will accept my losses and move on. I will re-educate.

    I have been looking into the Excelsior program. It fits my needs especially living overseas. Does anybody have any personal experience with them?
  10. by   EricJRN
    While you can find lots of information about Excelsior on the Distance Learning/Independent Study Forum, it seems like that would take more time and energy than pursuing a state license based on what you've already completed.
  11. by   rclimbr
    Good luck in your quest. I was stationed at Camp Zama JP as my last duty station. My problem was with a job search. between the time difference and the fact that I had been out of the US for 3 years and I was disconnected from the US culture. At that time I was in computers and it was hard, I have been there. Might want to check with the military hospital first and see if they will let you do clinicals. You might have to wait till you pcs stateside.

    Good Luck