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WGU vs Aspen University

Online Learning   (811 Views 4 Comments)
by mswill04 mswill04 (New Member) New Member Nurse

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I'm looking into online RN to BSN programs. Currently looking at WGU and Aspen University, strictly based on their low tuition costs. Anyone have pros/cons for me for either program? I'd prefer to hear about personal experiences, please. Was tuition as advertised? Class schedule/assignments? Workload, etc.

Thanks in advance. 

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2 Likes; 1,859 Visitors; 75 Posts

I was looking at Aspen's MSN Nurse Leadership Program....and wanted some feedback too! Aspen looks super affordable, but is not regionally accredited but is CCNE approved. So does that matter? I mean I already have my BSN,RN.

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1 Like; 805 Visitors; 4 Posts

I finished WGU’s RN to BSN program in September, and I liked the program for several reasons:

You can work at your own pace. It took me the entire two years because I am a big procrastinator, though depending on your motivation, tenacity, and the time you have available, you can finish in half that time or less.

The tuition is very reasonable.

There are many resources available to help if you get bogged down, e.g., student mentors, course instructors, live help sessions, a help line, etc. I didn’t utilize resources very often, but mentors were very responsive and helpful when I did.

i thought the coursework was very do-able. Some of the classes were naturally more difficult than others, but none were unreasonably demanding.

Many WGU graduates go on to MSN programs. It might very well have happened, but I have not heard of people being refused admission because their BSN degree came from WGU.

Feel free to email me at spotalbert@gmail.com if you have questions. There is also a WGU RN to BSN group on Facebook; you can get lots of info there.

Good luck! I waited until I was almost 60 to get my BSN, but I’m so glad I did it!

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ahunter29 has 3 years experience as a MSN, RN and works as a Hospice and Pediatric Home Health.

10 Likes; 336 Visitors; 21 Posts

I did the RN to BSN and also the MSN Leadership and Management programs with WGU. It took me 10 months to complete the BSN portion and another 4 months to complete the masters. In total, it cost me about $11,000, much less than other universities! I absolutely love WGU and will forever recommend it to everyone because of their competency-based model and tuition. As you probably already know, they charge a flat rate per term ( about $3500 per 6 months), so depending on how quickly you get done, you could graduate with less debt than any other school out there. On the other hand, if you procrastinate a lot, it could end up costing you more. I probably spent on average maybe 25-30 hours a week on coursework if that helps you get an idea.

The competency-based model is much different than traditional education. About half of your classes will simply be one test and done (aka the objective assessments). So for those classes, you do a pretest at the start of the course and study the sections with the lowest scores. When you feel comfortable (it could be as soon as 1 minute later if you wanted), you schedule your post-test and if you pass, you move on to the next class. I think you get 3 attempts at the post-test before you have to start paying for more attempts if I remember right.  The other half of your classes involve performance assessments in order to prove competency. Basically what this means is you will (in most cases) write 1-3 papers per class. Your papers will be evaluated and sent back if they need revisions, where you will then just make the corrections they ask for and resubmit. A few of the classes require field work or some other type of assignment, but the majority are just writing papers and taking tests. Also, all textbooks are included in tuition.

You will also be assigned a student mentor who will guide you through all the way to the end. They contact you once a week and help you make goals and keep on track.  Most students find the mentor thing to be helpful and motivating.

There are course instructors for every class, but you do not have to use them if you don't want to. Most of them already provide learning materials for you as well as pre-recorded cohorts, so if you're like me and don't want to interact with anyone because you're self-taught, this school is really the way to go. If you're the type who wants to attend lectures and schedule time with instructors for additional help, they have office hours and live cohorts that you can attend too. 

I know this seems one sided but I honestly can't think of any negatives. It's accredited, it allows you to work at your own pace, it has start dates every month, there are tons of resources available to you, etc. 

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