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What do I need to do?

Pre-Nursing   (748 Views 10 Comments)
by JaqiO JaqiO (New Member) New Member

629 Profile Views; 7 Posts

I just started looking into Nursing school and I'm a little over-whelmed. What all do I need to do to get started? I haven't decided what school to go to yet even. I live in Boston and there are a lot of choices. I started out as a Vet-Tech student, but never finished up my pre-reqs so I'll need to do those as well.

What are the pro and cons of getting an AA at a community college and then finishing a BS at a University vs. just starting out in a BS program at a more expensive University?

I know I'll be pushing it to get into a school by fall, but hopefully I can at least take some pre-req classes at a CC to get started.

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73 Posts; 1,989 Profile Views

Depending on your educational background, you will need to take the pre-requisites first, most important Anatomy and Physiology 1 & 2 and Microbiology( all with lab components). Almost all the nursing schools will not even consider you without these classes. In addition you must have the general education requirements. You can take these classes at a community college.

Given the above I doubt if you will make it in for the Fall 07 intake. It notmally takes about a year to complete the pre-requisites.

Most schools also require an entrance exam before being admitted into the program.

There is not much difference in pay between an Associate Degree and a Bachelors Degree. Most Associate degree programs are cheaper than Bachelors programs.

Hope this helps.

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73 Posts; 1,989 Profile Views

Depending on your educational background, you will need to take the pre-requisites first, most important Anatomy and Physiology 1 & 2 and Microbiology( all with lab components). Almost all the nursing schools will not even consider you without these classes. In addition you must have the general education requirements. You can take these classes at a community college.

Given the above I doubt if you will make it in for the Fall 07 intake. It notmally takes about a year to complete the pre-requisites.

Most schools also require an entrance exam before being admitted into the program.

There is not much difference in pay between an Associate Degree and a Bachelors Degree. Most Associate degree programs are cheaper than Bachelors programs.

Hope this helps.

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7 Posts; 629 Profile Views

That does help, thanks. I'll look into the CC near by and see what Pre-reqs I can take there. With an AA are you still considered a full RN? I know with the Vet-Tech an AA was a Vet Technician where the BS was a Vet Technologist and there was differences in what you were qualified for and pay.

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DesertRain specializes in CNA, RN Student.

443 Posts; 6,059 Profile Views

You definitely want to check with your school on what your title will be when you complete your AA. Most CC's in the U.S. will qualify you as an RN should you pass your NCLEX and your state boards for licensing. At my college, a lot of the vet tech pre-req's transfer to the ADN in nursing then once your pre-req's are finished you can apply for the nursing program. It's not always the case at every school though. There are a lot of students on this board alone that I have observed have been accepted into nursing schools in which the pre-reqs are actually co-reqs and you can complete them during your nursing school. My best advice is for you to check out your state board of nursing website and find a school that you want to attend. Do your research on what is required for that school, or book an appointment to speak to someone so you know exactly what is needed in your specific situation. Good luck, you've made a great decision.

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WDWpixieRN is a RN and specializes in Med/Surg <1; Epic Certified <1.

2,237 Posts; 11,127 Profile Views

Either the AA or the BSN qualifies you to be a full-fledged RN once you pass the NCLEX test for licensing in your state. I have read there might be minor differences in pay, and there will be limitations on promotions in to management or administrative positions.

I've seen several trains of thought on this issue -- you are young, is someone going to help pay for your schooling and can you afford not to work? Perhaps going in to a BSN program would be best for you at this point.

I am older (51), have 3 grown kids -- one in college, and have a previous BS in business. For me, an ADN program worked best as I want to get in and out at the cheapest cost and start working again. I will follow up later to see whether I will go on for a BSN or MSN while I am collecting a paycheck, have an employer who can help pay for the advanced degree, and am once again making an income. At my age, management is NOT something I am considering for myself, but I am debating whether I want to go on and become a NP (nurse practitioner) for when I am old and feeble, lol.

Here are the pass rates for schools in MA; peruse them to see how the schools you are considering are doing in preparing students for passing this test. Check out www.discovernursing.com to get some additional information, and don't hesitate to post questions here!!

Good luck!!

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7 Posts; 629 Profile Views

You are all so helpful! To answer wdwpixie's questions: No I can't afford to not work while I'm in school, but my employer does have a tuition reimbursement program, how much they can help depends on the budget for the year (I work at a Optometry College). My boss is pretty accommodating as far as hours go, so late afternoon and evening is when I'd be taking classes.

It's frustrating for me b/c I am so young and can't get independent status for financial aid. My parents live in Denver and haven't claimed me as a dependent this year on their taxes so I can't get free tuition online through my Dad's school, but I'm still dependent to the gov't. So money is a huge factor for me. Most school here are around $20k a year and I just don't see how I can get the funding for that. A Community College seems much more feasible, I just don't want to short-change myself with all these great school here.

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WDWpixieRN is a RN and specializes in Med/Surg <1; Epic Certified <1.

2,237 Posts; 11,127 Profile Views

Check with your local colleges to get specifics. There are some financial aid programs out there that may help, but I understand your situation. I used to work with a young gal who hadn't lived with her parents for years; she was totally independent and hadn't been filed as a dependent for years, yet she couldn't get financial aid independent of her parents who refused to help her. This is a situation that probably needs someone, sometime, to make a stink about....

But for you, I would start making appointments with counselors at your local CCs...talk to them and see what their requirements, prereqs, coreqs, etc., are. Do some planning so you know where you're going and how much time and money are involved. Most programs in my area are only full-time, but most people spend the time to get everything completed except their nursing core so that once they're accepted, they can concentrate on NS only. Get those other classes out of the way as you can while working. If there are no part-time or evening programs where you live, you can start investigating alternatives -- saving money so you won't have to work full-time, getting scholarships or private loans, etc.

You will not short-change yourself with an education from a CC. Just be sure they've got good pass rates for the NCLEX so you know you're getting a good education, then you can do the BSN later once you've started working as a real, true RN with your associate's!!

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192 Posts; 4,354 Profile Views

Obviously the main advantage of getting an AA at a CC first is the lower costs.

The only advantage I can think of for being at the same place all 4 years is that you will know more about the University and how things work there and such.

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75 Posts; 1,408 Profile Views

I would recommend reading a book on nursing as a career. Once you decide which degree and what school is best for you it is best to go and talk to the Dean of that nursing school. Make sure that the classes that you have and will be taking will transfer to their program. So many of my friends have ran into a lot of problems with having to take additional classes in their last semester. Some good advice that was given to me before I started nursing school was to get all of the pre-requisites out of the way before starting nursing school. Good luck!

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