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Old 02-22-2008, 03:22 PM   #1
Sakura Barrientos
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Any New Nurses out there?

I currently have a BA in Bus Management. I want to get my BSN. I have been looking in to accelerated programs but might have to enter a regular program.

What I would like to know is what kind of advice can you offer? How long did it take you? What would you do over? What challenges did you meet? Etc...

With the pre-req's I need to fulfill I might not be able to apply until Fall 2010. I know it will be a challenge because my daughter in now 5mo and my husband is a police officer with a demanding job. I am committed though and I know that this is what I want to do.

Any help??
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Old 02-25-2008, 09:22 PM   #2
Al Bulkley
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Re: Any New Nurses out there?

Hey Sakura,

I am a new-ish nurse, and though I didn't go through an accelerated bridge program like you are looking into, I know several people who have (and my wife has also looked into them), so I'm pretty familiar with them.

From what I understand, they're pretty rough. There are a couple in my area, and they all take about a year. Thats a year with no summer break and from what I hear, between clinical and coursework, most weeks are the equivalent of about a 60hr or more workweek. Also, you typically need almost two-semesters worth or pre-reqs just to get in (A&P, microbio, pharmacology, psychology, etc).

So I guess what it comes down to is, how much time can you devote? If you can afford to be really tied up for a busy and stressful year and just want to get it over with, then one of these programs is probably a good option for you.

If you can't afford that type of time commitment, then you'll probably have to go through a traditional program, part-time, over a few years.

Also, consider doing a two-year Associates' Degree program at a community college and then getting your BSN while you work. There are lots of part-time RN-BSN programs - even online ones - and many employers will pay for it. I know you probably don't want to take a "step back" since you already have a BA, but if it gets you into your chosen field more quickly, it may be worth doing.

Look into all of your options. Many times the lower priced public schools have a reputation as being much more student-friendly and offering better practical preparation than the more prestigious schools, so talk to current students and recent grads from all the programs you are considering.

Also remember that while nursing isn't rocket science, it is a pretty demanding and tiring thing to learn and practice. Keep that in mind and be realistic when you are planning your path forward.

Whatever way you go, nursing is an awesome field with so many options it'll make your head spin.

PM me if you want.

Good luck!

-Allan
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Old 02-25-2008, 09:47 PM   #3
Sakura Barrientos
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Re: Any New Nurses out there?

hi al. thanks for responding. i talked to my mom tonight who is a veteran nurse of 20+ years. she said what you said about the associates degree: just do that and work your way up to your bsn.

i guess i was thinking if i'm going to do i might as well get it over with...doing the bsn right off the bat. however, thinking about the time involved in an accelerated program--and you're right about the pre-reqs--i'm almost better off taking my time.

i was looking at cal state east bay for the bsn but now i might look more seriously at los medanos for the associates program. it doesn't help that there aren't night classes (my husband works day shift) but i think we can make it work.

i was wondering, what kind of facility do you work at? is it a private facility, county, etc? i was looking in to kaiser permanente since they're fairly "big" here and a few people we know work for them. my mom says that the one in walnut creek, ca (where kaela was born) is a top rated hospital. hmmm. apparently they pay well too, although pay isn't my top priority.

there are things holding me back from going to school like childcare, the thought of baby #2, my husband's schedule, scholarships, etc. but you know, this is something i want to do and something my husband supports so we'll make it work.

hehehe...and let me tell ya, boy am i happy that my husband is seriously looking in to building our home gym asap. that means at 3am after hitting the books, i can suffer through fran and then pass out for two more hours until kaela wakes up for the day. hahaha. jk.
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Old 02-25-2008, 10:25 PM   #4
Joe Butler
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Re: Any New Nurses out there?

Hello Sakura,

I've been an ER nurse for almost 19 years. I went through an associates degree program and am still at that level. BSN is useful as a stepping stone to MSN and advanced practice or management and I would recommend that if you don't do the accelerated program for your BSN straight off, you should do it soon after you start your career. The longer you stay away from school, the harder it is to go back.
I actually started taking classes to get my BSN and ultimately decided I didn't want the b.s. necessary for the BSN, so I'll probably remain an ADN for the rest of my career, unless I get a wild hair and decide that I really do want to be a nurse practitioner.
Anyway, good luck in your decision.
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Old 02-25-2008, 10:50 PM   #5
Theresa Meyer
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Re: Any New Nurses out there?

Have you ever considered the AF? I'm a medic, and they are constantly looking for AF nurses. There is an enlisted BSN program I believe.
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Old 02-25-2008, 11:01 PM   #6
Andy Shirley
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Re: Any New Nurses out there?

I went through an accelerated bridge program, but it was a bridge directly to a MSN and ability to take the Acute Care Nurse Practitioner certification. I had a BS in Neurosciences/Psych. I took a year off to work and take prereq's after undergrad and then went back for the masters. Although I took and passed my certification after graduation, I have chosen to work as an ICU RN since graduation(5 years now). We took the NCLEX about halfway through the first year. It is a highly accelerated masters, especially the Acute Care bridge program, and especially coming in with no nursing background.

My program:http://www.nursing.vanderbilt.edu/msn/acnp.html wfs, my alma mater in Nashville TN

I know there are several others like it out there. Mine has a distance option as well. But the one thing it isn't is cheap. Or easy. But I think it was well worth it.

The distance option(I think distance option is 2nd year only) makes it especially attractive for out of state people.

I would also second what Allan said: whatever program will get you out and working the fastest. There are chronic teaching shortages in nursing schools, leading to long waiting lists at many programs.

Most places there are no pay differences between associates/bachelors/masters prepared nurses, some places there are(but pretty small). Most people would agree that the higher your level of education, the more upwardly mobile you'll be as far as getting away from the bedside and into management/administration if that is something you want to move towards.

As far as where you want to work, and in what area, you'll have plenty of time to figure that out in school. The option are nearly limitless and you can always change anytime.

I've worked exclusively at large academic hospitals(Vanderbilt, John's Hopkins, UCLA, and now OHSU in Portland OR). Two years as a staff RN and as a travel RN since, I've only worked in Neuro/Trauma ICU's(minus the occasional float to other ICU's).
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Old 02-26-2008, 08:48 AM   #7
Shawn Hultquist
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Re: Any New Nurses out there?

here is an online program that is a bridge program and the greatest thing about it is that it is a go at your own pace program. If it takes you 5 years or 14 months whatever pace you want. Give them a try.

Goto www.collegenetwork.com (work safe) then click on the excellsior college out of albany ny it will then direct you to the online program to see what you need.

hope this helps
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Old 02-26-2008, 02:32 PM   #8
Al Bulkley
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Re: Any New Nurses out there?

Hey Sakura,

I work in the ED and Surgical ICU at a large, private tertiary hospital (University of Rochester / Strong Memorial Hospital) in upstate NY, and I volunteer as a paramedic. I used to work as a flight paramedic and flight nurse, and I hope to get back into that line of work soon.

It's hard to say whether it's "better" to work at a large, well-known facility or a local community hospital. The larger hospitals usually have more patients and sicker patients, and more up-to-date medicine, and maybe better educational opportunities, but they also tend to be more demanding places to work in general and in my area anyway, they actually pay worse, have worse staffing shortages, and have less scheduling flexibility than the community hospitals.

I know alot of RN's who have travelled all over the country, and many of them will tell your that the larger and better-known a place is, the more likley it is to be a lousy place to work.

If you want to get into a competative nursing specialty or graduate program (like flight nursing or nurse anesthesia), then you'll probably need experience in the ICU or ED of a tertiary facility, but otherwise I'd recommend you just find a position somewhere close to home that meets your interest and the needs of you and your family, and not worry at all how prestigious or well-known the place is. When you get close to graduating your mind will be boggled at the sheer amount of opportunity you realize you have.

Shawn mentioned the Excelsior program, and as an Excelsior grad myself I wouldn't reccomend it as on option, Sakura.

For one thing, I'm pretty sure California doesn't recognize the program (at least they used to be one of the two or three states that didn't), and secondly you need to have clinical experience in order to get in. It's ok if you are an LPN or an RRT or an EMT-P who is highly experienced and motivated to teach yourself how to be an RN, but those are really the only people for whom the program is appropriate. Even for experienced and confident LPN's, the Excelsior program is really hard.

I echo what Joe said. Get your BSN as soon as possible. The older you get the harder it is. Get your ASN first and go right to work - if that is the route you choose - but then as soon as you become eligible for your employers' tuition reimbursement program, start a part time RN-BSN program. You certainly don't need a BSN to have a good career in nursing, but you'll be glad you did it.

Good luck!

Last edited by Al Bulkley : 02-26-2008 at 02:35 PM.
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Old 02-26-2008, 02:47 PM   #9
Karin Jonczak
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Re: Any New Nurses out there?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy Shirley View Post
I went through an accelerated bridge program, but it was a bridge directly to a MSN and ability to take the Acute Care Nurse Practitioner certification. I had a BS in Neurosciences/Psych. I took a year off to work and take prereq's after undergrad and then went back for the masters. Although I took and passed my certification after graduation, I have chosen to work as an ICU RN since graduation(5 years now). We took the NCLEX about halfway through the first year. It is a highly accelerated masters, especially the Acute Care bridge program, and especially coming in with no nursing background.

My program:http://www.nursing.vanderbilt.edu/msn/acnp.html wfs, my alma mater in Nashville TN

I know there are several others like it out there. Mine has a distance option as well. But the one thing it isn't is cheap. Or easy. But I think it was well worth it.

The distance option(I think distance option is 2nd year only) makes it especially attractive for out of state people.

I would also second what Allan said: whatever program will get you out and working the fastest. There are chronic teaching shortages in nursing schools, leading to long waiting lists at many programs.

Most places there are no pay differences between associates/bachelors/masters prepared nurses, some places there are(but pretty small). Most people would agree that the higher your level of education, the more upwardly mobile you'll be as far as getting away from the bedside and into management/administration if that is something you want to move towards.

As far as where you want to work, and in what area, you'll have plenty of time to figure that out in school. The option are nearly limitless and you can always change anytime.

I've worked exclusively at large academic hospitals(Vanderbilt, John's Hopkins, UCLA, and now OHSU in Portland OR). Two years as a staff RN and as a travel RN since, I've only worked in Neuro/Trauma ICU's(minus the occasional float to other ICU's).
hey, that's where I GO!!!! I too am in the ACNP program at Vandy (but you don't take the NCLEX exam till the end of your first year, at least that is how it works now).

I figure I will work as an RN for a bit, but I really want to practice as an NP in the long run!!

Its not an easy program... I honestly didn't work out at all for the first semester - there wasn't time... I studied when I wasn't in class and that was IT!!!

Good luck with whatever you choose!!

Karin
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Old 02-26-2008, 03:42 PM   #10
Sakura Barrientos
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Re: Any New Nurses out there?

whoa. lol. that's a whole lotta information but darn sure am glad to get it!

well, still researching. it's either get my associates at Los Medanos near where we live OR get my BSN with Cal State East Bay. i'd much rather get my BSN and "get it over with" but at the same time it might not be a bad idea with the associates and working.

just depends on how quickly i can get my prereq's done. CSUEB needs everything done and turned in by Jan 31, 2009 for Fall 2009 classes. with Los Medanos i feel i have more flexibility with time. i need to get the following done:

-intro physio
-physio I & II
-O chem
-chem
-stats (should have a transfer credit for this)
-coll engl (done)
-pub speaking (done)

if i can take two classes this summer and three in the fall i could swing it. hm...

my husband is in the middle of a job kinda "crisis" but not really. lol. just that he might have to transfer agencies so we don't know what schedule he would have this summer. if he takes weekends then i could go to school during the week while he takes kaela. or, if a friend of ours is cool with it, we might just pay her to watch kaela for a few hours. hm...real toughie when it comes to kids, eh? we're the type that primarily wants family or really close friends watching her. no nannies or unknown baby sitters.

yeah...damn...
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