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Mom0012

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My dd has been exploring the medical field and is starting to hone in on being a nurse practitioner.

Does anyone have a child who has followed or is following that path? I’d love to hear about your experiences.  Feel free to pm me if you prefer.  I see there are all kinds of programs out there, but we’re thinking it would be nice to find one that is direct admit.  What are some schools with great programs?  

Edited by Mom0012

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The great thing about nursing programs at the undergraduate level is there is some objective criteria by which to judge the quality of a school: the NCLEX first-time pass rate. My girls are finishing their first and third years of college in a BSN program at a small private college. They both chose the (not terribly well-ranked, far from home) direct-admit program because of their very generous merit scholarships and pleasant climate. They could have stayed in-state and attended one of our very good state schools for a similar cost, but all were competitive admission after completion of prerequisites, and that just wasn’t a gamble we wanted to take.

I suggest first looking for schools that have direct-admit (some call it freshman-admit) BSN programs and then filter for factors that are important to your student: size, location, cost, other possible majors, etc. One thing to note is they are becoming more and more competitive by the year and the minimum GPA/test scores to apply are rarely close the the profile of an admitted student. My oldest had 95th percentile test scores/high GPA/AP’s, etc. and was rejected from some programs. Some joke that it’s easier to get into med school (at our state flagship) than nursing school, due to the relatively small size of each nursing class. Because clinical groups are generally quite small, there is a firm and low limit to the number of students they can educate each year.

I hope that helps. Please ask specific questions if you have any.

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39 minutes ago, fourisenough said:

The great thing about nursing programs at the undergraduate level is there is some objective criteria by which to judge the quality of a school: the NCLEX first-time pass rate. My girls are finishing their first and third years of college in a BSN program at a small private college. They both chose the (not terribly well-ranked, far from home) direct-admit program because of their very generous merit scholarships and pleasant climate. They could have stayed in-state and attended one of our very good state schools for a similar cost, but all were competitive admission after completion of prerequisites, and that just wasn’t a gamble we wanted to take.

I suggest first looking for schools that have direct-admit (some call it freshman-admit) BSN programs and then filter for factors that are important to your student: size, location, cost, other possible majors, etc. One thing to note is they are becoming more and more competitive by the year and the minimum GPA/test scores to apply are rarely close the the profile of an admitted student. My oldest had 95th percentile test scores/high GPA/AP’s, etc. and was rejected from some programs. Some joke that it’s easier to get into med school (at our state flagship) than nursing school, due to the relatively small size of each nursing class. Because clinical groups are generally quite small, there is a firm and low limit to the number of students they can educate each year.

I hope that helps. Please ask specific questions if you have any.

Thank you, thank you.  The info about the NCLEX first-time pass rate is helpful to know.  I am aware of how competitive nursing programs have become.  We are in Virginia and the University of Virginia, which has a 30-something % admit rate, has a 12% admit rate for their nursing program.  So, we’re not really interested in heading to a school specifically because of its nursing program without a guarantee. I’ve been searching for direct-admit programs, but will search for “freshman-admit” as well.  

Does it matter what state you get your degree in if you plan to relocate after college?

I guess the other thing I’m noticing is that certain schools seem to have their students earn a BSN in nursing by taking almost all nursing-related courses for a good part of their college years.  Others have programs that seem to leave a lot more room for taking other classes and also exploring another field. One that I am looking at would allow my dd to get a bachelor’s degree in nursing and something else and the nursing classes don’t even begin until the final year of school.  My dd seems to prefer that because she has some other interests she wants to explore and she already has regular exposure to the medical field through the volunteer work she does.  Do you have any thoughts about that?

There are also a number of schools I have been looking at with my dd that do not have a nursing program, but have a health studies/public health/global health major that it looks like some students are getting and then following that up with a Bachelor’s to RN nursing program.  Any positives to doing that?  I see the downside of adding another year or so to the process and, of course, having to apply to a Bachelor’s to RN program, but are there any positives I’m overlooking?

Do either of your dd’s plan to continue on and get a master’s?  If so, how competitive is it to get into those programs? 

Edited by Mom0012

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4 hours ago, Mom0012 said:

Does it matter what state you get your degree in if you plan to relocate after college?

I guess the other thing I’m noticing is that certain schools seem to have their students earn a BSN in nursing by taking almost all nursing-related courses for a good part of their college years.  Others have programs that seem to leave a lot more room for taking other classes and also exploring another field. One that I am looking at would allow my dd to get a bachelor’s degree in nursing and something else and the nursing classes don’t even begin until the final year of school.  My dd seems to prefer that because she has some other interests she wants to explore and she already has regular exposure to the medical field through the volunteer work she does.  Do you have any thoughts about that?

There are also a number of schools I have been looking at with my dd that do not have a nursing program, but have a health studies/public health/global health major that it looks like some students are getting and then following that up with a Bachelor’s to RN nursing program.  Any positives to doing that?  I see the downside of adding another year or so to the process and, of course, having to apply to a Bachelor’s to RN program, but are there any positives I’m overlooking?

Do either of your dd’s plan to continue on and get a master’s?  If so, how competitive is it to get into those programs? 

It doesn’t matter where they earn a degree, but they must apply for licensure in the state where they want to practice; some states are part of reciprocity agreements. 

I’ve never heard of a BSN program that does all nursing classes in one year (I don’t see how that would be possible?); many schools’ nursing coursework is the last two years of a 4-year program. My girls’ school is a traditional liberal arts college; they’re taking one to three gen eds or elective classes every semester until the last year when they will take all nursing courses. Since they both came in with a lot of AP credit, they have freedom to pursue other academic interests via minors. Neither of mine have an interest in a double-major. 

I think earning an undergrad in health sciences then doing a BS to BSN program is an unnecessarily expensive and time-consuming way to earn a BSN IF the student knows s/he wants to be a nurse. I think those programs work well for people who don’t know what they want to do (during senior year of high school) or don’t get into a BSN program. 

My oldest loves critical care. She hopes to land a position in an ICU or other critical care unit for her first job. After two years, she plans to apply to a CRNA program. Admission to anesthesia school is VERY competitive. Younger DD will have her first clinical next fall. At this point, she has no idea in what specialty she’d like to practice. She has always been baby person, though, so I can see her falling in love with peds or L&D. Based on her overalll academic ability and ambition, I would guess she will pursue an advanced degree of some sort, but she doesn’t have a firm plan like older DD.

Hope that helps. I know there are some nurses on this board and other parents with kids in nursing school. Maybe they’ll chime in, too.

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2 hours ago, fourisenough said:

It doesn’t matter where they earn a degree, but they must apply for licensure in the state where they want to practice; some states are part of reciprocity agreements. 

I’ve never heard of a BSN program that does all nursing classes in one year (I don’t see how that would be possible?); many schools’ nursing coursework is the last two years of a 4-year program. My girls’ school is a traditional liberal arts college; they’re taking one to three gen eds or elective classes every semester until the last year when they will take all nursing courses. Since they both came in with a lot of AP credit, they have freedom to pursue other academic interests via minors. Neither of mine have an interest in a double-major. 

I think earning an undergrad in health sciences then doing a BS to BSN program is an unnecessarily expensive and time-consuming way to earn a BSN IF the student knows s/he wants to be a nurse. I think those programs work well for people who don’t know what they want to do (during senior year of high school) or don’t get into a BSN program. 

My oldest loves critical care. She hopes to land a position in an ICU or other critical care unit for her first job. After two years, she plans to apply to a CRNA program. Admission to anesthesia school is VERY competitive. Younger DD will have her first clinical next fall. At this point, she has no idea in what specialty she’d like to practice. She has always been baby person, though, so I can see her falling in love with peds or L&D. Based on her overalll academic ability and ambition, I would guess she will pursue an advanced degree of some sort, but she doesn’t have a firm plan like older DD.

Hope that helps. I know there are some nurses on this board and other parents with kids in nursing school. Maybe they’ll chime in, too.

Thanks for answering all of my questions.  You’re confirming my thoughts on the health sciences degree but I just wanted to make sure I wasn’t missing something.

The program I was looking at with the year of nursing classes is University of Rochester.  They have a special program where you can earn a dual degree — you earn one bachelor’s in the first 3 years and then in the 8th semester, you begin the nursing program and then go for one extra semester.  There are pre-reqs for the nursing program — A&P 1 and 2, psych, statistics and a few others, but most of the nursing classes are taken in the last year.  I was comparing that to UVA where nursing classes are taken starting as a freshman and then heavily all the way through.

The ICU nurses in the hospital near us are very sharp.  I spent some time there with my mom last year.  I was really impressed by them. I hope your dd gets a position in critical care.

It is a little disappointing to hear that the competition continues after the RN, though.  I was hoping since there were such limited nursing spots, that the next level would not be another competition all over again. But, I’m not surprised either.😊

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15 minutes ago, Mom0012 said:

It is a little disappointing to hear that the competition continues after the RN, though.  I was hoping since there were such limited nursing spots, that the next level would not be another competition all over again. But, I’m not surprised either.😊

My understanding is that MOST graduate nursing programs are fairly easy to get into; anesthesia is unusual in that regard. 

I’ll have to look at U Rochester’s program. It sounds interesting. My DDs 3 & 4 don’t seem as ‘nursing inclined’, though, so I may not need to scout any new programs. 

Good luck with your search!

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My daughter is graduating in May with her BSN in nursing and a minor in global public health.

She was in a direct admit program (freshman year)

She plans on working for a year before pursuing her masters/doctorate.

Edited by gingersmom
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On 4/6/2019 at 9:20 PM, Mom0012 said:

 

Does it matter what state you get your degree in if you plan to relocate after college?

I guess the other thing I’m noticing is that certain schools seem to have their students earn a BSN in nursing by taking almost all nursing-related courses for a good part of their college years.  Others have programs that seem to leave a lot more room for taking other classes and also exploring another field. One that I am looking at would allow my dd to get a bachelor’s degree in nursing and something else and the nursing classes don’t even begin until the final year of school.  My dd seems to prefer that because she has some other interests she wants to explore and she already has regular exposure 

There are also a number of schools I have been looking at with my dd that do not have a nursing program, but have a health studies/public health/global health major that it looks like some students are getting and then following that up with a Bachelor’s to RN nursing program.  Any positives to doing that?  I see the downside of adding another year or so to the process and, of course, having to apply to a Bachelor’s to RN program, but are there any positives I’m overlooking?

 

I read this question differently than PP, maybe because I read something on here recently that indicated that it does matter for jobs.

I do not have a nursing student, but a good number of my friends have daughters in nursing.

One graduated high school and went to OOS college with my oldest. She was not admitted into nursing on the first go around, but was on the next term she was eligible, so she graduated after summer term. She was engaged to a classmate, who was hired for a national  program that didn't place new hires into a city until after the trainee program was completed. Her new husband was placed 1,000s of miles from their school. She had no problem finding a nursing job there. 

The next friend has a daughter who majored at a regionally ranked directional school. She also was not admitted the first go around into her school's nursing program. She graduated in December. She was able to get an in-person interview at the Cleveland clinic, which is not in her state. She decided she didn't want to live in Cleveland, so I'm not sure if she received an offer or not. She also interviewed with hospital in Florida, where her parents moved after she was in college. In the end, she decided to work local to where she went to school.

The freshman admit program for nursing is very enticing. That is what the daughters of two other friends have done at diffferent  OOS schools. Another had a daughter who was admitted to both of those programs, but decided to go to her dream OOS school, where her parents went, without direct admit. She decided not to let fear of not getting into the program make her decision. She got into nursing on first try. All made the decision that is right for them.

None of these 3 plan to work in the state where they go to school and they know many graduates from their  OOS colleges get jobs in our state after graduation. Of course, their plans could change. Someone who graduated college with my oldest came 1000s of miles to go to school there and ended up staying in-state after graduation, due to a relationship.

Having watched these girls make their decisions or go through college, I can't imagine what advantage the BS to RN programs would have for a student who knew she/he wanted to be a nurse entering college. Maybe if it was a BS to MsN program.

Good luck to your daughter.

 

 

 

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On 4/6/2019 at 8:08 AM, Mom0012 said:

My dd has been exploring the medical field and is starting to hone in on being a nurse practitioner.

Does anyone have a child who has followed or is following that path? I’d love to hear about your experiences.  Feel free to pm me if you prefer.  I see there are all kinds of programs out there, but we’re thinking it would be nice to find one that is direct admit.  What are some schools with great programs?  



In family spirit, the third is also planning U Iowa.  Good nursing program - not top notch but solid and competitive.

She spent the day at the U for a day for high school interested students and was told that she should be prepared to compete for direct admission.  In addition to strong GPA and standardized scores, they told her to get her CNA and work as a CNA.  She is a junior and her class begins next week.  After that she will take the test for certification.  She has a short high school internship with her 1st choice hospital this summer that she is hoping will result in a part-time job offer.
She's taken Anatomy & Physiology and will take a few more transferrable classes next year at the CC.  We do not expect that she will have stellar ACT/SAT scores, solid but her math score will bring down her composite.

So, I'm not much help as far as choosing a school, but these are things we've been told to do to appear competitive because we are seeking direct admission.

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4 hours ago, BlsdMama said:



In family spirit, the third is also planning U Iowa.  Good nursing program - not top notch but solid and competitive.

She spent the day at the U for a day for high school interested students and was told that she should be prepared to compete for direct admission.  In addition to strong GPA and standardized scores, they told her to get her CNA and work as a CNA.  She is a junior and her class begins next week.  After that she will take the test for certification.  She has a short high school internship with her 1st choice hospital this summer that she is hoping will result in a part-time job offer.
She's taken Anatomy & Physiology and will take a few more transferrable classes next year at the CC.  We do not expect that she will have stellar ACT/SAT scores, solid but her math score will bring down her composite.

So, I'm not much help as far as choosing a school, but these are things we've been told to do to appear competitive because we are seeking direct admission.

Thank you!  That all sounds like good advice.

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Dd is in the nursing program at a private, Christian college, Lee University, which was just ranked the best in the state. http://clevelandbanner.com/stories/lee-school-of-nursing-ranked-best-in-state,96928? I believe they have had only one student fail the NCLEX on the first try. It has been extremely challenging, but dd feels it is preparing her well. She graduates in December. 

They now offer a doctoral program, too.  http://www.leeclarion.com/news/lee-university-now-offers-nursing-doctoral-program/article_40f2e458-1b70-11e9-90c6-1b34e1326b46.html

They have a great scholarship program if your dd can make a high score of the ACT/SAT.  Dd has the Centennial scholarship.  http://www.leeuniversity.edu/financial-aid/scholarships.aspx

Even though it is a Christian college, dd feels the nursing professors are the more liberal of the professors she has had there. She thinks it's because they have worked in the real world and not taught in a Christian bubble their whole careers. 

 

Edited by mom31257
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My degree is in nursing, and I worked as a nurse for close to a decade, but I've been out a long time now. Still pretty connected to people in the field though. I did start a nurse practitioner program at one time, though I ended that pursuit after the birth of my daughter :-)

It doesn't matter where you get your degree, though it may simplify things to take the licensing exam in the state where you hope to get your first job. Not completely necessary though. There can be some hoops to jump through as you move from state to state as far as licensing, but it's not too difficult.

I highly recommend doing a direct admit program if at all possible. I watched a friend's daughter have to leave school after sophomore year because she did not get her admission to the nursing program and they couldn't afford her spending an extra year at the school while waiting to apply again. I knew plenty of people back in the day paying for a fifth year of school for the same reason.

Getting an additional undergraduate degree might be useful if it scratches an intellectual itch for her, but it's not likely to increase her chances of getting a clinical nursing job. Could come into play though perhaps for grad school, especially if she goes into an area other than nursing, or if she wants to do administration.

If at all possible, she should carefully consider the sort of work life she envisions for herself and she if she can talk to people doing that work. Nursing really is a hard job, the hours are generally tough, and the politics are intense. The great thing about it is that you can usually find a job just about anyway, and part time work is a real possibility.

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I have a dd who is a junior in a BSN program. Her fiancé graduated from the same program in December. He is planning to go on for his NP as soon as dd finishes her BSN. I also have a friend who just finished her NP and is now working as an NP, although she hasn't found a position she really likes yet.

Unlike others who have posted, dd did not consider any direct placement programs. First, the programs in this region are almost all admissions after the first 2 or 3 semesters and her goal was to stay within a 4 hour drive, and second dd didn't have great ACT scores, so her chances of being admitted were better when they were based on her college coursework and grades anyway. The program has a very high NCLEX pass rate and a 100% job placement rate and she has been happy there. Her school and many others offer 2 cohorts per year, so the wait to reapply is only one semester if they don't get in and the truth is, those who don't do well enough to get admitted aren't likely to be able to make it through the program anyway. I will admit, waiting to get the admission notification was a nail-biter!

My best advice is not to overpay for the degree. Choose a reasonably priced school that has great NCLEX pass rates, good labs, and good clinical opportunities. For example, Dd is in her 3rd semester and now spends 2, 12 hour days per week at the hospital. She gets to do all of the procedures she is approved for (like IVs, catheters, and I have no idea what else). This semester one of her rotations is LD/NICU and she has been present for the births of several babies and in the OR for one c-section. She spent one very long day feeding babies in the NICU, one after another. Her pediatric rotation last semester was her favorite so far. There should be a lot of hands on experience (not just watching) and  rotations in a variety of specialties.

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My oldest daughter earned her BSN at Longwood University in VA in 2017. One of the things that was most appealing about their program was the direct admit. As I recall, most of the schools she looked at had a separate application to the nursing program in either the 2nd or 3rd year. We loved the idea of the direct admit program, not only because dd knew she had a spot in the program right from the start of college, but also because it allowed her to start doing clinicals in her sophomore year. Also, the students all did a nursing internship before graduating. We were very pleased with the nursing program, and they had a 100% NCLEX pass rate for at least a few years that we were following them.

As far as classes went, nursing programs do not leave as much flexibility in scheduling as some other majors, but dd was still able to be in the Honors College (which had its own course requirements) and she took some electives just because they were interesting to her. A big negative impact, in her opinion, was that nursing did not allow her to consider an entire semester studying abroad, but she was able to do some shorter study abroad programs over two summers.

She has been working now for nearly 2 years, first in the ED and now in the ICU at a large hospital (although she still works an occasional ED shift to keep up those skills). She has considered pursuing an advanced degree after she has a few years of work experience, but right now she is content working toward several certifications as a nurse, with the intention of going into travel nursing at some point.

Let me know if you have any other questions!

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