Menu
Jump to content

What's with the ads?

Mom0012

Nursing BSN as undergrad vs Accelerated Second Degree BSN

Recommended Posts

My dd and I are continuing to look at nursing programs and this is something we are wondering about.

Does it matter where you get your nursing degree if your long term goal is to become a Nurse Practitioner? 

Also, why are the undergrad BSN’s so demanding that it is difficult to squeeze in a minor and impossible to double major when an accelerated second degree BSN can be obtained in one year? Interestingly, the accelerated BSN program we are looking at has higher NCLEX pass rates than some of the highly regarded schools that offer undergrad nursing as a 4 year program.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No, it doesn't matter where you got your degree. For nursing, I say do it the cheapest/fastest way possible. Of course, there is something to be said for the "college experience" in general, and if the student has the funds/time to go that route, there's value there too. I do appreciate that I got to know people with all different majors at college while I was getting my nursing degree.

I don't want to speak to all programs, but likely it has to do with a specific progression of courses required, and the difficulty of working around clinical schedules.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

At my dd's school, the accelerated program is only if you already have a bachelor's degree, plus the prereqs of anatomy, microbiology, etc.  Then the actual "nursing school" program is 4 semesters.

Contrast this to the traditional bsn, where you are in school for 4 years, and the last two years (five semesters) are considered "nursing school."  

I don't know what it's like at other schools.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have two DDs in BSN programs currently. One will graduate in 2020 and the other in 2022.

No, it doesn’t matter where you earn your BSN as long as you can pass the NCLEX. Graduate school admissions are based on your undergrad gpa, work experience, references, and in some cases GRE scores. 

My girls each entered college with a good amount of AP credit. Minors and double majors would have been options for both of them, had they chosen to pursue them. 

NCLEX pass rates are a bit of trick. Schools generally won’t give students permission to sit for the exam if they haven’t demonstrated that they will pass. Basically, a school can control their pass rate by weeding out (and requiring remedial coursework of) anyone who is unlikely to pass the test. Also 2nd degree BSN programs are filled with adult students who, by definition, have already earned a degree and may have many years of work experience. These adult students may be more mature and career-focused than typical undergrads.  

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, fourisenough said:

I have two DDs in BSN programs currently. One will graduate in 2020 and the other in 2022.

No, it doesn’t matter where you earn your BSN as long as you can pass the NCLEX. Graduate school admissions are based on your undergrad gpa, work experience, references, and in some cases GRE scores. 

My girls each entered college with a good amount of AP credit. Minors and double majors would have been options for both of them, had they chosen to pursue them. 

NCLEX pass rates are a bit of trick. Schools generally won’t give students permission to sit for the exam if they haven’t demonstrated that they will pass. Basically, a school can control their pass rate by weeding out (and requiring remedial coursework of) anyone who is unlikely to pass the test. Also 2nd degree BSN programs are filled with adult students who, by definition, have already earned a degree and may have many years of work experience. These adult students may be more mature and career-focused than typical undergrads.  

After I posted, I realized the higher NCLEX pass rate (it was 100% last year) is likely due to it being a highly sought after selective program with mature students.

I’m really not seeing double majoring as a possibility at the schools I’m looking at even though my dd will have a lot of AP/DE credit as well. At some schools, she’d be coming in with 60 credits. At UAH, where the NCLEX rate is fairly low at 84% and also has a pretty big attrition rate, they specifically state you may be able to minor in another subject. It just seems odd to me, but maybe regular undergrad programs include a lot more clinical hours than accelerated second degree programs?

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you! The more we look into this, the more I think my dd should enjoy her college years and major in the subject she loves the most and then do a one year accelerated program if she still wants the BSN. That seems to be the way she is leaning as well. It sounds like there is a lot of (unnecessary?) stress and pressure put on nursing students in the regular programs. Is that a correct perception?

Rochester has a dual degree program that allows you to do precisely that, which my dd loves the look of, but I have now read too many stories about them drastically reducing aid after freshman year to have her apply there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Mom0012 said:

Thank you! The more we look into this, the more I think my dd should enjoy her college years and major in the subject she loves the most and then do a one year accelerated program if she still wants the BSN. That seems to be the way she is leaning as well. It sounds like there is a lot of (unnecessary?) stress and pressure put on nursing students in the regular programs. Is that a correct perception?

Rochester has a dual degree program that allows you to do precisely that, which my dd loves the look of, but I have now read too many stories about them drastically reducing aid after freshman year to have her apply there.

I think this is a good way of looking at it. Sounds like your DD isn’t 100% sure she wants to be a nurse? That’s totally okay and if that’s the case, I think your strategy is probably very smart. It isn’t the cheapest or most efficient way to get to a BSN, but I realize that isn’t always the goal.

Even though both my girls knew they wanted to be nurses, there have been moments where they’ve felt like their undergrad education was very ‘vocational’ with tons of multiple choice exams in the NCLEX style. Bleh! On the other hand, each has chosen to take at least one non-nursing class every semester that is purely for their own pleasure/interest (thanks to their AP credit wiggle room). This has prevented them from a double-major or minor, but has given them a broad, satisfying education. My DD’s best friend is a nursing & health care administration double major. I think this is fairly common at their school but was of no interest to my girls.

The second degree BSN programs in our area are 4-5 semesters and they require completion of bio, chem, anatomy & physiology, and psychology as prerequisites. If your DD planned to go this route, it would be important to satisfy those prerequisites during her first undergrad and prepare to spend up to two years rather than one year earning a BSN.

Edited by fourisenough

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Mom0012 said:

After I posted, I realized the higher NCLEX pass rate (it was 100% last year) is likely due to it being a highly sought after selective program with mature students.

I’m really not seeing double majoring as a possibility at the schools I’m looking at even though my dd will have a lot of AP/DE credit as well. At some schools, she’d be coming in with 60 credits. At UAH, where the NCLEX rate is fairly low at 84% and also has a pretty big attrition rate, they specifically state you may be able to minor in another subject. It just seems odd to me, but maybe regular undergrad programs include a lot more clinical hours than accelerated second degree programs?

 

You've probably already done this, but just in case (or for others reading) you might want to double-check that the schools on her list will accept her science AP/DE credits (if she has any) if she does go in as a BSN major. At two of my son's potential schools, the nursing programs will not accept transfer credits in any of the natural sciences - biology, chemistry, anatomy, etc. They want students to take those natural science classes at their campus with their instructors, so the students learn those subjects with the depth with which they want them taught.

Edited by TarynB

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Mom0012 said:

 

Rochester has a dual degree program that allows you to do precisely that, which my dd loves the look of, but I have now read too many stories about them drastically reducing aid after freshman year to have her apply there.

I am interested in where you are finding out they reduce aid after freshman year.  Is there a place to research that sort of thing for various colleges?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, fourisenough said:

I think this is a good way of looking at it. Sounds like your DD isn’t 100% sure she wants to be a nurse? That’s totally okay and if that’s the case, I think your strategy is probably very smart. It isn’t the cheapest or most efficient way to get to a BSN, but I realize that isn’t always the goal.

Even though both my girls knew they wanted to be nurses, there have been moments where they’ve felt like their undergrad education was very ‘vocational’ with tons of multiple choice exams in the NCLEX style. Bleh! On the other hand, each has chosen to take at least one non-nursing class every semester that is purely for their own pleasure/interest (thanks to their AP credit wiggle room). This has prevented them from a double-major or minor, but has given them a broad, satisfying education. My DD’s best friend is a nursing & health care administration double major. I think this is fairly common at their school but was of no interest to my girls.

The second degree BSN programs in our area are 4-5 semesters and they require completion of bio, chem, anatomy & physiology, and psychology as prerequisites. If your DD planned to go this route, it would be important to satisfy those prerequisites during her first undergrad and prepare to spend up to two years rather than one year earning a BSN.

This is very interesting to hear you say and what we’ve been left thinking much of nursing school is. That has been a bit of a revelation. My dd sees many benefits to going the NP rather than the PA route, and yet she greatly prefers the PA model of education. She already has her EMT certification and went through all the training for that last spring and what we’ve been reading about the demands of nursing school sounds like exactly what she experienced in the EMT training.
 

I am all about efficiency and frugality, but in my dd’s case, it may be better to wait on the nursing. The program near us is accelerated so she could do it in one year. As far as the prerequisites, my dd has already met the ones you mentioned and they will probably be “too old” by the time she may be ready for nursing school, so she’ll have to keep that in mind if she decides to go the second BS. 
 

I like what your dd’s have done with carving out a class each semester where they can follow their academic interests. I thought my dd could do that with Latin but it looks like it would involve taking an overload each semester — at least for her junior and senior year. And maybe that would be okay. Many semesters, the required nursing class credits are 16 credit hours without any other classes. I know your girls are very bright and academic. Did they find the classes/clinicals as brutal as people say they are from a stress perspective? That’s a big factor here. If it is going to be majorly stressful, then maybe she’d rather do it in one year.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, TarynB said:

You've probably already done this, but just in case (or for others reading) you might want to double-check that the schools on her list will accept her science AP/DE credits (if she has any) if she does go in as a BSN major. At two of my son's potential schools, the nursing programs will not accept transfer credits in any of the natural sciences - biology, chemistry, anatomy, etc. They want students to take those natural science classes at their campus with their instructors, so the students learn those subjects with the depth with which they want them taught.

Thank you. I have looked at the colleges main website where they say what credits will transfer, but have not specifically checked in to whether the nursing schools will not allow certain credits. Those are all factors that will go into her final decision and that we will need to get nailed down at some point.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Mom2mthj said:

I am interested in where you are finding out they reduce aid after freshman year.  Is there a place to research that sort of thing for various colleges?

Here is a link that is at least a starting point for describing which colleges meet need and how much of the need and for who. It also classifies colleges by whether they consider need in their admissions process. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Need-blind_admission
 

I don’t know how accurate it is, but I think it explains at least some misperceptions I have had about aid when I started this process with my dd. I did not realize there were so many different categories for “meets need” schools. For Rochester, it says they do not meet full need and also: “meets 95% of need with the exception of students who are in their senior year, for which financial aid is curtailed significantly despite slim changes in family financial situation)[44]

There was a poster on these boards who recently had to pull her dd from Rochester because of a significant cut in aid. After that, I did some googling and found other stories where students had experienced something similar.

The other problem with Rochester for us, is I *think* we’d be paying full freight that fifth year for the BSN (I think you can only get aid for 4 years, but maybe I’m wrong?) and their tuition is going to be $85,000 or more by then. Not something we will do.

ETA: Another interesting fact that makes a huge difference for some in FA - some colleges consider your home equity and some don’t. For middle class families, colleges like Princeton and Harvard do not consider home equity which greatly increases aid amounts. Of course, those colleges are nearly impossible to get into, lol. I’m not sure how many CSS profile colleges do not include home equity and if there is a good resource for this somewhere. FAFSA-only private schools do not consider home equity because the FAFSA doesn’t include it. I was searching for a list of FAFSA-only schools but the main thing that pops up is the list of CSS Profile schools.

ETA 2: Another link http://www.campustimes.org/2016/09/11/students-urs-financial-aid-theories-dont-always-match-reality/

Edited by Mom0012

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
41 minutes ago, Mom0012 said:

Did they find the classes/clinicals as brutal as people say they are from a stress perspective? That’s a big factor here. If it is going to be majorly stressful, then maybe she’d rather do it in one year.

Honestly, not brutal at all. My senior has reported that all of her classmates are always stressed out and panicked, but she thinks it’s because they don’t have very good work habits (and possibly didn’t have as rigorous high school educations so they’re not as well-prepared). It’s a lot (volume of material to learn) and the tests can be nit picky  (the NCLEX style questions seem intentionally tricky), but it’s isn't terribly difficult.

She treats school like a job: she studies many hours, always shows up to class having read and studied the topic in advance, and tackles papers/projects well in advance, but she has plenty of time to exercise, shop/cook healthy food from scratch, sleep 8+ hours per night, read for pleasure, visit friends/family on weekends, etc. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
38 minutes ago, fourisenough said:

Honestly, not brutal at all. My senior has reported that all of her classmates are always stressed out and panicked, but she thinks it’s because they don’t have very good work habits (and possibly didn’t have as rigorous high school educations so they’re not as well-prepared). It’s a lot (volume of material to learn) and the tests can be nit picky  (the NCLEX style questions seem intentionally tricky), but it’s isn't terribly difficult.

She treats school like a job: she studies many hours, always shows up to class having read and studied the topic in advance, and tackles papers/projects well in advance, but she has plenty of time to exercise, shop/cook healthy food from scratch, sleep 8+ hours per night, read for pleasure, visit friends/family on weekends, etc. 

Thank you, fourisenough! That is good to know!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Mom0012 said:

Thank you! The more we look into this, the more I think my dd should enjoy her college years and major in the subject she loves the most and then do a one year accelerated program if she still wants the BSN. That seems to be the way she is leaning as well. It sounds like there is a lot of (unnecessary?) stress and pressure put on nursing students in the regular programs. Is that a correct perception?

Rochester has a dual degree program that allows you to do precisely that, which my dd loves the look of, but I have now read too many stories about them drastically reducing aid after freshman year to have her apply there.

 

If you can swing the finances for the extra year, I think that is a great idea.

One issue some run into on the 4 year BSN track (happened to a friend's daughter recently) is that many programs require being accepted into nursing formally at the end of sophomore year. In competitive programs, even those with decent grades may find themselves without that acceptance and looking at having to wait a year to reapply or transfer schools. If you are doing a different four year degree, and then applying for accelerated, it seems like it would be much less disruptive if you didn't get in on the first try.

I do not remember my college having to approve people taking the NCLEX past providing documentation that it was an accredited program, but that was waaaaay back in the day, so I suppose things might be different now. I actually took the NCLEX in an entirely different state than the one in which I graduated.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
43 minutes ago, GoodGrief1 said:

 

If you can swing the finances for the extra year, I think that is a great idea.

One issue some run into on the 4 year BSN track (happened to a friend's daughter recently) is that many programs require being accepted into nursing formally at the end of sophomore year. In competitive programs, even those with decent grades may find themselves without that acceptance and looking at having to wait a year to reapply or transfer schools. If you are doing a different four year degree, and then applying for accelerated, it seems like it would be much less disruptive if you didn't get in on the first try.

I do not remember my college having to approve people taking the NCLEX past providing documentation that it was an accredited program, but that was waaaaay back in the day, so I suppose things might be different now. I actually took the NCLEX in an entirely different state than the one in which I graduated.

Yes, if she does decide to do nursing in college, it will be a direct admit program. UAH offers this option to their honors students at a great price. No way is she going to enter college hoping to be admitted to a nursing program. I’m still thinking the extra year might be the way to go for this dd, though. Thanks.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
46 minutes ago, GoodGrief1 said:

I do not remember my college having to approve people taking the NCLEX past providing documentation that it was an accredited program, but that was waaaaay back in the day, so I suppose things might be different now. 

Yes, sadly this seems to be the new normal in nursing programs. Talk about teaching to the test! There are actually two tests the students at my DDs’ school must perform well on to be allowed to take the NCLEX:  The comprehensive predictor and then the ATI green light test. This is how many schools are posting 100% pass rate on the exam— they essentially will only allow students to take it if the school is confident they will pass. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 minutes ago, fourisenough said:

Yes, sadly this seems to be the new normal in nursing programs. Talk about teaching to the test! There are actually two tests the students at my DDs’ school must perform well on to be allowed to take the NCLEX:  The comprehensive predictor and then the ATI green light test. This is how many schools are posting 100% pass rate on the exam— they essentially will only allow students to take it if the school is confident they will pass. 

Huh. So I was thinking the NCLEX was “the” thing we should judge nursing programs by. That, and attrition rates. UAH’s program only has an 84% pass rate and it looked like a fairly high attrition rate. Does this mean it is a poor program? Or just that there are students that are not super strong in the program? Or are they just not controlling who takes the test when everyone else is? Geesh! What else should we be looking at?

ETA: I don’t know what their attrition rate is after all. I looked at something too quickly and thought it was telling me how many students dropped the program.

Edited by Mom0012

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, Mom0012 said:

Huh. So I was thinking the NCLEX was “the” thing we should judge nursing programs by. That, and attrition rates. UAH’s program only has an 84% pass rate and it looked like a fairly high attrition rate. Does this mean it is a poor program? Or just that there are students that are not super strong in the program? Or are they just not controlling who takes the test when everyone else is? Geesh! What else should we be looking at?

ETA: I don’t know what their attrition rate is after all. I looked at something too quickly and thought it was telling me how many students dropped the program.

It probably means they are not screening their students or at least not holding them back from taking the NCLEX if they look like they may fail. Honestly, I think that’s a fair question to ask.

My DD’s current program had a pass rate in the high 80’s when we chose it and then magically, 2 years later is was 100%. It IS a good program. My DD feels like she has learned a ton from caring, highly qualified professors, BUT there are still a lot of students in her program who really struggle. Her class started freshman year with 70 students and they’re down to 39.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My daughter graduated from a top rated freshman admit nursing program. She can attest that coming from a strong program, both the NXCLEX and her job at a top 20 hospital are so much easier compared to her peers who did not attend a program of equal caliber.

This is preparation and foundation for your entire career. Be sure to go to a school with at least a 90% NCLEX pass rate. 
 

At the end of the day nursing school is a marathon, not a sprint.

 

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 minutes ago, gingersmom said:

My daughter graduated from a top rated freshman admit nursing program. She can attest that coming from a strong program, both the NXCLEX and her job at a top 20 hospital are so much easier compared to her peers who did not attend a program of equal caliber.

This is preparation and foundation for your entire career. Be sure to go to a school with at least a 90% NCLEX pass rate. 
 

At the end of the day nursing school is a marathon, not a sprint.

 

 

Thank you! UAH does offer an online RN to BSN program as well as their traditional program. I do wonder if the online program is pulling down their pass rate, but that is something we will definitely dig into further. My dd also has applied to a “top” nursing program. Unfortunately, the current admission rate is something like 12% for the nursing school, so the odds are against her, but we’ll see.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think if your child would not pass the exam after going for the initial BSN, your child probably won't pass it from the accelerated post bac program. The big difference is the student body, not the education. Plus, usually, once someone has a bachelors degree, they often cannot qualify for financial aid for a post bac program.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/30/2019 at 1:00 PM, Mom0012 said:

Thank you. I have looked at the colleges main website where they say what credits will transfer, but have not specifically checked in to whether the nursing schools will not allow certain credits. Those are all factors that will go into her final decision and that we will need to get nailed down at some point.

Nursing schools have some unique formulas for acceptance as well. Dd's school based acceptance on GPA and Quality points. Your quality points were the hours * the grade points (so like the total grade points before you average it). The more hours you had grades for, the higher your quality points. Students don't receive quality points for courses they test out of with AP, IB, etc. So, although the school officially takes those credits and the nursing program will take some of those credits, the more you have the less likely your application is to get accepted. It is a bit weird - but like I said, nursing programs have some unique formulas. Be sure your dd looks into the details.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...