Monday, 3 November 2014

Want to Be a Future Nurse?

So now that you have decided that pursuing a RN degree is what you want to do, you may ask, Now what?

Well if you are like me and you want to see first hand what Nurses actually do, I would suggest looking into getting your CNA certificate. You can do this by looking in your local newspaper in the job section and sometimes they have listings for CNA classes.

Some places will let you into the short program for free if you work for them when you are certified. Personally, I looked into The American Red Cross. It was quite expensive, but well worth it in the end.

So check them out too!

Now, start looking for RN programs in your area. (Check out my list of US RN programs!)
1) Community Colleges offer Associates in Nursing
2) Universities offer Bachelor's in Nursing
I would encourage one to go for a Bachelor's degree in Nursing rather than an Associate's degree because you will be able to advance your degree if you desire. Some hospitals, doctor's offices, nursing homes, insurance companies, etc are looking more for BSN prepared Nurses now. I will not completely discourage getting your Associates in Nursing because it is cheaper and you finish faster. This means you can start working a lot sooner. Ultimately, getting your BSN will be your best bet. That will be your choice to make based upon your own situation. Everyone is different.
Before applying to these RN programs you need to do a little research:

What are the requirements for admission?

a. Prerequisite courses
b. Minimum GPA
c. Cost
d. Application deadline/fees
e. Entrance exams
Now let's go through each of these a-e:
a. Let's talk about prerequisite courses. This is a very general list as all schools are different, but to give you an idea here is a list of courses that are usually required:
- A&P I and II/lab, 
- Chemistry/lab  - English I & II  - Psychology  - Human growth and developmental psychology  - College Algebra  - Microbiology/with lab  - Nutrition
2) HESI 
3) NET

b. Minimum GPA requirements: Let me tell you now... if the minimum GPA for a school is 2.75, this ABSOLUTELY does NOT mean that you can have a 2.75 GPA and get into the program!
This is the minimum for consideration. I will also let you know that it is important to find out the stats of the accepted applicants from the year before. You will find that the average GPA of the accepted applicant is around 3.5-3.8 out of a 4.0.

c. I can't say much about COST of the program you decide to go to. Typically, community colleges are less in price while Universities are more expensive. There are scholarships available, however, that can help you out.

d. It is so important to know when the application deadline is for each and every school you decide to apply to. Not all of the schools you apply to will have the same deadline date. If you want to increase your chances of getting in to Nursing school on the first try, then apply to as many schools as you want but this means you HAVE TO GET ORGANIZED!!! With applications and fees and deadlines... you are bound to get confused and forget which is which. Have a folder for each school with the application deadline on the front of each folder. Also, for each notebook, have a checklist. As you finish each task on the checklist, check it off. This ensures that you have everything you need before the deadline!

I also want to mention that if you decide to apply to several schools, this will increase your fees.
When I say "fees" I don't mean tuition, but I mean payments you make to each school for applying to the main campus. Once you apply and get accepted into the main campus, you then can apply to the RN program.

e. Entrance Exams. All schools are different. I took the TEAS test.
Here are the most common RN entrance exams:
1) TEAS 

So now you have the information to apply to the RN program of your choice, the rest is up to you!

By C.N

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