Friday, May 11, 2007

All you Nurses out there...

After that last post baring my soul and only getting 5 comments, I'm a little self-conscious that I shared too much.

But on to other things. My mind is exploding with all the possibilities for a nursing degree. There must be a billion questions floating around in my head and hopefully there are some nurses who read this who might be able to give me some advice. I know there's at least two of you (nurses) that read occasionally, if not regularly. So, here are my thoughts... as they come to me.

1. I've heard that they may eventually phase out Associate Degrees in Nursing, so if you don't have your bachelor's degree, you might be forced into going back to school to get it in the future. Is this just a rumor, or is there info. to substantiate it?

2. I have been on many websites and seen many different titles for nurses... LPN, LVN, RN, CNA, ASN... the list goes on. What do they all mean? How do I know which degree to go for?

3. I got good grades in my math classes in high school, but I did have to work on it a lot harder than english/lit classes. To get a bachelor's degree it looks like I have to take College Algebra and Statistics. Those are in addition to Algebra 1,2,&3. Algebra 1 & 2 are the classes that don't count toward my prerequisites, they're basically just catch-up since it has been 8 years since I graduated high school. My problem is that I don't retain math unless I use it often. I'm thinking that regardless I should just take a math class every term and do all 5. Is this a smart way to go?

4. In part because of the math issue, I am thinking of blasting right on through and taking summer classes as well. Is it better not to take classes in summer to give myself a break, or would it be better to keep the math fresh in my head and always be taking classes?

5. Is 11-12 credits per term too heavy of a load considering that I have a baby at home? It would average 3 classes per term; with a math, a science and one additional class. If I did summer classes as well, I could get through all of my prerequisites in a year and a half. If I only did two classes per term, it would be closer to a bit over 2 years, even up to 3 years if I didn't take classes in the summer.

6. How long of a wait is there to get into the average nursing program? With good grades, applying in the spring, would I be likely to get into a program the fall of the same year?

7. Should I scrap the idea of even considering another baby while I'm in school and just wait until after I have landed a job?

8. Are there specialized studies if you want to go into a certain area of nursing. For example, if I want to work in a Perinatologist's office, would a general nursing degree get me into pretty much any setting I want to work in?

I'm sure there's more, but I'll leave it at that for now. Feel free to email ( the answers if they're too long for the comment section:)


Catherine said...

After that last post baring my soul and only getting 5 comments, I'm a little self-conscious that I shared too much.

I didn't respond because I am not in a place where I can understand your faith in God but your lack of faith in yourself. I am exactly the opposite...I only have faith in myself and cannot put faith in God. Maybe not ever.

I do know that you are a strong person and I think you can accomplish anything you set your mind to.

my4kids said...

It's okay to bare yourself I learned alot about you on the last post.

My sister is in nursing school here as well. I know that there are some difficulties for getting into nursing school its basically a lottery is how she put it as they only have so many slots at each school but I can ask her about it and give you some more answers. I will email you later. As I know some of the questions would be more specific to just Oregon and another nurse wouldn't be able to answer them such as getting into nursing school here.

Kim said...

I am a nursing student on hiatus, if you will - I have everything done to get into upper division, and have been accepted twice, but turned it down both times because it just wasn't the right time. So. Let me look through your questions:

1. Get your BSN. It ends up being about the same amount of time, and it will be invaluable to you, especially should you ever want to be an advanced practice nurse. It also means slightly more money and less headache later. (And yes, I do believe they are phasing it out, or at least the acceptance of it.)

2. LPN is a Licensed Practical Nurse. RN is Registered Nurse...if you get your BSN and pass your boards, you are a RN. CNA is Certified Nursing Assistant - not a nurse. They all have to do with licensure more than anything, but RNs make the most of the basic nurse family (putting Nurse Practitioners, etc., aside). That's the way to go, hands down.

3. Really, the math thing is totally your call. They want you to have a good background because of the obvious calculation stuff of nursing (meds, etc.). So do what you feel comfortable with.

4. Once you get into "Upper Division," what people think of as the clinicals - usually the last two years - your schedule is basically set by your university. Math is a prereq, so I would say it is fine to get it done in the summers - it will get the prereqs out of the way more quickly. But again, this has to be what is best for your family.

5. I don't have kids, so I can't say, but I have friends who had two kids who did it. So it's just what is best for you.

6. That totally depends on the program - for one I was accepted in I had to apply by January and got accepted in May for the following May - so they were a year out. The other I had a deadline of Feb 1, and got accepted mid-April for that May. That being said, I was doing an accelerated BSN, because I have a Bachelor's degree already. So those are set up slightly differently. The current program I am looking at doesn't do any placements until fall for spring. But it just depends on the program, your prereqs, etc.

7. I am not married and don't have kids (sadly), but I would say this - you can always go back to school, you cannot always have a baby. There were people pregnant during school, or with little ones, but you just have to be very disciplined. The best thing I heard from a mom who started school when her son was 5 weeks, I think was to study while at school, spend as much time there studying on "school days" as possible, and then make home time just that - home time. Don't mix.

8. A general RN will get you into a lot of places - if you want to become an advanced practice nurse (i.e., nurse practitioner) that is more schooling. But if you just wanted to be one of the nurses in the office, an RN/BSN will suffice. (RN has to do with licensure, BSN has to do with the degree awarded - Bachelor of Science in Nursing.)

Feel free to email me ( with any questions!!

Tonya said...

Sorry I don't have any advice for the nursing for you.. My sister is a nurse however :)

I just wanted to say it took alot of guts to write your last post and you should not feel self-conscious :)

Kristen said...

I’d like to offer you some encouragement. I'm in nursing school right now. I opted to go for the BSN mainly because the RN only program had a 3 year waitlist. I have two more years, graduating in spring of 09. All I have left are the actual nursing program classes (lecture in the am clinicals in the afternoons).

I gave birth to my youngest child in October of my first year. That semester I managed to take both A & P and microbiology. He was born during midterm’s week. It was really hard. My dh brought him to school so I could nurse. I was lucky that they offered hybrid classes so I only had to go in once a week. That helped a lot. If I had to do it all over I would have taken that semester off (I took the spring off instead). I also have older kids including an adopted three year old with FAS. My life is crazy! You most definitely can do it too. :)

Where I live (Colorado) the nursing schools have huge waitlists. But you are able to take the prerequisites, like A & P 1 & 2, chemistry, developmental psych., pathophysiology, microbiology and so on…, while you’re waiting.

There is a huge demand for nurses and the pay is good.

If you have any specific questions feel free to email me kristenlaw @ gmail dot com

Renae said...

I commented - just late!

I don't know alot about nursing programs but my roommate was a nursing major. She did a year or two of general classes and then applied in March/April, was accepted and started the next fall.

As far as the baby/married thing goes, it all depends on what you and David decide you can handle. Is he supportive? Does the school offer evening classes? All good things to think about. But don't let all of the questions and info get you down! You can do this.

I will tell you that all of my friends who are married and go back to school get the best financial aid packages! :)

Lori Rode said...

I'd go for a BSN. I used to work for the OR Board of Nursing (many years ago) so I may be able to help you decipher some of the stuff about licensing in our state. We've licensed few LPNs in recent years...most were grandfathered in from previous years.

I was noticing how good you looked when I saw you last weekend. You DO look fabulous, and it is OK to work on those past traumas.

DH & I are planning on starting the adoption process within the next 12 months. (I'm ready to start NOW!) Pray for us.

Blair said...

I did not comment because it was too close to home.
I am thinking about nursing school too, looking into a RN to masters program since I already have a BA... but that is more just thinking out loud right now.

Rj & Kristy said...

hey becci~
don't ever feel self-conscious about your feelings. we all struggle with something. i know i do. thats what's so great about God's grace. that it's always there, overflowing unto us. i am glad you turned to Him to help you through some of your dark days. keep looking to Him & putting your whole trust in Him. whenever i feel overwhelmed of my silly little fears i read Psalm 121. it lifts my spirit up. :)

as for nursing, go for the BSN. it will be hard to juggle both school & family life but w/ God's strength you can do anything. :)