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  1. #1
    Meira is offline Registered User
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    Question How best to pick up prerequisites for RN?

    Hi all!

    I've just decided to get my RN, but I'm basically starting at the beginning -- with a GED and about 12 credits from 1992. I've found a couple of RN programs, but they require biology, chemistry, basic anatomy before you can apply. If I want to take those classes at the local community college, I need to wait until June to start. I'm thinking there's got to be a better/quicker way, and I've peeked at the idea of testing out for some stuff but I'm nervous about those credits being accepted, etc, etc

    Secondly, most of the online programs seem to be degree programs, and as such don't give much info if you just need a couple of 100-level courses . . .

    So, my savvy learning friends, how would you go about this?

    Thanks!
    -Meira

  2. #2
    rebel100 is offline Registered User
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    You can usually CLEP out of Human Growth and Developement. You will also likely need a Nutrition class (maybe not). And you will almost certainly need Anatomy and Physiology 1 and 2 as well as Biology/Microbiology. Those are the typical basics for admission. I have never seen a CC RN program that required Chemistry....but it's entirely possible that the ones in your area require it. It may be possible to CLEP the Biology, usually Biology is not mentioned as a requirement but it is a pre-req for the Micro and that is required in most cases.

    I would look at your local CC or either New Mexico Junior College or Clovis (New Mexico). They will be fully online, even the labs (required usually). and at least NMJC offers Biology and A&P1 in the first 8 weeks and Micro and A&P2 in the second 8 weeks.....if you got that done and clepped the Human Growth and Developement you could then find an online nutrition class over the summer and be ready for RN school in the fall. You need to check with the RN program if they will accept online Lab science courses.....most do but some don't.

    NMJC linky http://www.nmjc.edu/distancelearning...eschedule.aspx You need to get on this ASAP if you want to start in January.....there is probably time but you will have to get busy sorting it all out.

    Excelsior college does offer tests for Micro and A&P but I would ceck then double check with the program to be sure they would accept it.

    Good luck!

    You didn't ask, but I will add that locally (Cntral Florida) is rather saturated with RN's. There are jobs, but it's not the sure route to high paid employment it once was.....if your looking to get in be sure it's what you really want to do, success at Nursing will require perseverence.
    Last edited by rebel100; 12-31-2011 at 05:48 PM.
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  3. #3
    SurfDoctor is offline Moderator
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    I would recommend that you contact the school you are considering attending. Ask if CLEP tests could be applied to those classes you need. If the school will accept CLEP credits, you can study at home, take the test and then use the credit in your RN program. The great thing about CLEP tests is that you can study the material at your own pace and then take the test as soon as you are ready. I'm pretty sure you can take Biology and Chemistry CLEPS but I don't recall a CLEP for Anatomy. Could be wrong.
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  4. #4
    StefanM is offline Registered User
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    I second what SurfDoctor says. Be sure to check with the school with the RN program to see if they allow prerequisites to be met via testing or online courses. Some programs require at least some courses to be taken in residence, especially lab courses. If you check with them, you can see which courses you can CLEP or take online then work your schedule out to fit the on-campus classes.

  5. #5
    rebel100 is offline Registered User
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    To clarify my post above......Clovis and NMJC are available online......I didn't mean your local CC was online.....though it might be.
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  6. #6
    Delta is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by Meira View Post
    So, my savvy learning friends, how would you go about this?

    Thanks!
    -Meira
    Welcome to the world of nursing . It can be very confusing with all the prerequisites needed for entry. The sad part is that there is no standardization across the country. Some schools require Bio, nutrition, life span psych, microbiology, A&P, basic chem a CNA and CPR Card as well as a high GPA and entry exam score. Other schools require nothing but an application and fee but integrate many of these courses throughout the program.

    In addition, there are programs that lead to a LPN then you can transfer to an RN program. Some of these LPN programs integrate many of the courses like A&P, micro, etc in the curriculum while you are taking nursing course and require few prerequisites for entry.

    Make sure you look at the accreditation of the program so there won't be licensing issues if you plan to move to another state. For instance, some "for profit" schools are approved by the local State Board of Nursing for the State they teach in but do not have NLN or CCNE accreditation. This could be a problem if you seek further education in nursing or acceptance of your license in other States.

    You will have to check with the individual nursing schools for their entry requirements and see if they accept CLEP, online courses without labs, etc. They will tell you exactly what is needed and how competitive their entry is.

    Have fun!
    Last edited by Delta; 01-01-2012 at 08:02 AM.

  7. #7
    Meira is offline Registered User
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    Thumbs up Thanks!

    Thanks so much for your responses! They've given me a clue on how to begin . . .

    I'm in south eastern Pennsylvania. I've read about the job market for nurses not being great, and furthermore that an RN is not worth nearly what a BSN is worth . . . but I figure I have to start somewhere. And there are a gazillion hospitals & nursing homes in Phila, hopefully that means a better job market here. Beyond working as a med . assistant in a doctor's office and in many positions at multiple Home IV therapy companies, I have a lot of experience with the local animal shelter. It'd be much easier to get a vet tech certificate but I KNOW that salary will never support me & three kids.

    What I need is a person with a chronic disease who wants a friend to research & manage treatments, to advocate for them during hospital visits, and to provide dry humor or an upbeat attitude as needed. Of which there are a bunch -- the problem is finding one who can afford to pay for these services. Ha ha ha ha ha. And then there's the fact that if they met me, I'd be a shoe-in, but on paper . . . not so much.

    So, yeah -- I'm smart, caring, authoritative and looking at single motherhood . . . if any of that extra info sparks more ideas, please share!

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  9. #8
    mbaonline is offline Registered User
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    Meira, I'd suggest making a list of all the possible nursing programs in your area, and then using a chart or spreadsheet compare what the pre-reqs are for each program: There should be some overlap. They also have admission periods so you might not be able to get in right after you finish your prereqs, so a little research will help you make a plan. My daughter is finishing her BA and her nursing pre-reqs (she only decided to become an RN this past August) for admission in 2013. In our area (Pacific Northwest), even the CCs require chemistry in addition to microbio, A&P, nutrition and psych.

    Also, I'd check with your local CC: Many have programs and/or scholarships or grants to help "displaced workers" or "displaced homemakers" and the advisors are very helpful for people returning to school or changing careers.

    As for the RN versus BSN , there are some great RN-to-BSN completion programs online. My DD isn't sure if she'll go to a BSN program or just a RN program, but if she does the later she'll complete an online BSN later.

    Good luck!
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  10. #9
    skidadl is offline Registered User
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    Mountains State University has the courses in a paper based format. My Mom went that route and finished her LVN this summer.
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  11. #10
    japhy4529 is offline House Bassist
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    Quote Originally Posted by Meira View Post
    Thanks so much for your responses! They've given me a clue on how to begin . . .

    I'm in south eastern Pennsylvania. I've read about the job market for nurses not being great, and furthermore that an RN is not worth nearly what a BSN is worth . . . but I figure I have to start somewhere. And there are a gazillion hospitals & nursing homes in Phila, hopefully that means a better job market here. Beyond working as a med . assistant in a doctor's office and in many positions at multiple Home IV therapy companies, I have a lot of experience with the local animal shelter. It'd be much easier to get a vet tech certificate but I KNOW that salary will never support me & three kids.

    What I need is a person with a chronic disease who wants a friend to research & manage treatments, to advocate for them during hospital visits, and to provide dry humor or an upbeat attitude as needed. Of which there are a bunch -- the problem is finding one who can afford to pay for these services. Ha ha ha ha ha. And then there's the fact that if they met me, I'd be a shoe-in, but on paper . . . not so much.

    So, yeah -- I'm smart, caring, authoritative and looking at single motherhood . . . if any of that extra info sparks more ideas, please share!
    Hi Meira,

    I would suggest that you first check out the NLNAC site and search for Practical Nursing (LPN), Diploma (RN) and Associate (ASN) programs in your area (BTW, I too live in S.E. PA!). This is to ensure that you haven't missed a program in your area.

    Once you've narrowed down your list of schools, you can then go through and see which pre-reqs are common across all (or the max) number of programs and try to knock those out first. The key factor will be to determine whether the schools in question will accept CLEP, online courses, etc. IF they accept online pre-req science courses w/ labs (e.g. chemistry A&P, etc.), AND you can afford it, you could begin by taking science pre-req courses through The University of New England - College of Osteopathic Medicine (UNECOM). As these courses are self-paced, you could begin immediately. However, just to re-iterate what I stated earlier, I would highly recommend that you check with the school(s) in question first, just to make sure that they will accept these courses as meeting their admission requirements. Another poster mentioned Mountain State University as another option for completing your science pre-reqs. At this point, I would recommend caution with this school as they are presently experiencing issues with their accreditation.

    Best of luck!
    Last edited by japhy4529; 01-03-2012 at 10:33 AM.
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  12. #11
    DIALYSIS NURSE is offline Registered User
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    If applicable look into the military. Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, not the Army. You can join as an enlisted person, go to school while traveling and being paid. Even if you do not like it you will come out with your degree paid, a veteran with all the benefits, and a nurse blurb on your resume.

  13. #12
    Neuhaus is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by DIALYSIS NURSE View Post
    If applicable look into the military. Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, not the Army. You can join as an enlisted person, go to school while traveling and being paid. Even if you do not like it you will come out with your degree paid, a veteran with all the benefits, and a nurse blurb on your resume.
    Unless Meira earned those 12 credits while in grade school in 1992 I'd say our OP might be of an age where enlisting in the military might not be a viable option.

    Also, the Army has an approved LPN course. So not sure why "not" the Army. Navy corpsmen seldom have success getting their LPN on the basis of their training only because corpsman A school is so short. I met one guy who convinced his home state (somehwere in the Midwest) to give him an LPN but that was based upon the fact that he completed a school, fleet marine force training and made E-5 as a field corpsman. Still took some wrangling.

    The Navy is kind of notorious for not getting approval for A and C schools so that they benefit you after you get out. AF and Army have a better track record of that. I can't speak for the USCG.

    Before enlisting ALWAYS research the likelihood of your training qualifying you for ANYTHING in your home state before you sign on the line that is dotted.
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  14. #13
    sanantone is offline Registered User
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    I noticed that USMC was not mentioned. Do they not have a nursing or equivalent program?
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  15. #14
    sanantone is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by sanantone View Post
    I noticed that USMC was not mentioned. Do they not have a nursing or equivalent program?
    I answered my own question. They use Navy corpsmen.
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