Tuesday, November 3, 2015

CUNY Lehman College

 I have been officially accepted into the Spring 2016 semester at CUNY Lehman College, bringing me another step closer to applying to their BSN nursing program next year (I have to be accepted into the college prior to applying to the nursing program). I am not completely shocked by the acceptance since I already have a degree and I basically applied as a transfer/second degree student. Nonetheless it is an accomplishment, especially since it has taken me a long time just to get to this point. Lehman College requires organic chemistry and another course HIN 269 (I believe this course can be taken after admissions though) in order to be accepted into program so I will work on registering for those courses once the course/credits that I am transferring in gets evaluated. I know that the accelerated program is really competitive and right now my microbiology grades are in the A- range (my current prerequisite GPA is 3.68) so I do not know if my GPA will be competitive enough for acceptance so I am going to apply to both the one year accelerated program and the two year program when the time comes. The two year program is very competitive as well but the average GPA is a little lower and their are more seats available so I may have a better shot. Honestly I think the two year program is probably a better option for me because it may be less overwhelming but it is twice as long and I don't know how my family would do financially without my income for two years, although part time work is more doable in the traditional program. I will see. I visited the campus recently and the drive is reasonable (about 40 minutes one way although there is toll) and I liked the campus so I definitely would not mind going to Lehman but I still think I will apply to Downstate and possibly Stonybrook accelerated programs as well just in case. It really sucks how difficult the CUNY/SUNY nursing programs are to get into (my husband is convinced that I am really trying to get into medical school or something). I truly believe I will be a really good nurse one day but that doesn't matter if I can't get the education I need to get started. I will persevere though because I have come this far and there is no way I am stopping now! 

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Stony Brook Bachelors of Nursing Information Session

I recently attended Stony Brook for the Bachelors of Nursing Information Session and while I knew a lot of the information beforehand, I still think it was a good idea that I went. The session included information for both the traditional and the accelerated BSN programs and the session ended  a half hour early than stated on the website (which I wasn't too pleased with given that I took the day off work and had to drive a good way to get there), but nonetheless it was a good session. Here are my pros and cons of the accelerated BSN program at Stony Brook:


Very good program- At the session a prospective applicant asked why should he attend Stony Brook and the moderator replied "because its Stony Brook!" It may have been a bit corny but the fact is Stony Brook does have a reputable nursing program and the vast majority of the reviews about the program are positive.
Cheap- The estimated cost of the accelerated program is about $18,000 which is good compared to other programs. I have no interest in owing $80,000 to become a nurse especially since I have children who themselves may attend college one day.
12 months only- The accelerated program seems like torture but the torture would only last 1 year and its over!
School is in the hospital- The School of Nursing is literally in Stony Brook University Medical Center. If that isn't a great opportunity for learning then I don't know what is!


Too far- It took me about 1 hour going and 1 hour to return. This does not take into consideration potential heavy traffic so basically my daily round trip would be 2 hours minimum. The moderator also stated that clinicals can take place as far west as LIJ (which is great) or as far east as Riverhead (which is about 1 1/2 hour drive so that is bad) so I would have to leave my house as early as 5:15 a/5:30 a for clinicals. I also burned at least a 1/4 tank gas just for that one trip so I would have to fill up at least twice a week if I were driving to Stony Brook daily.
Unpredictable clinical hours- The moderator stated that clinicals for the accelerated program could be either day (7a-7p) or night (7p-7a), twice a week on any day of the week. Night clinicals is a no go for me and I would ideally like to do my clinicals in the week so I can be with my family on weekends. Also I may possibly need childcare arrangements on the weekends if I had clinicals on Saturdays.
Parking- Driving to Stony Brook means parking in the hospital parking garage and paying parking fees. The last thing I am interested in doing is incurring additional expenses when I would no longer be working.

All and all I would love to attend Stony Brook but that daily commute would be a real &*@#$ pure and simple. Nursing school is already hard enough without adding additional stress to my life. If I applied to Stony Brook and actually got accepted, I would only go if my other schools of interest do not accept me into their programs. 

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Stony Brook Accelerated Nursing Program

For some time, I planned on applying to CUNY Lehman and SUNY Downstate's accelerated nursing programs but I may also consider the accelerated nursing program at SUNY Stony Brook as well. Why? Well for starters, it gives me more options to choose from, especially in the event I do not get accepted to my first two choices. Secondly, it is an excellent program with a good reputation, at least that is what I read on allnurses. I actually was interested in Stony Brook early in my search (before I became interested in Downstate) but the distance was a huge deterrent (it's about 1 hour 10 minutes drive in one direction). The program is only a year though so even if I had to commute over 90 miles a day, it would only be for a year and they don't require any entry exam! Besides if I were to go to Lehman I'd have to pay for toll on the Throggs Neck bridge and Downstate I would have problems finding free parking most of the time (I always do in Brooklyn) so all 3 schools are in the same boat I think.    


For the past few days or few weeks rather I have been getting anxious and I can't quite pin point why. I am currently enrolled in my fifth prerequisite class and I must say that Chemistry is a mental treat compared to the anatomies because I actually feel like my brain can actually hold most of the information. Also my grades so far are in the A range so I may actually get my first "A" in a science course. Yet my mind keeps going back and forth about whether I am doing the right thing or whether the acceleration route is the best option or if doing a part time program is better.

I am never one to make rash decisions or take huge risk without thought but when I do it generally works out because honestly my instincts/spirit never fail me. But I also remember what it is like looking months for my first "real" job after graduating with my first degree (I had several part time jobs) and it was a nightmare. For starters, everyone wanted experience that I didn't have (I majored in Computer and Information Science and was looking for related jobs). Secondly the starting pay in a few instances were the same as the jobs I had that did not require a degree. Thirdly I found out I was pregnant a couple of months after graduation so I had to deal with going on job interviews with an ever growing belly and possibly not being considered for jobs because employers would know that I would eventually go on maternity leave. I don't have plans for anymore children and I doubt I will be pregnant for any job interviews in the future but I do have some concerns. For starters the job market is tough, really tough, at least for a new graduate. I think my family can manage for 12-15 without my full time income if I save enough but what about an additional 8-12 months just looking for my first nurse gig? Just the though of going through that at this point in my career makes my heart sink a bit and puts me in panic mode.

Then there is the whole child care thing. My husband from day one has been surprisingly supportive of me going back to school to be a nurse but outside of some financial and moral support, I am on my own. I can't rely on my husband to be there with the kids for my early morning clinicals or my late night classes and working night shifts would also be difficult since my husband works various shifts on any given day and I don't have trusted family close by. My oldest will be 13 by the time I anticipate starting nursing school so she would definitely be a helper (my younger children would be about 7 and 8 by then) but night jobs may still not be an option for a few more years unless I can somehow work opposite hubby which means knowing his schedule ahead of time (and he almost never does). I truly believe that nursing is for me at this time in my life but if my decision is not going to be compatible with my family situation I may have to reconsider everything or further postpone them, even though I have invested a fair amount of time, energy, and money already.