O.L. asks from Long Beach, CA on April 25, 2011
RN Nursing Program in California
Are there any nurses out there who might be able to answer some questions about becoming a nurse?
I am considering nursing school, but wonder if all programs require prerequisites of macrobiology, anatomy, etc. If so, can you take any of the prerequisites online? Do RN programs exist online? What about evening or weekend programs?
I would love any suggestions that you might have!
M.R. answers from Chicago on April 26, 2011
Doubtful that you could do it online. You can't learn how to place an IV, a catheter, and so many other procedures while sitting in front of a computer. You need to work with models, simulators, patients.
Also, since you will need to do several hundred clinical hours it is important to realize that the preceptors who will be teaching/supervising you are likely going to be working a tradition hospital 12-hour shift and you will follow their schedule.
With most RN programs, you will need to take anatomy and physiology with lab, chemistry and biology with lab, likely microbiology, you may also need to take a statistics, nutrition, human development course, and others. Since a solid background in science is absolutely necessary to understand how the body works in order to do your job, I highly doubt you would be able to find a program that would allow you to skip anatomy and physiology altogether. In fact, there are programs for people who already have a bachelors degree who want to pursue nursing as a general entry masters student who have to take anatomy and physiology, chemistry, microbiology...and all within the past 5 years so their knowledge of science is current, so even if they've already taken the courses in college they will have to repeat them if they are older than 5 years.
If you are only available evenings or weekends and don't have the science background, you may wish to pursue a CMA program first.
K.K. answers from San Diego on April 25, 2011
yes prereqs are required for the program, as far as online, i know theres a few classes you can take online but not the whole program as they require clinicals and labs. But maybe the rules have changed now. Call a local college, they are there to help you with questions like that. Good luck
L.P. answers from Pittsfield on April 25, 2011
My husband is an RN, and it is a wonderful profession! I think what makes him a good nurse is above all his compassion. He always advocates for his patients and genuinely cares about them. He also has a very good memory and is a very good multi-tasker (very important- there is a lot to juggle when you are a nurse). He decided to become a nurse after he had already gotten a bachelor's degree in History. He DID need to take some prerequisites- not sure how many.
We were dating when he was in his last semester of nursing school, and it's not easy. A # of students don't pass. If this is something you want to do, you will need to dedicate a lot of time to it- time for classes, for clinical, and for studying. I would say be very wary of online programs. I've heard many aren't very good. I would check with the HR departments at some hospitals and see if the online program you're interested in is any good, and if they hire people with online degrees. I recommend you go to a few nursing schools in your area and talk to them- they will be able to answer all of your questions, and you will be able to compare tuition and requirements.
Very best wishes!! :)
C.B. answers from Los Angeles on April 25, 2011
I am not a nurse yet, but I've been trying to get in to the RN programs through the community colleges around here. They all require the microbiology and anatomy/physiology classes, which include a lab that must be taken on campus. Also, learning to be an RN requires a lot of hands-on time with patients in hospital settings, so I don't think they have any online programs for people not already in the profession (I think if you're trying to go from an RN to a BSN, or getting your master's degree in it after being an RN, those can be online; but that's because you are already an RN and know how to treat patients).
If you decide to be an LVN first (licensed vocational nurse) I think those programs might have evening options, but all the RN programs that I've looked at are full-time day programs. I recommend doing research for the schools you are interested in and go from there. Good luck!