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Losing my cool when it comes to school

BucketmanBucketman Call meSkraggRegistered User regular
Hello forum,

I know I've posted about similar stuff before but I'm kind of reaching my wits end and can use all the advice I can get.

So I've been pursuing a Bachelor's Degree in Nursing from my school. I entered in in 2009, slacked off a bit, and really started in the last half of 2010. Then a little ways into it they changed the program, making several of my classes worthless and adding a year to my prenursing time. Then they did it again adding another extra semester. Whoo. Then I got in! Turns out nursing school is CRAZY HARD! I made past semester 1 but about 1/3rd of my class didn't. Semester 2 was rougher, and I almost squeeked it out, but was dropped from the program for getting a D in a class. Ok then, I've been in school for almost 7 years now for a 4 year degree, what the hell, but I need to figure out what I'm doing. My school is trying to push me into a degree in Health Studies...which from the research I've done is worthless. I'm 28 years old, still in school, have 160 credit hours of classes under my belt, and no idea what do with them all.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Posts

  • Inquisitor77Inquisitor77 2 x Penny Arcade Fight Club Champion A fixed point in space and timeRegistered User regular
    Is your nursing school actually accredited? It sounds like they don't have their program together and are scrambling to compensate, perhaps even to get people to stay longer and pay more.

    Three things in human life are important: the first is to be kind; the second is to be kind; and the third is to be kind.
    EncJusticeforPlutoceresLostNinjaCambiatazepherinShadowfire
  • EncEnc A Fool with Compassion The Land of Flowers (and Dragons)Registered User regular
    Uhm, catalog changes are not supposed to effect students on a retroactive standpoint (while not technically illegal, it's extremely uncommon and frowned upon by almost every accreditation agency).

    What school do you go to?

    JusticeforPlutoceresCambiataSkeithzepherinGaslightShadowfirealltheolive
  • BucketmanBucketman Call me SkraggRegistered User regular
    Purdue University's North Central satalite campus. yes its accrediated but if you ask any other professors or departments in the are they will say "Go anywhere but PNC. They Suck." because they suck

  • EncEnc A Fool with Compassion The Land of Flowers (and Dragons)Registered User regular
    edited June 2015
    Disclaimer: I am an academic advisor working with undergraduate stem majors (generally speaking Chemistry, Forensic Science, Biology, and Psychology). Many of my students are pre-med in various ways. I am not in your state nor are the policies I am familiar with 100% the same as where you live. This should be considered generalized advice.

    Getting a single D (1.0) likely wasn't the cause of getting dropped from your program as it seems to require a set GPA over time. It could be they are a one grade and you are out, but typically limited access programs like nursing require continued overall or institutional GPAs of C (2.0) or better as their private partners (your local medical employees) do not want students with lower GPAs than that. You should take some time and actually read through your undergraduate catalog for the specific policies and graduation requirements for your degree. I found this on the Purdue North Central website in about 2 minutes and three clicks: https://www.pnc.edu/sa/connections

    These GPA reqs generally come down to two reasons:
    1. Do you want the person treating you or caring for you to have nearly failed every course that trained them? Most people will say no (especially the hiring folks worried about malpractice suits).
    2. The medical market in most areas is flooded with capable people allowing most employers to pick from a number of the best and brightest for even entry level jobs.

    Going into the medical professions, best grade on first attempt is the golden rule. If you have been skating by through your classes with Cs (2.0) or lower you likely will not be able to get into most medical programs without extensive out-of-school work experience or spending another 100 hours bringing up your overall GPA. You may want to consider the difficulty of the coursework in relation to your lifestyle and figure out what is causing the disconnect between you and academic success. Maybe this is a professor issue (it happens), but in the professional world you will be matched up with terrible bosses and superiors that will still expect excellence even when they are crap, so blaming your professors for your grades (especially for multiple professors in multiple classes) isn't really a legitimate excuse. Purdue North Central may actually be a hot mess of incompetence, but it is up to you to deal with the realities of that and find a way to move forward academically. If that means changing campuses or schools, you should be the one choosing to do so early. If it is a time to focus issue, how can you better maximize your time to work on your courses (maybe go part time at school to focus on getting better grades on first attempt, or lowering your other obligations such as work and fun things to offer more time to your schooling).

    You get 168 hours a week. Assuming a 12-14 hour student workload that should translate to about 38-42 hours of school time (in class and labs plus studying) for STEM majors, plus about 38-40 hours of sleep a week and another 30 or so on the misc life things like driving, shopping, eating, chores. What are you doing with the remaining 50 or so hours? If you are working for 40 hours, that only leaves about 10 for fun and downtime. Is that sustainable? Balancing your overall schedule is essential to ensuring you complete your classes successfully and you typically can only control your schooling 100% (how many classes you take is generally only limited by financial aid, and part time financial aid packages do exist).

    That said, you currently have 160 completed credit hours and in most states the average to complete is about 120-130. If you are still in your mid-level coursework changing your major now will set you back for a long, long time. Changing your major is also usually how your school can get away with changing your major requirements. If you stay in the same program typically they are required by accreditation standards to honor the requirements of your major in the term you entered the major (if that is your admit term, perfect. If you change majors though it will become the semester you change your major). With 160 hours, changing your major now should only be done into a program that will actually see you to graduate.

    If you are paying for your courses via student loans you likely already have a massive balloon hovering above your head. You may want to contact your financial aid office and calculate what your monthly payment of such loans might be upon graduation. If it is already extremely high per month now, will changing majors entirely and adding another 60 hours to your studies be worth it?

    In your boots, I would probably try to find whatever program would be open to me with my current GPA and offer the most straightforward path to completing the BS degree with the minimum amount of courses, and in those remaining courses do 1,000% focus to get strongest grades on best attempt to try to salvage what you can. Having a bachelors in hand will not get you a job in and of itself as well, so you should be working very closely and consistently with your career services office while you are still enrolled to begin networking into medical related professions now. Not upon graduation, but now. So that once you have diploma in hand you already have dozens of contacts to work with on the job hunt.

    Remember: Degree is not destiny. Getting a bachelors degree only qualifies you for certain jobs, it does not (ever) get you those jobs. That's up to you and how much legwork you do. Who you know through networking (cold calls of current employers, job fairs, internships and volunteer work, family/friend/professor connections) is what will get you your job, your bachelor's degree will make sure you are qualified enough to allow the HR department to hire you.

    Enc on
    NightDragonFaranguInquisitor77RendForceVoidCambiataIrukaSkeithfinralBucketmanRoyceSraphimLiiyaLostNinjaL Ron HowardDarkewolfeMorranGizzyShadowfire
  • BucketmanBucketman Call me SkraggRegistered User regular
    Thank you @Enc that post has been way more helpful then a good 80% of what I've gotten from my school. Right now I'm looking to see what would transfer to a Medical Lab Technician program and how hard it is to actually get into the internships required for the degree. If I can get that done in a reasonable amount of time that might be more my style anyway. The problem with the nursing program at my school is basically this, the head of the department tried getting a job at Purdue's Main Campus but didn't get it but got this job, she is now making it one of the hardest programs in the state by far. Your final exam (State run and no professors even get to know what topics will be covered on it) counts for 28% of your grade so getting A's and B's the whole way through means nothing if you don't do well on the final. We have been told to quit our jobs, and let our loved ones know we won't see them as we need 40-60 hours a week to study for exams and everything. Every semester we lose around half the remaining class. I was dropped this last semester and this more current semester we had a girl have a nervous breakdown over her coursework and wind up in the hospital to which the response was (supposedly, I wasn't there) "Well some people just can't handle it". They don't really seem to care much at that school.

  • EncEnc A Fool with Compassion The Land of Flowers (and Dragons)Registered User regular
    Something to keep in mind is that most state public systems have cross-school course equivalencies (meaning you can bring Chemistry One from one school to another without having to retake it). If Purdue North Central is as horrific as you indicate it might be worth moving to another institution to complete your studies. Some considerations with this:
    • Residency is a thing. Usually 25% of your coursework (by credit hour) must be completed at the institution that awards you a diploma.
    • Major requirements are different at different schools even in the state system, and many majors have internal residencies.
    • At 160 credit hours (in my region) you would be way over maximum credit hours for financial aid support (our degrees typically complete by 120-130 hours). You will want to look into the financial aid options between schools.

    College education is a product and a service, but these are not what most people think. The product is knowledge (not placement) and the service is the opportunity to gain knowledge (not a 100% assurance you will gain that knowledge). No school is obligated to get you through their degree plans, only to provide the opportunities to try to do so via their catalog rules.

  • Fuzzy Cumulonimbus CloudFuzzy Cumulonimbus Cloud Nurse, Veteran, Army Mom, Ficus, Space Dad, Survivor Contestant God Bless This Mess Registered User regular
    Bucketman wrote: »
    Thank you @Enc that post has been way more helpful then a good 80% of what I've gotten from my school. Right now I'm looking to see what would transfer to a Medical Lab Technician program and how hard it is to actually get into the internships required for the degree. If I can get that done in a reasonable amount of time that might be more my style anyway. The problem with the nursing program at my school is basically this, the head of the department tried getting a job at Purdue's Main Campus but didn't get it but got this job, she is now making it one of the hardest programs in the state by far. Your final exam (State run and no professors even get to know what topics will be covered on it) counts for 28% of your grade so getting A's and B's the whole way through means nothing if you don't do well on the final. We have been told to quit our jobs, and let our loved ones know we won't see them as we need 40-60 hours a week to study for exams and everything. Every semester we lose around half the remaining class. I was dropped this last semester and this more current semester we had a girl have a nervous breakdown over her coursework and wind up in the hospital to which the response was (supposedly, I wasn't there) "Well some people just can't handle it". They don't really seem to care much at that school.
    I'm having a really hard time caring about this particular part of your experience. Nursing programs are intensive and a BSN is the same. Most programs are this intensive if you are pursuing a BS in an applied or scientific field. It doesn't matter what the head of your department is "trying" to do. Are there a group of students that are doing well in this program? Then you need to be one of them.

    Lab Tech programs are the same. What type of courses are you failing? Is it the pre-req courses or is it the nursing courses themselves?
    You should be approaching a degree with 160 credits. Where did the bulk of these credits come from?

  • Captain MarcusCaptain Marcus now arrives the hour of actionRegistered User regular
    Lab Tech programs are the same.
    The one he mentioned is the associate's version, so it would be significantly less insane.

    ISIS delenda est
    Cambiata
  • Fuzzy Cumulonimbus CloudFuzzy Cumulonimbus Cloud Nurse, Veteran, Army Mom, Ficus, Space Dad, Survivor Contestant God Bless This Mess Registered User regular
    Lab Tech programs are the same.
    The one he mentioned is the associate's version, so it would be significantly less insane.
    You won't find many jobs with an AA lab tech.
    An AA biotech can get you a nice job in biotech sectors but to be a licensed medical technologist you need a BS and a certification.

  • Captain MarcusCaptain Marcus now arrives the hour of actionRegistered User regular
    You won't find many jobs with an AA lab tech.
    An AA biotech can get you a nice job in biotech sectors but to be a licensed medical technologist you need a BS and a certification.
    Technologist is the B.S., technician is the A.A. And it depends on where he looks- Alabama hires both A.A. and B.S. for the same job.

    ISIS delenda est
  • Fuzzy Cumulonimbus CloudFuzzy Cumulonimbus Cloud Nurse, Veteran, Army Mom, Ficus, Space Dad, Survivor Contestant God Bless This Mess Registered User regular
    You won't find many jobs with an AA lab tech.
    An AA biotech can get you a nice job in biotech sectors but to be a licensed medical technologist you need a BS and a certification.
    Technologist is the B.S., technician is the A.A. And it depends on where he looks- Alabama hires both A.A. and B.S. for the same job.
    I doubt that. You need 2 years + experience to sit the MT exam.

  • Captain MarcusCaptain Marcus now arrives the hour of actionRegistered User regular
    I doubt that. You need 2 years + experience to sit the MT exam.
    Incorrect! If the program he picks is NAACLS certified, then he gets to apply under Route 1 (Technician Certification -> Medical Laboratory Technician).

    ISIS delenda est
  • EncEnc A Fool with Compassion The Land of Flowers (and Dragons)Registered User regular
    Also keep in mind that most A.S. programs have significantly higher employment rates for strong graduates than Bachelors degrees as they are designed by each college and community college to feed into a local workforce sector that is undermanned. That doesn't mean anyone can just walk into those jobs, but those that performed well and networked reasonably should be fine.

    Also medical lab and employment requirements do vary slightly state by state, so unless you both are in Indiana this argument might not be 100% relevant.

    Bucketman
  • BucketmanBucketman Call me SkraggRegistered User regular
    Bucketman wrote: »
    Thank you @Enc that post has been way more helpful then a good 80% of what I've gotten from my school. Right now I'm looking to see what would transfer to a Medical Lab Technician program and how hard it is to actually get into the internships required for the degree. If I can get that done in a reasonable amount of time that might be more my style anyway. The problem with the nursing program at my school is basically this, the head of the department tried getting a job at Purdue's Main Campus but didn't get it but got this job, she is now making it one of the hardest programs in the state by far. Your final exam (State run and no professors even get to know what topics will be covered on it) counts for 28% of your grade so getting A's and B's the whole way through means nothing if you don't do well on the final. We have been told to quit our jobs, and let our loved ones know we won't see them as we need 40-60 hours a week to study for exams and everything. Every semester we lose around half the remaining class. I was dropped this last semester and this more current semester we had a girl have a nervous breakdown over her coursework and wind up in the hospital to which the response was (supposedly, I wasn't there) "Well some people just can't handle it". They don't really seem to care much at that school.
    I'm having a really hard time caring about this particular part of your experience. Nursing programs are intensive and a BSN is the same. Most programs are this intensive if you are pursuing a BS in an applied or scientific field. It doesn't matter what the head of your department is "trying" to do. Are there a group of students that are doing well in this program? Then you need to be one of them.

    Lab Tech programs are the same. What type of courses are you failing? Is it the pre-req courses or is it the nursing courses themselves?
    You should be approaching a degree with 160 credits. Where did the bulk of these credits come from?

    I'm actually looking into a bachelors program for a lab tech, but the issues wasn't so much how hard the classes were (and it was the actual nursing courses and NOT the prereq courses) but the professors, in every case, of help students who came to them or discussing tests or anything because they had be told not to by the department head. Yes if we felt a question we got wrong was correct the department heads response to it was "Well its not." most of my courses are from what transfered from my last school when I was a Computer Science student, and prereq classes. I got into the program first time I applied but getting there took 4 full years because they changed the required classes drasticly twice while I was working up to it. I have 2 full semesters of courses that don't count for anything with my major.

  • BucketmanBucketman Call me SkraggRegistered User regular
    Also I appreciate all the advice in this thread, but Fuzzy, I have spoken to professor at other colleges about how this program is set up, and several in the area tell students not to goto my school for nursing anymore. They told a woman in one of my classes who had recently had a child that she had better get a nanny because she wouldn't have time for childcare with the amount of time she was going to need to spend studying and doing homework. This is also a fucking community college, not a full scale 4 year university. Most of the people here are here because they can't afford/don't have time for a full fledged university experience.

  • Fuzzy Cumulonimbus CloudFuzzy Cumulonimbus Cloud Nurse, Veteran, Army Mom, Ficus, Space Dad, Survivor Contestant God Bless This Mess Registered User regular
    In 2013 it was that you weren't studying, in 2015 it's bad professors. Either way, you are stuck between a rock and a hard place.

    I'm sorry that this program isn't working out for you. You need to consider two things:

    1) How many of your credits are transferable? Can you transfer to a different school altogether?

    2) What is worth your time and investment?

    Community college definitely allows for less than full time, because it's typically for associate degrees. When you stepped into a full nursing program, you got the full 4-year experiences. Most of the 4 year nursing degree programs I know about are intensive and that is unavoidable no matter where you go.

    Can you get a job and maintain half-credit status so that your loan clock doesn't activate?

    Does the amount of loans you have accrued at this point start to worry you?

    What's your motivation for getting a degree and what degree do you really want?

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