If it were 2006, I would be preparing for graduation. I would be done with all of my clinicals. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE nursing. I HATE being a student sometimes. I am so tired of the bureaucracy of school, I would QUIT if I didn't owe thousands of dollars in loans and could find a job where I could make enough money to pay back the money I borrowed.
Many people wonder why students decide to go to a community college to get their RN. I can tell you why. First of all, community colleges respect non-traditional students. Really, they do. They respect the fact that we are serious about our educational endeavors. They help us when we need help and encourage us to ask questions. They do whatever they can to be sure that we make it. Colleges and universities are so quick to say that they want the non traditional students. (I will be fair, not all colleges and universities are this way.)
But when we (the non-traditionals) come there do they make their programs accomodate us? No. There are no evening or weekend programs for those of us who need to work. I have even heard that certain directors of nursing say do you want to be a nurse, or mother? If you want to be a mother, best of luck, but if you want to be a nurse you better do those hours. But we are not here to help you with your kids. Be late paying tuition. We know how to find you then.
Money is the root of all evil. But you know what the saddest thing is about all of this? Most of these administrators that I speak of....ARE NURSES! Registered, BSN, MSN, PhD nurses! What the hell kind of example are you setting here? They have degrees in psychology, pediatrics, etc. and they could care less what toll this experience has on us emotionally or psychologically.
Advice for those who are shopping nursing schools? Know what you are getting yourself into. Check out the curriculum. Find out what is required of you in advance. Don't let the niceness of the people fool you. They will be nice because they want the school to look inticing. They will be VERY nice in order to lure you in. Find someone who is currently in the program. Talk to them when there is no one else around (faculty/or recruiter). Meet them for coffee. Ask them how stressful it was and if they felt that they received good support.