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I am a student currently working towards my Nursing degree (BSN). I am five classes away from applying to the program and I have an overall GPA of 3.5. I am an older person, I will be 24 on the 24th. I have spent the last month deciding between PA and DON and I keep reverting back to this website. I am currently working as a CNA at an LTC facility to not only support my wife and daughter but to also fullfill HCE time that many schools require. I have my "reasons" for choosing this profession. I am a disabled Vet and they (the military) is paying for my college under chapter 31 benefits.

 

I will need to take 4 chem classes to fullfill the majority of the remaing pre-reqs I will need after Nursing school. There are alot of school that require Organic chem and Biochem but not intro to organic AND biochem. This little tidbut of information frustrates me but I understand, I guess.

 

My question is how do you narrow down to ONE school? I am from Texas but moved to Idaho inorder to locate a BSN program (that is fully accredited) that has less aplicants. I found many schools around Idaho that I would love to attend (Idaho University for one). But I dont want put all of my eggs in one basket. By the time I graduate from Nursing school I should only need Organic chem and Biochem unitl I can apply. I was planning on working as a Nurse while I finish the pre-reqs and than apply to the program in Idaho but would I have better luck moving back home?(to Texas).

 

I like Idaho but my wifes family is in txas, as are mine. And we want to move back home but, the schools there are tough to get into with emense amount of aplicants they recieve every year. Baylor and UT would be my choice schools but they come at a High cost. Does anyone plan on working while they attend a PA program? Would moonlighting as a LTC nurse (not my first choice) or a corrections nures be doable?

 

This is the path I want to take but I am afraid I will lose my goal! After all I wont even be applying for 3-5 years...

 

Thanks for yall's ears.

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Don't try to narrow it to one school. When you're ready, apply to all of the schools that appeal to you that you would realistically travel to should you get accepted, & of the ones you interview with, you'll get a feel for which ones you really like. That should narrow it down to one or two to choose from in the end.

 

Good Luck!

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I am an older person, I will be 24 on the 24th.

 

Ha! :smile:

 

You have lots of time to find the perfect fit. Don't freak out now, just do your research, do lots of shadowing, work as a nurse for a few years and then you'll most likely know what to do. Also, no one this forum will advise you to apply to only one school. PA school is extremely competitive and you have to cast the net wide, so to speak.

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You're an older person, huh? LOL.

 

You have plenty of time to sort this all out. Devise a plan, put one foot in front of the other and soon enough you will arrive at your destination. At this point I'd say keep all viable options open.

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there are lots of fine programs that don't require o-chem and biochem at all if that is a serious issue.

look at u.wa/medex. they are opening a new site next yr in tacoma , wa specically to attract vets per Obama's plan to train more vets as pa's.

also there are 7-8 part time programs out there that can be done over 3 years. the first yr becomes 2 yrs and the 2nd becomes a full time 3rd yr.

best of luck. keep plugging along and you will get there.

ps 24 is not old. there were folks in my class with kids that old.

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Lol..."older." What is the high cost you are worried about? Chp 31 pays for everything and gives a living allowance. You'll probably still have to take out some loans for living expenses but it will be a fraction of what it would have been otherwise. It is an amazing VA program.

 

Sent from my Galaxy Nexus using Tapatalk 2

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You are right about Chapter 31... However, I made the mistake of telling my VA counselor that I wanted a BSN. So now he is only going to let me get my BSN. So PA school will be out of pocket (which is ok). I am interested tho... Have you used chap 31 benefits for PA? if so how did you convince your counselor?

 

And thank you everyone for the replies. I sure feel old...everyone in school has just graduated H/S.

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You are right about Chapter 31... However, I made the mistake of telling my VA counselor that I wanted a BSN. So now he is only going to let me get my BSN. So PA school will be out of pocket (which is ok). I am interested tho... Have you used chap 31 benefits for PA? if so how did you convince your counselor?

 

And thank you everyone for the replies. I sure feel old...everyone in school has just graduated H/S.

 

You may need to find out how that would work once you finish the BSN. They expect you to begin seeking full time employment since that's the point of Chp 31. Convincing a counselor shouldn't be an issue. You and I are just doing it backwards. I completed undergrad, pre-reqs, HCE, etc. and then applied for chp 31 once I was accepted to PA school(largely because I wasn't even aware of the program until then; thankfully there are some awesome vets on these boards).

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eh? whadya say sonny? Let me turn my hearing aid up...wait..can't see the dial.. damn cataracts.. in my advanced age of 39 it's hard to function anymore. Pudding for dinner? oohh my favorite.. won't have to put in my teeth...

 

Seriously though... I have three RNs in my class, two of them worked sporadically through the didactic year. Your ability to work is totally up to your ability to digest the material. I drove the 2.5 hours home every weekend to goof off with my family every Saturday and most of Sunday for the whole year. If they lived local where I could see them every day, I could have easily pulled a 12 hour shift every weekend, especially doing agency work at 50+/hr.

 

That being said.. if your learning style doesn't allow you to ingest the information during the school day (with studying in the evening) then you are going to want those weekends to review.

 

You listed a whole bunch of reasons why doing the PA thing is going to be tough and didn't list any reasons why you know PA is the right track for you. In fact, you admit to kicking around the idea of DON. You need to make up your mind. How? Well, my first thought is to shadow a handful of PAs and NPs in various settings. See what they really do, get to know how they approach medicine. Being a CNA in a LTC facility is the work of angels. God Bless you...but it is just tiny star in the vast universe of medicine. Don't let your vision be clouded by your immediate surroundings. Seek out new vantage points to get different perspectives on your future.

 

You have time. If you call yourself "older" at age 24 one more time, me and my gray haired homies will roll down there in our hover-rounds and feed you your words through your elbow...understand? :-) Have a nice day.

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My suggestion is that you get your BSN and work as an RN for a good year or 2. You will double your income from a CNA and have much more leverage when considering graduate studies while supporting your family. I cannot help but recommend that you also consider nurse practioner from your current info. I know a nurse that is going to NP school part time and is working full time in our hospital. She is able to pay for school directly as she goes along and doesnt have to take out loans. From what Ive seen, all PA programs are full time.

 

My biggest recommendation for you right now is that you apply for nursing assistant jobs in a hospital setting. You will see first hand what RNs, MDs, PAs, and NPs do, and you will gain a higher level of technical experience that PA programs love to see. Working in a long term care facility shows that you have the stomach and back to handle difficult patients, and most hospitals will hire you if you plan to get your BSN.

 

Hope that helps you!

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There are a couple of 3 year part time PA programs that allow for the student to work while going to PA school. I only know of the University of Detroit Mercy because I'm from Michigan, but there may be others. As mentioned above, you don't want to apply to just one school. You will read that some applicants go over the top with the number of applications they send, but you want to keep an ongoing budget of how much money you are willing to invest in your future regarding the application process. Many schools require supplemental application fees, with some schools requiring a processing fee in addition to the CASPA fee charged to send the initial application. From there, you will have to keep in mind how much it will cost to interview if you are fortunate to be invited to interview (hotels, flights, travel, dry cleaning the suit, etc). If moving for school isn't an issue for you, there are many schools that don't require organic chemistry or will give the applicant an option to choose to take biochemistry or organic chemistry. Best of luck to you.

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You are right about Chapter 31... However, I made the mistake of telling my VA counselor that I wanted a BSN. So now he is only going to let me get my BSN. So PA school will be out of pocket (which is ok). I am interested tho... Have you used chap 31 benefits for PA? if so how did you convince your counselor?

 

And thank you everyone for the replies. I sure feel old...everyone in school has just graduated H/S.

 

I am using ch.33 benefits (post 9/11) and ran into the same problem. I am majoring in public health and some of the prereqs for PA school aren't listed in my degree plan. It was actually a pretty easy fix. I talked with my academic adviser, not the VA counsler and she simply added the prereqs I needed for PA school into my degree plan and wrote the VA counselor on campus that she had approved adding those courses into my degree plan. From there, my enrollment certification was sent the the VA and there were no problems. Hope that helps, kplp1111 and best wishes in accomplishing your goals. By the way, I am 26 with a wife and kid I still feel really young...

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