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Studying EN vs RN
Is the workload very different?


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#1 MyPrincess

Posted 18 March 2012 - 06:01 PM

Hi!

I’ve now just finished week 3 of uni studying Bachelor of Nursing and I am finding it very hard and a huge workload. I am only studying part time but the amount of stuff we have to learn is overwhelming. So of cause I am now doubting my ability to be able to ever pass uni. Before I applied for uni I tossed up whether I should apply at TAFE to do the EN diploma instead. And after these last 3 weeks, I’m starting to think maybe I should of.

So my question is, has anyone here done the EN diploma at TAFE and then gone on to uni to become a RN? How has the workload and content compared? Do you still have to write these damn essays with referencing at TAFE? Or has anyone dropped out of the BNursing to go do the EN diploma and found it easier? Not regretted it?

Sorry for the rambling if it doesn’t make sense. My head is all over the place atm with what should I do. And to make things worse, I have a 5 month old that I am having huge guilts over, with not having as much time for her as I would like to have. I’ve always been a SAHM for my other 2 kids so this is making me feel guilty for not being here all the time for her, like I was with my other 2.

Thanks!

#2 Expelliarmus

Posted 18 March 2012 - 06:04 PM

DH is 6 months into EN at TAFE. He says there are a lot of short answers questions that require research. He says there are not really any essays. There are exams both practical and written.

HTH.

#3 annasue

Posted 18 March 2012 - 06:13 PM

Errrr of course a degree at Uni is harder than a diploma at TAFE. As for what you'll be happy with as an end result , that depends entirely what you want from your career path.

The workload at Uni is heavy, can you do it over a longer period of time and take on fewer subjects at once ?

It's not about how long it takes, but that you reach your goal at some point.

You need to decide what you want to be doing in 10 years, 15 years, 20 years time.

#4 bellalee

Posted 18 March 2012 - 06:35 PM

I guess it depends on the TAFE, at ours we do have to write essays with APA referencing, plus a lot of other theoretical coursework, labs, folios, presentations, exams and 10 weeks of placements.

We have quite a high workload, for example we do 9 hours of Anatomy and Physiology per week (3 x 3hr sessions, basically one body system per session).

Our teachers have told us our particular course is far more intensive than the 1st year of the degree because we need to be able to go out and work in 18 months. Also this course is full time hours, 9am-4pm, 5 days per week, part time would be the same hours but only 2-3 days per week.

My TAFE is affiliated with a Uni so we get 18 months credit towards the Bachelor which I may or may not do when I've finished this, but I get automatic entry into the degree if I want it and I have three years to accept the place. Not all TAFE's enable this, for some that are not affiliated with Uni's their course only gives 3-12 months credit towards the Bachelor.

The reason I decided to do the Diploma is because of the medication endorsement and greater scope of practice these days for EN's. There is also the fact that I could be working as a nurse in 1.5 years, and possibly doing the degree to become an RN part time as well. Although I do know people who finished my course last year, went into the bachelor full time, are working as an EN part time and managing quite well.

#5 MyPrincess

Posted 19 March 2012 - 01:26 AM

Thanks howdo.

annasue - I know a uni degree is going to be harder than a TAFE diploma, I guess I wasn't really asking about the complexity of the work, I suppose it's more about the workload, does that make sense? I don't seem to have a lot of time atm, and I also didn't realise how much time I would spend doing it all (& I am only doing 2 units). My ultimate goal I think is to end up working in the area of fertility or midwifery. So I know I would have to eventually become an RN to pursue either of these and then do a post grad, but I suppose I'm just afraid I won't get to my end goal as an RN so I thought doing EN for a while first would help keep me going to get to my end goal?
QUOTE
It's not about how long it takes, but that you reach your goal at some point.
This is true so I will have to keep reminding myself of this.

Thanks bellalee. It sounds like your course is very full on. And this is what I would be afraid of, giving up the RN path for the time being to pursue the EN path, and then finding the workload at TAFE just as heavy. Again, I think it is just the time factor for me at the moment so that would defeat the purpose...But finishing the diploma in 18 months and then being able to go out and work does sound appealing...Good luck with your studies!

Arghh, all these decisions on what I should do...

#6 Bluemakede

Posted 19 March 2012 - 09:08 AM

Ask sone of the full timers what the other subjects you aren't doing this semester are like. As you may find the other 2 subjects are a bit less intense, so next year may be a bit lighter for you. I know it is this way at my uni, as part timers in 1st semester are doing A&P and psychosocial care, of which A&P takes up a lot of time (psychosocial isn't as full on, but you can't really slack with it either). Come 1st semester of the 2nd year, the workload is easier as there is one extremely 'cruisy' subject, and the other is only mildly full on, but more practical. I do know a few part timers who've added an easier 2nd year subject this year cause they're not drowning so much this semester, and have the time to do 3 subjects.

So you may find that it's only every 2nd year that's more full on.

#7 MyPrincess

Posted 19 March 2012 - 12:52 PM

Thanks bluemakede! Funny you should say that but the 2 units I am doing are A & P and Psychosocial dev so it may look like I picked the 2 worst ones to start with! Nothing like jumping straight into it! Our uni runs a mentoring program so I am still awaiting to be contacted by a second year student. So once I hear from them, I will definitely be asking them which units they found full on and which ones weren't as bad. I am trying to persevere with these 2 units but as you said, the A & P is a lot of work. Next semester (that is if I make it to then) I think I will just do the one unit - the follow on second unit in A & P. But I'm just taking it one day at a time and see how I go.

#8 Kafkaesque

Posted 19 March 2012 - 04:26 PM

The first few weeks of every semester are hairy! The first though is defiantly the worst. You are adjusting to being at uni as well as understanding course requirements. Not ro mention the fact that you attempt to do everything uni suggests you do as opposed to the most you know you can do and pass. :-). Stick with it. By next semester you will be more savy and it won't be such a shock.

Our of interest what uni are you at?

#9 MummaDiva

Posted 19 March 2012 - 04:47 PM

Most of the (nursing home based) ENs I know personally working full time while studying part time to become RNs.  They chose the EN path because it was a faster way to a pay packet for some, and the faster path to a visa for others.
If you have the luxury of a few years before you NEED to go back to work, drop back to one unit of study, study it well and take it from there.
FWIW, I have just dropped out of one unit in my first semester of study - I have just found it too hard working full time with a baby and an older child at school.  I will stick with the other unit for the time being, and see if I can get my assignment done - if not, I will drop out before census so that I don't incur a cost.  Studying looks so much easier than it actually is, doesn't it??

#10 bellalee

Posted 19 March 2012 - 06:50 PM

As MummaDiva mentioned above I have gone this route so I can get into the workforce quickly. I do intend to do the Degree eventually, although I may change my mind and be happy with "just" being an EN since there is so much more EN's can do these days. However if I wasn't in a rush and had already started the Bachelor I'd probably stick with it and just drop a unit and take more on when I was able.

QUOTE (TammIam @ 19/03/2012, 05:37 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Of course doing a BNursing is going to be a lot harder then doing an EN course...being an RN is a much bigger role and tons more responsibility then being an EN.

There is a girl in my course who would disagree with this, she was doing the Bachelor a couple of years ago and dropped out for family reasons so is now doing the first year of the Diploma. With this thread in mind I asked her about it today and she said the Diploma is much harder than the first year of the degree was, more intensive and a greater workload.

I guess it depends on where you do your training, and when as well, EN's are Diploma now, not certificate like they used to be so it's an extra six months, and they are medication endorsed so there is a much greater scope of practice. Plus new roles are opening up all the time, in another year or two my TAFE is going to start offering Advanced Diplomas to ENs who want to specialise in certain areas.

*edited for typo*

Edited by bellalee, 19 March 2012 - 06:52 PM.


#11 MyPrincess

Posted 21 March 2012 - 01:17 AM

Kafkaesque – Thanks for those words, they do make sense. And it sort of makes me feel a bit better that I am not the only one who finds first semester so overwhelming. I’m hoping that the further I get into the course, the more I will be able to handle it (and the kids will be older so they will be a little more independent). Oh, and I’m at ECU.

Thanks Tamm! I think deep down I would feel happier with myself if I persevere with the RN degree as that is ultimately what I would like to be. I do want to stick with it so I’ll just have to keep trying to sort out a routine and see how I go. I have also been considering dropping one unit so I’m only doing the one this semester, but I am still deciding. I have got until the end of next week to withdraw. I’ve also heard from others that the further into the degree you get, the more you are able to work out what is the most necessary to learn for exams. I’m hoping I will learn that skill! My DH is very supportive and can work from home so aswell as my uni days, he stays home on another day so I can spend the time doing some study. He also takes all the kids out one day on the weekend so I have the house to myself. But even with this help, I am still not finding enough time. Maybe I am looking too much into stuff and doing too much?

MummaDiva – Yep I agree, I think studying sounds a lot easier than it actually is. I knew it was going to take up a lot of time, but I seriously didn’t think 2 units would take up every spare minute of the day (and things like doing the grocery shopping would suffer). I have been a SAHM for 8 years now so I’m lucky there is no real urgency for me to return to work. I know I can take my time to get it done, but I’m hoping that by the time my youngest starts school, I will be close to finishing the degree so I can start working when I don’t have anymore little ones at home to look after. So how many units are you studying now? I really don’t know how you can work full time, look after two kids & study! Wow, you must be super organised.

Thanks!

#12 mumto3beauties

Posted 21 March 2012 - 12:04 PM

QUOTE (MyPrincess @ 18/03/2012, 07:01 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Hi!

I’ve now just finished week 3 of uni studying Bachelor of Nursing and I am finding it very hard and a huge workload. I am only studying part time but the amount of stuff we have to learn is overwhelming. So of cause I am now doubting my ability to be able to ever pass uni. Before I applied for uni I tossed up whether I should apply at TAFE to do the EN diploma instead. And after these last 3 weeks, I’m starting to think maybe I should of.

So my question is, has anyone here done the EN diploma at TAFE and then gone on to uni to become a RN? How has the workload and content compared? Do you still have to write these damn essays with referencing at TAFE? Or has anyone dropped out of the BNursing to go do the EN diploma and found it easier? Not regretted it?

Sorry for the rambling if it doesn’t make sense. My head is all over the place atm with what should I do. And to make things worse, I have a 5 month old that I am having huge guilts over, with not having as much time for her as I would like to have. I’ve always been a SAHM for my other 2 kids so this is making me feel guilty for not being here all the time for her, like I was with my other 2.

Thanks!


Hi there. I was reading your post and I can tell you, you are not alone! I also thought oh no what am I doing for a moment there. I am a mother of 3 girls, all 5 years and under and I am studying Bachelor nursing too....I am in my 4th week and yes I have been feeling very overwhelmed by the whole thing and also had horrible pangs of guilt about putting my girls into daycare for those few days a week I have to go to Uni. I was lucky enough to cram in alot of my subjects into 3 days and 1 of those days I am not there all day so the girls only have oocasional care that day and 2 full days at long daycare. My eldest who is 5 goes to school. My husband is very supportive and when I have a little cry about my girls and the guilt im feeling he brings me back up and I realise, its only 3 years and in the long run it is be the best thing you ever did. The first year is always the hardest, well thats what I have been told anyway and I can see why. I ultimatly would like to go into Midwifery and yes I could of taken the direct entry option but I am also interested in other areas too so thought I would do my nursing first and then see where it takes me. If you find it is getting too much, maybe you could drop a unit and pick it up later on, which is something I might consider myself. I spoke to my unit coordinator and there are many options. Don't put yourself under too much stress, do what you are comfortable with and maybe find some support groups at uni. I am 27 and I am kind of alone in a way as most of the students are obviously school leavers or younger with no kids. I am yet to find a good study group or even just socialise with other studying mums.
Good luck with your decision. Do what makes you happy and comfortable and remember its only 3 years!!!!

#13 **Maroon6**

Posted 15 March 2013 - 02:33 PM

QUOTE
then it's my personal belief that what we will see happen is that ENs becomes the senior staff "on the ground" in nursing homes and RNs are only in Management roles in those places.


Not to offend you BUT.....it's EEN not EN. I cannot believe you wrote that EEN's mainly work in aged care.I could say ALOT of RN's only work in Aged Care also. It sounds like you are still under the archaic way of thinking regarding EEN's.  Believe it or not EEN's are actually still being employed in acute care. Shocking!!!! I'm sure you know it's a Diploma in Nursing now, not a Cert.IV. I mean you know everything there is to know about studying the Diploma of Nursing so you stated.

Your post came across as being an RN, is so much superior to being an EEN. We all work as a team and NO ONE is better then anyone else. A very ignorant post as well, I might add.

Sorry if I come across as  sad.gif , but when a person is studying to be a division 2 nurse as I am, and yes, it is an EXTREMELY hard course and someone downplays it I have to say something.

#14 Excentrique Feral

Posted 16 March 2013 - 12:51 PM

I have met a few en's during my classes, and they have all said they preferred the uni course to the tafe course. I think Itsallgood might be right that they say this because they are used to studying by then, and they don't have to do those first year subjects anymore.

A&P is a hard subject to start out with. Some subjects are very bludgy and others extremely time consuming.

I'm doing pharmocology (2nd yr) at the moment, plus transitions to professional practice (3rd yr). Transitions is a breeze compared to pharm which is highly time consuming. My other subject is a clinical which I don't have to pay any attention to until the second part of the semester.

#15 fairyflosser

Posted 20 March 2013 - 02:32 AM

i would stick with the rn. en is still intense, and it will take you a long time to get to rn. im an en with a couple of units to go to become an rn


#16 jessie123

Posted 20 March 2013 - 12:34 PM

Having done both they are both not easy. I found uni 'easier'.

It really depends on whether you are studying external or internal and what sort of study you prefer.

University was a lot more essays etc TAFE had a lot more work to complete I found. To get a good grasp of the information both required lots of time.

If your already doing RN stick with it. I think internal is easier despite taking more time it forces you to go to lectures and get the work done. For me being external its way too easy to procrastinate.

#17 MyPrincess

Posted 15 April 2013 - 02:59 AM

Thanks everyone for more replies! I can't believe this thread has resurfaced after a year!

However, believe it or not I am *still* trying to decide between the two. I ended up doing 5 units last year at uni but I have taken this semester off as I just couldn't face going back  sad.gif I thought I had made a decision at the beginning of this year - I was planning on changing paths and going to study the EN Diploma instead - but now I'm not so sure. Arghhh, I just can't make decisions! My thinking was by doing the EN Diploma it would be a lesser workload and not so time consuming and I could be out working by the end of next year (then when all 3 of my children are at school, I would then do the RN conversion). However that would mean TAFE full-time for the next 18 months, going 3 days per week with 19 weeks full-time prac in those 18 months. I am now starting to think if this really is practical atm? And then I feel the 5 units I did last year sort of go to waste at TAFE (time-wise) because even though I would get RPL for 4 of those 5 units, I would still have to attend those classes but I just wouldn't have to do the assessments.

Then I think if I stick with uni, if I could manage 3 units each semester, in 2 years time I would be able to go out and work as an EN and I would only have 1 year full time left at uni to then become a RN (& I could do the last year slowly whilst working). But then the reason why I was swaying away from uni was due to the sheer amount of time it was taking to get my weekly work done as well as the assessments and exam prep (with the thinking that TAFE would be a more manageable workload compared to uni) and also the distance I have to travel to uni (whilst TAFE is only 10 minutes away).

Well thanks again for reading this. I think I just needed to write it out so I could clearly see what my options are so I can weigh them up. If anyone has any thoughts or anything they want to add, please feel free! I'm more than happy to hear other peoples thoughts on the 2 paths/degrees...

Oh, and if anyone here has studied or is studying the EN Diploma at Challenger TAFE, if I could ask you some specific questions about the course, that would be fantastic!

#18 7LittleAustralians

Posted 15 April 2013 - 05:01 AM

If you hadn't already started I'd probably suggest the Diploma, see how you go and cross over, however since you have already started and finished what you have I'd stick with the degree. The first semester is always the hardest, I found the last year was so much easier to handle than the first despite there really not being that much difference in the work load. And as you said, you will be able to qualify as an EN continuing anyhow.

But then I also am one who believes in finishing what you started. I did a degree prior to my nursing and at the end of 2nd year I knew it wasn't what I wanted to do, but figured I wasn't going to waste 2 years to save 1 and finished it. It then paid off when completing a degree got me an entire year off my nursing.

QUOTE
Not to offend you BUT.....it's EEN not EN. I cannot believe you wrote that EEN's mainly work in aged care.I could say ALOT of RN's only work in Aged Care also. It sounds like you are still under the archaic way of thinking regarding EEN's. Believe it or not EEN's are actually still being employed in acute care. Shocking!!!! I'm sure you know it's a Diploma in Nursing now, not a Cert.IV. I mean you know everything there is to know about studying the Diploma of Nursing so you stated.

Your post came across as being an RN, is so much superior to being an EEN. We all work as a team and NO ONE is better then anyone else. A very ignorant post as well, I might add.

Sorry if I come across as sad.gif , but when a person is studying to be a division 2 nurse as I am, and yes, it is an EXTREMELY hard course and someone downplays it I have to say something.


lol, defensive much.

EN is the correct term depending on which state you live in. They are called ENs where I live and work.

A lot of RNs do work in aged care, as I do. I guess I could get all defensive over the fact your post makes it sound like a bad thing. It is true, the majority of ENs will end up working in aged care. I don't see why you think that is an issue. I'd say your view on working in Aged Care is 'still under the archaic way of thinking'

Being an RN is a requirement for many positions in health care which a EN would not be employed for, so it is fair to say that completing bachelor of nursing would provide much more opportunities for the OP. Yes, ENs are employed in acute settings, but the kind of work and amount of positions available is not as vast.

I'm sorry, but you are deluded if you do not think an RN is superior to an EN. That is not to say an RN is a much better person or employee than an EN, it is just the 'chain of command'. Just like the doctors, clinical nurses and nurse managers are an RNs superiors.

I work with an excellent team of ENs who I get along with well not only at work but outside of work. I have the upmost respect for all of them and very much value the work they do, just as I do the PCAs I work with. We have achieved and been through some pretty damn amazing and trying things together. Yes we work extremely well as a team, no I don't go around on my high horses with a big head, but at the end of the day me as the RN is in charge, the RN is the one responsible for what goes on and the RN is the one who makes the final decision. Technically, the ENs aren't even allowed to give a PRN panadol without my consent. I also sometimes work as an EN because sometimes I enjoy the change, the work and not having to be the one in charge.

#19 SplashingRainbows

Posted 15 April 2013 - 05:15 AM

I personally think you've done the hardest part - started, and now you just need to commit to finishing it and stop torturing yourself with other alternatives.

I say this because it's the exact thing I do to myself at times.

Uni does get easier. It's not like high school where it gets harder and harder each year. You've done amazingly well to do 5 subjects last year with two littles at home all day. You can do it! Keep going!

#20 Bluemakede

Posted 15 April 2013 - 04:41 PM

My Princess if you've completed 5 units already I would try to slog it out to complete to the end of 2nd year, look into whether your uni offers through an affiliated tafe an EN registration course, it'll mean then your last year you can do as slowly as you need but have the diploma qualification without needing to add time by starting the diploma. It's usually 6 weeks, plus 2 weeks of prac and allows you to gain registration as an EN (or EEN if your state still does med endorsement that way).

I think the study time is more intense for the diploma, most of my friends at uni who did the diploma first had way more contact hours than we have at uni.




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