First off: Hello All! I am SO happy to have found this forum - it has been an invaluable resource and I've spent countless hours reading here! Thank you everyone who has contributed their wealth of knowledge here, it is greatly appreciated!
I am an NAU graduate with a totally unrelated degree to Nursing. I graduated right at the turn of the economy fallout, and wasn't able to get into the career I had studied for. I had to fall back into what I was trying to get out of at the time, which was (and is) IT Helpdesk / Tech Support / PC Support, after not finding work related to my field of study for over a year after graduation.
Immediately after graduation, during my job-hunting, freelance work here-and-there and scraping up anything I could get to survive, I had plenty of time on my hands. Some of my time was wasted in depression and defeat, but the surplus of free time ended up being a great opportunity in the end. I learned a lot about who I was, and began to learn more about the field of Nursing. I learned through discussion with friends, relatives, and acquaintances that I really wanted to pursue this career, as it fit my lifestyle and life goals.
I wasn't really sure which route to go, ASU's BSN or MCC's program. I decided that rather than to continue to sit around and try to figure it out, I'd start working on it, regardless, which was a turning point in my life, after my bubble of "great job and great pay after degree" was burst.
I went with MCC, since it was the cheaper of the two options, offered (roughly) the same graduation date, (Or so I thought at the time) the same certification, and due to the fact that I have no options for financial aid now that I have a bachelor's degree, and I already was broke and had debt from a previous degree. This decision also was before I had any knowledge of pay differences, difficulty in finding work with AND vs. BSN, etc. - I just figured an RN is an RN, and that is that. Maricopa CC had a year-and-a-half wait, and ASU was going to take roughly 3-4 years to complete, and Maricopa CC was significantly less expensive than ASU. So either way, after 3-4 years I would have an RN certification and begin my career. Also, at that time I decided I could always go the RN-BSN route if I decided to further my education in the future, and I would have the funds to do it, as well, since I would already be working.
Unfortunately, as life moved on, my time-frame wasn't entirely accurate, and I'm now approaching my 2-year-mark after deciding to take the leap, and have all my MCC pre- and co-requisites done. I am just now getting my application packet together to be processed by this application period. (Hopefully, it's getting down to the wire and still waiting for fingerprint ID... :-\) I'm hearing now that there is a 2-year waiting period, which means I will graduate, at the soonest, in 4 years.
I'm applying to MCC anyway, but I am strongly reconsidering my original decision. I am wondering if my graduation date would be the same if I were to transfer these credits to ASU and go with the BSN. Keep in mind that I've already got a BFA from NAU, so a lot of the requirements would already be met for ASU. I know now, after having a couple more years of knowledge, experience, and education, that the BSN would be a stronger foundation and would provide me more opportunity for career options. However, to further the complication, I'm the sole financial provider for my partner and child, and if I were not able to work, it would be a detrimental hit to our family. Yet another reason the MCC option is more appealing, as GCC offers a "night-and-weekends" RN program. I could keep my existing job, which, while monotonous and emotionally draining, is a fairly well-paying job.
Throughout this process I've found that there isn't a lot of clear-cut information on either program, especially in regards to the wait lists, the program requirements, expected graduation dates, etc. I can't get specific information online, (it seems to change every semester) and I get mixed reports from advisors, never really receiving any solid facts. I am currently working on a contract with my company and am temporarily located in Australia, so talking to anyone with any familiarity or "inside knowledge" is very difficult, due to the time/day difference.
I'm nearing what should be the halfway point of my career, but am still a few years from even starting a new one... It's very discouraging and emotionally-challenging at times. I'm keeping my head up and keeping my determination; I try to remind myself continually that hard work will pay off, and difficult circumstances builds character!
Sorry for the lengthy post - I know everyone has their unique circumstances and each is affected and affects how they are pursuing their dream. I think it's important to disclose mine if I want fair, rounded advice. If you've lasted this long, I appreciate it very much! I would appreciate any advice and/or input anyone has regarding my decision of waiting it out with MCC for an undetermined amount of time, or taking what I've already got and pressing forward with ASU and their BSN program.
1.) Graduated with BFA but couldn't get job
2.) Now working in undesired field with family to support financially
3.) Has credits from previous degree & pre- / co-req's for MCC program
4.) Just applying for MCC which has 2-year wait list
5.) Should I apply for ASU instead, and get bachelor degree, instead of MCC associate degree?