BSN or Bachelors in Biology???

  1. Hello everyone,

    I am wondering if anyone in this forum has opted for yet another route to becoming a CRNA. I have decided upon something a little different. There are no schools in my immediate area that have a BSN program. There is one that offers a BAN and I don't think that will fly with the 2 or 3 schools that I plan to apply. I am currently in an ADN program with one year to go. I have already emailed the CRNA schools of my choice asking if they would accept a degree in cellular/molecular biology and they all replied yes.

    I understand that the road ahead will be a busy one (school full time and work in ICU) but I am fully committed. I have no interest in obtaining a BSN (all those theory classes will bore me to death). I'm thinking that the extra science classes needed (chem, biology, etc) for my biology degree will really help me in grad school. Do you think this is a good route? I do realize that this will take me longer to complete but the way I look at it is that I will get more exp in ICU.

    It seems to be a consensus here to go the BSN route. Of course I understand that some schools will only accept a BSN. I'm just wondering what everyone's input is as to another possible route. Has anyone done it this way? Thank you in advance for any advice on this subject.
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  2. 11 Comments

  3. by   MICU RN
    I pondered that the dilemma also after getting my ADN, once I decided to pursue becoming a crna. Howevr, I only had the 72 college hours that I compleated to receive my ADN. So it was much faster to go the RN/BSN route. To be honest when the university advisor looked at my ADN credits he did not know what to do with many of the credits I had and only wanted to transfer about 40 somethings hours towards a biology degree. And I received my ADN at the flagship state university in my state, the school was associated with a medical center. So after some soul serching and common sense I went in a RN?/BSN program at that same medical center.
    So my advice is make sure they read over your transcript well and get in writing what they will give you credit for. Now of course if you have plenty of credit hours in addition to your ADN it may serve you to go the biology degree route. In addition, keep in mind that all crna programs will accept a BSN, but not all will accept a non BSN degree
  4. by   loisane
    iliket,

    There are pros and cons to what you are describing.

    My credentials are similar to what you describe, but for different reasons. My original degree is a BA in biology. When I decided to become a nurse, I went back for a associate degree.

    I had no problem getting into anesthesia school, although that was a while ago. You seem well versed in the issue of acceptable degrees for various programs, so no need to go into that.

    I believe that you are right about the value of a strong science background. I believe my previous biology/chemistry/physics courses gave me an edge in these classes in anesthesia school. I still find instances in my anesthesia practice where my science background is a benefit to me.

    On the other hand, professional nursing treats us non-BSN nurses with very little respect. How much that matters to you, depends on your future plans. It is quite possible to become a CRNA, go on your merry way, and not give a hoot about what "they" think of you.

    Not having a BSN has limited my opportunities in some ways. Masters programs did not want to admit me until I earned a BSN first. A nursing masters is required for APN status in my state (but CRNAs do not have to meet this requirement to practice anesthesia). Lack of a BSN may be a barrier to getting a job in education, or being appointed to a Board of Nursing.

    Granted, I think in the big picture these are probably not priorities to you right now. And if they ever get to be issues for you in the future, you will just have to find ways around them, as I have done.

    So over all, I think you have a good plan. Just thought I would share what I have experienced, so you can see the whole picture.

    Good luck,
    loisane crna
  5. by   iliket3
    Thank you very much for your input. I honestly could care less about how a BSN nurse feels about an ADN nurse, so I won't worry about that. I think that entire debate is silly anyway. I know for a fact that I have no interest in pursuing educational routes in the future. I have always been extremely interested in cellular research. So I believe that the biology route is probably the right route for me. I want to be strong in my sciences for anesthetist school and this should help tremendously.

    Thank you again to all of you. Whenever I start to lose sight of my goals, I come to this website to renew faith in myself. I sincerely appreciate it.

    Theresa
  6. by   spineCNOR
    Have you looked at the anesthesia schools you would like to attend to see what they require? There are 2 schools in my area- one offers a master's in nursing and requires a BSN for acceptance, one offers a master's in anesthesia and does not require a BSN. They have the same job opportunities, and as far as I can see, in the practice setting it is not an issue who has a BSN and who doesn't. The only exception would be if you wanted to teach later on.
    The CRNAs in my area are very active in their professional organization, how they are percieved by nurses in academia is not an issue to them.
    So, do what is best for you.
  7. by   CRNA, DNSc
    Over 50% of the CRNA programs are located in schools or colleges of nursing and tend to require the BSN (or not accept the alternative). All CRNA schools will accept a BSN but not all will accept the BS so depending are where you are to are planning to go you may be limiting your options!
    Food for thought!
  8. by   kybluefan
    If you want to take the safe route, go with the BSN. It will earn you a wider choice of schools to which you may apply. Also, my MSN program requires you to take the boring stuff right along with anesthesia courses....theory, stats, research, etc. I had these in my RN/BSN program. I am finding that because I already took the courses, the MSN versions of the same are easier for me to handle.

    Just a thought!
    Good luck!
  9. by   Passin' Gas
    Schools have to comply with Council on Accreditation Standards. 30h of research is required. According to Standard III program of study, section c, Critical thinking is demonstrated by the student's ability to apply theory to practice in decision-making and problem solving. There is not a requirement for a theory course, only the ability to apply theory to practice. Nursing theory can be obtained at the undergraduate level. There is also a requirement for statistics, but I am not finding the reference at this time.

    The "boring stuff", although it may be not an area of interest, fosters professionalism. It enables one to critically assess journal articles, develop critical thinking skills and maximize on theories of interpersonal relations you learned in the undergraduate education.

    Learning professional aspects of nurse anesthesia is imperative. Skilled, competent providers continue to prove nurse anesthesia is safe anesthesia. Learning the professional aspects of the profession empowers one to protect our practice on the legal fronts.
  10. by   London88
    I have to second what kybluefan said in terms of the boring stuff such as research, although I actually enjoyed doing my research proposal. I had to take research with my BSN, so taking it for my MSN was simply an extension of what I did for my BSN, which can make some of these boring classes much easier to tackle. I used the same text book that was required for my BSN!
  11. by   iliket3
    I appreciate all of your input as far as this matter is concerned. I do not intend to do a "mass admission" type of thing and will only apply to 2 or 3 schools in my area. All of those schools accept a degree in a biological science. I think there are pros and cons to each side of this issue. I do realize that I will not get away from the theory classes completely and that they are necessary to foster professionalism. However, since my interests lie in the biological sciences, I believe that is what is best for me.

    I'm trying to think farther down the line here. If I did not ever get accepted into an NA school, than what would I do with a BSN? What would I do with a degree in biology? I'm trying to ponder my options beyond NA school. If I don't get in or something happens along the way, I realize I have options. However I would have to go with where my other interests lie. And that would be in biology. Not to "beat a dead horse" but with a degree in biology, I could go a dfferent route besides nursing, yet nursing would remain an option. With a BSN, cellular research would not be an option. I'm just taking into consideration the "what ifs." Thank you very much for the advice. If there are other opinions on this idea, I'd be very welcome to hear them.

    Theresa
  12. by   u-r-sleeepy
    Teresa,

    I agree with everything loisane wrote. I did the same thing and would encourage you to pursue the Biology degree after reading your comments/questions. If you're "young enough" - why don't you go ahead and take the MCAT? You really should if you're even toying with the idea of Med-School. Even so, the Bio degree will serve you well in CRNA school and you can always pursue other things if you don't end up in an anesthesia program. I loved chem & took advanced org + some other stuff and really loved it all.

    Best wishes -
  13. by   New CCU RN
    Theresa,

    I am doing the same thing as you. I actually already have my BSN but now am looking into CRNA, taking my MCATs, or maybe some kind of research.

    I think the BS in Biology will aid me in any three of those routes. I'm in Cell Bio right now and there are so many things that make more sense clinically just because of that added knowledge that I have.

    Good luck to you.

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