Appyling to nursing school-Rn or BSN,RN

  1. I know this is the place where someone I do not know can give me honest opinions and advice. I am graduating with a degree in criminal justice/minor in sociology. I am seriously considering nursing school. I wish I would have thought about nursing 4 1/2 years ago. In Arkansas, there are several nursing schools. I am leaning towards one which only offers a diploma/certificate in nursing for an RN, not a BSN or Assoc. degree. I will have a four year degree but not in nursing. The diploma/cert school is 2 1/2 yrs as is the BSN, however they require 64 hours of electives and certian courses which I never had to take. In order to apply for that paticualr school, I would need to go back to school for almost a year and get the certain classes they require. To me it seems that an RN is my goal and I am not that concerned with getting a BSN. The pay is basically the same, the lack of respect from the BSN nurses seems to be my only problem, however I will have a degree before I even go to nursing school. For all you BSN, and RN nurses, please tell me if a diploma/cert is enough. Is it going to be hard to find a good paying position without a BSN? What are the problems you have seen between BSN and diploma Rn's in your job?
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  2. 5 Comments

  3. by   Nancy1
    Hi,
    My honest answer to your question is actually a question. What goals have you set for yourself? I decided to go to nursing school at 40 years old. I decided to get the BSN because I knew that I would probably not want to go back.
    It is true that the pay scale is the same, and the primary reason (as I understand it) is that we all take the same boards. As a BSN I became a manager in 8 months and about 3 years later an Assistant Director of Nursing, because this is the path I have chosen for myself.
    Are there programs near you that offer BSN as a second degree on an different path? I know here in Milwaukee, UWM offerred that for people like you.
    The BSN will give you more options with your career.
    Good Luck,
    NA
  4. by   maikranz
    Just out of curiousity, why are you considering a complete (kinda) turn-around before you have entered the job market in your field, after you've spent a great deal of time, and I assume $$, in your pursuit of your Bachelor of Arts?
    I assume the "certain courses" of which you speak include Anatomy and Physiology, Chemistry, Microbiology--those classes, am I correct? Well, those classes would be required regardless of whether you ended up with a Diploma in Nursing, an Associate of Applied Science degree in Nursing, or a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing, not to mention the nursing curriculum itself.
    Since you seem to be a tad undecided, I would suggest that you explore the field of hands-on healthcare by becoming a certified nursing assistant. This would give you a wonderful opportunity to experience nursing the way it really is, not the way "E.R." portrays it to be. Our school requires all incoming freshman to go this route. It serves two purposes: one, the student can support her / himself during what time they have free, should they choose to do so (Bless them, they rarely have the time), and, second, a great deal of Nursing Fundamentals is pretty much these sorts of tasks,
    so having the CNA prior to entering nursing school frees up time for other skills and competencies.
    Look into 2nd degree programs as Nancy 1 suggests; there are more options in healthcare with a BSN.
    Also, I would remind you that regardless of which path you choose, you still must take the NCLEX and pass before you are an RN; it is not a degree, but a license that enables one to practice the profession of nursing.
    Should you decide to do this, you will be entering into a rewarding and exhausting line of work. Good luck.
  5. by   KELLEY2000
    Originally posted by asasb:
    I know this is the place where someone I do not know can give me honest opinions and advice. I am graduating with a degree in criminal justice/minor in sociology. I am seriously considering nursing school. I wish I would have thought about nursing 4 1/2 years ago. In Arkansas, there are several nursing schools. I am leaning towards one which only offers a diploma/certificate in nursing for an RN, not a BSN or Assoc. degree. I will have a four year degree but not in nursing. The diploma/cert school is 2 1/2 yrs as is the BSN, however they require 64 hours of electives and certian courses which I never had to take. In order to apply for that paticualr school, I would need to go back to school for almost a year and get the certain classes they require. To me it seems that an RN is my goal and I am not that concerned with getting a BSN. The pay is basically the same, the lack of respect from the BSN nurses seems to be my only problem, however I will have a degree before I even go to nursing school. For all you BSN, and RN nurses, please tell me if a diploma/cert is enough. Is it going to be hard to find a good paying position without a BSN? What are the problems you have seen between BSN and diploma Rn's in your job?

    As a BSN student, I have thought about whether or not I should have gone for the degree. But now I feel the classes I have taken have actually helped me to become a better nurse. There are so many culturally related classes that are important in nursing. Anatomy and Physiology, Patho, and even nutrition class have helped me through nursing school and to be more confident about taking patients lives into my care.

  6. by   cfnp2b
    A good nurse is not made of a degree or certificate. My 12 year-old daughter is a better nurse than some of the diploma, ADN and BSN nurses. You would want to pursue an advanced degree if you are interested in advancement (management or higher education, MSN). If your interests are not related to management or advanced practice nursing (APN), you will do well with the diploma or the ADN. Good luck! P.S. I started in an ADN program. Before completion, I discovered my occupational goal (to become a Family Nurse Practitioner or APN/FNP). I transferred to a BSN program and am now beginning my first semester in the MS program. In May, 2002, I will have achieved my occupational goal. What is your goal?
  7. by   jlb
    Two things I would add to the discussion:

    1. I am assuming that the extra courses you refer to are not A & P, Micro, or other nursing prerequisites, but rather the general education courses required by the University that are not required by the Diploma program. If this is the case, know that different schools have different core requirements. With that in mind, scope out some of the other institutions that offer the BSN and see which require a similar gen ed core as the university where you received your other bachelor's degree.

    2. If your goal (or stepping stone)is a MSN degree, are you aware that there are schools of nursing that offer an RN to MSN for those students who already have a bachelor's degree in another field? Generally, these will incorporate some, though not all, of the BSN nursing courses, so you still get that content. The upside, though, is that you avoid the hassle of taking all those pesky gen ed courses.


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