BS holder - ADN or Second Degree Program - Please help!

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    I have been visiting this website for the last two years and this is my first thread. I hope someone out there will read it and help me

    I have a BS in Web Design and after a life changing experience I have decided to go to nursing school. At the moment, I am taking my prerequistes for a second degree program. I have a 4 year old and a 2 year old and I am a stay home mother. I am also volunteering at a local children's hospital in the NICU department.

    After doing some research, I understand that I have two options to become an RN. I can get into a second degree program and get my BSN in 18 months. Second degree programs are very intensive and they say you do not have time to see your family etc etc. If I miss one class (with kids it will happen), there will be a lot of problems. Also, I have to take too many prerequisites before I can apply to the program.

    The second option is to go to a local community college and get an ADN in two years
    (maybe slower pace, not sure, you guys may help me with the answer). I have to take 3 more classes to be able to get into the ADN program. They require less prerequisites.

    The difference between the two options is the second degree program is once a week night time and clinicals on the weekends, while the ADN program classes and clinicals are during the week, day time (and the kids are at school during that time). I do not have any family support. It is just me, my husband, and some friends.

    After getting my ADN I can finish my BSN (online program) or with the BS degree that I have I could go to a BSN/MS bridge programs.

    As you can see I have couple of options and I want to get your opinions especially if you have a background similar to mine.

    I do not want to sacrifice my kids while I am getting my degree. That is my main concern. I know I will have to study very hard but with a second degree program it looks like I will not be able to see my kids during that 18 months.

    Please Please help me!
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  3. 17 Comments so far...

  4. 0
    You have to figure that you are not going to have a life whether you are in an ADN program or a BSN program. They are equally time consuming. The difference is the types of classes that you are taking. My thought is, get it all done at once if you really want the BSN. Otherwise, you end up paying for 2 degrees and spend twice as long in school. Online classes are sometimes more time consuming than lecture based classes anyways due to the fact that you actually have to do all your reading and teach the course matter to yourself. Online learning does not necessarily make it easier.

    One caveat, BSNs are more expensive than ADNs. If you don't really care what degree you have, the ADN is cheaper.

    PS. I did a BA to BSN program.
  5. 0
    Oh, side note. Finding a satisfying and stable career is never a bad move as a mother, especially when you only have to work 3 days a week.
  6. 0
    It's about the same either way. Nursing probably isn't for you right now. Either program is a huge time commitment. If you can manage not having much time for your kids for two 16 week blocks a year for two years the ADN program is probably your best bet.
  7. 0
    It sounds about the same, but any program is going to be tough. I hardly ever missed a day in my ADN program, and when I did boy did I feel far behind! From what you describe though, it sounds like the ADN is at a slower pace, so if you missed a class once in a while (let's face it, that's kind of inevitable with children as young as yours) it would be somewhat easier to recover. Also, ADN is most likely far less expensive, so you can see if nursing is really for you before making a serious financial commitment.
    Good luck with whatever you decide.
  8. 0
    An accelerated BSN is probably your best option, especially if you want to go on later for NP. You already have a BA degree you might as well go for a BSN. The extra classes required are probably mandatory science and math prereques and you'll find similar classes elsewhere most likely!

    As far as quality time with your family, your only in classes and clinicals so many hours a week. The rest of the time is for study and you could do that at home. On another note, nursing does not lend itself to quality family time! Most places expect you to work every other weekend, every other holiday, be on call on your off time, work a double shift 16 hrs at the drop of the hat when they are short staffed. You are expected to have arranged emergency backup plans for your children if they decide their short and you have to stay at the last minute! Many hospitals are moving toward 12 hr shifts, its nice to work only 3 days but the days you work are long and you don't have much time to just eat, shower, sleep and rush back to work. So I wouldn't consider it the most family friendly environment no matter how they might try to spin it!
  9. 2
    I definitely wouldn't describe the ADN program as slow-paced or laid-back. I had no life once I started the two-year nursing program for three reasons: 1) I was at the mercy of my university's scheduling (couldn't choose my class days/times or my clinical days like I could with my prereq's) 2) The reading, research, care plans, assignments, teaching project, clinical requirements and study load was ridiculous and at times, required Wonder Woman status to juggle and complete and 3) What very little free time I did have, I spent with my kids and family and didn't otherwise socialize or do ANY of the activities I formerly loved. I didn't have time to watch my favorite TV shows, keep up on the current movies, go to any concerts, keep up on my running schedule or get 8 hours of sleep a night like I used to. I toted my nursing books, care plans, drug book and Tabers medical dictionary with me everywhere I went. My rolling backpack was my constant companion and became almost like an appendage. I did pharm and NCLEX flash cards on my cell phone at stop lights and I replayed lectures on my iPod while making dinner. Basically, I ate, drank, dreamed, LIVED nursing school. My old friends fell by the wayside and were replaced by new friends who were my fellow nursing students because we were together all the time in class, clinicals and study groups. My life for those 2 years dramatically changed. BUT....

    I got to model good study habits for my children. With every disappointment that we couldn't go here or do that, I got to remind them that seeking this education was worth it for ALL of us and our futures and that it was only a temporary inconvenience in our lives. I'm a strong believer that children believe what you DO, not what you SAY and doing this program from start to finish with the goal always in sight (and knowing they were watching me), I believe modeled a work ethic I hope they'll grow up to emulate someday. I'm not tooting my own horn because quitting simply wasn't an option for me, as I was going through a nasty divorce for the majority of the program (talk about STRESS!). I'm just saying if you want/need it bad enough, you'll make it work no matter what. I just kept telling myself the two years getting a nursing degree is way shorter than the rest of my life without one. Before I knew it, I was sending out graduation notices and boy did my kids and I celebrate!

    Good luck to you! From one mom to another, I really do wish you well in your decision-making process and know right where your heart is (and it's in the right place)
    emom and GinaKinaBSN_RN like this.
  10. 0
    I think money-wise, the community college is the way to go. Plus, if you get your ADN, you have the opportunity to go straight to your MSN in some schools.
  11. 0
    I read your question and felt compelled to reply. Firstly, because I am in a similar situation sans kids. And, secondly, because I had to make this difficult decision within the last month. I, too, had a life-changing experience that thrusted me into the realm of healthcare after receiving a BA degree in the last 5 years. After completing almost 15 pre-reqs for both the ADN and BSN programs, I decided to choose a 12-month accelerated BSN program. I had the choice of a $4800 ADN program or a $22000 accelerated BSN program. I chose the BSN program because I didn't want to devote the next 2 years of my life to a nursing program that warrants an ADN when I could get a more advanced degree in half of the time. After speaking to an advisor at the ADN program, she convinced me to look at a shorter program and consider the growth in terms of career and education with a BSN already under my belt. I felt very stressed at first. However, I feel as if I have made a great decision. Our school allows you to take the first 3 nursing courses online and then offers clinical and lecture at the same facility. I don't want to sound "preachy" by any means, but I would advise anyone to follow their instincts and faith when making such a huge decision. I did so and I'm not living with any regrets.
  12. 0
    Unless the ADN fulfills an absolute time or financial constraint seriously consider the BSN. if you do decide on the ADN though community college is generally the better option. Everyone is correct when they say either way you will be busy as ever. You will want to make sure you have a tight backup plan for your kids in either program. While nursing is one of the greatest careers you will ever have, nursing school is hell, worth it but hell.

    Just some background, I had a previous masters degree when I fell on the opportunity to change careers. Since time was an issue for me and I'd have needed more pre-reqs I ended up in an ADN program. It was right for me at the time, but I certainly wouldn't recommend it.in this case only you really know what's right for you.


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