I realize that the person who started this thread plans to go on for an advanced degree, so I'd definitely recommend getting the BSN and working the floor for a while before going back to school....From what I understand, going from BSN to MSN via an online school isn't a problem for employers- a lot of people need a way to continue their education while still keeping up with real world issues like kids and paying the rent. I also understand that there are some good online nursing programs these days.
Now for my unsolicited opinion LOL...
And I'm writing this with a smile and fondness for my experiences- no hostility at all
JMHO based on 26 years (19 before becoming disabled; 7 as a patient who's an RN & kept up my license and CEUs).... I love that I'm a nurse- but I wouldn't pay a dime to go back to school for nursing.
I haven't read all of the posts (head hurts a lot tonight), so if I'm beating a dead horse, I apologize
I'm an ADN. No regrets. I worked mostly in central TX before moving back to the Midwest (which I'm not fond of, but physically can't get back to TX from medical problems). The patients in TX, who had primarily LVNs for direct care (I was the only RN for a 27 bed acute med-surg floor on 12 hour nights, or the only RN on campus of a 95 bed chemical dependency center on weekend days) did not have any difference in recovery rates than those who had more RN care-- JCAHO consistently gave the hospital the highest accreditation, with mostly LVN direct care nurses. And the facility demanded regular attendance at seminars/meetings to keep up with the latest info (small town hospital that had equipment 10 years sooner than the places I worked when returning to the midwest; better palliative care as well)...I was fortunate to have worked there.
The LVNs were well trained, and good at what they did. For 27 beds, it was generally myself, and a CNA, and 3 LVNs from 11p-7a; the first 4 hours of the twelve hour 7p-7a had another nurse or two- sometimes
one was an RN for those 4 hours; I still had to see those patients to cover the last 8 hours of the shift). It was a great group to work with, and a very well-oiled machine that I miss greatly compared to all of the RNs bumping into themselves here in the midwest, worrying more about not getting 1 thing more to do than their co-workers. It was nuts.
I had no need for anything beyond an ADN- based on where I wanted to work.
I had no desire to teach, and depending on where you work (in the country) experience alone was enough to be in management- most of my years were either charge or department head level. No book in the world can make someone a good manager. I had to assess each patient each shift, deal with all MD calls, RN admission assessments, care plan updating, chart checks, MAR updates, processing orders, etc....just part of the deal.
I never had a patient ask me about nursing theory...and never met a charge nurse who was good because
they had a 4 year (or greater) degree. Those who left MSN programs with no (or little) floor experience were horrible- not their fault. They just didn't have the practical experience to apply to situations or people skills.
If someone wants to teach, or lives somewhere that requires someone to spend horrible tuition rates to get some letters after their name, then by all means, get all the credentials you need/want-- I'm definitely PRO-Education
....just against the divisiveness within nursing. I get frustrated when ADN/Diploma nurses are looked down on... we had to take the same boards, and experience is invaluable.
I won't even get into what differences I saw in ADN vs BSN students in the hospital (and in all fairness, the instructor for the BSN program in question was a flake
-- not the students' fault). The ADN students were always very well prepared.
The BSN and ADN students I've seen as a patient
didn't actually DO anything....that shocked me, since my class was running around doing whatever we could as soon as we'd learned about it, and had the instructor sign off by observing and approving the first time something was done. Nowdays, it seems they just follow a floor nurse around and ask questions... the question part is good, but who do they learn on? Some vinyl manequin???
I wouldn't have traded my 2 year program for anything. But that's what worked for me
. I went to school in the midwest- so not some bias re: TX and the staffing situation there. When I graduated in the midwest, I was the only RN educated person in the building on nights (and often evenings, since I worked a lot of doubles to save to move to TX) until I got my board results and license.... how times have changed. I miss how things were done. They were arguing the BSN mandate back in the mid 80s... bedside nursing does not need a 4 year degree IMHO....and a lot of it doesn't even need an RN, as long as there is an RN assessment every 8 hours, and on the floor continuously for condition change assessments.
There's room for all levels of care providers without all of the infighting that has been going on for decades. I've worked with CNAs who I'd trust more than some RNs who were 'too good' to do direct care and get their hands dirty...
Just what I've experienced
I love being a nurse, and miss patients so much. Glad to have found this forum to reconnect with all