So here's the situation--I am at a crossroads, and need to decide between the ADN or BSN route. I realize that this is a personal decision with no right or wrong answer. However, I'm hoping that hearing what YOU would do in this situation will help give me a fresh perspective.
: I have a prior bachelor's degree with minimal loans in my name (18k). These loans are currently deferred because of my low income. The rest of my education was financed by my mother, who currently pays about $700 a month on the loans she took out for me. It's not that she can't afford it, but it would be great if I could help her with the payments someday.
My ultimate goal is advanced practice nursing. Obviously I'd like to get there as quickly as possible, but I'm not sure how that is going to pan out with the upcoming switch to DNP. Of course, with graduate education comes additional student loans.
Option A, ASN:
I'm 99% certain I will be accepted into my local community college's ADN program. I've already completed all pre- and co-requisites, so I'd only be taking the nursing core courses, about 8 credits a semester. This would leave time for a job, possibly as a tech. I've heard so much about new grads securing RN positions through their tech jobs. Unfortunately, I'm most likely going to be looking for a job in a different state, so I'm not sure how much of a advantage a tech position would give me. I would graduate in August 2012.
Option A cost: ADN (5k) plus RN-BSN or RN-MSN bride (~5-10k) = $15,000. No loans for living expenses.
Option B, BSN:
This is assuming I'm accepted to at least one of the accelerated BSN programs I've applied for. The amount of time to complete the program would be the same as the ADN, give or take a few months. But, it would be a full-time program. No time for work, so I'd have to take out loans for living expenses. On the plus side, I might have a better chance at a job with a BSN, especially if its from a name-brand school that is nationally recognized. Also, I'd be on the fast-track to an advanced degree, which could increase my yearly earning potential by $20 - 30,000. That would help put a dent in my loans.
Option B cost: 35-50k, plus living expenses = $60-70k
Darn this terrible economy! I really feel like I'm caught between a rock and a hard place. Does either option stand out to you?
Rule of thumb: try to go with a degree that is equal to or higher than what you have unless you want something that is considered a "trade" or a "cert" like EMT or Paramedic. Yes there will be some here who will argue nursing is still a trade but the higher education is important also. This is especially true if you are forward thinking for advanced practice or DNP. Don't go backwards when you have advanced degrees as your goal.
Last edit by GreyGull on Dec 2, '10
Dec 2, '10
by Nikki RN BSN
I don't think I'd go to a foreign country for school. I went to a local community college and paid about $2,500 for the 2 year program. I then entered a RN to BSN program upon graduating with my ASN and passing the NCLEX. The RN to BSN program was 3 semesters long so I graduated quickly. The only reason why I chose to go to a community college was because it was paid for by the Bright Futures scholarship (It's a Florida program that pays 100% tuition for community college, and paid 75% tuition for a University). Although it took me a bit of time (9 nursing semesters vs 5), I still think I saved money that way. There is no bad choice because they are both directions to be a nurse but here are some things to consider:
*ASN is 4 semesters vs BSN is 5 semesters (I think accelerated is 3-4 semesters without any break i.e- spring, summer, fall, etc).
*Obtaining an ASN at the community college is usually cheaper than a BSN at a University however, there are BSN programs at some community colleges. There are also nursing programs
that are online. I would beware of schools that are not accredited by the National League of Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) because you may not be able to sit for the boards or gain employment in the hospital and some (pretty much all) universities will not accept nursing degrees from unaccredited schools when applying for higher education.
* In any program regardless of ASN/BSN, as long as you are currently in a program and have passed the first semester (some hospitals/units require 3rd semester students), you can gain employment at a hospital as a nurse tech/extern/intern (there are numerous titles but you get the point). I had friends that were in the accelerated program that still worked as nurse techs so it can be done and remember that you can choose the hours you work for the most part.
* Also remember that there are many scholarships out there including your college/university, the National Student Nursing Association (NSNA), American Nurses Association (ANA), your state's nursing association, and other local/national nursing organizations such as emergency nurses association. There is also loan forgiveness through the government although I do not know too much about the program. There is also loan forgiveness that is given as a benefit for working as a nurse for a facility. By working as a nurse tech in the hospital, you may be offered a scholarship to pay for your schooling but this usually requires a 2 year contract. I know that Tenet and HCA facilities have this scholarship.
Because you already have a Bachelors Degree, I think you would be better off in a BSN program. There is the accelerated program and there is the traditional program that you can bridge into if you decide accelerated is too much.
Whatever direction you decide on, I hope that you will enjoy being an RN and that you really do continue your education whether it is a BSN, MSN, DNP, PhD, etc.
Last edit by Nikki RN BSN on Dec 2, '10
: Reason: addition