ADN or BSN. Advice. - page 2

by jnette2011 2,905 Views | 16 Comments

Hi everybody I am a student at Tarrant County College. I am 20yrs old. I will be applying to the Nursing program at my school next spring. I do not receive any financial aid so I am paying for all my classes. Since I have no... Read More


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    Don't think that it will be easier working as an RN in your first few years of practice and being in school for your BSN at the same time. This way lies madness. Either is hard enough-- and your employer won't give a dang about accommodating your school requirements. Both together invites insanity. Do it right the first time.
    begosh and lovedijah like this.
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    No difference in treatment beween ADN and BSN. Usually no difference in pay either. However it's all about getting that first job and if the hospitals in your area prefer the BSN then that is what you should do if you can swing it.
    You said eventualy you wanted to getan MSN and then DNP. Just pick one, you don't need both. While there are MSN to DNP programs most are BSN to DNP. You don't need the MSN to get a DNP.
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    You have to look at the RN job market for your area and see what the job postings are requiring to get a realistic idea of what is the better route for you. For instance, in California where I live, ADN nurses are starting to be phased out and 98.9% of the RN jobs out here are asking for BSN nurses, so BSN is the route I will be taking for sure.
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    I'm getting my ADN from a community college for less than $10K (and it's only that much b/c I'm paying out-of-district rates). Hospitals in my area *do* hire ADN nurse graduates. Hospitals in my area also offer tuition reimbursement for getting my BSN.

    My niece is going the state university route to get her BSN, in the end she'll have paid ~$100K. Depending on which tuition reimbursement package I end up with, I'll likely be looking at <$25K for my ADN + BSN combined. Granted, my niece is way younger than me, and her parents are paying for her education. I'm an old fart who is paying for it out of my own pocket.

    If I were in your shoes, given the state of the economy (and provided you can get a job with an ADN in your area), I would do the ADN + BSN. Some of my classmates already work for the hospital as a CNA or PCA or "tech" or whatever, and they're even getting tuition reimbursement for their ADN program... plus they have a foot in the door already for being hired as an RN after graduation.

    There's certainly nothing wrong with doing the 4-5 year BSN "total college/university experience" thing -- I'm not trying to turn this into a "my degree is better than yours" type of fight with anyone. If you can afford it, it's great! I wish I'd done it 25 years ago so I wouldn't be doing this now!

    But as a 43yo mom with a kid who plays hockey (way expensive sport!) and a mortgage and other bills to pay and no financial aid whatsoever, I have a really hard time advising someone to go massively in debt if it's not strictly necessary. I see so many young people who can't buy a house or even a decent car because their student loan payments are $1500/month or more. An ADN (from a community college, not a for-profit institution) with a follow-up RN-to-BSN is going to be a heck of a lot cheaper than a full-on BSN degree.

    Another thing to think about is the fact that using the ADN route, you can be working as an RN, making RN wages, a couple years sooner than going straight for the BSN at once. If average wages in your area are $50k/year for an RN, that can be a $100k loss you'd be taking by going straight for the BSN, in addition to the extra tuition cost for the BSN.
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    If you can afford the BSN go for it.

    I have a bachelors degree, but couldn't afford to go to an accelarated program. There is only 1 ADN program where I live and it would have taken 3 semesters to finish the pre reqs and probably a year to get into the program. Long story short, I got into an LPN program that's a year long. I don't regret my decision and I think when I get my BSN the program will be a lot more comfortable for me (or at least the clinical aspect of it..) HOWEVER, going to nursing school twice? Nursing school is really overwhelming and I imagine it must be nice to deal with the stress of getting a BSN ONCE vs getting an ADN, working and then dealing with the stress of getting a BSN.

    If you can afford to get the BSN, definately do it. Get it over and done with and move on to your next goal.
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    If you want to get your MSN you should really think hard about going the BSN route. Everyone else on here is right, nobody makes much of a distinction between BSN and ADN trained nurses once they're practicing...except when it comes to hiring, especially for new grads. Almost ALL the hospitals in the DFW area, even the small regional hospitals, will only hire new grads with a BSN. Most of the ADN's I knew who graduated from El Centro and Brookhaven in Dallas ended up working in LTCs or SNFs after graduation...if they were lucky. The job market in Dallas is pretty well saturated with experienced nurses, so it's very difficult for new grads in that area. Your best bet would be applying for the new grad internships at some of the bigger hospitals (JPS, Parkland, Baylor and the Texas Health system all have them), but again, they only accept BSN grads. Another thing to consider is that if you're planning on eventually going the MSN route, you'll have to have a Bachelor's degree and those RN to BSN programs are not cheap. You'll probably end up spending the same amount for a BSN no matter which way you decide to go. That being said, I was in the same situation as you a few months ago and I was considering applying at NCTC. However, I do have a Bachelors already and decided to just look into second degree BSNs. I got into Texas Tech and I'll be done in 9 more months (12 months total) and it will cost about $22,000 at the end, but I've got some pretty good financial aid so I should be in good shape. The great thing about nursing school is that there are endless options if you look hard enough. Good luck with your decision!
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    Quote from lovedijah
    HOWEVER, going to nursing school twice? Nursing school is really overwhelming and I imagine it must be nice to deal with the stress of getting a BSN ONCE vs getting an ADN, working and then dealing with the stress of getting a BSN.
    Just wanted to point out that there's a difference between starting from scratch and getting a BSN (which is the whole "nursing school" experience") and doing an RN-to-BSN program (which is typically just classroom work -- not actual "nursing" school).

    Many RN-to-BSN programs are online-only programs, with no clinical hours at all. Here's a quote from one program's website:

    Associate degree graduates can take all of the coursework online while maintaining their current employment, which can be completed in as few as two and a half years. No additional clinical time is required.
    Like I said earlier, if you have the money, go ahead and do the BSN right out of the gate. But if money is an issue (which it sounds like it is for the OP), getting the ADN is cheaper and faster, and then you can be earning money while obtaining the BSN.

    The overall time to complete will usually be a bit longer*, but you'll have 2-3 extra years of earning potential by getting the ADN first, plus you'll have a decreased outlay of cash for tuition (and the possibility of some tuition reimbursement). It just really requires some research and soul-searching on the part of the OP. If I had no kid and no mortgage and scholarships available to me right now, I'd go the straight-BSN route. But since I don't get any financial aid and I do have financial obligations, money *is* an issue for me, and the ADN followed by an online RN-to-BSN route costs me the least while earning me the most.


    *(~3 years for the ADN with pre-requisites and ~2 years for the BSN add-on, with maybe a year or two in-between waiting for admission [so between 5-7 years total] vs. ~5-6 years for the BSN with pre-reqs and admission wait-list depending on school)


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