BS Chemistry - ADN or BSN program?

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    Dear Nursing Community,

    I am a 24 year old male currently in a PhD program in Chemistry. I have a BS in Chemistry from FSU with a 3.7 GPA. I am considering leaving my PhD Program (w/o a master's, I have been in the program less than 1 year). Why might you ask? Well, the job outlook for PhD's in heavy sciences is deplorable. Absolutely dreadful, I might be lucky to grab a postdoc position making 35K$/Yr working 60 hours a week AFTER the 5 years of heartache and pain it takes me to get the degree.

    I love science, but I do not like feel exploited and taken advantage without some sort of compensation =). (Which is why nurses at least make a good starting wage)

    My question is this. I am looking into PA school, or RN school. PA school will require probably 2 years of healthcare experience, so I could maybe get this with a nursing degree.

    My options are this:

    - Get my EMT-B license and make 10$/hr for 2 years and go to PA school (would probably still be more than my stipdend though (I get around 22$K/yr atm).
    - Get my ADN. There is an accelerated 15month ADN program at a community college where I currently live - this would not cost too much money to do <6000$.
    - Get my BSN through an accelerated program - these programs are unbelievably expensive >20$K.

    Here is my quesition or the TLR - Is it even worth getting my BSN over an ADN if I already have a BS in CHEMISTRY?

    If it matters any, I have a 4 year old daughter and a wife who is a nurse. Putting more debt upon my family without any real benefit is not worth it to me - but the BSN would be worth it if I really needed it over a ADN.

    Thank you for your time,

    Ben
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  4. 7 Comments so far...

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    Hmm... well, It really depends on where you live... but more and more hospitals these days are making their requirements "BSN preferred/only". It looks like the future might eventually make BSN the requirement for an RN position at a hospital. If you absolutely don't want to go back to school after this, get your BSN. Because I have a very heavy feeling that if you go for your ADN that you'll have to go back eventually to get your BSN in order to keep your position.
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    How much is the total cost for pa school? The reason I ask is because the requirements to become a nurse practitioner (basically the same as a PA) may require the same time and money as getting a bachelors degree in nursing and then a masters degree as a PA. After getting a degree in nursing, it may be wise to leave your options open to going to NP school, since you would already be a nurse. I would go for the bachelors degree first since it could possibly be completed in a similar timeframe as an associates degree and this would allow you to choose to pursue either an np or pa degree. In other words you will have more options. Either way you will have to work a year or two before being accepted into these schools. Another factor to consider is that an associates degree in nursing can be tough on the GPA, making it more difficult to get into the program you want. I would not pursue a paramedic job, since this will pay less and require a similar amount of time. Nursing will be more beneficial in my opinion in the clinical setting.
    ImDaMan11 likes this.
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    The Total cost of PA school is about 35$K for here in Florida. The ABSN program costs over 25$K - Do I really want to accrue 25$K extra debt to make more money than an EMT just to go turn around and got to PA school - also consider I can be an EMT in 12 weeks and it will only cost around 900$. I would make around 27K$ a year vs probably 50 as a nurse...working two years I guess I could pay off the debt - but we all know that doesn't happen in real world settings. I have not looks for Nurse Practitioner programs - do they offer accelerated NP programs at around the same cost as an ABSN?
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    I'd go the ADN route. The EMT program at TCC is hardly worth the effort IMHO, making only a couple dollars more than minimum wage would just upset me. If you did the ADN program and eventually decided you wanted a BSN or higher you could always do a bridge program. Also wanted to add that the two hospitals in Tallahassee (I am assuming that's where you are as you stated your at FSU) do hire new grads with ADNs.
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    Thanks. I was thinking the same thing! I think PA school really is where I want to be, and the more cost effective route (and overall less school as I do have a family to take care of!)

    True they only make more than minimum wage - but the fastest ADN program I have found is 15 months - I could become an EMT in less than 3. I will however look into whether or not I could skip some of the courses in the program considering my previous degree - I highly highly doubt it however.
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    I degree in chemistry really has no bearing nursing, except you probably won't have to take any chem prereqs. In the nursing world a phd + an ADN = an ADN and you will be treated as such. The move in acute care is to hire BSN nurses, so I'd look at the ADN job market in your area. Talk to be people, but be sure to be gathering information about new grade, because the job market for those with experience is very different.

    In the end, if you choose nursing, you'll surely end up having to obtain your BSN at some point. A lot can happen in too years. N the past couple of years, almost all of our hospitals have shut thief doors to new grad ADNs.
    If you go to PA school, you'll be finished in one swoop and making money as an EMT fairly soon.

    Anyway, just a few thoughts.
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    I'd say PA school, I believe USA's PA school doesn't require healthcare experience before admittance. Check it out, but I think I know of a few people straight out of school w/o experience getting in.

    Although, if you went the BSN or accelerated BSN route, you'd have a lot more options in your career. With your heavy chemistry background, CRNA school may be right up your alley in a few years.

    Good luck to you!!


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