I was wondering if anyone has any insight. I have a BA in sociology and after 20 years of working in marketing, I have decided to go back to school for nursing. Am I wondering what is the best degree to go back for an ABSN, BSN or ADN? Does it matter if I get a BSN vs an ADN? TIA!
Well a ABSN and BSN are the same thing. (Assuming ABSN is just accelerated.)
With a Bachelor's already, the ABSN route is a good route, but those schools typically can be expensive.
Yes, the ABSN and BSN is much more expensive than the ADN route. That is why I am asking. Is there a difference in positions or pay between a BSN and an ADN?
It really depends. Most of the hospitals here either only hire BSN or ABSN trained nurses or they prefer them. There a still a few hospitals that hire ADN but they expect you to eventually get the BSN.
I'm in the south burbs (just applied into Moraine valley ADN program for fall 2017 and waiting to hear back)... I went the ADN route because the hospitals near me (Christ, Little Company of Mary and Palos Hospital - all within 10 minutes) all just specify that you must have graduated from an accredited program on their job listings.
They do not specify that BSN is required, nor do they say it is necessary within so many years. Advocate hospitals do, as of now, offer some tuition assistance should you want to return for a BSN. I do want to eventually get the BSN (I currently have a BA in a non related field) and am hoping to eventually be employed by Advocate so I can utilize their tuition assistance to bridge to BSN.
Now if you want to work at Rush, Loyola or UIC, you may need to have BSN first....I'm not sure.
I'd definitely recommend the BSN. So many hospitals around here are requiring BSN now. Almost every listing says "BSN preferred" and they'll consider ADN, but I never heard back from any of the top places that considered ADNs after what I thought were great interviews. One of those ya gotta know someone things, I've heard, if you don't have a BSN. I like my current hospital, though I admit it wasn't the first one I considered, and I'm working on an RN-MSN bridge program now. Agencies snatched me up pretty quick - they don't care so much about degree specifics - but I'm honestly planning to stay where I am if possible until my degree is complete so my options open. It may have just been a fluke, but I had a much harder time finding a job here with ADN (given that I'm not willing to work LTC again) than I have in other markets.
For sure BSN. I work in the western suburbs, and the hospitals out there won't even consider you without BSN. The only ones who did get in with an ADN were already employees (usually former CNAs) who were enrolled in a BSN program at the time of hire. It greatly depends on the hospital. Like Mkakids said, certain ones you may be able to swing it. Unfortunately your previous bachelor's degree will not count as a "bachelor's prepared nurse," thus you need the BSN degree for that to be true.
IOM recommends 80% BSN nurses by 2020 so BSN prepared new grads move to the top of the interview pile over ADN.
You most likely WILL be expected to have a BSN at some point, so best to get it now if you can. BSN, ABSN, or even a general entry masters. Usually very intensive, but sometimes only a year or two in length.
It really depends on what you can get into. Your end goal should be to get a Bachelor's in Nursing (BSN). But there's nothing wrong with getting an Associate's Degree in Nursing (ADN) first. That's what I did. And honestly it was a much cheaper option. I went to my local community college, which wasn't expensive. And once I got my ADN I worked for about 18 months, made some money and got some experience and then I started an online ADN-BSN program which took 18 months and cost about $10k.
Now there are programs out there that you can get into where you go straight for your BSN but they are generally MUCH more expensive. There are BSN progams that can set you back $30,000 - $80,000. I spent probably $14 - 15k total on both my ADN and my BSN through an online program. But if you're dead set on getting a BSN and get into a program whose tuition you can live with than go for it.
Oh and I should add, although I think someone mentioned it earlier, in Illinois especially Chicago, some hospitals require their RNs to be BSNs. This is a requirement that is becoming more and more common in hospitals across the country and in some states entirely. You can always find work as an ADN but you have many more options as a BSN.
Last edit by Jasel on May 16
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