US Soldier in need of some advice...

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    Hello everyone my name is S.Williams. I'm currently a soldier in the US Army and am planning to get out after a 5 year term in Sep 2013. When I become a civilian I plan on going to nursing school; first starting out getting my Associates than doing a bridge from ADN/ASN to BSN. Honestly, I feel completely lost. The only thing I know for sure is I want to go to school for nursing and I'll be moving in or around the Dallas, Texas area. Can anyone explaining to me which one is better in pursuing, the ASN or ADN program? And also what 2 year degree colleges you guys think is the best choice in Dallas? And any other useful information or advice you have to give would be greatly appreciated. Thank You and God Bless.

    V/R,
    Proud Soldier and Future Nurse
  2. 18 Comments so far...

  3. 2
    There is a ton of opinion on the ADN v. BSN topic.

    Personally, I would recommend just getting your BSN and skipping the ADN program. In the long run it will save you time, money, and frustration.

    For ADN programs there are usually two options;

    Option A - Go to a public ADN program which has a ton of pre-reqs and takes a lot of time, but tend to be fiscally inexpensive.

    Option B - Go to a private school, most offer the pre-reqs at the school, which tend to be fast but fiscally expensive.

    Considering the trend of hospitals preferring BSN graduates I would recommend just going that route. It will cost you around the same amount of time to complete as the public ADN program, but will be cheaper that the private ADN program. I went the ADN to BSN route and regret it...
    Sinman and skwilliams713 like this.
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    Soldier, I am not sure there is any difference between ASN and ADN. As long as the program is accredited and the result is the ability to take the licensing exam to receive an RN license you should be alright. I read online that any differences may be in the courses within the program and how that may reflect if you go further in your education (BSN). You should also decide whether you wish to get your degree online or by going on site to a campus. I received a 2 year degree from a local community college and am currently working on an RN-MSN degree strictly online. I would suggest that you get your 2 year degree first and find a job where they give generous tuition reimbursement. When you go back for further education go for the RN-Masters in your choice of paths (Education, Informatics, etc.). By doing this type of bridge program you typically do not have to do a bachelors capstone and some courses may be eliminated so as not to duplicate them at the masters level. The future of nursing seems, to me, to be striving for terminal degrees (Doctorate, PhD). When I finish the masters I will begin a doctorate (additional 2 years). Nursing is a demanding profession. Set yourself up so when you are ready to leave the bedside (actual patient care) you will be in a position to do what you want. We need nurse educators. Ever think of teaching nursing school in the future?
    The school I am attending is Excelsior.edu. They are fully accredited and receive awards for their nursing programs. You can do this online. They offer many types of nursing degree including a 2 year RN!!!! They also reduce the fees and costs for veterans!!!! Check it out.
    Good Luck to you and thank you for your service and sacrifice. Be safe.
    Cookie
    skwilliams713 likes this.
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    Hospitals in the DFW area (and in other major TX cities) have very limited employment opportunities for new grads unless they are BSNs. I agree with the PP - obtaining a BSN is the way to go. Many TX nursing schools are very vet-friendly, particularly those in the San Antonio area. You may want to check them out.
    skwilliams713 likes this.
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    SK, Did you get your LPN in the Army? I am army nurse and I know a lot of medics get their LPN through that course. And they get the same license anyone else gets. If not I would say do what is best for you. If you want to return to the military as RN you have to get a BSN. If not then it is up to you.
    skwilliams713 likes this.
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    First off, thank you so much for your service to our country. If you are a Paramedic, (which may or may not be the case as a Medic in the service) there are bridge programs that can take you right to your BSN. Which may be worth it for employment rather than getting your associates first. I would go to a local college that has a nursing program and talk with them about it. With your experience, you may be farther along the route to nursing than you realize!! I would also see about starting some online general ed credits (see if some local colleges have an online option) to even be that much father ahead.
    Best of luck, keep us posted!!
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    First, let me say 'thank you!" for serving our country. As to school programs in the Dallas area---the Dallas County Community College District has several campuses of their ADN (Associate Degree-Nursing) program. Collin County also has a 2 year program. I agree with jadelpn that if you can take anything online, it could be helpful to you. Get in touch with the programs in the area, ask to schedule an appt with a school of nursing program adviser, and see if any of your experience will be accepted. Good luck and godspeed!
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    I advise you use your tuition assistance while you are still in to get some classes out of the way without using your GI Bill. You can also CLEP and DANTES out of classes for free at the education center on whatever base you are at. I highly suggest using that TA as much as possible before getting out.
    Sinman, skwilliams713, and Susan Cook like this.
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    I would say use the shotgun approach while applying to schools and go with the one you get into. If you can get into a 2 year program without taking pre-req's first, then go that way anything else, just go straight for the BSN. As a former military guy myself, I'll give you a few pointers, just PM me if you're interested. My views and opinions would be shocking to the casual readers of this board.
    skwilliams713 and FLmomof5 like this.
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    DD was a combat medic. She went to CC after her service and got an associates. She applied for the BSN program at the local university. She had a 3.6 GPA, got the interview...blah, blah,...but didn't get accepted. She chose the Chamberlain because of its accreditation. The Army college fund gives her enough to pay for school and support herself w/o working.

    You can do this if it is what you choose! Good luck to you!
    skwilliams713 likes this.


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