Quote from fisherpe
Hello, Thank you for responding to my post! I support both of your options/feedback and thank you for adding the option of a 4 year university to take some of my pre-reqs! I just want to take the classes or get into a program that will allow me to work towards my BSN and possibly, an MSN. As you have mentioned, Community College has been a "headache" for me!!!! I really want to pursue this goal without too many obstacles and added costs!
If cost is not an issue, Jefferson has an accelerated BSN-MSN program for second degree students. While this would get you to your MSN in the shortest possible time, albeit at a cost probably somewhere north of $50k, the biggest drawback is that you will be a newly graduated RN competing for jobs in a very tight market. I'm not sure if you're planning to stay in the Phila area but if you are, you should consider that it is extraordinarily difficult for RN's without out experience to find work. While you would have an MSN, presumably giving you a leg up on those BSN's competing for limited openings, I'm not sure how much of an advantage that will provide.
In the past I would have been inclined to suggest (like Bob) that you go the associates degree route, work as an RN for a while, then move on to the BSN and MSN. Though that remains by far the lowest cost option unfortunately, at least in the Phila area, it is no longer a truly viable option. As indicated above, the job market for new nursing grads is tough but it is downright abominable for associate degree RN's. Nearly all postings now say "BSN required" and your resume won't make the first cut if your nursing degree is an ADN. I speak from experience here, as a non-practicing RN with not only an ADN but also a BA and MBA. In that, I am similar to most of the CC nursing class grads in the area - I've heard that over 75% of my 2010 class at DCCC have not been able to find jobs.
I know that you have had difficulty with your local CC but in spite of that, and irrespective of the difficulty in finding a job with "only" an ADN, that still might be the best way to go. You can sit for the CNA exam after completing you first semester of nursing at CC. This would allow you work in a local hospital as a CNA/Tech while you complete the ADN and get your RN and would dramatically improve your chance of being hired as a nurse after graduation (nearly all of the few of my classmates who were hired as RN's after graduation worked as techs/CNA's in the hospitals that hired them). You could then pursue your BSN on-line at any number of schools
, possibly even with employer-provided tuition assistance. The cost at CC is relatively modest and many of the on-line RN-BSN programs are also reasonable (Univer of Wyoming, U Texas-Arlington and Ohio U all offer programs in the $7,000 - $9,000 range). This would take you somewhat longer than the accelerated programs at Jeff, Villanova or Drexel but is a fraction of the cost.
Only you can judge what is best but do not, under any circumstances, take on significant debt to get through school to become an RN. You are highly likely to be faced with a challenging job market when your graduate (from whatever program) and you do not want to desparately looking for a job while trying to repay school loans. Keep in mind that educational loans are not dischargeable, so even if you become destitute or declare bankrupty, you will have to find some way to pay the loans back.