Associate Degree or BSN? - page 2

by 1 hopeful nurse | 4,479 Views | 14 Comments

I am trying to decide between an Associates degree Nursing program and a accelerated second degree BSN program. My first Bachelors degree will be in social work (graduating in May). What do you all think? Are there jobs for... Read More


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    I was originally in an accelerated BSN program at Pace University in New York. It was a horrible program and there are a number of posts on this website regarding the experience that I and a number of my classmates went through in 2010. Nearly 50 % of the people in my program were dropped after the first semester. That is extremely unusual, and I don't want to revisit that story. In an accelerated BSN program you need to be prepared to work like you never did in your previous undergraduate program. Nursing school is tough, and taking 5 courses a semester requires super human concentration and focus. You will have no life for a year and a half. Be prepared to live, breathe, cry, nursing school. It can be done but its not for the faint of heart. I was obliged to transfer to
    an associates program after the fiasco at Pace. The courses were rigorous. Our instructors were supportive and accessible. We received substantially more clinical time than students in some of the BSN programs in NY. Nurse managers at the hospital where we
    did our clinicals often said they preferred the students from our associates program over the BSN students because of our clinical experience. That was great to hear, but isn't much help in this horrendous job market. You will read postings from associates degree holders that felt no discrimination when they were looking for work. That maybe the case in some areas of this country, but when you have read as ma
  2. 0
    I was originally in an accelerated BSN program at Pace University in New York. It was a horrible program and there are a number of posts on this website regarding the experience that I and a number of my classmates went through in 2010. Nearly 50 % of the people in my program were dropped after the first semester. That is extremely unusual, and I don't want to revisit that story here In an accelerated BSN program you need to be prepared to work like you never did in your previous undergraduate program. Nursing school is tough, and taking 5 courses a semester requires super human concentration and focus. You will have no life for a year and a half. Be prepared to live, breathe, cry, nursing school. It can be done but its not for the faint of heart. I was obliged to transfer an associates program after the fiasco at Pace. The courses were rigorous. Our instructors were supportive and accessible. We received substantially more clinical time than students in some of the BSN programs in NY. Nurse managers at the hospital where we did our clinicals often said they preferred the students from our associates program over the BSN students due of our clinical experience. That was great to hear. After the fact it isn't much help in this horrendous job market. You will read postings from associates degree holders that felt no discrimination when they were looking for work. That maybe the case in some areas of this country, but when you have read as many job posting that read "BSN required" you will wonder why you went through all the headache to get a degree that the majority of healthcare facilities do not want. With your previous bachelor's degree you can do a bridge RN-MSN program. Most of your credits will transfer, I've found that many of the schools try to stick you with additional prerequisites. Personally I do not want to do anymore course work. I have had enough with school. My advice is if you can handle the work load of an accelerated BSN, and can manage the tuition, go for it. The BSN is by no means a guarantee to finding a job after school. New BSN graduates are having a hard time finding work. With a BSN at least you will have one less obstacle to finding work. I would also do more research into the reality of nursing today. If it is your passion to become a nurse and work in healthcare then I will not dissuade you. However idealism will only get you so far. Research, talk to some real nurses, (not academics who may have no experience with the work place today) find out what they have to say about nursing. Best of luck to you which ever program or career path you choose.
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    There are also entry level masters degree programs. Similar to the advanced BSN, but you end up with a masters and not a second bachelors degree. The only difference in applying for me was that I needed to take the GRE for the MSN program, but all of the pre-reqs were the same as ABSN programs I applied to.
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    I'm applying for Nursing at CNR and Pace, but i've been reading a lot of people saying bad stuff about Pace. I'm nervous! Anyone at Pace now who can tell me if things changed?
  5. 0
    You might have read the comments posted on allnurses about the accelerated BSN/MSN program at Pace's New York campus, particularly what transpired in fall of 2009. Believe what you read. I was there Pace is a disgrace. Disorganized, arrogant, and merciless administrators. Dismal facilities. The nursing lab was a joke. Equipment that was broken or out of date, or just not there. The Pace University library in New York is below par with any of the CUNY schools When the students approached the Dean to make her aware that nearly 50% of the students were failing two classes, she was incredulous. She had to face the facts when those students were dropped from the program. When 5% of a class is failing then it is likely a deficiency on the part of the student, however something is very wrong with the instructor and his/her teaching when 50% are failing. These students were not slackers, and many of them earned bachelor's degrees from schools far superior to Pace University which ranks a place only in the fringes of the Poison Ivy League.

    It is possible that things have changed since I was at Pace, however it is unlikely as the Chair of the Undergraduate Nursing Dept. remains in place, a bloodless and miserable woman whose research specialty is the healing effect of humor. She shares the bill
    with the same Dean of the Nursing School an administrator who was perpetually absent from view and addressed the students via
    third party emails from her secretary.

    So if this hasn't convinced you to re-think applying to Pace read more of what is on this website. With the cost of nursing school today, and the dearth of jobs for new graduate nurses, I would not rush into a nursing program. You can find far better and less
    heinous places than Pace/ Leinhard to study nursing.


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