Associate, BSN, or Masters

  1. 0
    Hello Allnurses!

    I am figuring out my path to become a nurse. The choices are many and I
    am having trouble finding the best path for me...Start fresh with an Associate
    degree, get another undergrad degree with BSN, or go for the entry level
    Masters program.

    My undergrad GPA (from 2000) is 2.12. This sets me apart from the normal applicant.
    I have 10 years of experience as a ski patrol. I went to wilderness EMT school
    and passed those clinicals. Now I am a hospice volunteer and I plan on taking
    the CNA course at the American Red Cross.

    Looking forward to hearing your views.
    8)

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  2. 5 Comments...

  3. 0
    I think your undergraduate gpa is too low for the entry level master's degree's as they all have a minimum gpa requirement and are very competitive, so even people with the minimum would not necessarily get in. Do you have all the prerequisites to go right into the nursing major for a second Bachelor's Degree? They vary from school to school but some are pretty standard (like Anatomy, Physiology, Statistics, Lifespan Development). If not, you could start in community or a 4 year college by taking those classes and getting good grades. It would show the admissions committee that you are able to handle college classes at this stage of your life. That plus you have some very unique experiences that would make you a good candidate and would make for a good admittance essay.

    I would find out exactly what the requirements are and talk to admissions advisors at a variety of programs (both BSN and Associates) and then decide what seems like the best route. Many nursing positions are phasing out the associate's degree, but still good be a good first step if you are thinking about going right into a RN-BSN program and that is your only option.
  4. 0
    Quote from duckyluck111
    I think your undergraduate gpa is too low for the entry level master's degree's as they all have a minimum gpa requirement and are very competitive, so even people with the minimum would not necessarily get in. Do you have all the prerequisites to go right into the nursing major for a second Bachelor's Degree? They vary from school to school but some are pretty standard (like Anatomy, Physiology, Statistics, Lifespan Development). If not, you could start in community or a 4 year college by taking those classes and getting good grades. It would show the admissions committee that you are able to handle college classes at this stage of your life. That plus you have some very unique experiences that would make you a good candidate and would make for a good admittance essay.

    I would find out exactly what the requirements are and talk to admissions advisors at a variety of programs (both BSN and Associates) and then decide what seems like the best route. Many nursing positions are phasing out the associate's degree, but still good be a good first step if you are thinking about going right into a RN-BSN program and that is your only option.
    I agree. Your GPA is too low. You need at least a 3.5.....and most 4 year schools are so competitive, you many not even get in with a 4.0.
  5. 0
    From what I am experiencing you might be better off to do a lpn program and then get into a bsn program from there... Perhaps a one yr lpn program and do the bsn.. I know of alot of people that have a hard time getting into a 4 yr school's bsn program but are able to get in after they completed a lpn program. I don't think I would suggest the assoc degree rn to bsn route.. I have my assoc rn and have been looking for a online rn to bsn program. The ones I have looking at are requiring me to take alot of generals over... stating they aren't enough credits or not high enough level. Saw some syballuses from one school of their nursing classes and it didn't look any different from what I had taken. Asked about challenging some of them and got told that they had some at bs level that one would have in the assoc level..hmmm... interesting too is that at this school they had lpns taking pretty much the same classes for their bsn. Been finding out that what may look like 30 credits is more like 40 or more... ends up being more then 2 yrs.. which after going for 2 yrs for assoc lpn degree and then 1 yr for the assoc rn, I think is it absurbed that you have to take another 2 to 3 on top of that to the bsn...
  6. 0
    I just graduated from an entry level masters program and, while undergraduate GPA is important, they look at so much more than that. Since your undergrad degree was 10+ years ago hopefully they would give you some leeway. When you are making your decision keep in mind that there are fundamental differences in how AA and MN programs train you (I don't know much about the BSN). For example, an AA degree will focus more on developing hands-on, technical skills while an MN degree focuses on developing skills in nursing leadership, theory, and ethics. Obviously one is not better than the other, it just depends on what type of nursing you would like to do. Don't worry about what programs you can and can not get into, just work hard and know that it's common to apply to nursing school for a few years before getting accepted. Becoming a CNA and, more importantly, working as a CNA will be invaluable to you regardless of which path you choose.

    Good luck!
  7. 0
    If you have EMT experience, some schools have a paramedic to RN program. I'm like you. I had a "so-so" GPA in my undergrad. Because it's hard to raise your overall GPA when you have a lot of credits, I decided an AA would be my fastest way way to a BSN and advanced work. I found that the accelerated BSN programs were expensive and not practical because I couldn't work at all, and that the MSN programs were really expensive as well. I also heard from a friend of mine who is a hospital administrator that it can be difficult to find a position if you have a master's and you're entry level. Of course, the programs say that is an asset. I took my prereqs, got a 4.0, and made sure to ace the entrance exam. I got accepted to both programs I applied to. It is possible.


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