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- by mcalvin76 Jul 5, '11I have seen and heard conflicting information or whether it is better to have a associates or bachelor's degree
in the current job market. I had an advisor tell me that it only equates to a 50 cent differece in pay. I have had current nurses tell me that it doesn't matter either. Then I have also been told that I would be eligible for more employment opportunites with a bachelors. I would just like to know what current nursing grads and or nurses in the St Louis Metro area think and what they have found. Any information will be greatly appreciated!
- Aug 7, '11 by NeveJeJust graduated in May 2011 with an ADN. I can't confirm the info about the pay rates, but I heard the same information. As far as clinical education, the science background, the nursing fundamentals theory, etc., there isn't much of a difference between the ADNs and BSNs. But I've heard a lot of squabbling about it from BSNs who look down at ADNs. (I don't know what to tell them. I have a bachelor's degree from a university that most of them could have never been accepted to, so it has nothing to do with intelligent, and bickering like children over who is more intelligent only undermines the support that we ought to all have for each other.)
However, it is definitely TRUE that a BSN will open more doors for you. (BJC is severely limiting the number of ADNs that they hire. If you're an impressive job candidate, they won't doubt your willingness to finish a BSN and may hire you.) The profession is shifting a bit, and LPNs/LVNs and ADN RNs are going the way of the dinosaur. Soon, there may be legislation mandating that RNs all be BSNs. The economy tanked 2 months before I started nursing school, and that made things even worse. If I had known then what I know now, I would have gone the BSN route instead of ADN, but hindsight is always 20/20.
Of course, there are other factors to be considered as well: your GPA, your involvement in things like the Student Nurses Assocation, whether or not you did any internships while in nursing school.
And the BIG one (it seems) is whether or not you were a patient care tech!! BSN or not, hospitals are starting to treat graduate nurses without PCT experience as potentially unfamiliar with the clinical environment and unable to manage their time. Previous PCTs are also finding it much easier (right now) to get jobs as RNs with the hospitals/facilities that they already work for. Others, though, have been told that there are simply no openings for RNs right now, and they have to look elsewhere for a job after they graduate.
If you're just starting out and have not yet started a nursing program, take it from an ADN: Go the BSN route!! ... Maintain a good GPA, work as a PCT while in school, join the SNA, and apply for internships whenever possible!!
- Aug 7, '11 by mcalvin76Thank You so much for the reply and all the useful information. I am just starting with my pre-reqs.I have changed schools and if all goes well I will start my clinicals next fall.
I am hearing that unless you know someone it is really hard to even get a job as a PCT currently.
I was thinking that when I start my clinicals that I may call around to hospitals and doctors offices to see if i could intern..just to get a variety of experience..but I don't know if that is even feasible?!
- Aug 7, '11 by NeveJeCongratulations on starting your journey! I did the same thing; getting pre-requisites out of the way before starting nursing classes. It freed up time for studying and working (not in health care) when I actually started the nursing program.
Regarding internships... Here in St. Louis, Missouri (surely elsewhere as well), hospitals posted information about internships online prior to winter and summer breaks. Flyers were disseminated on campus as well. In some cases, you may be able to "shadow" a nurse for a day, but it depends on facility/hospital policies. I would recommend focusing on lining up internships during your breaks. Ideally, your clinical experiences through your school will offer you some opportunities to observe various areas of nursing or departments: emergency department, ICU/CCU, pediatrics, etc.
Yes, it can be difficult to find PCT jobs. Despite claims made in TV commercials from bogus "schools" around the country and locally (who try to sell their LPN programs to potential students when facilities are trying to get rid of their LPNs), health care workers are not in high demand right now. I didn't quite understand until a nurse explained it to me. When the economy tanked, a lot of people lost their health insurance and related benefits. Hospitals have been having a harder time getting paid (or just getting paid sooner) for services rendered. They can protect their bottom line a little bit by cutting nurses and PCTs. Nurses get more patients than usual, as do PCTs. In some cases, PCTs are simply not scheduled to work, and the nurses must perform all primary care (baths, feeding, and so forth) without PCTs.
I wouldn't expect the economy to make a miraculous recovery any time in the near future, but in your case, I wouldn't worry much about it beyond preparing yourself to enter the job market eventually: keep trying to get a PCT job, get involved in extracurricular stuff (especially related to nursing), keep your grades up, etc. Things are bound to be a little bit better by the time you graduate!