I'm wanting to become a neonatal nurse and wondering what type of degree I should pursue. I have been reading that you need to be an RN (either an associate's or bachelor's degree). Is that correct or is one preferred over the other? Right now I currently have a bachelor's degree in Biology and I'm wondering if I should just stick with an associate's degree for a quicker route or should I go to school for the extra years to get my BSN? I also know there are accelerated BSN nursing programs out there that last 2-3 years for college graduates that already have a non-nursing bachelor's degree. My only worry is that it might be too competitive to get into one of these programs.
Thank you for your help!!
Sep 23, '11
Both degree programs allow you to sit for NCLEX, which is a national board for earning your nursing license (which you need in order to practice).
NICU can be hard to get into, especially in this economy. I applied as a new grad in a large NICU and there were 10 spots for 60 apps. 3 years later, there were a few hundred apps for 15 spots. I believe nearly all, if not all of the folks chosen had their BSN.
It is something you definitely want to work towards getting if you go through the ADN route. Financial concerns are something to consider as an ADN community college program is considerably cheaper and there are ADN to BSN bridge programs available. If that's the case, you may end up working in a different place in nursing for awhile, but then again, you may get a spot in NICU with an ADN.
Sep 25, '11
There are plenty of transitional programs for those who already hold bachelors degrees to BSN. It should be easier since your bachelors is in biology. I believe Florida International Univ. (FIU) in Miami still has this program. These usually take about 2 years which is the length of a junior college associates program (after you have all your prerequesites). So for the same amount of time you have a BSN which opens a lot possibilities for the future & therefore is a more valuable degree in my opinion. But it will be more expensive.
The big university NICUs I have worked at as a travel nurse these last three years have all hired BSN new grads over ADN grads.