Advice ADN vs BSN/already have BA

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    Hi! Here's my situation...I already have a BA in Psych and I'm really looking into the nursing field, but I really need some input on the best way. I forsee the need to continue working through school as much as possible, so money is an issue. Should I just try to pursue an accelerated program for my BSN? Or, would pursuing my ADN, getting a job as a RN and then pursuing my BSN be an easier, less stressful route, although probably longer? Is there really any difference between the ADN vs BSN, in pay, as long as your an RN?

    Lots of questions, I know, but whatever wisdom can be offered, will be appreciated!
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    Hi,

    I guess it depends on the programs in your area and their cost. I am finishing a second degree B.S.N. in August, and could not be happier that I chose that route. I had to quit work for one semester to go to school full-time, but once I got that experience I secured a Nurse Tech job at a local hospital which pays 15/hour before differentials. That's how I'm working out my final two semesters.

    It would take you years to earn your B.S.N after you earn your R.N. I know some folks doing that where I work and they are constantly annoyed at all of the repeat clinical and busy work they have to do. If you can afford it, even if you have to take out loans, just get it over with is my advice.

    In the third and final term, many of my classments have paid their tuition with credit cards. It's not the best financial approach, but they're going to have their B.S.N. in two months rather than three years.

    Although R.N.s have similar jobs whether they have two or four year degrees in nursing, I doubt things will stay that way for long. Hospitals are beginning to advertise their ratios of B.S.N.s to potential patients and they're willing to pay for good ratios. Personally, I think the two-year R.N.s I've worked with are every bit as good as the four-year ones, but the research and hospitals are working against them. Whether it's fair or not, B.S.N.s are much more desirable by employers than Associate's prepared R.N.s. The hiring managers won't shut up about it.

    Oh, and don't forget to negotiate starting salary. It appauls me that so many second career nurses don't negotiate. Starting salary in my area is 21/hour, but I'm negotiating for more due to my experience.
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    Thanks for the information! I'll definitely look into the nurse tech. I'm at a huge point of transition in my life, jobs, moving, schools, newlywed. Crazy! I didn't realize that going from the RN to BSN would require the excess time and repitition. I wonder if anyone knows more about the online courses, I would think that it might cut down on the redundancy. The info. on the hospital and BSN is appreciated.
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    I"m in an ADN program. Most Rn-BSN programs that i"m looking into for post-graduation work take a minimum of 18 months--not long, really.
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    I was in the same situation...had a previous BS in Exercise Phys....knew I needed a BSN to advance but wondered.. could I get a ADN, which was cheaper...get out into the workforce and then finish up later...turns out the ADN program rejected me! (too many 18 year olds with a 4.0 GPA having only taken 1 semester of classes) so I went ahead and did an accelerated BSN program (6 semesters) I have enjoyed the program but I think if I had to do it over again I MIGHT do the ADN, work and then do an online RN to BSN...for several reasons. You don't need a BSN to get a good job...and you learn SO MUCH by doing rather than reading. There are PLENTY of programs that will piggyback on the ADN and let you finish up your BSN in a relatively short amount of time ESPECIALLY if you have a previous BS. If you are going to do the BSN route I would choose a 2nd degree program which gives you the respect that you deserve for already earning a degree. There are so many programs like this now that get you a BSN in about a year or year and 1/2 with just the core nursing classes...no stupid freshman in college bull@#$!!! However it would be hard to work while completing these programs...however you choose to do it..go for it...take out a loan if you have to. The field is very rewarding and you will eventually at least make enough to pay back the loans...good luck!
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    Ok, so lets say it takes me 6 semesters to get the BSN. Assuming I could get into an ADN program which would take me what? 1.5 years? plus another 1.5 to 2 to go from the RN to BSN? It just sounds like that to go for the BSN straight out the gate is the way to go. I understand the learning with "experience" and I agree whole heartedly, but if I can get the BSN out of the way now, it sounds like I should, especially if I'm looking at graduate work down the road.
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    I'm in the same situation myself, Jethro64. There are two really great ADN programs in the area, plus an accelerated BSN program. Since my first degree was in Music Performance (and there's really not a whole lot of science classes involved in that! ), I'm attending one of the CC's with the really great ADN program to get my prereq's out of the way. Once I'm done - last two prereq's will be done in Spring '05 - I'm going to have to go full-time in my nursing classes. There's really no way around that, since all the programs have their clinicals 5 days a week during the day.

    As far as the completion time issue goes, I'd probably recommend the accelerated BSN over an ADN-BSN if you're looking at the shortest time to get from here to nursing. Once you've got those prereq's out of the way, most ADN programs I know of take 1-1/2 to 2 years to finish. A lot of employers will either help pay or completely pay for you to get your BSN after that, though that might add on another year or two, depending on how many classes you take while working. The accelerated BSN program I'm looking at gets you from start to finish (well, after the prereq's are done, of course) in about 15 months. I've seen programs as short as 11 months and some as long as 2 years. Basically, with the options open to me locally, it will be just as much time and expense to get my ADN as my BSN, so why not go ahead and get the BSN? I know I want to go on later for my NP, too, so it makes more sense for me. I do plan on applying for both BSN and ADN, as all three programs are excellent, even if some are going to be a longer path than others.

    Just make sure that if you pick an accelerated BSN program - or even an ADN program - research the school carefully. Check out their NCLEX pass rates, their accreditation, how long they've had the program (newbies aren't necessarily bad, but long-standing programs are a good sign), and the school's reputation among area hospitals - how do they like their grads? You also might check to see where the school has its clinicals.

    Let us know which one you go for!
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    Hi Jeth: I have a BA in Public Health Policy, and I have an ADN in nursing. I'm paid at the same rate that a BSN nurse would be paid. My advisors and instructors in nursing school told me that a BSN is only a stepping stone to a Master's program. If you want to be a nurse for the rest of your career, and you are still a young person yet, go ahead and add the BSN to your credentials. If you think you may want to change careers later in life, when your back hurts all the time from lifting patients and equipment, you may choose to get your ADN and jump to another Master's program later on. For instance, I'm planning to get my MBA later next year, which will enable me to manage a unit or facility while utilizing my RN education/experience. Hope the input helps, and good luck to you!
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    Quote from Jethro64
    ... it takes me 6 semesters to get the BSN. Assuming I could get into an ADN program which would take me what? 1.5 years? plus another 1.5 to 2 to go from the RN to BSN?...
    J -- If the above numbers are correct for your situation (and by six semesters you mean a year-and-a-half, and cost is not a prob), then by all means do the BSN thang.

    Good luck!


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