What to do after ADN program?

  1. 0
    I am currently enrolled in an ADN program and also have a bachelors in biology from a pretty decent school. What I was wondering is if having this extra science degree would allow me to quickly move on to a MSN program. I have a lot of interest in becoming either a CRNA, NP or possibly doing something related to business and nursing. Any ideas about any of this? I am relatively new to the healthcare scene and have not talked to a lot of people about these options.

    Thank you!
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  3. 9 Comments so far...

  4. 0
    Yes, there are some RN-MSN programs where having a non BSN bachelors degree allows you to skip the BSN (usually via some bridge classes). Personally I am probably going to do the RN-BSN route instead b/c I believe a BSN will be necessary at some point in my (future) nursing career and seeing as how I already have a BSE, MBA, and (God willing in 2013) an ADN, the probability of being burnt out on school before I can complete a MSN (or potentially DNP *sigh*) is a least 50/50. I don’t want to risk expending effort post ADN and not having a BSN to show for it. Plus the BSN opens the door to many more programs and seeing as how hubby is not receptive to moving for the sake of my career, I need as many options as possible.
  5. 0
    I was looking around a bit more and the CRNA require a BSN. This is my first choice for specializing so now I am thinking I may go the BSN route. Does anyone know what type of degrees you would have to have to become a nurse researcher?
  6. 5
    Honestly, I would suggest getting a little experience before you start making plans for graduate school. You mention wanting to be a CRNA or NP but then you talk about getting involved in the business side of health care. In your last post you talk about becoming a nurse researcher; while you can work in clinical research without any education past the pre-licensure, if you want to conduct nursing research you need a PhD. You also need to have an area in which you would like to focus and find a school that has professors who have worked in that area so they can mentor you.

    From your posts, it seems pretty clear that you will want at least an MSN. Depending on how far along you are in your AD program, here's how I see your options:

    1) Quit the AD program and get into an accelerated BSN for second degree students or a direct entry generalist MSN (also for second degree students). The advantage of this is you will get the degree you want, you will have time to learn more about areas that may interest you, and you will be better-prepared for the next step. The disadvantages are that these are very competitive programs and you may get stuck on a wait list; also, many of these programs are expensive. (You could also just do a generic BSN program but again, these programs are competitive and you might have a long wait. It might be better in the long run to finish the ADN).

    2) Finish the ADN and get into an ADN-BSN completion program upon graduation and passage of the NCLEX. You don't need experience as a nurse to get into these programs but you can work as a nurse while you're working on your degree. The advantages are that most ADN and diploma nurses find the BSN completion curricula to be less difficult and stressful than their original programs. Another advantage is that SOME facilities offer tuition reimbursement programs and will help you pay your tuition. Yet another advantage is that many of these programs, even those in brick and mortar institutions, are online. The disadvantage is that this adds at least another year or two to your schooling. However, since you don't know yet what you really want to do, this might be to your advantage.

    3) Finish the ADN, work a while, then apply to an ADN-MSN bridge. The advantage is that you don't have the hassle of going to yet another school to get the BSN and you might save some time. Also, you would gain work experience and learn what appeals to you. Right now you're looking at CRNA vs. NP vs. administration vs. research. Before you commit, say, to CRNA, make sure your heart isn't in informatics or nurse midwifery. Working will give you an idea of what you like, what specialties you enjoy. The biggest disadvantage of ADN-MSN is that you will still need to complete the baccalaureate level courses (usually takes a year) and you may or may not receive a BSN when you're done with those. If you have to drop out of your program, you will be an ADN with a degree in something else, not a BSN (unless the program confers a BSN). Cost of these programs can vary but you may have more opportunities for financial aid at the graduate level.

    4) If you think you want to do research, you could look at a BSN-PhD bridge program, bypassing the MSN. Again, you will still do coursework at the master's level and, unless the school confers a master's degree, you will not have that particular credentialing. I also believe some schools, while they offer a BSN-PhD track, will still give preference so MSN-prepared nurses over well-qualified BSNs. I don't believe that there are any programs that offer ADN through PhD; I'm not sure such a program would be a good idea. With every different program, you are exposed to different program philosophies, different instructor ideas, different ways of thinking. Many career advisors suggest that it's good to be exposed to a variety of ideas so that you don't get entrenched in the thinking of just one institution.

    There's much to consider here. I hope some of these thoughts will help.
    Scrubmouse RN, NRSKarenRN, VickyRN, and 2 others like this.
  7. 1
    Thanks for the insight Moogie, I definitely appreciate it. Dropping out of the ADN program is my last option as I have already waited 2 years to get in and I am now almost half way through it. I really like options 2 and 3 that you laid out. I am hoping to begin working out of school and either do the BSN or MSN, hopefully with tuition reimbursement. I am hoping the Bio degree will allow me to bypass a lot of the BSN classes but I guess I will see soon enough. As you said I should just try to gain experience now and see what I like. I am currently in Med-surg and find it enjoyable and I will be doing Psych next semester. I just wanted to consider my options as they stand so thanks again for the insight.
    Moogie likes this.
  8. 1
    Moogie- great summary! Reinforces my BSN/MSN decision too. Thanks!
    Moogie likes this.
  9. 0
    Quote from student1234567
    Thanks for the insight Moogie, I definitely appreciate it. Dropping out of the ADN program is my last option as I have already waited 2 years to get in and I am now almost half way through it. I really like options 2 and 3 that you laid out. I am hoping to begin working out of school and either do the BSN or MSN, hopefully with tuition reimbursement. I am hoping the Bio degree will allow me to bypass a lot of the BSN classes but I guess I will see soon enough. As you said I should just try to gain experience now and see what I like. I am currently in Med-surg and find it enjoyable and I will be doing Psych next semester. I just wanted to consider my options as they stand so thanks again for the insight.
    Also I didn't see Moogie mention it (sorry if he did) but to get accepted to CRNA Programs you need to have an extremely competitive GPA, as well as MANDATORY acute care experience to even be considered to most programs. 1+ years is the listed "minimum" for the CRNA school here.
  10. 0
    Quote from studentgolfer
    Also I didn't see Moogie mention it (sorry if he did) but to get accepted to CRNA Programs you need to have an extremely competitive GPA, as well as MANDATORY acute care experience to even be considered to most programs. 1+ years is the listed "minimum" for the CRNA school here.
    You mean critical care experience, right? All of the schools I've looked into require ICU- preferably CVICU or SICU. And most of the CRNA students who are accepted have more like 3-5 years of ICU experience.
  11. 0
    Yea I already knew about the experience aspect of it, but thanks for the heads up. For schools I was looking at it, it was a minimum of 2 years of ICU I believe. Is there anything special that you have to do to get a job in the ICU? I am not expecting to be an ICU nurse right out of school, I know that is not realistic. In terms of grades, I currently have a 3.8 in my ADN program and I have a Biology degree from UofM with a GPA of 3.1, I am hoping that will be decent enough. I am sure I will have to have a lot of other good stuff on my resume to even be considered for a CRNA program.
  12. 0
    Actually, depending on the hospital, you could get hired into the ICU as a new grad. From what I've read on a couple of threads here, there are some ICUs that prefer ADNs because the BSNs want to get in their 2 years of experience and go into CRNA programs. I'm not sure I would be comfortable with a new grad in an ICU but it all depends on the new grad. Many hospitals want nurses to have at least one year in med-surg before transferring to ICU to help them get used to being a nurse before jumping into critical care. But there are some nurses who have done ICU as new grads who thrive.

    @ studentgolfer, hey, Moogie is a she, not a he! It's a Ferengi term of endearment for a female, usually someone's mother. Didn't you ever watch Star Trek: Deep Space Nine? Kids these days just don't watch enough TV....


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