Thinking About Becoming a Nurse...

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    I've been thinking about becomeing a nurse for years and am at that point where I'm really thinking about doing it. I'm 25 and currently work in advertising and am getting tired of corporate america. I really don't feel like I'm making a difference in the world. Medicine and helping people inspires me. Can anyone give me any advice on nursing, why you'd recommend the field, how I go about getting my RN or BSN? Which should I go for? RN or BSN. I currently have BS in Communications and am not sure if that will apply if I got an RN. Should I get my CNA while I take pre-reqs for nuring school to increase my chances of getting into a school. What schools would you recommend?

    Any encouragement or advice would be greatly appreciated
  2. 4 Comments so far...

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    Well, welcome to the world of nursing! There are basically two routes you can go to become a nurse: ADN (or ASN) or BSN.

    ADN programs usually take two years (maybe three) of straight nursing school, but require a year or so of prerequisites--Anatomy, Physiology, Microbiology,etc. These programs are primarily operated by community colleges and frequently have a waiting list. I know my CC in CA has a waiting list of AT LEAST one year.

    BSN programs are traditionally four years, but since you have a previous BA, you're a candidate for an Accelerated BSN where you complete a BSN in only one year. This is great if you want to get out in the field quickly, but can be quite pricey (like $30,000) and really is so intensive that you can't work--you essentially would be going to school year round. As far as pay goes, I've heard that BSN nurses don't necessarily get paid more than ADN nurses. But, if you ever plan to get your MSN (master's degree) or become a Nurse Practicioner, a BSN will definately help.

    I think getting your CNA license would definately be advantageous--you'll begin to become comfortable in direct patient care and interaction. Even becoming a volunteer at the local hospital is a great way to get involved; I've volunteered over 500 hours and loved every minute of it.

    Check out http://www.allnursingschools.com to find some programs. It has a really cool search query that allows you to pick your state and degree preferences.

    Good luck and happy-decision making!

    Michelle
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    I'm so excited for you, I just chose nursing myself and am deciding between two universities over here on the east coast, but i was reading this board so im going to reply anyway. other than the degrees (which michellemybelle covered wonderfully) nursing is fantastic for several other reasons as well:
    1) you said you want to help people and be inspired: nursing is such an important career. you are being invited into some of people's most intimate moments in their entire life. without your health, your life can quickly deteriorate in every aspect. as a nurse, its not only your job to make people more physically comfortable, but emotionally as well
    2) you are getting tired of corporate america: thats exactly why i left my communications major and changed to nursing. i realized i wanted no part of it, and although nursing, while a medical field, changes with the technological tides of our time, its truly necessary in order to give people the best care possible. in reality the job hasn't changed much at the core.
    3) there are SO many things you can do you will never get bored: first you can have all sorts of degrees which can take you in so many directions; you can go on to get your Master's and even a PhD if you want, you can teach, you can write for magazines, you can write a book, you can be a school nurse, in a hospital, in a clinic, you can go internationally and help with relief efforts in different countries, you can work in rural communities, in inner cities. while the demand for nurses is quite a negative thing, the flip side is you can find a job anywhere you go, there will ALWAYS be a need for nurses.

    My best friend in high school had Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma for two years (she is in remission now). One of the biggest impacts in her life (she is now in nursing school herself) were how much help the nurses were. They don't just feed the chemo through the IV, they hold your hand and listen to you. Nurses heal a bruised body and a bruised soul, and theres nothing more important than that.


    Good luck with your decision!
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    Congrats - its a lot of work but fun and worth it in the long run. I believe the nursing schools in oregon require a CNA license before being admitted to the program. Becoming a CNA will really open your eyes to what being a nurse entails, since you would work with and be supervised by nurses. I have a BA in an unrelated field - and an associates of applied science (AAS) in nursing - RN.
  6. 0
    Quote from wndsrfnurse
    I've been thinking about becomeing a nurse for years and am at that point where I'm really thinking about doing it. I'm 25 and currently work in advertising and am getting tired of corporate america. I really don't feel like I'm making a difference in the world. Medicine and helping people inspires me. Can anyone give me any advice on nursing, why you'd recommend the field, how I go about getting my RN or BSN? Which should I go for? RN or BSN. I currently have BS in Communications and am not sure if that will apply if I got an RN. Should I get my CNA while I take pre-reqs for nuring school to increase my chances of getting into a school. What schools would you recommend?

    Any encouragement or advice would be greatly appreciated
    I too had been thinking about nursing for awhile...I was working in a clinical setting, loved working with the patients, but hated the the fact that I had no way to advance in my career without another degree. I finally decided to start working on the nursing pre-reqs, and just see where it led me. I applied to both BSN and Associate Degree programs. The application process was grueling, partly because I knew so many people who were applying, and felt there was no way I had a chance. But I took a deep breath, and made the plunge. I'm glad that I did - just started Linfield's accelerated 18-month BSN program for students who have a previous BA/BS degree.

    The associate degree programs are less expensive, but if you want to go into management or get a higher degree, you will want the BSN. There are many schools that offer an RN to BSN program, so that's always an option.

    I have two pieces of advice: #1 - yes, do whatever you can to get some kind of clinical experience, whether it's becoming a CNA, or volunteer work, or whatever (or all of the above). Out of ~850 applicants to Linfield's programs, only 140 were accepted. Most of the people I've talked to have some level of a clinical background. (Also, a letter of reccommedation from a clinical source looks really good!) #2 - don't let the cost of a BSN program discourage you. There are a TON of financial aid opportunities, some specifically for those of us who are going back for a 2nd degree. If you are thinking about a school but are worried about the cost, contact the financial aid office even before you apply.

    Good luck!!


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